No one will mistake the 2011-12 edition of the Los Angeles Lakers for the “Showtime” teams of the 80’s, who were known for their high-flying, up-and-down, entertaining pace. Through the first 9 games of the season, the Lakers average just 8.9 fastbreak points per game, good for 25th in the league.
Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant, says that this should not be a surprise to anyone:
I mean we’re not a transition team by any means so you wont see some of the fluidity that you see from other ballclubs…we’re a very slow team so you’re not going to see fastbreak points, things like that so a lot of games are going to be ugly”
The Lakers open court woes can be attributed to a couple of factors. Number one, the age of the core members of the team. The average age of Lakers players who actually play significant minutes is just over 30 years of age (30.1 to be exact), which easily makes them one of the oldest teams in the league. Number two is their head coach, Mike Brown. Brown is a disciple of San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich, who is known as a defensive-minded coach who preaches a tough, ground-and-pound type of offensive pace that at times have garnered his teams’ the label of “boring.” Brown took that same philosophy with him to Cleveland where his Cavaliers were one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, while boasting one of the more snooze-worthy offensive attacks.
Age and offensive philosophy notwithstanding, at the end of the season all Laker fans will care about is the number they see in the win column, no matter if the final score is 135-120 or 75-70.