Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

Brown may start for Artest and Kobe slide to SF

Posted on: May 6, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 2:30 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young

Down 0-2 heading to Dallas without your best defender? Not exactly ideal if you're the Lakers.

And Phil Jackson, knowing something needs to change, isn't looking at your expected replacement for Ron Artest who was suspended for Game 3. Common sense says to go with Matt Barnes who plays that position and backs up Artest anyway. Except Jackson is actually leaning towards a shuffle, bringing in Shannon Brown to start at shooting guard and moving Kobe Bryant to small forward. The OC Register explains:
Brown is also at least healthy, whereas Barnes is still regaining his feel after missing the end of the regular season with knee soreness.

Barnes has not been sharp — fouling ahead of defending and rushing shots near the basket. Brown has been inconsistent in his decision-making but shooting OK. If Brown starts, Bryant would likely defend Shawn Marion after defending Jason Kidd to start Game 2.

But Bryant would have an easier time attacking the basket from a wing position at small forward — and he has very rarely gotten inside in the first two games vs. Dallas.
It would be an interesting move and one that might create some matchup issues for the Mavericks. Having Kobe on the wing might free him a bit more and having Brown in the starting five might just be a major spark. The Lakers are struggling to find offense right now and Brown is a pretty good scoring option.

Some suggested going with Lamar Odom at the 3, playing very big with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum next to him. Except that trio has played less than 25 minutes on the floor together this year, suggesting Jackson doesn't like it. However, Odom said at Lakers shootaround that he expects to start at small forward.

Barnes will obviously see heavy minutes, but Jackson is looking for some kind of combination to spark his group. Shannon Brown though? Or Odom? I guess we'll see.
Comments

Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Brown may start for Artest and Kobe slide to SF

Missing Artest will matter. He is an excellent on the ball defender and sets screens very well.  Occasionally he will get hot and make some big shots. But I think the Lakers will miss the physical style of defense he brings to the court. They are already soft and they are going to be softer tonight. Kobe will need to score over 40 if the Lakers are going to win.     

    



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:33 pm
 

Brown may start for Artest and Kobe slide to SF

Given the options available to Jackson in replacing Ron Artest for this game with the Mavericks, this one really intrigues me and could well be the best the Lakers can do. Lamar Odom is not the answer. First, as you pointed out, the big three don't play that well when all three are in the game. Second, it would slow the Lakers in their defensive efforts. Third, he's way too important in the bigs' rotation. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum need him to back them up. So you realistically are left with Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown. Barnes is way too inconsistent right now. Brown seems to be the last man standing. It makes sense to move Kobe Bryant to SF in order for Brown to come in at SG. It really won't hurt Bryant's offensive opportunities in the Lakers' triangle scheme. And Kobe can capably handle Shawn Marion. The key to this game is somehow slowing Dirk Nowitzki. The L A bigs must figure this out for L A to prevail.



Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Brown may start for Artest and Kobe slide to SF

Excellent Post!!!! I was just telling my co-workers about Kobe playing SF.  It's makes perfectly good sense.  Marion though a shell of his former self, is still a very capable defender but I feel strongly that Kobe will make him work the entire night.  This is the best possible scenario.  You definitely need to have someone coming off and Odom is that guy.  Let's all be extremely honest in that the Lakers don't have that great of bench outside of Odom and Brown, right? 



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Brown may start for Artest and Kobe slide to SF

But Bryant would have an easier time attacking the basket from a wing position at small forward — and he has very rarely gotten inside in the first two games vs. Dallas.
Yeah, this would be true in a traditional offense.  With the triangle it makes almost no difference at all.  Kobe's always "free to attack off the wing" in the triangle. 

BTW, Shannon Brown has sucked this series.  He's created more offensive problems than he's contributed.  It seems like the one thing he might offer is the foot speed to slow down the Mavs guards who have run past Fisher and Bryant in the first two games.  Personally, I don't think the loss of Artest will be that significant.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com