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Tougher, rougher and more rugged

Clues were there, but fire and physicality of Brown's Lakers realized in opener

Updated: December 26, 2011, 2:45 AM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- It hasn't felt the same around here for a while now.

Phil Jackson is off shooting Audi commercials and growing a full beard. Lamar Odom is in Dallas, settling in with the team that swept the Los Angeles Lakers from the playoffs. The triangle offense is a relic, needing to be unlearned by a team that was once defined by it.

It has been strange and weird and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Three months' worth of cultural, directional and existential change crammed ...

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