What can (Mike) Brown do for L.A.?

May, 26, 2011
5/26/11
1:04
PM ET
By ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com
Archive
With Mike Brown tabbed as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, things likely will look different in Los Angeles next season, but not as much as some would have you believe.

Out goes the famed Triangle Offense? Brown's teams in Cleveland had some similarities offensively to the Lakers of last season.

Under Mike Brown, the Cleveland Cavaliers showed a reliance on spot-up shooting -- more than 20 percent of the plays run under Brown ended up with a spot-up jump shot. The highest percentage of offensive plays run by the 2010-11 Lakers ended with spot-up jump shots at almost 18 percent.

Brown comes with the pedigree of having coached an NBA superstar in LeBron James. One of the reasons Brown may have been hired is his willingness to let his star players run isolation plays.

More than a quarter of James' plays under Brown were isolation plays, with his highest number coming in 2009-10 when it was 31.2 percent. Last season, Kobe Bryant ran 30.3 percent of his plays in isolation. Over the last three seasons that number sits at 31.3 percent.

However, LA's offense also featured a high percentage of post-up plays, something the Cavaliers did not used frequently in Brown's system. His teams ran post-up plays on less than 10 percent of all offensive sets. Brown's ability to get the Lakers interior players adequately involved will be something to focus on in his first season with the team.

While the Lakers offense will likely garner most of the attention, Brown is known first as a defensive coach, having come from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree. In each of Brown's five seasons as a head coach, his team finished in the top half in the league in defensive rating, a metric that measures points allowed per 100 possessions.

Last season, Cleveland dropped all the way to 29th in the league, after finishing seventh in defense rating during the 2009-10 season.

Brown inherits a team that has finished no worse than sixth in defensive rating in each of the last four seasons, and should be expected keep the Lakers among the best defensive teams in the NBA.

His biggest challenge defensively will be motivating a team that appeared frustrated and lackadaisical while being swept by the Dallas Mavericks. In that series, the Lakers allowed the Mavericks to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field and connect on 46.2 percent of its 3-point attempts, many of which were uncontested.

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