Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  November 7, 2012

I readily admit that I haven’t been thinking much about basketball the past 48 hours. I enjoy national politics as much as the thing that James Naismith invented. I won’t editorialize about the result except to say that I drank a lot of wine last night, slept late and am now drinking a strong cup of coffee. And as the late, great James Brown famously said, “I feel good”. Plus, the Lakers play tonight with a chance to build on the motor city win – they’ll be visiting the Jazz in Salt Lake City.

Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll looks at Sunday’s win and how it might translate into tonight’s game against the Jazz.

Mike Bresnahan for the LA Times says that limiting Kobe Bryant’s minutes is easier said than done.

Eric Pincus at the Times Lakers Now, reports that MWP will see second-unit time as a shooting guard. The way Coach Brown’s describing it sounds like a very tight eight-man rotation.

Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk writes that the Lakers organization isn’t prone to panic and not to buy into coaching rumors. Kurt also reports that the guy Steve Blake took issue with (to the tune of 25K), happens to be the son of a prominent CEO who has eight Lakers courtside seats. Oops.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register also reports on the Lakers support for Coach Brown.

Matt Moore at CBS Sports notes that Dwight Howard’s quickly getting back up to speed.

Henry Abbott at TrueHoop observes that Howard may still be recovering from injury but is nonetheless, incredibly productive.

Arielle Moyal at Lakers Nation looks at Steve Nash’s injury timetable, and also offers up a bunch of tasty links.


The Lakers play a team with a mirror record tonight – the Utah Jazz also stand at one-and-three. Prodigal Punk at the excellent Jazz blog SLC Dunk, expresses his extreme dislike of all things Laker-like and also offers up some thoughts about menswear. That’s all fine and well. Your team’s going down tonight by the way.

Dave Murphy


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  1. Any FB&G contributors care to weigh in on Brown’s “length line-up”? Darius, Dave, Phillip, etc? I feel like the rest of us are just about ready to rip our own hair out. I just do not understand his logic. He’s been so impressed with Metta’s play that he’s making him the starting small forward AND back up shooting guard? Ridiculous. And continuing to play Jamison strictly at the back up small forward is just a joke. Can someone please remind Mitch and myself why we gave Meeks the mini-mid level if he’s not going to play?

    This team is fairly old, particularly in the starting line-up. It needs to be injected with young, athletic blood. Meeks and Ebanks are the obvious choices. Ebanks is still a work in progress, but he’s certainly not going to progress without any playing time. And Meeks? He’s a proven NBA shooting guard. He started 50 out of 66 games for Philly last year, while we had absolutely no back up for Kobe. It’s about as clear of a fit as you can get.

    Brown is losing my support rapidly.


  2. SB Dunks,
    I’m not in favor of moving away from Meeks at this point. First, the Lakers starters — including Ron — need to play less minutes, not more. Shortening the rotation won’t accomplish this and, in fact, does the opposite.

    Second, I’m a believer in nurturing role players into becoming contributors. I’ve seen little that tells me Brown has given Meeks a chance to be very successful in actual game situations to this point. Going away from him completely before giving him solid run seems short sighted.

    Lastly, Meeks has a skill set this team can use. I think Ron can help on the 2nd unit. His defense is still very good and he’s been shooting non three pointers at a very high clip to start the year. That said, Meeks spaces the floor and that’s helpful to this team. I’ve seen him make some mistakes in the offense but that’s true for every player.

    Needless to say, I’m not on board here.


  3. I agree with Darius. I don’t understand the logic in not playing Meeks, who was brought here specifically to space the floor and back up Kobe. Don’t know what Brown is thinking here – does he envision a big role for Ron on the bench? My guess is that Kobe will average around 35 min a game, so its not that Ron will have a lot of time.

    I think that a lot of the confusion has to do with Jamison and Hill’s roles. Ideally, Hill would back up Dwight while Jamison plays the backup 4. However, Coach wants to play either Dwight or Gasol with that second unit, which kind of messes up things positionally – Jamison to the 3,and Ebanks, Meeks and now, Artest at the 2.

    Almost wish we go back to separate units, and have the bench work its way through its issues. Blake (now Morris)/Meeks/Ebanks/Jamison/Hill is not that bad on paper – definitely better than Blake/Kapono/Walton/McBob/Murphy


  4. The first link pretty much says the same thing:
    ” The key problem with Jamison beyond his poor play is that he is the person keeping Jodie Meeks, who we thought could give the Lakers’ offense a boost with his long-range shooting, nailed to the bench. The coaching staff seems determined to keep Dwight or Pau at center at all times, which puts Hill at the four and pushes Jamison to the three. This leads to a minute crunch at the wing and it is increasingly hard to justify this given that Jamison has been fairly awful whichever forward position he occupies. “


  5. Brown is definitely hiding Meeks until the playoffs, just like he did Morris last year.


  6. I can’t add much except to agree. Nash is out and Kobe’s nursing a bad foot. And this isn’t a time to invest in some fresh legs?


  7. Maybe Brown is playing starters heavy to get them in playing shape or because he has no practice time. All these contradictions wouldn’t fly in NY. Maybe LA reporters should ask tougher follow ups or question brown more like the fans are. The Simers, Max’s, Petros and Money are outnumbered.


  8. Does Brown know that the preseason is over?! Metta at shooting guard?! Really?!


  9. Mike Brown has got to go, no two ways about it. If the Lakers win it all this year it’ll be in spite of Mike Brown. He’s the antithesis of Phil Jackson in the way he manages his rotations and fails to put his bench players (or any of his players, really) in positions where their roles are defined and they can maximize their talents. He plays the starters WAY TOO MANY MINUTES. Jim Buss has some never to tell Kevin Ding “Laker fans are pretty intelligent when it comes to waiting and analyzing, and I’m sure they have open arms for him (Brown).” The greatest testament to LeBron James’ talent and skill is the fact that this clown still has a job in the NBA.


  10. Like many here, I have been following the Lakers for a long time. I actually enjoy the process of watching a team come together, to achieve success, whether expected or not. I also see the value in learning through failure and marvel at how this incredible organization responds.

    Having said all that — I simply cannot stand Mike Brown. In my opinion, it is clear he is a failure, going back to Cleveland, and is going to destroy the last chance Kobe has at winning another championship. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but this guy just seems like a clown with absolutely no plan or clue.

    This isn’t a learning process, it’s a carnival fun ride designed to make fans sick…


  11. It’s good to see some recognition on this site that politics has become nothing much more meaningful then a sport you can either take or leave.

    If Brown is shortening the rotation, I think we need a rational explanation or that guy needs to go. From the stats and my own eyes, it seems the offense is just fine and will get even better. Coach Nick at BBall Breakdown has a great video analysis of the offense.

    The team is having a difficult time on defense and I think Pau is a concern here. He doesn’t seem to recover well on hedges and his lack of foot-speed is being attacked. I’d like to see a good defensive coach find a way to account for Pau’s issues. On the other hand, if his solution is to overwork his high miled starters, the Fire Mike Brown movement needs a political machine to push the peoples’ desire up to the powers that be. Rise up people of Laker love. Demand the 32 minute gameday workload for Kobe.


  12. Brown is really starting to get on my nerves. Metta at the 2? Come on! And why can’t Hill play backup center against certain matchups? Developing Meeks, Ebanks and Morris into serviceable role players is essential for this team’s success, IMO. Burying Meeks means Kobe is going to play entirely too many minutes. Last year, Kobe started out the season on fire and gradually wore down due to excess minutes. I can’t figure out Mike Brown. I think he’s a poor coach.