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On Mike Brown and Mike D'Antoni

By August 31, 2012

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The Lakers are absolutely stacked... but can they integrate Steve Nash and Dwight Howard - long-time alpha dogs - on a team Kobe Bryant clearly has no intention of giving up?

Maybe. But it will take a lot of work.

In Mike Brown's first year as coach, the Lakers became very reliant on isolation play featuring Bryant. Maybe too reliant. Brown's Cleveland teams had the same reputation... running an offense that started - and ended - with LeBron James.

Mitch Kupchak didn't acquire Howard and Nash so they could stand around and watch Kobe shoot.

In an attempt to get the new arrivals - and Pau Gasol - involved, the Lakers will implement elements of a system about as opposite Brown's iso-ball as possible: the Princeton offense, a system that relies on constant passing, backdoor cuts and crisp ball movement. And they've added Eddie Jordan - a disciple of Rick Adelman and Pete Carril who coached the Princeton offense in Sacramento, Washington and New Jersey - to the coaching staff for this season... all with Kobe's blessing.

Is it just me, or does this remind anyone else of the Knicks, who added assistant coach Mike Woodson to Mike D'Antoni's staff before the 2011-12 season, in the hopes of improving New York's dismal D? It worked - New York's defense was much improved. Of course, that didn't do much for D'Antoni's job security; Woodson replaced him as coach just after the all-star break.

Maybe this works. Maybe Kobe embraces the Princeton sets, and Nash and Howard and Gasol all thrive in the new system. But if isn't an immediate success, Mike Brown should probably watch his back.

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