Lakers Coach Mike Brown says he must be more careful about keeping players… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Two days worth of exit interviews gave plenty of time for Lakers Coach Mike Brown to reflect.
The Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to the Western Conference semifinals. He inherited a veteran team that became used to Phil Jackson's teachings and, surely, his penchant for winning championships. The Lakers began training camp in less than ideal circumstances, including the NBA's nixing the Chris Paul trade, a compressed 66-game season and new personnel.
"I feel like I could've done a lot better," Brown said.
Players loved his enthusiasm and work ethic but tired of his lengthy practices and film sessions. Some soon questioned him. Metta World Peace labeled him as a "stats guy." Andrew Bynum defiantly shot three-pointers. Pau Gasol wished he had been featured more in the offense. Plenty of players lamented the shuffling rotations.
Still, all players gave a generally positive review on Brown's first year, considering the circumstances.
"The toughest part is, I'm not using this as an excuse," Brown said. "We had as much time as everybody else. But it was tough from the standpoint that you didn't get to practice. We wouldn't have practiced that much harder because we have an older and veteran team. I still need to be conscious of not running those guys in the ground in the course of the regular season."
That prevented the Lakers from accomplishing a few things. They didn't always have a consistent dynamic among Kobe Bryant, Bynum and Gasol. After hoping to establish the team's identity on defense, Brown soon realized the team's offense often influenced its defensive performance. Brown often relied heavy on his starters instead of an inconsistent and undeveloped bench.
"I know there were a lot of things I rushed on that I kind of did on the fly based on the lack of time," Brown said. "To really give myself a true evaluation would be hard. Based on the circumstances as a staff, I had a great staff and they helped out a lot and we did fairly well. Could we have done better? Yes, we could've done a lot better."
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