L.A. Lakers: Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol, Who Will Be More Important in 2011-2012?

The Los Angeles Lakers bid adieu to Phil Jackson's triangle offense when the team decided to hire Mike Brown as the next coach of the franchise, but what changes can be expected once the team finally hits the court whenever the current lockout ends?

The Lakers will certainly try to address their need for help at the point guard position, while simultaneously trying to adjust to new coaching strategies and philosophies.

Brown is an even more defensive-minded coach than Jackson, and he prefers an uptempo style of play that emphasizes dribble penetration and early entry passes to the post.

His style is much more conventional than Jackson's triangle, and the play of the team's point guard is much more important than it was during Jackson's tenure.

Under Brown, the lead guard will often find himself isolated on the perimeter, so the ability to get past defenders off the dribble is a must. Entry passes in the post are also made more with the intention of scoring rather than initiating the offense.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol was the perfect post player for the triangle offense because the scheme utilized his court intelligence, as well as his physical talent.

Gasol was the focal point of the Lakers' interior offense, and the team benefited from his vision and passing ability in the paint.

But much of the responsibility Gasol held under Jackson will now be directed toward the point guard, who will be expected to lead the offense in a more conventional manner.

Gasol's role will certainly change under Brown, but could his level of importance dip below that of teammate Andrew Bynum, who could see his touches drastically increase in a dribble-drive motion offense?

In the motion offense, Gasol will likely play on the high post while Bynum will start each position closer to the basket. On most plays Gasol will be the trailer once the point guard penetrates the defense, but By...

About the Author