Lakers Coach Mike Brown eyes an unorthodox rotation
A previously reported, Lakers Coach Mike Brown plans on using Metta World Peace as his primary backup to Kobe Bryant at shooting guard.
What exactly does that mean for the rotation?
With Steve Nash out with injury, the Lakers are starting Steve Blake in his stead. Brown has looked to second-year guard Darius Morris (over veteran Chris Duhon) as Blake’s backup.
Brown wants Blake and Morris to be active, pressuring defenders. Blake will probably get twice as many minutes as Morris but Brown will go with matchups.
On a typical night, Bryant is going to play in the neighborhood of 36 minutes, which leaves 12 for reserves.
World Peace will continue to start and, assuming the team isn’t in foul trouble, play about 10 straight minutes at small forward before Devin Ebanks spells him. Jordan Hill would also give Dwight Howard a rest as well.
Ebanks then shifts over to the two at the start of the second quarter with Antawn Jamison, Hill and Howard. Morris would enter for Blake.
After Pau Gasol and Bryant play the entire first quarter, they begin the second on the bench along with World Peace, who replaces Ebanks at shooting guard about two minutes later.
If the Lakers can give Bryant about 5-6 minutes of rest here, he’ll replace Hill as World Peace and Jamison shift up to three and four, respectively. Brown will turn to Gasol and his full starting lineup at some point midway through the second.
The second half will probably resemble the first except Bryant and Howard exit the third with about four minutes remaining instead of two.
From there it’s a question of situation. Are the Lakers ahead or behind in the fourth, and if so by what margin?
Will the power lineup of Morris, World Peace, Jamison, Hill and Howard (or Gasol) work for the Lakers and Mike Brown? They’ll certainly have a size and rebounding advantage.
Can that group punish smaller, quicker teams by pounding the ball inside? Is there enough outside shooting to give Howard the space he needs to operate?
At this early point in the season, Brown is willing to experiment but he’s also looking for continuity. Whether or not this is the right play, he’s going to stick with it for at least few games to see if it bears fruit.
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