Q: On Metta World Peace:
Brown: He’s shooting the ball well, he’s handling the ball great, defensively he’s locked in. He’s night and day performance wise now than what he was at this point last year.
Q: On who has looked good among the reserves early in camp:
Brown: Jordan Hill is showing that he needs to be on the floor. He’s the one guy I can say besides my starters that is showing he really needs to be on the floor with his activity out there. Antawn (Jamison) is a pro, he’s going to get it done. He’s shown he can be on the floor. Besides that, you have Jodie Meeks, Devin Ebanks, Chris Duhon, Steve Blake; those are probably the next guys along with a few of the young guys.
Q: On Dwight Howard’s defense:
Brown: Dwight, defensively, does for us what Steve Nash does offensively for us. Nash makes the game easy for everybody on the offensive end of the floor. Dwight’s going to make the game easier for everybody on the defensive end of the floor, whether it’s in the pick-and-roll, coming from the weak side and help defense. His presence alone is going to (be huge).
Q: On Howard’s defensive capabilities to Anderson Varejao, whom Brown coached in Cleveland:
Brown: The athleticism is a lot different (between) the two guys, but you talk about the agility of a Dwight Howard and the agility of an Anderson Varejao. Both those are off the charts. Anderson doesn’t have great athleticism, but he’s extremely agile and he has great feet. And there aren’t too many people that have the feet that he does.
Q: On what Howard’s done in practice:
Brown: He’s done (pretty much) everything. I don’t have a rule where a guy has to play in x number of preseason games. He can still play in the opener (if ready).
Q: On seeing all the talent on the floor:
Brown: It’s exciting because, again, we do have a talented group of guys, but they’re good guys. Not only are they good guys, but they work hard and they want to win. So, in a short amount of time we’ve thrown a lot at them. We’ve been throwing all the stuff at them to see if they can pick it up, understand it, feel it, execute it is just a testament to how intelligent the group is overall.
Q: On Steve Blake’s first practice back from a foot injury:
Brown: He’s tough as nails. I don’t know if he’ll ever get out of shape. He only knows one way to play, which is hard. And he’s worked extremely hard on his game this summer. Watching him, you couldn’t tell this was his first practice. He’s worked extremely hard this summer on his game and it had shown. Right before he got hurt, he was playing some — not good basketball — great basketball.
Q: On what he’ll need from Blake this year:
Brown: We’ll need him to play hard and show some leadership. When he’s open, to knock down shots, when he feels like being aggressive, be aggressive and run the team. Just as important as that, he’s going to have to defend, and he’s going to have to defend at a high level, which is what he does very well.
Q: On if there’s more competition among 13th, 14th, 15th guys than last season:
Brown: Yeah, definitely. This is a deep roster and we feel good about the guys coming off the bench. It was a little tough from the standpoint of last year because we had a shortened training camp so couldn’t see everybody. Not only could you see everybody, but because the season started so all of a sudden, you had guys playing overseas that couldn’t get out of their deal, and because they couldn’t get out of their deal, they were standing and watching. By the time they were out of their deal, we had to move past them because we only had two preseason games and then the season was here. So it was a lot tougher last year, obviously.
Q: On Gasol’s passing, particularly as it could benefit Howard:
Brown: Obviously, Dwight can play. You don’t want to take anybody away from him, but to me, Pau is Steve Nash in the paint. He is probably a better passer than Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Pau is probably on the level of (Arvidas) Sabonis maybe. That touch pass he made to Dwight – Are you kidding me? Pau, to me, is a jack of all trades. If we need him to shoot jumpers, he can shoot jumpers. If we need him to take a guy off the dribble, he’ll take a guy off the dribble. If we need him to facilitate, he can facilitate. If he needs to rebound, he’ll rebound. To me, he’s a jack of all trades guy that can do it all. And most guys, when they do it all, they do a good job of doing it all or a solid job. But Pau, he’s great at everything.
Q: On Gasol’s role offensively this year:
Brown: He’s too good for me to be specific with him. But he just does so much, I don’t want to put a ceiling on him. Literally, Pau can play dribble hand off, he can be the giver or the receiver, he can play pick and roll, Pau can come off a jump shot and catch and shoot and make a play, he can come off a screen, Pau can set the screen. So I don’t want to put him a box just because he is so versatile. His role with us is going to be doing whatever he can to help us offensively.