Tuesday, November 6

You Play Ball Like A Girl: Mike Brown

'You Play Ball Like A Girl' is a weekly feature (I swear I'll try to make this a weekly feature) for HooPH wherein we look at a player/team/coach in the NBA who sucked the most in the week that was, that even a blindfolded Brittney Griner could easily beat in a one-on-one pick up ball. Okay, Griner is a beast and it may be possible that she is still *that* good blindfolded, but you get the idea.

No offense to girls. Or Brittney Griner.

Mitch Kupchak was unofficially awarded the title Greatest Magician That Ever Lived after securing two blockbuster trade deals that sent superstars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to the land of Purple and Gold.

Soon, there was beer-passing on the LA freeway and hush talks about the possibility of hoisting a 17th championship banner (and Kobe Bryant's 6th ringgzzz) became loud discussions in the streets of Los Angeles and Lakers Nation online.

It was an off-season of rainbows and unicorns; an orgy of joy, if you will. Just like how quickly a magician amazingly pulls not one, but two rabbits from an old, worn hat, the Lakers were once again a force to reckon with.

But the God of Hardwood is one cruel master.

In a startling twist of fate, the star-studded Los Angeles Lakers started 0-3 for the first time since 1978. Counting their winless preason, they were at 0-11 before securing their first season win at the expense of the (obviously lesser talented) Detroit Pistons. (Some arguing that it wasn't a legit win since it was against the Pistons but whatevs.)

With a city and a fanbase that have become accustomed to glittering success, panic ensued in Lakerland. Twitter exploded with clamors of firing head coach Mike Brown (they also wanted, nay, demanded the Zen Master back) and abandoning the newly adopted Princeton offense.

So much have been said about the team's lack of chemistry, which becomes very evident in poor play executions, which, in turn, result to a high TO rate, or their perennial problem in defense. But what I would really want to highlight in this 'You Play Ball Like A Girl' feature is the stinky garbage na nagkakalat known as the Lakers' head coach, Mike Brown.

If it isn't obvious enough, this Lakers team is playing uninspired basketball. When people say 'something is wrong in that locker room', they meant to say it's that bald man with a smiling face. The most obvious of the team's problems boil down to bad coaching.

My biggest gripe against Mike Brown is about the Lakers rotation-- it's a mess. It has been since last season. To say that Brown puts out inconsistent player rotations is an understatement. He's worst than a middle aged woman who still manages to get her period when he changes his mind regarding who should back up whom.

Two players I want to put a spot here to drive my point: Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks. Their addition was supposed to plug a hole in the sinking bench boat, but they were placed in a conundrum instead.

Jamison (who was an all star PF, BTW) is playing back up to Metta World Peace (instead of Pau Gasol), when in fact he hasn't played as a SF since, what, 2001? Meeks was signed to be Kobe Bryant's back up, which he did on their first game against the Dallas Mavericks. But then Brown made Devin Ebanks play back up SG the next two games when he should be backing MWP instead. This resulted in Meeks playing a measly 5 minutes against Portland and didn't even get to suit up against the Clippers.

The thing about inconsistent rotations is that it makes your players confused. If he doesn't know at which position he should play, or if he is constantly thinking day to day if he will play or not, how can he practice a routine? How much more to find his place in a foreign offensive strategy?

It doesn't take an NBA analyst to figure out that the lack of set rotations greatly affect player production. So it doesn't surprise me that not one in the Lakers second unit has a positive +/- statistic. Not to mention it puts bigger pressure on the starting five, where they are forced to play longer minutes than they are supposed to. Like how Bryant went to play 43 minutes last Friday against the LA Clippers on an injured right foot, primarily because Brown wanted to snag a win. GOOD LORD.

Of course, it is too early to say that Mike Brown will be the death of the LA Lakers. There's too much talent on that team that could easily take them to the playoffs. But it takes more than raw talent to be able to parade down Figueroa again. The Lakers need a coach that doesn't play ball like a middle-aged blonde spinster.