Los Angeles Lakers: Milwauke Bucks
November, 16, 2010
By Dave McMenamin
Here are your 10 additional things to take away from the Lakers' 118-107 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday...
1. Before you start calling Shannon Brown the NBA's Most Improved Player or the Sixth Man of the Year, here's another nickname that fits and he doesn't need a media vote at the end of the year to earn it.
How about Mr. Fourth Quarter?
Everybody knows how supremely clutch Kobe Bryant is at the end of ball games, but if Bryant is Mariano Rivera, then Brown is one heck of a set-up man.
Brown scored a season-high 21 points in just 22 minutes of playing time, going 7-for-9 from the field, 4-for-5 on 3-pointers and 3-for-3 from the foul line. He also added three rebounds and a steal.
Sixteen of those points came in the final stanza, a time of the game that Brown's becoming awful comfortable with.
On opening night Brown had 14 points and three steals in the fourth quarter as the Lakers bounced back from a five-point hole to trounce the Rockets. He scored 10 in the fourth in the Lakers' last game against the Phoenix Suns and nine in the fourth quarter of their game before that against the Denver Nuggets.
All of that production has carved out a niche for Brown to stay on the court when the game matters most after coming into the year fourth on the Lakers depth chart at guard behind Bryant, Derek Fisher and Steve Blake.
"Coach [Phil Jackson] has a rotation that he goes with ... but when I'm hot he leaves me in there and I'm thankful and I just try to do what I do to reward him for [that faith in me]," Brown said.
Jackson said he did not want to "hex" Brown's fast start by saying whether he saw it coming or not, but was effusive in his praise for the fifth-year guard.
"He had a great contribution tonight, he was terrific," Jackson said.
Will the coach have to reconsider his rotation to find consistent crunch-time minutes for Brown?
"I hope it continues," Jackson said. "I hope so. It's terrific input."