The feeling of uncertainty when it comes to what offense newly minted Lakers’ head coach Mike Brown decides to run is similar to the unfamiliarity Angelinos are experiencing without the buzz of the NBA Finals saturating the streets of downtown LA this time of year.
In terms of defense, you know what you’re getting from Brown and if you trust the decision-making of the Buss brass, Brown’s defensive schemes are solid. It’s been about a week and a half or so, hopefully we’ve all gotten past the initial shock of Brown’s hiring, we can start to focus on exactly what offense the Lakers will run, who will benefit most by it and how they’re going to convince Kobe & Co. of its validity.
Everything at this point is speculation of course, but regardless of what offense Brown runs perhaps the best consolation is this nugget Bryant offered during his exit interview way back when the Lakers’ top coaching prospects were Brian Shaw, Rick Adelman and Mike Dunleavy.
“Tex [Winter] always had a saying, he said, ‘I don’t give a damn what system you run as long as you run it well,'” said Bryant. “You can have the most sophisticated offense in the world, but if you don’t run it right it’s not going to work. You can have the most simplistic offense in the world, but if you execute it properly, you’ll have success.”
Under Phil Jackson, the Lakers ran what is undoubtedly the most sophisticated offense, and we can attest the success rate of the triangle offense to five championship titles. Execution and personnel were a large part of what made the triangle so successful. There’s a reason why every NBA coach isn’t gnawing at the chance to run the triangle and explore its intricacies.
We know Brown won’t be running the triangle, rumors have popped up that he may choose to run some version of the offense the San Antonio Spurs ran back when he was an assistant coach for them. The comparison can be made that if the old Spurs offense worked well for the twin towers of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, it can work just as well for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
That’s nice in theory, but there’s hardly a chance Bryant is going to agree with running the Gasol and Bynum show on a nightly basis. The Lakers are still the Kobe Bryant show. That is at least for the next 2-3 year window everyone seems to be calculating for Bryant’s status as an elite player.