November 8, 2012
We all know the NBA season is a long one and there is plenty of time to get things in order. The season is barely a week old and there is absolutely no reason to panic this early. Don’t try telling fans of the Los Angeles Lakers this, because you may get an angry response. The Lakers are 1-4 after losing to the Utah Jazz 95-86 Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. Again, I want to stress there is no reason to panic this early in the season and any team that added as many pieces as the Lakers have will need a little transition period to get rolling like they’re supposed to. With that said, we also understand this is the Lakers (with their 16 world titles) we’re talking about and the moves they made (adding guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard, among other moves) were made to win now. Adding all of that up means high and lofty expectations and any bump along the road means the potential for a falling sky for Lakers fans. For the third time, I want to stress there is no reason to panic when you have 77 games left to play in a long and grueling NBA season. I believe the Lakers will get things together, but it might not happen fast enough to save the job of head coach Mike Brown. I know there are plenty of reports out there saying Brown is in no danger of losing his job, but I think you would be kidding yourself if you think there isn’t any preesure on Brown to get things turned around quickly. This is a team that looks unbeatable on paper, but appears to have a head coach who doesn’t know how to put all of the pieces together to get the best possible results. Brown has earned the reputation of being a good defensive coach, but the Lakers haven’t shown any signs of being a good defensive team. Other teams, such as the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Jazz have been able to get to the basket at will. The offense, which is supposed to be designed around ball movement and backdoor cuts (the Princeton offense), has players looking lost and the ball stops moving when it gets into the hands of Kobe Bryant. The team’s energy lacks and there is no passion shown by the Laker players, which makes you wonder if the players are even listening to Brown. Make no mistake about it; the seat is boiling for Brown and is on the verge of being on fire. His job is on the line and if things don’t turn around soon, the job will be lost. Don’t be surprised if the Lakers have a new head coach by late January-early February. There is too much riding on this season and expectations are too high for this team to be average at best. When you also throw in the fact Bryant is getting older (34 years old, but probably feeling older when you consider the amount of basketball he has played in his career), Nash will be 39 later this NBA season, and Howard not being locked up long-term, there is no room for error. If you ask me, Brown is in trouble, no matter what the reports say. The leash is shorter with each passing day, and the seat gets hotter with each Laker loss. Either Brown gets things straighten out, or we will see a new head coach sooner rather than later.
By Charles Taylor