Lakers can Brown after slow start

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Lakers can Brown after slow start

BOSTON The Los Angeles Lakers are the West coast version of the Boston Celtics, a franchise that judges success by banners and championship rings, not wins and losses.

And because of that, Mike Brown is gone as the team's head coach just five regular season games into his tenure.

His dismissal was part unexpected, part shocking but more than anything else, quite telling as to the Los Angeles Lakers taking their win-at-all-costs mantra to another level as the Lakers stumbled through one of the worst starts in franchise history.

After engineering deals that netted them two-time league MVP Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, pairing them up with all-stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, many pegged the Lakers as one of the teams to beat this season.

But a winless preseason followed by a 1-4 regular season start had many questioning whether Brown was the right man to lead the way.

Never mind that Nash has been out for all but a game due to a broken foot injury that will keep him on the shelf until later this month.

Forget about the downside to having a star-studded starting lineup, is a bench that's typically void of many, if any, high impact players.

And when you throw in the fact that the Lakers are implementing the Princeton offense, it all adds up to a team that's probably not going to be playing its best basketball in November.

But the slow start was just the beginning of the issues in La La Land.

Right from the start, his hiring brought about some division amongst the Lakers front office.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was pushing for the head coaching job vacated by Phil Jackson in 2011, to go to Rick Adelman who has since landed the head coaching job in Minnesota. However, Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss felt Brown would be a better fit - that is, until Friday when he along with owner Jerry Buss made the decision to fire Brown.

And by cutting Brown loose, one of the most attractive head coaching jobs in the NBA is once again available.

Not surprisingly, calls for Phil Jackson to return for a third tour of duty have been heard loud and clear by Lakers fans. Another appealing option for them would be Mike D'Antoni who hasn't been an NBA head coach since he left the New York Knicks in 2011. According to Yahoo Sports!, D'Antoni recently had knee replacement surgery and is still recovering and thus his returning to coach the team would seem a long-shot right now.

Others expected to get some consideration include Nate McMillan and former Lakers guard and current Indiana assistant Brian Shaw.

Reactions to Brown's firing became a popular topic on social media websites.

"Feel bad for Coach Mike Brown, who's a great guy," tweeted former Lakers great Magic Johnson. " But don't think he was the right guy for the job in the first place."

Johnson later tweeted, "I'd love to see Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw. Wish Pat Riley was available."many pehh

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!