After a winless preseason (0-8) and three straight losses to start the regular season, the new-look Los Angeles Lakers, for the most part, have not looked good. Even though Dwight Howard has been healthy and Kobe Bryant has been able to fight through a foot injury, the Lakers weren’t able to come out on top against the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Clippers in consecutive games.
With the poor start by the Lakers, the main topic of discussion in Los Angeles has been head coach Mike Brown’s job status. Brown has been the scapegoat for the slow start and the team’s offensive and defensive struggles.
As a result of Coach Brown potentially being on the hot seat, rumors have started to swirl in Los Angeles with talk of Jerry Sloan becoming a likely candidate to replace Brown as early as Dec. 1.
Apparently, despite all the rumors and talk of a coaching change in the near future, the Lakers’ front office has been content with Brown. According to Lakers Executive VP Jim Buss via Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register:
“I’m a hundred percent behind Mike Brown. Mitch is. My dad is. We as a collective soul are behind him 100 percent.”
With only a few games under his belt with a significantly changed roster, it may be a little early to throw Coach Brown under the bus. Moreover, Steve Nash has only played a game and half of the regular season thus far and hasn’t had much time to get accustomed to his new surroundings in Los Angeles.
If the Lakers continue to struggle into December, it may be time to consider a change, as 12 more games will be in the books which should be plenty to let us know whether Brown’s system is working. The win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday was the first time the team seemed to flow in the Princeton offense, but the competition was a team that is far from contending for a playoff spot.
The new-look Lakers will be put to the test once again on Wednesday night as they take on the Utah Jazz on the road. This game should be a good indication of whether Sunday’s win against the Pistons was dumb luck or actual progress for the Lakers, as Utah plays as good as any team in the league at home.