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Mike Brown laying groundwork for 2011-2012 season

October 10, 2011 | 10:02 am

Every time Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak looks out his office window, he sees the team's practice court.

There, Mike Brown and his coaching staff are usually laying down a foundation for their offensive and defensive sets, for whenever the 2011-2012 season starts.

"They're on the court every day," Kupchak said. "We don't have much going on right now, so it's nice to see a court lit up and people on it."

It's hard to quantify what that work will mean until the season starts. Who knows whether Magic Johnson's optimistic prediction that Brown is "going to do an outstanding job" will pan out? After all, the Lakers' coaching staff can't contact any players. Kupchak has to wait for the league and the players union to reach a new collective bargaining agreement deal before scouring potential free-agent and trade scenarios. More important, who knows how the Lakers' veteran-laden roster and Brown will work together?

Brown has plenty of reasons, however, to view the offseason as "very productive."

Brown and his assistants -- Chuck Person, John Kuester, Quin Snyder and Ettore Messina -- have gone over the offensive terminology that Brown says will center more on post production and isolation plays than pick-and-rolls. Though he's focused less on defense, which will appear similar to last year's scheme that centered on funneling drivers to the lane and keeping the frontline close to the basket, Brown plans to add some zone to the system. Given Brown's preference for all his assistants to contribute in every facet, instead of specializing, that's required plenty of teaching.

"Our guys need to hear my voice quite a bit," Brown said. "I'll lead the charge in a lot of areas on both ends of the floor. But I'm not one to have my coaches sit back and do nothing. They have to get out there and work. I don't care what side of the ball we're on. I don't care what we're teaching at that particular time. They're all coaches. None of them are specialists. They can all coach at both ends of the floor."

It's unclear whether Brown's plans will pan out in the post-Phil Jackson era, but he's clearly making a good impression on Kupchak as the GM peers out his office window.

"It's a good staff," Kupchak said. "I'm hopeful they are as productive as possible. Anything close to what the Jackson years did would be wonderful."


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-- Mark Medina

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