Ramon Sessions adds another dimension to Lakers offense
There’s a large white board in every NBA locker room filled with scribblings and strategies tailored for each upcoming game.
Teams didn’t exactly run out of ink while outlining what to do against the Lakers.
Watch out for post-ups from Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Beware of isolations and post-ups from Kobe Bryant.
The rest was pretty much fine print.
Opposing coaches have to spend more time at the white board now that Ramon Sessions is with the Lakers.
“There’s a lot of other things they’ve got to address,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. “As much as they talk about Andrew’s post-ups, you’ve got to talk about Ramon Sessions’ middle pick-and-roll. You’ve got to talk about Sessions’ side pick-and-roll. You’ve got to talk about Sessions in transition. You’ve got to talk about Sessions and Kobe 1-2 pick-and-roll. You’ve got to talk about Kobe’s [isolations]. Oh, and don’t forget about Pau’s ability to pick and pop, or Pau’s ability to post.”
Sessions is averaging 13.6 points and seven assists in five games with the Lakers. He had 20 points and 11 assists in his first start Friday against Portland.
“He does make us more dynamic,” Brown said.
Brown’s schedule has already proved hectic in this lockout-shortened season.
There’s little time between games. He has less flexibility with practice times. And there are the dizzying cross-country trips.
He faced another time crunch Saturday, planning to fly on a private plane to Sacramento after Lakers practice so he could squeeze in two state high school championship games.
Brown’s son, Elijah, is trying to win a boys’ basketball title as a junior guard at Santa Ana Mater Dei High. The Monarchs play Sacramento Shelton High.
Brown and his wife, Carolyn, are guardians of Nirra Fields, a senior guard on the Mater Dei girls’ team, which plays Berkeley High in another championship game at Power Balance Pavilion.
Brown planned to be there for both games, spend time with his family afterward and fly back to Los Angeles in time for a coaches’ meeting with Lakers assistants at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
“It just feels like what the rest of the regular season feels like right now,” Brown said. “This season has been something else for all of us because of how condensed the games are.”
Brown couldn’t help but lend coaching advice to his son and Fields about the need to get rest but also extra shooting sessions. Despite his pedigree, Brown doubted the advice did much.
“They don’t listen to me,” he said, laughing. “Somebody off the streets could walk up to them and say, ‘Do this with your jump shot.’ They will say, ‘Dad, such and such said I should do this with my jump shot.’ I said, ‘I know I told you to do that 1,600 times.’ I’m just dad. There are no benefits to being a dad when you’re trying to teach basketball.”
Reserve forward Matt Barnes is having his most productive stretch of the season, averaging 11.2 points and shooting 43% from three-point range over the last six games.
“You could tell he’s shooting it with confidence and he’s aggressive,” Brown said. “He’s just not settling for [outside shots] even though he’s shooting it well. He’s still trying to slash and play the fearless style of basketball that he plays.”
Barnes, 32, is in the last season of a contract that pays him $1.9 million this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Times correspondent Mark Medina contributed to this report.
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