Put Lorenzo in The League

On Thursday, Lorenzo Brown arrived at the Hershey Centre in the early morning to get set for a noon tip against Santa Cruz. In front of a veritable throng of scouts at the G-League Showcase, Brown put on a show (case) – 24 points, 12 assists, all in that calm, cerebral fashion we’ve grown accustomed to from the two-time G-League All Star.

To the video tape!

The series of moves on the following play is breathtaking. A sweep-through to get the step on the primary defender, a dribble,  a crossover to get the step on the helper, then a head fake, and the finish, all in tight quarters. The move is “crafty” personified.

Brown’s biggest weakness on the offensive end is turnovers, of which he committed five on Thursday. While he needs to clean that up, let’s highlight Brown’s vision, and the location of his good passes.

On this play, Brown attracts a double team and delivers a behind-the-head pass right into Bruno’s shooting pocket:

Here, Brown draws another double, along with the attention of Malcolm Miller’s man. Right as he leans the wrong way, Brown hits Miller for a wide open look: 

After leading the 905 to their 10th straight win, Brown (likely) fought brutal traffic to make it to the ACC, where just hours later, he became the 12th player in history to play a G-League and NBA game in the same day. And Brown didn’t get burn because the Raptors were already blowing out the Cavs, he was part of a bench unit that grew the lead from 6 to 19 at the beginning of the second quarter.

In Brown’s previous few games with the big club, he was (understandably) shy, posting a record low usage rate. But on his first touch, he looked poised to make himself a factor.

His best move of the night, in my  humble estimation, actually came on a miss later in the quarter. Leading a fast break, Brown deftly gets by Jae Crowder in the backcourt, then takes a fun route into the paint,  giving him a normally automatic floater:

And with the game well in hand, Brown was re-inserted, and looked like his G-League self. Just ask Cedi Osman.

It should not go understated how well Brown comported himself in a huge regular season game, after playing 35 MINUTES of dominant ball THE SAME DAY! He should also be commended for working so well with Vanvleet and Wright –  players he’d obviously like to outshine to grab a roster spot. Seems clear that Brown is a team guy who, in his fifth year as a pro, will play the right way, even if it means he has to wait even longer to get a real shot in the League.