Gauging Shannon’s Chances For Most Improved and 6th Man

Written by: Fernando Rea

Several months Lakers’ fans got a chance to see Shannon Brown display his gravity defying, and rim rocking talents in the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk contest. Shannon got a lot of help from his fans with being selected to the “dunkathon” with a fan campaign in the form of a website – appropriately titled letshannondunk.com, which went viral.

Apr. 02, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02102448 Los Angeles Lakers Shannon Brown claps his hands during late action against the Utah Jazz in Los Angeles, California, USA 02 April 2010. The Lakers beat the Jazz 106-92.

Prior to being selected Shannon made a proclamation to the fans by stating “I promise you. If I’m able to get in the dunk contest, it’s going to be something special.” What the fans actually got was a performance that was underwhelming and lacking in creativity. In interviews after and since that less than spectacular dunk contest performance Shannon expressed his ambition to be known for more than just a dunker and highlight reel. Shannon’s words would lead you to believe that his lackluster performance in the Dunk Contest was partly due to his heart just not being in it and that he had greater aspirations than continuing to be typecast as a high flying act. Shannon went on to be a solid contributor off of the bench for the Lakers on their way to a second straight NBA championship. It wasn’t till this season that we are starting to see what Shannon had in mind, in terms of him evolving as more of a prolific dunker.

We are only 11 games in, but Shannon has shown a much-improved stroke from the outside and a more confident demeanor on the court. Shannon is shooting an efficient 50% from the field and an impressive 48% from 3s. You only have to point to that scorching hot fourth quarter performance against Milwaukee this past Tuesday night, where Brown was a perfect 6 for 6 from the field, with 4 of those coming from 3-point land. With such great improvement in his play off of the bench Shannon is getting much deserved chatter about prominent year-end NBA awards, such as 6th Man of the Year and Most Improved Player. Some fans think that Shannon could even snatch both awards this season, which would be only the second time it has happened since Darrell Armstrong did it in 1999 for the Orlando Magic. It’s probably a little too early to talk about any awards 11 games into a season, but being that it is getting attention in Lakerville, we should look at where Shannon stacks up against the rest of the league and history.

Next: Shannon’s Competition for 6th Man

Sorry, but Shannon isn’t even the Lakers most improved or best 6th man. Both of those honors will belong to Lamar Odom once he returns to the second unit when Bynum comes back.

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