COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Lakers weren't done making changes after acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard during the offseason.
The Lakers will officially hire Eddie Jordan, an NBA coaching veteran, to join the staff as an assistant. Much like the players need to complement one another, Mike Brown's defensive-minded approach should mesh well with Jordan's thorough knowledge of the Princeton offense, which the Lakers will run next season.
The Lakers have some new tools on the court at their disposal -- namely a supremely athletic big man and versatile point guard that will be a dream come true when it comes to the pick-and-roll-heavy, traditional style of offense.
By adding Steve Nash to play along side superstars Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Howard, the Lakers will be extremely versatile. The two-man game utilized in more conventional pick-and-roll sets will always be an option for the new-look Lakers.
But when it comes to veterans Bryant and Gasol, the Princeton offense will bring some familiarity to the court. The new offense is similar to the triangle in that it allows players to improvise on offense more freely.
Intelligent basketball minds like those on the Lakers can thrive under such a system. It's less traditional and somewhat more complex, but that's why Jordan will be brought in as a specialist. Also of significance is the fact that Bryant won all five of his titles with the team utilizing a read-and-react offense.
The Lakers experienced plenty of offensive woes in 2011-2012 and figure to improve under Jordan's guidance. The bench was last in the league in scoring with a paltry 21.3 points per game. Because of the lack of production on the second unit, Bryant had to play too many minutes throughout the season.
Despite the relative insignificance of coaching changes compared to the acquisition of new players in the eyes of fans, the Lakers have shown a commitment to winning each and every year and have solidified that by making changes at the top.
The changes were necessary. Some of the Lakers' worst losses last season, including an embarrassing 106-101 defeat at the hands of the Washington Wizards on March 7, 2012, came largely because the ball stopped moving on offense.
"We're not a team that can create on our own. At times down the floor, we have to be an executing team -- a spacing team," Brown told Yahoo! Contributor Network following the loss. "We forced shots, and forcing shots is not a good thing for us. The ball stuck a lot."
This was not an isolated incident. The tendency to settle for jump shots and lack of ball movement were evident throughout the playoffs and contributed to the lopsided series loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was all a product of not having the right personnel or offensive sets at their disposal. Derek Fisher is a Lakers legend, but was never the ideal point guard for the pick-and-roll.
Fortunately for the Lakers, the personnel has changed, and Jordan can breathe new life into an offense that needs a spark. There are a lot of moving parts in terms of the strengths of individual players, but in the end, the integration of the Prineton offense will give the Lakers more options.
It will be a far cry from the days of settling for bad shots and ball-watching.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA. He has written for Southern California's Press-Enterprise and Examiner.com. For more insight, follow him on Twitter.
Photo by Michael C. Jones