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LOS ANGELES -- There might not be two more polarizing teams in the league right now than the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat and the men at the helm, Mike Brown and Erik Spoelstra, have more in common than just dealing with the lightning rod of attention their two franchises attract.
The pair played against each other in college in the West Coast conference when Brown was at the University of San Diego and Spoelstra was at the University of Portland in the early 1990s.
Thanks to an 0-2 Lakers start, Brown found himself in a similar situation to what Spoelstra went through in Miami last season when the Heat went just 9-8 out of the gates.
Spoelstra tried to temper expectations at the time, saying that he didn't expect the team to fully come together the way he hoped until 25-30 games had passed. Reporters who cover the Heat claim that, "It's a process," became Spoelstra's personal catchphrase and estimate the coach said it 1,000 times during Miami's growing pains.
Brown isn't giving himself the same leeway.
"I hope it doesn't take 30 games. I hope it's sooner than that," Brown said before the Lakers played the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. "I've seen improvement every time we've stepped on the floor."
The Lakers looked much improved against Utah on Tuesday night, holding the Jazz to just 32.2 percent shooting in a 96-71 win, to improve to 1-2 on the season.
"It's always exciting to get a win, and especially to get a win after you had two losses," Brown said after his first win as Lakers coach after going 0-2 in the preseason as well. "It feels a little bit better."
Brown was vague before the game when providing a timeline for when he would expect the Lakers to look fully developed, but he was perfectly clear when asked if he was panicked by the Lakers' slow start.
"I'm sure there's probably panic out there because my oldest son is a little panicked. He's always been panicked when we lose, but I'm not," Brown said. "Whether it's right, or wrong, I feel good about my team. I feel good about the process that we're going through right now and it's helping me see what type of character we have while we're learning and growing."
Notice, Brown used "process" in his answer, which would surely make Spoelstra smile.
What might not make Spoelstra smile? Brown's characterization of their college careers.
"Neither one of us could play," Brown said.Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.