Troy Brown Jr. made his Los Angeles Lakers debut in the second week of the 2022-23 season after dealing with a back injury in the preseason.
Brown spent 22 minutes on the court in Sunday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The 23-year-old wing showed off some of his two-way potential, ending the night with four points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The 6-foot-6 forward’s return will further boost the Lakers’ defense — which ranks second through the first full week of 2022-23 — as the Purple and Gold started the season with little depth at the wing. Although he missed both his 3-point attempts on Sunday, Brown should also improve L.A.’s shooting as he made 34% of his triples over the last three seasons
Overall, head coach Darvin Ham said he has high expectations of the Oregon alum. “I think he’s a phenomenal young player that has some years in the NBA under his belt and some extensive playing experience,” Ham said before the 106-104 loss to Portland.
“But still yet, he’s a young, 23-years-old with I think unbelievable upside. The way he has come in and worked and shot the ball, his size, his length, there’s athleticism there. I’m excited to see what he does. We’re gonna throw him right in the fire. He’s just been a pleasant kid to be around.
“A really true professional taking care of his business trying to get back out there and now we’ve arrived at that moment and I’m looking forward to seeing big things out of him.”
During the offseason, Brown said he couldn’t wait to get to work with Ham, saying he liked the first-year head coach’s vision for the team.
Brown explains what he can offer Lakers in 2022-23
Ahead of his season debut, Brown outlined his goals for 2022-23 and said he wants to further tighten the already rock-solid Lakers defense.
“Defensively just plugging in gaps using my length,” he said. “I see a lot of guys driving like through the nail — just being at that nail, being able to stunt, give guys like a quick second just to get back in front of the pick and rolls even on the X-outs, on the back sides. Just being able to play that and force teams to make those hang passes, to buy us more time to get into sets.
“So that’s the biggest thing for me defensively and then offensively, just being able to create, being able to make plays rather and then obviously be able to shoot itself.”
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