Win/loss records in the preseason have never really made for headline news. That is, unless you are the Los Angeles Lakers, have had one of the most historical off-seasons in NBA history, and after eight exhibition games, don’t have a win to show for it. Head coach Mike Brown has been downplaying the emphasis on winning and instead focusing on individual performance and setting goals, which is not uncommon during the preseason. Going into Thursday night’s grand finale to the preseason, Brown mentioned three areas he wanted to focus on against the Sacramento Kings.
- Limiting opponent’s offensive rebounds
- Better job of taking care of the ball
- Improved transition defense
Forget about the loss, how did the Lakers do focusing on these specific goals?
- Gave up 11 offensive rebounds
- Committed 21 turnovers
- Allowed 28 points by the Kings in transition
The interesting thing is Brown made the players watch every single turnover they committed in the last two games (21 against the Clippers Wednesday night, 22 against the Kings Sunday night).
“Before we left the practice facility we watched all of our turnovers from last night…when we got here we watched all of our turnovers from the last Sacramento game.”
Well, either that wasn’t the best strategy, or the Lakers should have watched all 149 turnovers they had in the last eight games.
With Mike Brown attempting to appease everyone’s worries throughout the preseason struggles, the coach finally opens up about his thoughts on the preseason. Was he happy with it?
“Yes and no. Obviously we would have liked to win a few games. I would have liked to make sure I got some answers to different things. I wish we would have been on both ends a little more comfortable than what we are right now. We’ve shown it in practices, we just haven’t showed it all the time in games.”
However, it seemed like Brown felt much more uneasy than he had hoped at the end of the preseason.
“I didn’t get the exact answers that I felt I needed with our second group. On top of that I didn’t feel like we got the cohesiveness that I was hoping to get by this time. You can see it at times but it’s not always there. We still could have done a better job overall as a group.”
Brown was also hoping to tie some loose ends in terms of being more comfortable with his back-up spots, but post-game said he still has “searching” to do. What positive can Brown take away from the preseason?
“From where we’re sitting right now there is a comfort level because the ceiling for us is really high. We’ve got a lot of room to get high. It’s a work in progress.”
Then Mike reflected on his last two losses in the preseason last year.
“The worst thing about it is that my record with the Lakers as a coach in the preseason is 0-10. Maybe next year I’ll get a win.”
I’m not sure how comfortable this makes Lakers fans. Let’s just concentrate on getting a win. Period. Plus, the New Orleans Hornets went undefeated in the preseason last year, and finished dead last in the Western Conference. There’s no reason the Lakers can’t make history and do exactly the opposite.[jwplayer config=”lakersnation_player” file=”http://youtu.be/2u7bbjqn7ow” autostart=”false”]