In the 2009-2010 season, Shannon Brown became an immediate fan favorite for his thrilling dunks and pure athleticism. Whenver Brown was running down the court during a fast-break, the Staples and at home audience held their breath awaiting what Brown would do with the ball, which he seemed to never disappoint. Brown provided an exciting spark to the bench and to the Lakers.
However, Shannon Brown had a roller coaster season last year. Brown started off last season with a bang, proving that he was a solid contributer to the team. At the beginning stage of the regular season, Brown displayed his much improved jump shot, which he added to his arsenal during the offseason. But as the season rolled on, Brown’s performance became inconsistent and, at times, erratic. Brown, like several other Lakers, seemed to disappear during the first and second round of the playoffs.
The Lakers need Shannon Brown’s youth, athleticism, and energy, especially coming off the bench. There are five things that Brown should work on this offseason in order to play to his fullest capabilities and help the Lakers reach the Finals and win the championship once again.
1. Jumper — Brown has proven that he has a nice jump shot in his bag of tricks. At the beginning of last season, his percentage was up and expectations began to grow. Lakers fans know Brown can get to the rim and finish, but to become an NBA star a player cannot be a one trick pony. A consistent jumper would balanced out Brown’s game nicely and make him harder to defend.
2. Ball Control — As the last season rolled on, Brown seemed to loose control of the ball at times. Costly turnovers can mess with a player’s mentality. Brown needs to work on his ball control and needs to reduce his turnovers.
3. Drive the Ball — As Lakers fans know, Brown is probably the most athletic player of the roster besides Kobe Bryant. The height he can reach when making a dunk is quite impressive. Brown has decent speed and has the ability to finish. Therefore, to create opportunities and confuse defenders, Brown needs to return to his number one offensive move: drive the lane.
4. Passing — With the point guard position being one of the weaknesses of the current Lakers team, a high passer rating is a necessity among all five guys on the court, specifically with both guards. When a team shares the ball, the defense has to play catch up, which puts the offense in control. Brown needs to improve his court awareness and be able to find the best opportunity to score, whether that means pass, drive, or pull-up.
5. Defense — Kobe Bryant is a great defensive player at the 2 guard position. When Brown replace Kobe, viewers can see the difference in defense with Kobe and Brown. With Mike Brown already stating that defense will be a priority to the Lakers under his watch, Brown need to step up his defensive game.
Last season, Brown seemed to rely on three point attempts to bail him out instead of driving the ball or creating opportunities for other teammates. He wasn’t playing his game, which had an obvious effect on his performance. Lakers GM, Mitch Kupchak, recently stated that Brown hasn’t stated his intentions to the Lakers as of yet of whether or not he will choose to exercise his player option to go into free agency or if he will stay with the team. Regardless, Brown needs to make definite improvements to his game in order to fully contribute to the Lakers and return the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Los Angeles.