The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a big win over the arch rival Boston Celtics (97-94) in which Kobe Bryant and company were able to hold down Doc Rivers’ squad to improve their record to 25-16. This is the Lakers second straight win as they continue to try and bounce back from two ugly losses to the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards in consecutive games.
With the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers being in similar situations in terms of aging teams trying to compete and considering rebuilding moving forward, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers can sympathize with Mike Brown’s coaching challenges this season. Even though Brown is in a somewhat different position with the Lakers still in title contention, Rivers believes the new Lakers head coach has had it extremely tough early on in Los Angeles via Mark Medina of L.A. Times:
“It made Mike’s job almost impossible early on,” Rivers said. “Walking in to coach a team, you’ve had your preseason talks with them and have them all bought in. Then a trade happens where three or four of them are involved with it and one of them gets rejected. It’s tough to trust after [that]. It made it a very difficult job for Mike. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation.”
As if it weren’t tough enough for Mike Brown to take over for the most successful NBA head coach of all-time in Phil Jackson, the failed trade for Chris Paul and the constant trade rumors since then have been hard to handle while attempting to turn this team back into an NBA title contender.
With that being said and the Lakers sitting in fourth in the Western Conference, Mike Brown has done a better job than expected up to this point in the NBA season. There is no telling where the Lakers will end up in the standing at season’s end, but so far they seem destined for a middle of the pack in the West and a potential first-round playoff series with the cross-court rival Los Angeles Clippers.
The real question now is whether or not the Lakers will make a considerable trade before the NBA trade deadline on Thurs. March 15. Reports say that the Lakers weren’t interested in dealing Pau Gasol for the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo and now it is hard to say what deal the team is looking for in return for the Spanish forward. Things will get interesting in the coming days with the deadline drawing near.