First, Brown, who is on a 10-day contract, earned considerable praise from coach Byron Scott, who said Brown “played the best” during the Lakers’ 101-94 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday. Brown scored 7 points on 3-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes.
Then, Brown hit the game-winning shot at Saturday’s practice, giving the bench a victory over the starters, which meant they had to run for an occasion.
“He looked good today,” Scott said. “He has a pretty good feel of what we’re doing because a lot of the stuff that [Los Angeles D-Fenders coach] Phil [Hubbard] runs in the D-League is a lot of the stuff that we run. It hasn’t been a big transition. A couple of things that we added that he hasn’t seen, but very simple things that he was able to pick up pretty well. … I thought he did a good job.”
Brown, a 6-foot-4 undrafted rookie and former University of Missouri teammate of Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, is currently slotted in the backup shooting guard spot behind Wayne Ellington. Though he has impressed Scott thus far, that won’t necessarily translate to more playing time.
“Probably stay the same as far as minutes he plays,” Scott said when asked if Brown’s stellar play against the Knicks and in practice would increase his role. “It could be a little more.”
Scott prefers adjusting his rotations in 5- or 10-game increments, not on a game-by-game basis, so Brown is going to stay within his current 15- to 20-minute range. However, Scott said he will likely move Wesley Johnson to power forward more in four to five games, meaning Ellington will have to play more small forward minutes, and Brown will thus step into a larger role.
Regardless of how his playing time fluctuates, Brown is keeping his goals simple: Take and make open shots on offense, and work his tail off defensively.
“Every day means something,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to show them I’m going to be a guy that is going to bring energy every day, whether it be practice or a game.”
After being cut at the end of training camp, Brown took Scott’s parting advice and has shown a newfound aggression that Scott says he lacked last fall. The result may eventually be a spot on the team for the rest of the season.
“I just love the way he came out ready to attack,” Scott said. “The knock on him, as I told him when we let him go, is that the last couple preseason games he got a little bit more aggressive, but the first week in training camp and the first five or six preseason games, you really didn’t know he was out there. When you’re trying to make a team, you have to let them know you’re out there.”
“Obviously he listened at the end of training camp last year, and I think he’s taken that to heart and he came out with a different attitude.”