All throughout the offseason much of the talk surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers has been about their young core. With new coach Luke Walton at the helm, fans have been very excited thinking about the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. growing together. One Name that rarely gets mentioned, if at all, is second-year forward Anthony Brown.
Brown has all of the tools to be the prototypical ‘3-and-D’ wing that thrives in this era of NBA basketball. While his defense has been solid in limited action, he has yet to show the ability to consistently hit jumpers.
In the Lakers’ preseason opener, Brown looked the best he has on both ends of the floor and Walton was extremely complimentary of his young wing via Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
Walton said Anthony Brown has probably been the best help/weakside defender through camp, if he can hit shots like that, a long NBA career
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) October 5, 2016
Brown didn’t have much of an opportunity to make an impact last season, but when he did, the potential on defense always showed. Even during Summer League, Brown was fine on defense, but couldn’t make a shot. Walton proclaiming Brown as the team’s best help defender shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because that has never been an issue.
It was undoubtedly a pleasant surprise to see Brown so locked in on offense last night as he made all four of his shots (including two three-pointers) for 10 points in limited action. Overall he seemed more confident than ever which may have been all he was missing.
The most important thing for Brown going forward is to continue to show his importance on the defensive end while becoming a more consistent shooter as he was against the Kings. There is a lot of competition on the Lakers, but if Brown can do those things, it will be difficult for Walton to keep him out of the rotation.