Preseason records are rarely indicative of regular-season results to come. That said, it’s a bit troublesome when a highly-touted NBA team goes 0-8 in the preseason. That’s what happened to Mike Brown and his new-look Los Angeles Lakers, but Brown thinks he has a grip on what ailed his guys during the exhibition schedule.
Mike Brown joined Petros and Money on Fox Sports Radio to discuss the issues that caused the Lakers to struggle in the preseason, Kobe Bryant’s foot injury, the team’s overall age, and the roles Steve Nash and Pau Gasol will be playing this year.
On turnovers being the key problem the team has faced thus far:
“We’re turning the ball over at a high rate right now. I told our guys I understand some of those turnovers. A lot of those turnovers have to do with us still trying to get a feel for what we’re doing and each other because we haven’t played the minutes that we would have liked to have played together during the preseason. But what some of the turnovers are, they’re just bad turnovers. And those are the ones that we gotta try to eliminate, especially early on when we’re trying to do too much, when one person’s trying to do too much with the basketball. … Those are the types of turnovers we can’t afford while we’re searching or feeling this process out. When we turn the ball over, it really affects our transition defense.”
On Kobe Bryant’s foot injury:
“It’s a day-to-day thing. … It has to be pretty bad for Kobe to not play. He’s one of the toughest guys, if not the toughest guy I’ve ever been around in this business. And nothing sidelines him, or at least not many things at all. And so for him to be out, it’s a significant injury. But also, in the same breath, with his toughness, he comes back a lot easier than what most guys do. So we’re treating that as a day-to-day process and he’ll be evaluated daily by our head trainer.”
On the team being old:
“These guys, first of all, they keep their bodies in such great shape. Watching these guys in practice on a daily basis, you wouldn’t think that they are the age that they are. I coached Antoine in Cleveland a couple years ago and I really don’t see much difference in the way that he’s moving, his approach, the things that he does with his body and so on and so forth.”
On Steve Nash becoming the full-time floor general and how that will help Bryant:
“Nash has the keys to the engine, and he’s done a great job of picking up what we’ve given him so far. And everyone respects it. And I think it’s going to make Kobe’s job, at the end of the day, easier. Because he’ll be fresher at the end of games to go make plays and score the basketball like what he should do, and what he’s capable of doing for us most times. Steve has embraced that role and he understands that he’s got a lot of mouths to feed as the point guard. But when you’re great, when you have the intelligence like he does, and when you have such great character, everybody respects the decisions and the processes that you’re making throughout the course of the game, no matter what.”
On Pau Gasol’s role and how it might be different this year:
“I think the biggest key to it for us offensively last year — even though Kobe and Andrew led us in scoring — I thought Pau was the glue. Just doing a little bit of everything for us very well. This year, we’re doing some of the things that we did last year, combined with some new stuff. So he’s going to be put in that situation too, where he’s going to be a decision-maker for us right off the elbow.”