LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 27: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers confers with head coach Mike Brown during the game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on December 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 96-71. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are in Florida to take on Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. The game's storyline is likely going to revolve around Bryant's struggles or Howard's trade request, but is Brown's offensive scheme the elephant in the room?
The Los Angeles Lakers aren't exactly riding high following Thursday night's nationally televised loss to the Miami Heat, but they'll be in Florida again Friday for an attempt at avenging their loss. Kobe Bryant and Co. are set to do battle with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the first game of an ESPN doubleheader.
The main storyline will likely be about how Dwight Howard has a trade request in with Bryant and the Lakers appearing near the top of an ever-growing list, but Los Angeles has bigger fish to fry (as does Kobe himself, it seems). Silver Screen and Roll's Dexter Fishmore decided that new head coach Mike Brown's offense might be the Lakers problem, however, following their slower than usual start:
This was the game, I suspect, that could make Laker fans start to turn on Mike Brown. It's not his fault that his team can't shoot threes, but there are large problems with this Laker offense. For three quarters it lurched along well below a point per possession. The passing was slop, there was very little creative ball movement, and nobody on the Lakers seems to know what they're supposed to do when a double-team arrives. The Heat didn't even double that often, but it seemed like whenever they did the doubled-up Laker attempted a crap pass that got picked off. Even after the Lakers put up 31 points in the garbage-time fourth they just barely finished above a point per possession for the game. I get that the systems are new and practice time scarce, but 16 games into the season no team with the Lakers' talent should be this bad at scoring.
Obviously adding Howard to the scheme could certainly help things, but it'll be interesting to watch and see if Brown alters his offense at all against the Magic -- or if the Lakers pull off a real deadline deal and acquire Howard prior to the game (that'd be fun, right?).
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