The Los Angeles Lakers are heading into the 2012-13 with lots of questions to answer and with a lot of issues to solve. Can this team gel together and what type of offense will work best to get all the stars involved?
The coaching staff is hard at work and it is trying to figure out schemes and systems to run this season. The team has a very well balanced roster and by the looks of it, the Lakers have the pieces to run almost any offense. Mike Brown is a defensive maestro, but his biggest challenge will occur on the offensive end.
Brown’s ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship and he understands a lot of work must be done in order to succeed. The last coach to win a title in Los Angeles, Phil Jackson, is no longer on the team but he chimed in on the Lakers with ESPN Radio Chicago.
“It’s finding a role that each player can move towards and be comfortable in,” Jackson said. “I think that’s how you want to feel. You want Steve to have the ability to have the ball with confidence that he is doing the right thing and feeling like he can run the team and getting the ball to Kobe in critical situations is important because that’s what his best role is standing out in the moments of crisis or the moments that are critical. And the inclusion that you have to have to make Howard feel a part of it. So all those guys have to find a little role….
Jackson ran the Triangle offense during his days and that offensive system guided him to 11 NBA titles. The offense has roles for its players and it allowed those on the court to excel in their positions. The Triangle offense gave freedom to the players and ran on a read-and-react basis. Brown’s offense is a little more structured than Jackson’s, and last season some of the Lakers players admitted that they had trouble adjusting to the new rules.
“(Nash) is a guy that can kinda make it easier for Howard to be a player inside,” Jackson said. “As Pau can move around in the post and move up to the high post and he can be an outside defender that can help out in a variety of screen-roll activities that maybe Howard might get himself in foul trouble having to defend all the time. So they’ll be able to do a lot of things with a more mobile and quicker Pau Gasol. This is a team that you have to find an offense that is going to work and include everybody because Kobe dominates the ball and Steve Nash dominates the ball.”
Still, at the end of the day, the Lakers have the talent that can solely help them win games. The Lakers have four play-makers in their starting five and they can all create offense in isolation plays. Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest one-on-one players the league has ever seen, and even with Jackson, he closed out the games.
Jackson also touched upon how Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard can work together. Although Gasol is probably more efficient on the offensive end than Howard is, those two can work wonders on the defensive end. If those two are on the same page, they can defend nearly every play without problems and foul trouble should almost be non-existent.
The Lakers have one, if not the, most talented team in the NBA and it is now up to the coaching staff and players to live up to the hype.
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