Mike Brown impressed with Denver's offense
The Lakers were widely impressed with Mike Brown's defense-driven DVDs.
It prompted the team's front office to hire Brown, initially skeptical players to buy into his system and gave the team a foundation. After the Lakers' early learning curve, they held their last two opponents under 33% shooting, the first time they've done that since November of 1959.
But holding Utah to a 32.2% mark and New York to 31.3% shooting can also be explained in part to poor chemistry-laden opponents. When they host Denver on Sunday at Staples Center, the Lakers (2-2) will immediately find out where their defensive unit stands against the league's top-ranked offensive team.
The Nuggets (2-1) lead the NBA in scoring at 111.3 points a game), an interesting number since they've gone 20 of 66 from three-point range.
"They have quick guards and Coach [George] Karl does a tremendous job of getting those guys to understand how to win ball games," Brown said. "They bought into it. They know that's their identity. So they push at every opportunity. They don't care if they take a shot within the first five seconds of the shot clock or not. They think any shot is a good shot. That's what makes them dangerous."
What makes the Lakers more dangerous than in past games involves the return of center Andrew Bynum, who served a four-game suspension for forearming Dallas guard Jose Barea in the 2011 playoffs. Brown plans to play Bynum about 34 minutes in 6-8 minute spurts. Even with Bynum's acknowledgment that he feels behind on his conditioning, Brown believed that wouldn't be an issue.
"He'll figure out how not to be tired," Brown said of Bynum. "I'll leave him out there until his tummy drops."
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Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum works against Clippers center DeAndre Jordan in the post during a preseason game at Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times