The Lakers’ Risky Point Guard Shuffle





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Lakers coach Mike Brown had all the pressure in the basketball world on his shoulders the moment he decided to accept the offer to replace a living legend like Phil Jackson.

But that’s an institutional pressure any coach would have faced stepping into those gigantic footsteps.

Now comes an even more specific set of pressures for Brown, whose job it is to sort out the Lakers’ point guard situation now that Derek Fisher is gone and Ramon Sessions has been added to back up Steve Blake.

Brown has a rotation in mind: Blake as the starter and Sessions as his backup with both capable of playing off the ball late in games when Kobe Bryant is handling facilitator duties or playing together in a three-guard rotation with Bryant, if called for.

But what if the proposed upgrade and new rotation don’t take hold in time for the Lakers to make the championship push expected? That heat will undoubtedly fall on Brown, who explained his new mix to the Los Angeles Daily News like this:

“Right now, Steve Blake is my starting point guard, and he’s my starting point guard for the foreseeable future until there’s a time I think I need to make a change and right now I don’t see a time right now, but who knows?” Brown said.

Is that because Brown likes Blake as his starter or Sessions as a backup?

“Both,” Brown said.

“Basically, Steve Blake has taken Derek Fisher’s spot and Ramon Sessions has taken Steve Blake’s spot,” Brown added.

Presumably the rotation will change once Sessions becomes more comfortable in the Lakers’ offensive and defensive schemes and the team plays against the sort of young, fast and athletic point guards that hurt them in the past.

It’s no secret the reason the Lakers acquired Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday and traded Fisher to the Houston Rockets was to match up better with point guards like Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Sessions is the Lakers’ only hope of dealing with the likes of Westbrook or any of the other big point guards in the league. Blake, as valuable as he is, does not have the size or defensive chops to match those guys. Few players in the league can.

But the Lakers are hopeful they have the raw materials to work with in Sessions. They’ve taken a huge risk. And now it will be up to Brown and his staff to make sure they get as much as they can out of Sessions and whatever he can bring to the table for a team whose glaring deficiency was its shortcomings at the position.

That said, when the Lakers are in a late-game situation and need a big shot that Kobe Bryant doesn’t take, will they be as confident with the ball in the hands of either Blake or Sessions?

We think not. But we shall see …


58 Comments

  1. nelson tun says:

    One more thing:.. Let’s go with Bynum, Hill, Barnes, Kobe and Session first. If not working replace Hill with Gasol back. Those 2 guys will be on and off. Let’s try that way and see how it works.

  2. nelson tun says:

    The bottom line!
    Let’s make a fresh start. Bynum, Hill, Barnes, Kobe and Session. All other on the bench. Come on try it. Go Lakers go.

  3. KC says:

    I watched the game last night and I thought Sessions looked good, even given some of the miscues that are only the result of not knowing this team very well. Once Ramon and Kobe get on the same wavelength–look out! Already they were more than the Mavs could handle. I think the Lakers are contenders this year. Some announcer said it and I think it’s true: point guards are smart. They don’t need to have their hand held–they are the ones directing traffic on the floor. Give Ramon some time to get a feel how the Lakers play ball and I think Laker fans will be real pleased. I love Fisher, don’t get me wrong, but as a Lakers fan I’m relieved the point guard issue has finally been addressed. I’m surprised they were able to pull off the trade, frankly.

  4. ronald says:

    ….WHATS THE SENSE OF ACQUIRING YOUNG POINT GUARD IF YOU WILL USE THE OLD ONE?….

  5. Doncha says:

    RAMON..STARTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. noyb says:

    The Lakers took a chance, one that wasn’t huge and unfortunately won’t pay. DFish wasn’t going to get any better, but Sessions is no DF.

  7. AJ says:

    Damn.. Using Pau as the sixth man is big.. very big, and actually makes lots of sense. On the starting line up you already get enough scoring from Byum and Kobe. Using Hill and having a more defensive/hustle presence is very smart. It also lets MWP to get a few good looks and get him more comfortable on offense. Also we all know the second team needs help, especially with LO gone there is really no go to man. Having sessions and pau come off the bench they could run a two man, pick and roll game, and have troy in there as a spot up shooter. This is very smart. We all understand that Mike Brown got a lot of pressure on him and pulling a move like this will stir up lots of talk, so I doubt he will do something like this cuz it may possibly jepordize his stay in LA.

  8. Mark says:

    the lakers should have went with sessions and fisher. if anyone they should have let blake go because they will miss fisher’s horry like playoff clutch shots

  9. GameChanger says:

    I think Mike Brown is a terrible coach if he can’t see which players are doing great and which players are just not contributing…the LAKERS traded for a premier PG and then the coach doesn’t play him enough!…wake up coach! I also believe Jordan Hill should get playing time more than McRoberts or the other guy… I say give Pau, Bynum enough rest to be ready for the CHANPIONSHIP PUSH!

  10. tdot says:

    why let fisherr gooo im not understanding this . . .he was way more than just a player on the courttt * BAD MOVE

  11. Andre Pitts says:

    i love how Kobe is working on his game in the background

  12. jmd23808 says:

    i think mike brown will be fired later or sooner… think about it mitch, make a move to get a PG to make the team better for execution and spacing on the wing, but mike brown is just ignoring it… can’t he not see what session did in just two game, better than blake… if phil jackson still the coach guarantee he will put ramon session right away as a starter, like he did to pau gasol 4 years ago…. just let him learn the system while his playing as a starter.

    thats it for mike brown…

  13. I thought this was a good trade for the lakeshow..they had to make a decision between bettering their team or staying loyal to their long time PG and they went with the business decision.. I have more on this http://mindofmattman.blogspot.com/2012/03/nba-trade-summary-2012-pt-1.html

  14. BROWN CONSERVATORY says:

    Welcome to Brown Conservatory

    A player might be having a great game, but Coach Brown is conservative, he will take out the guy and let the starters back in. He wants to show who’s in command. Come on… You have to allow who plays better to play more! He should allow Session to log in 35 minutes a night, and not 20. Looks like we are in Brown Conservatory…

    Hopefully he will read this and the jam session will last a full game…

    Hope he graduates…..But the conservatory is a tough one…

    City of Angels is Rising, with the Mojo Rising…

  15. Bisu-Fan says:

    This is what I think the starting lineup should look like:
    Sessions – Bryant – MWP – Gasol – Bynum

    But MWP should be seeing the least minutes at around 20 minutes with Barnes seeing around the same amount… Then I think Brown should be playing Devin Ebanks much much more than right now (which is 0 minutes a game) I mean, he showed flashes of brilliance during his stretch of games he started… Yes I know he didn’t perform as well as was expected and got taken off and then demoted to the D-League. But then again, you can’t go wrong with trying! The Lakers are desperate for a good Small Forward. MWP can be good at times, but a lot of the time, he’s just downright awful. Barnes is a bit more consistent. But when neither of them are performing, why does Mike Brown stubbornly play them extended minutes? For crying out loud, you recalled him from the D-League, and he’s seen 0 minutes since. If you’re not going to play him, at least put him back down so he can play some form of basketball… How does Luke Walton come off the bench before Ebanks (who Bryant praised so highly during camp)

    With minutes, Bryant, Gasol, and Bynum MUST be getting less minutes. Goudelock for Kobe, McRoberts, Murphy, and Hill for Gasol and Bynum. I mean, I feel like sometimes (emphasis on the sometimes) I could coach better than Mike Brown does. He sometimes is just so stubborn with his lineups and refuses to play young players whose potential can ONLY go up. I mean, I see rookies being picked like 4th to last in the 2nd round *cough* Ramon Sessions *cough* given much more playing time than the youngsters on the Lakers. Albeit the past 3 years or so, the Lakers played very well so the rookies didn’t get any time. But this is an iffy time period where Kobe’s play isn’t going to improve much. Why not experiment with your younger players who can provide sparks off the bench?

    As to next season trades. Anyone up for going after Ariza? I don’t know why the heck the Lakers let him go. I know he asked for a lot of money, but looking back at it, they traded instead for Ron Artest, an aging, past his prime, very emotional player. We all know how that went. So why not get Ariza sometime? Can’t be worse than MWP… And he’s still young and will provide energy and athleticism. Oh and if we don’t get Ariza, might I suggest playing Ebanks more? Cause the little I saw of Ebanks reminded me of Ariza. Maybe it was just the speed and young legs I hadn’t seen in a Lakers uniform in such a long time.

  16. LAKERS SESSIONS-MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! says:

    I agree completely with Mike Brown! Sessions should not be a starter. Like Lamar, we need scoring and a change of pace coming off the bench. Real Lakers fans know that the bench has been the worst in the league all year and we gave up huge leads when the starters sat down. KOBE, PAU & ANDREW are going to take up most of the scoring duties in a half court offense. Ramon needs to press the pace with a quicker line up like Barns, Jordan Hill, and Goudelock to insure we get our share of easy baskets. Ramon couldn’t even use his skills to get into the paint with Bynum, Gasol and MWP clogging up the paint…

    Our PG issues have been somewhat addresses and increased scoring will naturally happen once Ramon gets acclimated to the offense and his teammates know what to expect from him. Our Defense is the main focus and will be needed to win another Championship.

    The Lakers kept their size advantage, increased the defensive capabilities from the PG position and increased their share of easy baskets. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. GAME OVER!

  17. Larian1983 says:

    I never blamed Mike Brown this whole season, but this time I think he is just being too conservative. Ramon Sessions should start sooner than what he has expected. As soon as Sessions get familiar with his system, he should be a starter, Steve Blake doesn’t shoot, turning the ball over, doesn’t have much speed to out quick other players. Why start him? He should be a backup guy. I really hate to see Brown digging the hole to get himself fired one day.

  18. rigor mortiz says:

    i think Sessions should be a starter,he can be a good facilitator on offense at the same time can play good defense,he can run the Lakers offense much faster,that creates problems to the opponents,and Jordan Hill needs more minutes than Mc Roberts. and the Lakers will be a serious contender on the playoffs

  19. LAKERS[fan] says:

    i BET you should put RAMON into the Starting Five.

    RAMON – KOBE – BARNES – GASOL – BYNUM. that’s all i can suggest.

    Make RAMON master the TRiANGLE OFFENSE OF MiKE BROWN.

  20. LAKERS[fan] says:

    Houston’s System is very different from Mike Brown’s System.

    You’ll need to understand this words/comment.

  21. KOBEISGOAT says:

    Coach Mike realizes all that has been said.

    We’ll see come playoff time.

    It’s exciting to be a Laker fan these days.

  22. yogijLaker24ever says:

    and with what brown has been talking about as we can read from the article above, i think this coach is pointless… better fire him out as soon as possible..

    • Fakers.. says:

      Alrite bro…enough….all other than Kobe playing worse doesn’t mean just dump it on coach…go back & check his records how he brought cavaliers on top with just one man on team…

  23. yogijLaker24ever says:

    The only reason why the lakers loose in that game against jazz and i know coach brown already saw it coming but his stubbornness made them loose the game..

  24. yogijLaker24ever says:

    Just watching the game against Jazz, i can see how terrible a combination of the starting 5 brown has.. and the worst, coach brown continued to give it a a lot of time to ” let them figure it out” kind of thing and eventually end up to disappoint what ramon has brought out to team on that game..

  25. Fakers.. says:

    Lakers going down down down…baby…

  26. jonski22 says:

    on late game situation..we all pretty know who will take the last shot?..and it’s Kobe..and now that Fisher is gone…there is no secondary or third option..it’s all Kobe…

  27. jroc says:

    Fisher made J. J. Barea look like a superstar in that series last year, he’s the reason barea got that contract from the timberwolves

  28. jroc says:

    sessions make our team so much better, I hope Mike Brown is smarter than to give Murphey or Mcroberts time over Hill

  29. Cameron says:

    i believe that sessions should start along with hill, kobe, barnes, and bynum because like charles said we need to rest gasol to prevent injures and also because we dont want him to get worn out in the playoffs.although gasol is a skilled player i think gasol will be good of the bench because he has the capability to provide points of the bench.when the lakers are playing a very good team like the heats they need to put in MWP for defense because he is a good defensive player. i believe the lakers can win another championship as long as mike brown switch up the starting lineup.

  30. YD says:

    Why trade Jordan Hill when they can make for Beasley at the forward position…. they could had an upgrade at the position….

  31. Kevin000 says:

    As the Lakers are today, i can say they did some very good moves during the deadline, acquiring sessions and hill, i prefer hill over mcroberts, why? simply because hill is much more athletic and is faster than mcroberts than only knows how to kill players like walton (that just got traded, Thank God), sessions i think will be the starter for most of the part when he gets used to laker rotations, or if not he will be like lamar odom did last year, replacing the injured bynum, Sessions will be a great bet in 6th man of the year if not this year maybe next season, but for the finisher, lakers got what it takes for another title run this post season.

  32. Francisco says:

    trade kobe choke bryant for a good point guard and no more problems, last nigth kobe 3 out of 20, 15 % shooting , it was worse than when he choked against the celtics in game seven , 6 out of 24,,that time the big guys bailed him out.

  33. lakers27 says:

    Session must be a starter not blake.. If session will get more minutes, I think the opponent has a problem with the lakers..barnes also must be a starter instead of MWP.

  34. jroc says:

    fisher was the reason we got swept not gasol, but Jordan Hill should get more playing time and Troy Murphey needs to be released he’s horrible, and sessions should be our starter. We lost to the Jazz last night because of Mike Brown not playing sessions enough, Kobe did a lot to lose that game but he’s won so many you can’t really get on him. Steve Blake can’t dribble can’t play defense it’s hard to watch sometime when he’s in. When Sessions is in we look like a championship team. Mike Brown is a horrible coach if he give Murphey and Mcroberts more playing time than hill.

    • Belizeboy says:

      WOW really you’re going to blame Fisher out of all the other people who had bigger responsabilities? Really look at what you’re saying and realize you are just another rider on Kobe. He was responsible for last nights loss more than anyone and if you really want to blame someone for them getting swept, blame the star who missed the crucial shots. It’s funny to me that just because Kobe has rings his fans act like he can do no wrong and throw everyone else under the bus for his mistakes. Just remember that without a great team and coach Kobe is just another Carmelo type player (obviously better though). When the Lakers lose again this year who will be to blame? Let me guess it will be McRoberts fault.

  35. Victor Manoel de Brito says:

    Ok, so what’s the risk? No way Sessions is gonna play worse than Derek Fisher. In terms of leadership, Fisher will be missed; but if we are talking about playing, Ramon Sessions is definitely an up-grade. Fisher would be a beackup guard in every team of the league but the Lakers…

  36. hanif says:

    Watch the top video and look at the background.. the mamba alone, working on his game

  37. JordanL says:

    It’s amazing Mike Brown said Jordan Hill wont get much playing time since he must play behind Pau Gasol, Bynum and MCROBERTS AND MURPHY??
    MCROBERTS??? MURPHY???
    Are you kidding me; Jordan Hill was starting for some time for the Rockets this season and now he is a benchwarmer on the Lakers?!!!
    I thought Hill was brought to the Lakers to give them another athletic young punch off the bench…

    Hill is much more capable of starting if Bynum goes down in injury than no defense Murphy and McRoberts who just fouls everyone and nothing else.

    • Coach Dee says:

      You should understand too that Hill still doesn’t know Coach Brown’s system. We will see if how good of a basketball player Hill is and how quickly he can adapt to the Lakers’ environment. But until then, he’ll play 2nd/3rd to Murphy and McRoberts.

      Put it like this. It’s like throwing the best LAWYER into an office-filled with ENGINEERS.

      Hill will get the minutes he deserved. That’s for sure.

      • Mr Hall says:

        @ Coach Dee,

        Let’s be clear on one thing… Mike Brown does NOT have an offensive system. He admittedly, runs a read and react system, meaning that he is relying on strong guard play to make the right plays. Although LeBron is not a guard, this worked in Cleveland because LBJ is a legitimate facilitator. Although I feel Kobe is a superior player to LeBron, he is a scorer. So, if you ask a scorer to get the team a bucket, he’s going to shoot. The problem with the Lakers this year is that they do not have an established offensive set. The Lakers are playing every game like a pick-up game right now. In order for LA to win as a team, they have to either let Sessions run the offense NOW, or get a real coach. I love the Lakers, but I really wish the Jr. Buss would quit trying to prove himself, and do what his daddy did… Make the right moves to win NOW! Laker fans expect championships, and I for one, am demanding one. This isn’t OKC or Cleveland where a decent playoff run is sufficient, we need trophies in Laker Land. If I were Mike Brown, I’d personally call up Phil and have him tutor me in the triangle ASAP. Until then, put Sessions on the floor so he can do what he came here to do.

  38. CaL says:

    Pau Gasol’s personal issues is what caused the downward spiral in last yr. playoffs. Kobe, Bynum, Gasol are solidifed Champions, just because The Lakers did not win it all last yr. doesn’t mean they’re done. Mitch addressed the PG position By getting Ramon Sessions. We are currently 3rd in the West. We’re in the playoffs, so let’s give our new additions some much needed time to adjust. We still have The GOOG( Greatest of Our Genereation) Kobe & with him you always have a chance.

  39. emil says:

    good , the PG problem is already addressed, now the SF concern? i understand terrence williams is available, hes way better than mwp n barnes, i think

  40. john says:

    johnny fynn is the best pg for lakers

  41. Armin Halvadzic says:

    Goran Dragic would be the best fit in my mind for the Lakers on a pg position.

    • raekwon17 says:

      agree completely…especially way he’s been playing lately…. but lakers do need to take more chances…now is the time…cuz in the playoffs, you know they aren’t going to try people out so start jordan hill n sessions n force them to learn the offense in a few games even it you lose a couple along the way….it’ll still happen anyway like it did last night to the jazz….but that’s cause all the guards shot poorly

  42. charles says:

    Lakers need to put Jordan Hill in the starting lining up and put Gasol in a sixth man role. The reason? Last year they got swept! This year is fast paced and the risk of injury is high. Furthermore, they need to have additional people step up if they want to have ANY shot against other top tier western teams. By resting Gasol and playing Hill about 30 minutes a game, they’ll only have to play Gasol and Bynum about 30 minutes a game. This way, the risk of injury is reduced for Bynum and Gasol, Hill gets valuable minutes and be a better contributor come playoff time. Part of the problem is that Brown has never won a championship. He’s gotten lots of accolades, but so far he hasn’t delivered a championship for his city. Jackson used to employ this tactic to keep a second unit strong. This way, your first unit is Bynum, Hill, MWP, Bryant, and Blake. The bench players are Gasol, Sessions, Matt Barnes, Troy Murphy. At minimum they need to increase the minutes for both Jordan Hill and Troy Murphy. Their over-dependence on Bynum and Gasol is going to bite them in their behind.

    • Amitpal says:

      Ok part of ur comment make u sound crazy and part actually makes sense. Pau as a sixth man? There’s no way any coach is going to put pau as a sixth man. He’s a starter and let him be a starter. Now mike does have to give hill more minutes and rest pau and Bynum more. They play like 39 minutes a game and those r big guys. Same with Kobe. Idk if mike knows this but Kobe is 33. 38 minutes a game and you’ll be lucky if he even makes the playoffs. He’s already slowing down with all the bad shooting he’s been doing. Session also needs to be a starter come playoff time. So give him more minutes. But mike has always been known to not give young guys big minutes unless if he’s lebron. Ex. Shannon brown, Daniel Gibson didn’t get big minutes until late in playoffs when he probably should have been a starter. Idk why I care though cuz Im not a laker fan.

    • Coach Dee says:

      Pau is a starter. He likes to be as warm going to the tip-in. He and Bynum’s minutes can be chopped but not putting them in the bench.
      I, too, think that Kobe needs more rest unless really necessary.

      Back to the article.

      It’s the 2nd game of Ramon Sessions and Hill haven’t seen the court yet. By the time they get comfortable to Coach Brown’s rotation and gets more playing time, the Big 3s minutes shall be down and be more efficient come crunch time.

      #GoLakers, LIKES PEOPLE

    • WILLY says:

      man,you”re right!!!!!!!

    • Alexzo says:

      yo charles… Sorry dude…. I read your first line & i couldnt even manage to do the next one… Hill over Pau? C’mon man, r u serious??? What the FUDGE!!!