Frustration brewing out in Laker land
After losing to the Utah Jazz, dropping them to 1-4 in this early NBA season, the LA Lakers continue to have many problems that include, transition defense, the offense and lack of bench production. In the offseason, head coach Mike Brown went out and hired Eddie Jordan as his main assistant to help with the offense. Eddie Jordan was once the head coach of the Washington Wizards, as well as Byron Scott’s lead assistant during the early 2000s, when the New Jersey Nets made two straight finals appearances. The Princeton offense has proven to be successful before but unfortunately it hasn’t worked to perfection with this Laker team.
The Princeton offense consists of constant motion among all five players on the court at the same time and in my opinion, this style does not suit such a veteran club. I am not saying they should totally abandon the system but they must make adjustments and use their players’ skill sets to their advantage. Steve Nash’s bread and butter is the pick and roll and in order to do that he must dominate the ball to make things happen. His numbers have dipped dramatically due to this system, as not one player dominates the ball on most offensive sets. Picking up the offensive tempo is also crucial for this team because scoring 7 fast-break points as they did against the Utah Jazz will not win you many games in the NBA.
Their transition defense is lacking, as no one is getting back, which makes opposing teams run every chance they get. In order to win a championship in the NBA, your bench must be very productive and the Laker bench has been far from that at the moment. After picking up Antawn Jamison for the veteran minimum, everyone thought the Laker bench problems would be solved but they have not been. Jamison has not been a factor at all for this team and neither has guard Jodie Meeks, who is been known as a good shooter from his days in Milwaukee and Philadelphia. What made ex-Laker championship teams special was having players like Lamar Odom and Robert Horry coming off the bench, which created mismatches for the opponent. Bench play and depth is crucial for NBA teams because of the grind of an 82-game season. Can the Lakers withstand an injury to Kobe or Dwight Howard for an extended period of time?
It’ll be interesting to see what changes if any this team makes to their approach once Steve Nash returns from injury. People are already asking for Mike Brown’s head, as this team has stumbled out of the gates. Some reports suggest that Hall of Famer and former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan would be interested in the head coaching position if Mike Brown was to be let go. Could Nash to Howard be the next Stockton to Malone out in Laker land? Only time will tell how much is enough patience with Mike Brown and Eddie Jordan’s Princeton Offense principles.