The Los Angeles Lakers did not exactly have the debut of their new-look team that they were expecting. In their season opener the Lakers had their way in the opening quarter, but never again outscored the Dallas Mavericks in any of the subsequent three quarters. Even though the Mavericks were without superstar Dirk Nowitzki it did not matter as the Mavericks were able to out-shoot the Lakers and defeat them 99-91.
After a win-less preseason and now a loss in their opening game, the Lakers have dropped nine straight contests and are currently playing against the Portland Trail Blazers as I type this (October 31). Still, let's take a look at some of the things that I noticed during the Lakers' opener against the Mavericks:
With four players starting outside the three-point line and one player at the top of the key, it plays against the Lakers' strengths. With Steve Nash and Pau Gasol/Dwight Howard on the court, the Lakers should be running the pick and roll; rendering other teams defenseless against their scoring ability. The Princeton offense does not allow the Lakers to get up enough shots in order to be competitive and use the offensive talent that is provided by the presence of their new role players. The Princeton offense needs to go.
I lost count of how many times the camera panned to Mike Brown on the sidelines and he had a confused look on his face. It pains me to see the Lakers unable to come together as a team because their coach can't seem to keep things together. I'll use the San Francisco 49ers' teams from 2010 and 2011 as a prime example of what a coach can do for a team. In 2010 the 49ers had all the talent and players; they simply lacked the cohesiveness of being a team and lacked a coach to mold them into one. Once the 49ers hired Jim Harbaugh as their coach in 2011, the team instantly turned around -- with nearly the same core of players -- and marched their way to a 13-3 regular season and an appearance in the NFC Championship Game. If only the Lakers could find a coach to unify them and have them playing the way they could, then the Lakers would be unstoppable. I don't think Mike Brown is the answer for the Lakers.
Lakers' Point Guards
Both Steve Nash and Steve Blake were not exactly on top of their game last night. While they did not turn the ball over much -- only one time apiece -- they combined for seven points and 10 assists. Numbers like that from the point guard position won't be able to catapult the Lakers to the top of the Western Conference. A true point guard is what the Lakers have been lacking for such a long time and now that they have one in Nash, they need to use him in the right way.
Food for thought: What were your thoughts on the Lakers' opening game? Is Mike Brown the right coach for the Lakers and do you see him finishing the season in Los Angeles?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions -- all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
LATime.com. Lakers and Mavericks Recap. NBA 2012.
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