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Nash leading Lakers' move to Princeton offense

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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After the Lakers were knocked out of the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year, Brown decided to try the Princeton plan, saying he has "always been fascinated with that offense."

Brown even changed his coaching staff to make the move. The architect is Jordan, who learned the offense from former Princeton coach Pete Carril when both were with the Sacramento Kings. Jordan used it while he ran the Washington Wizards, who lost to Brown's Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the postseason in three straight years from 2006-08.

"If you took away everybody's different abilities and you turned everybody into robots, I always thought that offense would be the hardest to defend," Brown said. "Because the spacing was tremendous. The ball movement was tremendous. The ability to play a stress-free game was off the charts. Those things have always attracted me to it. I just never had an understanding or an opportunity to be able to implement it."

Brown also felt he never had a team that could handle it: He willingly ran endless pick-and-rolls for LeBron James in Cleveland, much the same schemes that Miami uses now. A year in Los Angeles convinced him the Lakers are ready for something tougher.

"This is a very intelligent team, and they play well when it comes to using a motion offense and using their intelligence," Brown said.

Nash knows he'll still run plenty of pick-and-rolls, but the creative aspect of the Princeton offense appeals to his artistic side. He's confident the Lakers have enough time and determination to find their flow well before the playoffs.

"Hopefully we can be up to speed when the regular season starts, but we realize we're going to have work to do all the way up to the playoffs," Nash said. "It's a lot of connectivity that has to take place. You have to read the guy in front of you. There's limitless possibilities out of it. Once we get a handle on it, it will be difficult to defend."