Five things ensuring Shannon Brown a successful season for Lakers
This is the 10th in a series of reports that focus on five things each Lakers player must do to have a successful 2011-12 season (assuming there is one, of course).
1. Get re-signed.Shannon Brown opted out of his $2.37-million contract to test the free agency market, but he won't spur much interest. He received lukewarm responses last season, and his 8.7 points per game on 42.5% shooting hardly impressed the Lakers' coaching staff. My hunch is the Lakers won't keep him as they tweak their roster. In Brown's case, sticking with the Lakers would be his best option.
2. Improve shooting. His 2010 off-season centered on his shooting. After a sizzling first month (10.83 points on 48.6% shooting in the first 18 games), Brown's production dipped the rest to a 8.1 points per game clip on 40.61% shooting. It clearly highlighted Brown's stubborness in wanting to be a shooter even if his shooting percentage didn't warrant it.
Brown wouldn't say whether he experienced mechanical issues or struggled against tighter defenses, but he refused to adjust his game as his shooting percentage plummeted. If his shot doesn't fall next season, Brown needs to take shots closer to the basket.
3. Become more committed on defense. As much as Brown wanted to become a more complete player last season, that hardly translated defensively. He was often caught sagging on his man or getting mixed up in rotations. Any defensive stops mostly attributed to his speed and less on his defensive discipline.
4. Add energy and athleticism No need to be shy, Shannon. You can jump and throw down with the best of them. Seize those skills. Besides, it'll only add energy to a team that sorely needs it. With the Lakers talking about adding speed and athleticism, Brown's the lone player on the roster who actually already has those skills. With Mike Brown hoping to make that part of his offense, Brown could be an integral part in making sure that runs smoothly.
5. Limit distractions. Brown never publicly divulged what had been ailing him last season. But he acknowledged at one point to The Times' Broderick Turner that unspecified off-the-court issues contributed to his poor play earlier in the season. It's not fair to speculate what that involved, but it's important Brown doesn't allow any off-court issues to affect his play.
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Photo credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire / April 3, 2011