The Lakers don't do 1-4

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The Lakers don't do 1-4

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If you think about it, Kobe Bryant went easy on Mike Brown when he gave him the shark-eye Wednesday night. He could have just turned him into a pillar of salt.And even if you dont factor in the heart disease that comes with that much salt, thats still way worse than merely being fired.Brown got his after the Lakers became the first team since . . . uhh, last year, and every year before that since the earth cooled . . . to start a season 1-4. He got it for not having the kind of throw-weight to keep the players attention, and if the blame for his dismissal falls on Bryant, well, there wont be that much blame. You go 1-4 with the Lakers, youre lucky not to be tied the front of a Lamborghini Murcielago and rammed into a wall.But that was the job Brown took, and he knew it when he took it. He had to take a rapidly aging roster, convince it to run a new offense, lose his point guard, and still make it work. That, and a billion dollars, makes you a billionaire.He isnt the first one to fail to do an undoable job. That he is a convenient scapegoat is frankly what he signed up for, though, so sympathy for him and his plight is what we in the medical community call misplaced.The next poor hyena to take the job . . . er, Nate McMillan . . . will learn this as well. The Lakers could throw Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into the side, but it was going to take for them to absorb each others styles, let alone a whole new offense. Whatever Brown could have done in place of the Princeton sets was going to suffer just as much, just because Nash plays differently than Bryant plays differently than Howard. The math is inescapable, the interpersonal relations soluble only with time. Lots more time than the Lakers gave this little experiment.So the future? Theyll be fine. They were going to be fine with Brown, but patience is what happens to other people in other cities. In the perfect world, Jerry Buss would rise from whatever poker table he is wedged into a hire Stan Van Gundy . . . you know, just to see if Howard has the same death-stare powers that Bryant does.But that wont happen, because the Lakers do not have a sense of humor, and never have. Here, they could learn a thing or six from the Warriors, where hilarity ensues after practice, and where every ankle is made of corn chips. The Warriors are, frankly, funny as hell.The Lakers? Not so much. They dont do 1-4, so they do coaches. Mike Brown took the job knowing exactly what it was. Thatll teach him. But it could have been worse.It could been much higher in sodium content.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

The Warriors are reportedly about to lose a member of their front office.

The Hawks picked Golden State assistant GM Travis Schlenk to become the team's new general manager, and the two sides are discussing contract terms, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Last September, after five seasons as assistant GM, Schlenk was promoted to vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager.

In his 13th season with the Warriors, Schlenk assists in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations, including all player-related matters.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, he served as Golden State's director of player personnel. Before joining the front office, Schlenk spent five years as an assistant coach and video scout for the Warriors, having originally joined the organization prior to the 2004-05 season as a video scout.

More to come...

Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this story

Irving fuels Game 4 comeback, Cavs take 3-1 lead over Celtics

Irving fuels Game 4 comeback, Cavs take 3-1 lead over Celtics

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving gritted his teeth, tightened up his left sneaker and hopped to his feet.

The pain didn't stop him. The Celtics didn't either.

Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an almost inevitable third date in the Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With James in foul trouble, Irving stayed on the floor despite rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, when he scored 19 points in less than five minutes.

"He put us on his back and carried us," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

The defending NBA champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half to open a 3-1 lead in the series, can wrap up their third straight conference title - and a "three-match" against the Warriors - with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

But if Games 3 and 4 are any indication, it won't be easy.

Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren't giving an inch despite playing without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery on a hip injury.

The Cavs, meanwhile, wouldn't be on the cusp of the Finals without Irving.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show in the third quarter.

Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two 3-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a 3 in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at mid-court by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster.

"Coming out of halftime I just wanted to be aggressive, lead my guys and leave it all out there on the floor," Irving said.

When the horn sounded to end the third, Cleveland's players poured off the bench to greet him. They had to be careful not to knock him off his feet after Irving had put a scare through the frenzied Quicken Loans Arena crowd moments earlier when he stepped on the foot of Boston's Terry Rozier.

Irving stayed on the floor for several seconds before sitting up and re-tying his sneaker. Nothing was keeping him out.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team's defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters.

"There's choices," Stevens said. "I'm not sure there are good choices. When he gets going like that, he's tough to stop. The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim."

Kevin Love added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavs, now 11-1 in the postseason.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.

Lue chuckled before the game when he was asked if he planned to say anything to James following his sub-standard performance in Game 3.

"No message," Lue said. "Just come out, be aggressive, in attack mode like he has been over the last four or five months. Nothing has changed."

Lue should have warned James to be careful, too, as the superstar picked up four fouls and spent the final 6:46 of the first half watching from the bench, unable to help his team.

But beyond James' foul trouble, the Cavs were having other issues as the Celtics outplayed them at both ends while opening a 16-point lead.

Irving kept Cleveland within striking distance while James was out by scoring 12 points over the final 5:11 of the second quarter.

And in the third quarter, the All-Star guard had James' back again, keeping the Cavs on their collision course with the Warriors.

TIP-INS:
Celtics: Thomas spoke to coach Brad Stevens and told him that he has visited one hip specialist and plans to see more before it's decided if he needs surgery. Thomas initially injured his hip in March and played the final two months of the regular season before aggravating it during the playoffs. ... Stevens started Kelly Olynyk, who had 15 points. ... Before the playoffs began, the Celtics were 22-5 at home since Jan. 1. They're 5-4 in the postseason so far.

Cavaliers: Irving scored 41 in Game 5 of last year's Finals. ... J.R. Smith and his wife, Jewel, brought their daughter home after more than five months in the hospital following her premature birth. Smith posted photos on his Instagram account of the couple leaving Hillcrest Hospital with their baby in a stroller. "We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together!!" Smith wrote. ... Deron Williams played 18 minutes after sustaining a shoulder "stinger" in Game 3.

UP NEXT:
The Celtics lost Game 2 at home by 44 and the first two games of the series by a combined 57.