I hate to bash Mike Brown as he is the coach of our team, and the Lakers organization has just reaffirmed their faith in the man, but seriously what was he thinking? At the end of the first quarter he trotted out a line-up of Darius Morris, Devin Ebanks, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill, and Pau Gasol. A passive Pau Gasol paired with no great floor-spacing shooter or shot-creating playmaker, what could go wrong? That line-up closed out the final two and half minutes and produce not a single point. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Goose Egg.
Surely Mike Brown would have recognized the flaws in that line-up, right? Not quite. He started the next quarter with a similar line-up, but with Metta World Peace now manning the shooting guard position and Howard anchoring the middle. It shouldn't come as a surprise that this line-up played a couple minutes and was outscored 10-4. Playing these two line-ups to end the first quarter and start the second quarter caused the Jazz' four-point lead to balloon to fourteen points. The Lakers would never recover from that run.
The famous saying is, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." But what happens if you are fooled three times? Mike Brown was twice hurt by these four non-shooters plus one all-star big man line-ups. Certainly the man wouldn't do it again in the same game would he? Well, yes he did. Brown sent the same line-up that started the 2nd quarter back out on the court to start the 4th. The Jazz extended their lead another three points during that span. For those of you who are counting, those line-ups were a combined -13 while the other line-ups were a +4.
One of the reasons those line-ups failed so miserably is because there was no spacing due to a lack of shooters on the floor. This is where Mike Brown's other most puzzling move came in: Jodie Meeks, DNP - Coaches Decision. Meeks is the only true back-up shooting guard on the roster, has a solid three-point stroke, and has shown some defensive chops. Mike Brown never let him leave the bench and instead chose to play MWP as the back-up shooting guard. If anyone has any idea for why he would choose this, please let me know because no matter how I look at it, I can't find any justifiable reason for such a decision.