That was a bad performance on both ends of the floor by the Lakers last night. But, when you run 3 different types of offense because the one you hired a new assistant coach to implement doesn't fit the best skills of your 2 big offseason acquisitions, that's why the offense is disjointed. And, when you base your defense around Dwight Howard being able to clean up for the sins of others, only he's coming off back surgery and is clearly not 100% yet, that's why your defense can't stop Brandan Wright and Eddy Curry.
Of course, we'll hear about how it's going to take time to get everyone together and build cohesion, and that's absolutely true. But the team that beat the Lakers was missing its superstar (Nowitizki), its starting center (Kaman), and had more roster turnover than the Lakers, so why did they look so much better and much more energetic? Simple answer: Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA, Mike Brown is not.
From the beginning, I thought the Brown hiring was the wrong decision, but I was hoping maybe he'd learned something from his time as the coach in Cleveland. However, he still coaches the same way, so he's not going to elevate this team. The team will go as far as the talent will take them, which could be a long way, but people tend to undervalue the contributions a good coach can make.
Tonight could be ugly in Portland. Never an easy place to play and who knows how Kobe's foot is going to feel the day after a game. It's too early to panic, but it's not too early to be concerned. That's why I didn't like the attitude that some fans had in dismissing an 0-8 preseason. Yeah, those games don't count, but they played last night a lot like they played in those games.