If you believe what some pundits are saying about Brown’s capabilities coaching on offense, his playbook may consist of a single sentence contained on a single page. “Just get the ball in to Kobe Bryant’s hands.” While no one would put into question Brown’s willingness to just let Bryant have the ball and go to work, there are a number of plays originally designed for LeBron James that could be just as effective for Bryant. Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook does an excellent job of detailing these here.
Bryant’s role in the team’s new offensive scheme, whatever that may be won’t diminish. The same can’t be said for the rest of the pack. Brown isn’t going to adjust to fit what the players want to do, the players will have to adjust to the offense he’ll choose to run. Unfortunately, the Lakers have individual players that have similar skill sets. It remains to be seen if these skills will flourish in Brown’s system.
Of all the players perhaps the least to benefit from a new system is Derek Fisher. Under Jackson and the triangle, Fisher’s role was cut and dry. Brown may choose to run a system that relies more heavily on the pick and roll, a play the Lakers hardly ran. Because Fisher’s game isn’t defined by that of a traditional point guard, he may see his starting gig become limited or simply non-existent. On the flip side, the one guy who could potentially gain some leverage is Steve Blake.
After a less than stellar 2010-11 campaign, if Blake can get back to doing what he did when the Lakers chose to sign him last offseason it could benefit the team greatly.
Aside from what Brown will choose to put in his playbook, who he decides to surround himself with as far as a coaching staff will also determine to a degree the Lakers success moving forward. After reports surfaced that John Kuester and the Detroit Pistons would part ways, Kuester has increasingly become suspect to join Brown’s coaching staff. Kuester was the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Cavaliers under Brown prior to taking on head coaching duties in Detroit. While his stint with the Pistons will be mostly remembered for their 2010-11 mid-season fall-out, during his last season as an assistant under Brown, the Cavaliers were in the top tier of NBA offensive efficiency.
In the end, it all comes back to Bryant’s post-season statement going forward. The idea is to execute the offense, whatever it ends up being. If the Lakers can’t do that with their current squad, they’ll burn yet another season and further jeopardize the future of its current core players and the franchise.