One of the hallmarks of our Lakers for the last few seasons has been the ability to play up-tempo 100+ scoring games if we wanted to do that, or to play grind-it-out, heavy footed defensive games if we wanted to do that. It was one of the most talked about things about what made this team special. There was no singular 'counter' that worked consistently enough to shut us down for a full series.
But, it seems like, between 2008 and today, the team has receded from having athleticism, speed and countless scoring options to being generally a slower, older, tougher squad. The good news is that this team has more experience than any other team in the league right now. The best leadership, the best veterans and the best 'poise' to be continued champions(or at the very least, strong contenders). If you're going to have a slower team, that is the best thing you can hope for, that you also have experience, savvy and toughness to make up for the lack in raw athleticism. This Lakers team has that in spades. No other team really comes close(Boston is a somewhat distant second).
The downside is that even a team like Boston still has their Rondo, a guy who is arguably one of the fastest and most competent (at speed) players in the game. So, although most of their game isn't based on speed, they have 'that guy' who can really light it up, and true to form, Boston is kind of a fast break oriented team, it's just their 'fast' is a few steps slower than say, the Nuggets, Suns, Thunder or Magic.
So, with that in mind. I hope we retain Shannon, and I hope he works his [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] off with a group this summer. I think Shannon has all the raw talent you'd hope for in a basketball player, but his biggest flaws are his court awareness, decision making and passing abilities. He's otherwise a competent ball handler, a decent shooter(notably off-the-dribble which is an increasingly rare talent in today's league) an outstanding physical freak of an athlete, and he's got pretty good size. I feel like he really could be doing a lot more for us as a #1 guard or a #2 guard. It's just a question of raising his B-ball IQ. If we can get a better Shannon Brown next season, and if Sasha retains that edge he finished last season with, then I'll feel pretty good about this team being otherwise 'slow'.