Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  May 30, 2011

*We’ve been wondering who Mike Brown will fill out his staff with and we may just start to get some answers. Marc Stein and Ric Bucher are reporting that former assistant under Brown in Cleveland and current head coach in Detroit, John Kuester may be let go by the Pistons. This latest report coming on the heels of one stating that if Kuester shakes free from Detroit, Brown would like to add him to his staff with the Lakers.

I have mixed feelings about this potential hire. On the one hand, Kuester’s been a disaster as a head coach with the Pistons. The players deserved a lot of blame for how they acted out with him in charge, but Kuester can’t be absolved for his flap with Rip Hamilton or his general lack of control over his team. On the other hand, some coaches are better as assistants (Del Harris comes to mind) and find it easier to work as a secondary coach without being responsible for managing the entire team. Kuester has been credited with improving the Cavs offense to the point that they became a top 5 team on that side of the ball, but at least some of that improvement could also be attributed to improved personnel. In the end, we’ll see if Kuester is let go from Detroit and ends up joining the Lakers but this would be a hire in which whatever trust (or lack of) you have in Brown will be tranferred onto this hire. Since I’m in a wait and see mode with Brown, I’d give Kuester the same courtesy.

*Speaking of the Cavs offense under Brown and Kuester, Sebastian Pruiti has a must read post on the topic at NBA Playbook. Pruti takes a hard look at how the Cavs used LeBron, then explores if some of these same sets will work for Kobe. As usual, this is excellent work that you need to read.

*The more and more I hear actual NBA players or coaches talk about Mike Brown, the more I hear he’s a very good coach. The latest player doing the talking is Mo Williams, having sat with the Kamenetzky brothers on ESPN Radio this past Saturday. A lot of what Williams said mirrors what Trey Johnson said which mirrors what many others have said that have actually worked with Brown or observed him first hand. And while all of this positivity towards the man could just be the contrarian response to initial wave of negative backlash, I’m still of the mind that Brown needs to be given a chance to succeed or fail. There’ll be plenty of time to judge his performance based off the results.

*Moving away from the Lakers, the Finals start tomorrow and I’m still torn on who I’m picking but am leaning towards Miami. With Haslem back and Miller starting to make some plays off the dribble to compensate for his struggles from the outside, the Heat are a much more complete team. I also think this is a series where Bosh can have a huge impact on both sides of the ball. If the Mavs put Dirk on him, Bosh can really attack him and try to wear him out on that side of the ball. If the Mavs put Chandler on him, Bosh can pull the Mavs’ best paint protector away from the rim, which in turn can make it easier on Wade/LeBron when they drive. On defense, Bosh is a good match up for Dirk (though he’s been destroying everyone) and showed good D in P&R situations in the past couple of series. If Bosh can limit Dirk in either isolation or P&R situations, the Mavs job is going to be that much harder.

*Finally, I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day by getting to eat some good BBQ and just relax. And while this day has nothing to do with remembering great Laker moments, I’m going to do that anyway by taking you back to one of my favorite playoff series ever, the 1987 Finals. Enjoy these top 10 moments from that series while you devour some ribs.

Darius Soriano

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