2009-10 Player Review: Shannon Brown

Jeff Skibiski —  August 12, 2010

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The Lakers own human high-fly act Shannon Brown is next in line as FB&G continues its player reviews from the past season. Be sure to check out Phillip’s post to watch Brown’s complete exit interview.

SEASON IN REVIEW:

“This time was the first time I went into training camp and really knew what was going on as far as my role a little bit,” said Brown after his exit interview. “Last year I wasn’t with the team the whole time, this year I was. It was great. You build friendships, you build family, you build bonds. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Whereas Shannon’s all-around contributions largely came as a surprise following his mid-season trade to the Lakers in 2009, this season was all about stability, improving his consistency, defining his role and most importantly, living up to increased expectations. With those goals in mind, it’s safe to say that Brown had a successful season by backup guard standards and proved that his 2009 play was no fluke.

ShanWow saw a dramatic increase in his minutes to 20.7, up from under eight minutes last season and 13 during the 2009 playoffs. He also posted the best offensive averages of his career, with 8.1 points per game and 2.2 rebounds. Moreover, Shannon showed that he was mostly a reliable backup for either guard position. From the Lakers perspective, that’s about all they can ask for of Brown considering he is primarily playing behind a superstar like Kobe.

Although Shannon proved why he is a valuable rotation player, his inconsistency mirrored that of the team’s entire bench last season. With the Lakers coaching staff shortening the Lakers rotation for the playoffs, Brown found himself on the bench more, with his minutes decreasing to 14.7. Part of that is due to the natural increase in playing time for Bryant and Derek Fisher, but it also speaks to Shannon’s still-evolving decision-making skills on the court. In spite of his sometimes erratic play during the 2010 Finals run, Brown provided a huge spark in closeout games against Oklahoma City and Utah, averaging 11 and 12 points respectively.

Shannon’s insatiable appetite for scintillating dunks and seemingly endless energy has been one of the most exciting facets of the Lakers’ past two title teams. In many ways, I think this is what ultimately hurt Shannon more than anything in his disappointing dunk contest appearance. Like Kobe, Brown is more a jaw-dropping in-game dunker, which in my opinion, is a much more valuable skill set to have than the creative costume faire we’ve see at the past few All-Star Weekends. After the viral “Let Shannon Dunk” campaign, his lackluster performance in the dunk contest was definitely a lowlight of last season, but I don’t think it’s indicative of much of anything as far as his play with the Lakers is concerned (a point he clearly drove home in his best performance of the season, below).

PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON:

Feb. 16, 2010—Starting in place of the injured Kobe Bryant, Brown showed that he’s more than just flash and dunks, scoring a career-high 27 points and and pulling down 10 rebounds to help the Lakers defeat the Golden State Warriors 104-94.

NEXT SEASON:

Shannon said it best himself during his exit interview: “I made progress. My first two and a half years I really didn’t play that much. This year I did. I’m steady making progress. As long as you get the time on the floor, it’s going to work out for the best. Basketball is my life, I think about it all the time, sometimes to a fault, and I couldn’t be happier about being a champion for the second time in a row.”

In the same interview, the Lakers guard also said that his main offseason goal was to focus on becoming more of a basketball player and not just an athlete. I think that’s exactly the right mindset for Shannon to adopt looking ahead to the 2010-11 season. We know all about his aerial acrobatics by now and streaky three-point shooting, but I suspect that Brown has a lot more in his bag of tricks. For starters, he’s shown signs of becoming a very strong defender—particularly against larger guards. If he wants to continue to get regular playing time in what is shaping up to be a tremendous defensive squad, he’ll need to really hone in on this area. Shannon also needs to continue to work on his decision-making skills, especially with the Lakers adding another reliable hand at guard in Steve Blake to go along with two of the most intelligent players in the league in Kobe and Fisher.

All of these issues point to his ongoing battle with consistency—something Brown said he will look to improve upon next season. “That’s a major part of winning,” said Brown. “Our bench has to come out and be able to produce and continue to make the team better when the starters on our the bench.”

After agreeing to return to the Lakers for a chance at a three-peat, Shannon appears dedicated to improving his play this offseason. He also displayed a great deal of self-awareness in re-signing with the Lakers instead of opting to join a team offering more money. Shannon clearly recognizes the special opportunity this Lakers team has this season and where he fits into the master plan. At the end of the day, that is precisely the mentality you want from your eighth or ninth man.

As a special bonus, take a look at this awesome video featuring Shannon’s top 10 career dunks.

Jeff Skibiski

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42 responses to 2009-10 Player Review: Shannon Brown

  1. I have some high hopes for Shannon this year. From what I’ve heard, he’s a very coachable player. I like that he admits that he’s found a modicum of stability and knows what his role is. However, the specter of another prolonged negotiations period hangs over his upcoming year. I don’t think he’s the type of player to purposefully pad his stats for his own sake, but some of that has to be hanging in the back of his mind.

    That being said, Shannon will benefit a lot from Steve Blake and Barnes. They will hopefully bring some veteran leadership and presence, with the former hopefully working on some alley-oop passes. Farmar was not the most helpful point guard, as he seemed at times to be out for “his.” I’m also glad to hear that he’s working on other aspects of his game, and learning to supplement rather than rely solely on his incredible athleticism. Good pick up for us and I think he’ll be a big role player this year. Nice write up.

  2. i would like to see shannon posterize lebron on the latter’s attempt at a chasedown block. no.1 dunk of the year no question

  3. One of my Shannon Brown favorites on You Tube: “Shannon Brown AMAZING BLOCK & Laker Bench Goin Nuts!”

    The Laker bench reaction is priceless (particularly Kobe).

  4. looks like Ebanks just signed.

    via his twitter ( http://twitter.com/DevinEbanks3 ):

    “The Los Angeles Lakers have sign Devin Ebanks 2yrs (Terms undisclosed) Feels good to be a Laker. LA wats Cracccqqqqiiiooouuuu!!!!”

  5. ShanWoW made a lot of contributions for this team. I really appreciated his team-first attitude which was a contrast compared to that of Farmar.

    I hope he makes two improvements this off season. Better 3pt shooting and better passing feeding the post. His ball handling could use improvement, too, but he won’t be asked to play PG position as much as he did last season. If he can improve his shooting, he’ll have a lot more chance to drive past his defender for more posterizing dunks that he’s known for.

    I hope he takes away a lot more minutes away from Kobe during the regular season.

  6. I agree, Shannon’s got the physical tools to be a great defender – and he seemed more motivated on that end when he first came here and was fighting for PT – but he needs to put it all together. But his skillset (filling the lane on the break) is something we desperately need on this team. I’m not sure I agree with Shannon himself – I don’t know if he made progress during the regular season so much – but I’m hoping his non-Odom-like offseason will result in more consistent play.

    This is oddly honest and weird. We’d all think it, but only Ron would tweet it:
    http://twitter.com/RONARTESTCOM/status/20917874682

  7. Alrighty then; I’m sufficiently geeked-up for next season. Let’s go Lakers!

  8. LA wats Cracccqqqqiiiooouuuu!!!! means what exactly?

  9. 8 – It’s our battle cry for the new season. Can we fit that on a T-shirt?

  10. thisisweaksauce August 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Silverscreenandroll has a slightly different analysis, one that’s more critical of Shannon. What do you guys think? Let’s compare the two analyses, shall we?

  11. @8

    I was wondering that myself

  12. That Artest comment is hysterically funny…man I love that guy…

  13. name fail – that was me at 10

  14. I’d put that dunk over Jason Richardson easily as number one even though he missed it. Had he made that dunk, it would have been one of the greatest of all time…

  15. So…what about Derrick Caracter? Has he signed for any team? Does he have offers from Lakers and/or others?
    Do the Lakers have a gap for him. I think he is certainly worth it.
    It somehow surprises me to have news about Ebanks but not about Caracter.

  16. seems caracter is going to be signed too

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5458960

    Walters said Caracter’s deal is guaranteed at the rookie minimum for 2010-11 with a team option in place worth approximately $788,000 for the following season.

  17. Caracter signing is supposed to happen tomorrow. Same Ebanks signing press release noted that Caracter was flying to LA today.

    If the report is correct about the terms, I’d guess the delay was in negotiating a guaranteed 1st year for him. That’s unusual enough for a 2nd rounder. Team option for the 2nd year. Sounds like a fair deal for everyone.

  18. Caracter has also supposedly agreed to a 2 year deal, although I’m not sure how legit the source really is.

    via http://twitter.com/alexkennedynba

    “The Lakers have agreed to a two-year deal with Derrick Caracter. Caracter had several large offers overseas but wanted to be a Laker.”

  19. alex kennedy is reporting caracter signed with the lakers!

    cue voltron music!!!

    man. awesome job, mitch. thanks, dr. buss.

  20. According to a post in SSR, Caracter’s agent is due to fly to LA and finalize an agreement with I would think the Lakers unless “team” meant some other sports team.

    hello FB and G by the way, not been posting a lot but have been visiting almost everyday. impressed with how our team stands. say “flexible”! let’s take this to them!

    GO LAKERS!

  21. Caracter is actually the more critical need. Plus he also feels he was first round material, except for his mental mistakes and school changes. He is right, therefore he may be trying to get more $.

  22. MICHAEL ZARABI aka ZERB August 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    feel, they are both signed

  23. Nice!
    Maybe I am being a litle lazy but may someone sum-up whats the final roster for next season? hehe
    It seems the Lakers have gone from bench-less to bench-wealth. I’m very happy to realise a very succesful post-season by the Lakers :P)

  24. So there we have it. Our 2010-2011 roster is set:

    Artest 6’7
    Gasol 7’0
    Drew 7’0
    Kobe 6’6
    Fisher 6’1

    Barnes 6’7
    L.O. 6’10
    Theo 6’10
    Shannon 6’4
    Blake 6’3

    Sasha 6’7
    Luke 6’8

    Caracter 6’9
    Ebanks 6’9

    Great job Mitch. A Solid Team that provides Skill, Heart, Defensive Tenacity & A High B-Ball IQ. I feel the best aspect of this Squad is that so many players are Interchangeable. Pau can play the 4 or the 5, Kobe can play the 2 or the 3, Barnes can play the 3 or the 2, LO can play the 4,3 or even the 1 for short spurts (Pt. Forward), Theo can play the 5 or the 4, Shannon can play the 2 or the 1 (Though not as Efficiently) and Sasha can play the 2 or the 1. We shouldn’t have any problems Matching Up ‘gainst Anyone. Mid August & I’m already Hyped. I know that I’m not Alone when I state that 10/26 couldn’t get here any sooner.

  25. Ebanks could learn a thing or two about tweeting from Ron Ron.

  26. For you Feel:

    PG: Derek Fisher…Steve Blake…Sasha Vujacic
    SG: Kobe Bryant…Shannon Brown…Devin Ebanks
    SG: Ron Artest…Matt Barnes…Luke Walton
    PF: Pau Gasol…Lamar Odom…Derek Caracter
    C: Andrew Bynum…Theo Ratliff

    With players like Barnes, Sasha, Brown, Odom, and Pau playing two positions of course.

  27. Cracccqqqqiiiooouuuu!!!! Is some sort of dialect that ebanks and his friends use. I guess ir means 3peat LOL!

  28. I’ve never been on the Charles Barkley bandwagon, but this is awesome:

    “I heard about LeBron’s little tweet today that he’s remembering everybody who said anything bad about him. And he said ‘everybody. Well, I want him to make sure that he puts my name on that (list).

    “I thought that his little one-hour special was a punk move. I thought them dancing around on the stage was a punk move, and I thought he should’ve stayed in Cleveland. Him joining Dwyane Wade’s team was very disappointing to me.”

    The one thing I do appreciate about Barkley – he has none of Wilbon’s kiss-up attitude. He’s friends with Wade and has previously argued for Lebron as the best in the league, but he has no hesitation criticizing them when he sees fit.

  29. Off topic:
    I have an idea for the next CBA. The league needs better revenue sharing to create more balance – some agreement by both the owners and players. Players want the same, or more cash, the owners want shorter contracts or buyouts part way through.

    How about tying things like the buyout to refunding the luxury tax to the players not the clubs? Not only would this increase the players’ share of things, but it would incentivize the owners to spend closer to the Luxury Tax because they no longer would get money back if they are below it.

  30. I’m just looking forward to the Goons vs. Faries game. Faries will have to include the 6’7 guys.

  31. gotta be stoked for our bench mob this year. Steve Blake alone would have been enough to keep us away from the stupid 1:1 offensive play that threw away so many leads at the beginning of the 2nd and 4th quarter.

    But we also added Barnes who brings a lot of that “Trevor Ariza” type of energy so many of us missed, snagging loose balls and forcing perimeter steals. That should lead to a LOT of SB dunks.

    I can see a lot of run-outs happening with Barnes and Brown filling the lanes and LO or Blake pushing. With Gasol or Bynum as a trailer, that’s gonna be a fun, fun group to watch. Best since our 07-08 bench.

    This will be THE major difference between the defending champs and the Bermuda triangle. If Artest and Kobe can keep Lebron and Wade out of the paint, our bench should be able to roll over the likes of Arroyo, Miller, Haslem, and big Z.

  32. It didn’t go in, but the attempted dunk over Jason Richardson in the playfoffs belongs on that video.

  33. Wow, I’m surprised to hear Barkley going that hard at LeBron comments. Chuck in rare form, speaking his mind no matter who’s listening or who he is cool with.

    Glad to see the signing of the youngster from the draft. What better way to learn the game and what it takes to win in the league, than from the best franchise in the association. I dont think either player has a remote chance to play other than an injury to a stater or mop up minutes. With such low expectations for the rooks the only way to go is up. Hopefully both will learn as much as possible and be ready to contribute in the next 2 to 3 years.

  34. Travis,
    The problem we might have is the rumblings out of Miami that in order to give a good player like Mike Miller adequate playing time while simultaneously covering up their PG hole and providing Wade/Bosh/LeBron outside shooting … the Heat will start Wade and Lebron in the backcourt and Mike Miller at SF. That makes so much sense on so many levels for them. It also gives the Lakers a lot of problems because we can’t have Fisher/Blake trying to guard Mike Miller in the low post.

  35. Of all the things to worry about with the Heat, I’m not worried about Mike Miller in the post. We’re so versatile defensively at every position that I find it difficult to fathom worrying about any of the matchups to be honest. Wade and LeBron are certainly going to get theirs, but we are the best equipped of any team to match up with them defensively.

    I’m just popping in to say how happy I am with this offseason. Glad that Mitch signed the rookies and Shannon and I’m very happy with the additions of Blake, Barnes and Ratliff. I’m looking forward to a very impressive season for the Lake Show.

  36. #34 Aaron
    Then all LA has to do counter that move is insert Barnes in the starting lineup at the 2, Kobe at point, Artest at SF. Problem solved. LA has a counter move for every team in the NBA, the flexibility of the roster in 2010/11 is going to be one of its biggest assets.

  37. 34- That’s a good point, but I don’t think they’ll actually do that for some of the same reasons we don’t start Kobe at the 1 and LO at the 3. It weakens their bench (literally no punch coming off the bench for them) and takes a lot of energy out of the primary ball handler and whoever guards the opposing PG.

    Luckily, we have the personnel to match up against them if they do go for that strategy. Unfortunately for us, if we go super big like that, we don’t have a 3 that will stretch the floor, although we could go with Barnes/Artest instead of Artest/LO at the wings to spread the floor better.

  38. Random off-topic question…does anyone know of a good Kobe/Pau highlight reel on youtube? I’d love to see an extended reel of them running 2 the 2 man game…thanks!

  39. OT: There is no way that the 1960 USA team would beat the 1992 Dream Team in 7-game series, right?

    The 1960 USA team featured Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas, Terry Dischinger, Walter Bellamy, and more.

    The 1992 Dream Team featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone — 10 players from the 50 greatest NBA players of all time.

  40. Let the Heat start whoever they want, at whatever position they want.

    I love that LBJ doesn’t seem to like big time pressure, but – ironically! – has put even more pressure on himself to win, by taking his ego, uh I mean talents, to “South Beach”.

    Think PJ will find a way to exploit that if we see a Lakers/Heat Finals?

    Me too!

  41. With Shannon and the rooks firmly in the fold, I’d like to reestablish my appreciation for a Laker team that has been easy for me to like. I’ve liked every player–and they’ve liked each other–for the last three years. Chemistry matters.

    We’ve lost four, but gained 5. 1. Jordan Farmar moved to New Jersey; Steve Blake took his place. 2. Josh Powell caught on with Philadelphia; Rookie Derrick Caracter took his place. 3. Ammo has been replaced by Matt Barnes. 4. Congo Cash has been replaced by Theo Ratliffe. 5. The ghost of Trevor Ariza has been replaced by Devin Ebanks–and we may have trouble telling the difference.

    The Little River Band would certainly call it a Cool Change:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bKwRW0l-Qk

    Consider the return of Shannon as you watch this Youtube.

  42. Dirty,
    But we both know phil doesn’t change his starting lineups for one team… and i agree with him on that.