Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic?

Kobe Bryant will not be ready for the season opener. This statement might cause some Laker fans to hit the panic button already and yet the season hasn't even started.

This isn't good news for the Laker players who will now be without out two starters, the other is Andrew Bynum. This situation reminds me of the one last season when LA was resting Bryant and Bynum was taking his yearly injury vacation. Many experts believed LA would crumble without Bryant bailing them out, but LA proved them wrong, and had a record of 4-1 without the best player in basketball. Gasol and Odom played out of their minds and as a team they were able to defeat some tough teams (some were huge blowouts on the road).

During Kobe's absence, one Laker role player stood out from the rest of the pack. That role player was the high flyer Shannon Brown. When the Lakers acquired Brown, they believed he would help them on the defensive end, which he has, but no one predicted the high flyer will be an integral offensive spark off the bench. His offense has improved and while he isn't a perfect fit in the triangle, he has refined some areas in his game.

The experiment of playing Shannon at the point miserably failed and so Phil decided to let him play more at the 2. The two guard position seemed more natural for Shannon, especially in the triangle.

Shannon earned Phil's trust during the time when Kobe was out for a bit last season, and Brown exceeded expectations. I believe he scored double digits in at least 3 of the 5 games and scored 20 or more points in at least two of them.

Sasha was either hurt or completely out of the rotation at that point in the season and Phil felt that Brown would be more effective.

With Kobe missing the season opener and possibly the first two weeks of the season, will Phil continue to start Shannon or will Sasha get a newfound opportunity in his battle to regain the Zen Master's trust? Here is a case...

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