In the right system, Shannon Brown can look like a fine backup guard. Brown is ideally a shooting guard, but he's nearer to a point guard's height, and can slide to the spot in an emergency. He is an awfully long way from being a 'true' point guard, and his ball handling ability can be shaky, but his once terrible jumpshot is steadily improving. His scoring ability is based around his drives to the hoop, which, while sometimes effective, can get a bit wild at times. Brown is a very good athlete, which helps both his finishing and his perimeter defense (where he can stay in front of most players), but he is not exactly refined in his skills. Nevertheless, in the right situation, he can do a lot of good for your team, and you can love him like a newborn puppy.
Unfortunately, such a system is damn hard to find. You need to find a system that means the guard doesn't have to shoot too many jumpshots, or run a huge amount of set offense. You need to find a system whereby the guard's job is to cut without the ball, bring it over halfcourt sometimes, get out in transition, finish near the hoop, hit open shots and play good systematic defense. You need a system where the guard's major offensive responsibilties (ball handling, passing, shooting) are usurped in favour of deference to superstars, where he can hide his flaws and play solely to his strengths, buoyed by the chance to play with superstars can that mask his deficiencies.
Long story short, you need a Kobe Bryant-led triangle offense to make Shannon Brown look good. Or, failing that, just a clear path to the basket.
- 14th June, 2009.