Center Mihm is now first line of defense

first_img Jackson said after Friday’s game he has yet to see Mihm and Brown look comfortable on the court together. Brown had 10 points in the third quarter and got behind the defense for several easy baskets while Mihm was out. In turn, Mihm had seven points in the fourth quarter playing without Brown. On consecutive possessions, Mihm fouled out Jake Voskuhl and Melvin Ely on strong moves to the basket. He also has a turnaround jumper that rarely gets displayed. “I liked what happened (Friday),” Jackson said. “I think the big thing is taking (Mihm) out after one foul and not letting him get a second and handicap himself for the rest of the game. I think that’s what I’ll experiment with.” Even though he has months of learning ahead, Mihm said he also likes what the Lakers are trying to do, the pressure defense being but one example. “I’ve gotten better and better at it here in practice and games,” Mihm said. “It’s something at first that’s tough because I was automatically turning and running and trying to get back. Now it’s something that I’m getting used to and enjoying.” Also: Brown did not practice Saturday after suffering a bruised thigh in Friday’s game. He should play in tonight’s exhibition against Charlotte in San Diego. If not, Brian Cook will start at power forward, Jackson said. … Tex Winter returned home Saturday after three weeks with the team and won’t return as a consultant for another month or so. Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EL SEGUNDO – Everything Lakers center Chris Mihm has been taught about defense in his five-year NBA career might as well have been turned upside down during one sequence in the second quarter of Friday’s exhibition game with Charlotte. The 7-foot center was standing 94 feet from his basket, trying to help trap the Bobcats’ 5-foot-10 point guard Brevin Knight along the baseline. Sure enough, Knight got a step on Mihm, who slid over a second too late and was called for his second foul. “I’ve been used to, when they get the ball, my job is to be the first man back, the last line of defense,” Mihm said Saturday. “This year, I’m being asked to be the guy up there jamming the ball, if my man gets it, and trying to kind of shadow and pressure guards.’ Mihm’s education Friday would have to continue on the bench. Lakers coach Phil Jackson promptly sent forward Kwame Brown into the game for Mihm, who went on to play with the second unit in the third and fourth quarters of the Lakers’ 109-93 victory. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week After playing for eight coaches in the NBA, Mihm never has had more to learn than this season with Jackson. He finally was able to bounce back from several foul-plagued games in the second half Friday, finishing with 14 points and six rebounds. But Mihm has struggled to find his spots in the triangle offense and is playing in a defense that seems counterintuitive at times. There also has been the matter of staying on the court, with Mihm being called for a foul at the rate of one every 4 minutes. “I’ve been trying to figure this offense out and play hard defense and have been trying to make too many plays defensively,” Mihm said. “I’ve been getting myself in foul trouble and really taking myself out of any kind of rhythm. “I just really tried to focus (Friday) on playing hard and moving my feet, but also using my head to play smart and realize that I can’t block every shot. I can affect shots just by my presence and getting places early.’ While Mihm said he still hoped for big things out of the starting five, Jackson seems inclined to use him with the second unit more. last_img

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