LOS ANGELES – Josh Shipp’s recollection of Showtime was Magic Johnson leading fastbreaks that ended in dunks and layups. Arron Afflalo wears No. 4 because, as a grade schooler, he watched videos of the Lakers dynasty and was enamored with Byron Scott and the team’s up-and-down style of basketball. Influenced by this basketball backdrop, UCLA heads into the postseason led by a balding coach who has made grunting, lateral defensive slides and rebounding relevant factors in the team’s success. UCLA enters today’s Pacific-10 Conference tournament as the top seed and the overwhelming favorite. The Bruins enjoy that role not because of grace and style and sublime athleticism, but because of teamwork, commitment, rebounding and coach Ben Howland’s calling card – defense. The run ‘n gun style employed by Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, a former UCLA assistant, plays to the aesthetically pleasing Hollywood tableau. But fans embraced Howland’s rigid defensive philosophy, which, when it comes to artistry, is more Theo Van Gogh than it is his more famous brother, Vincent. “At the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing,” Howland said. “People, players, fans, they want to win.” Despite a lackluster nonconference home schedule in which a road atlas was needed to find the locations of many of the opponents, the Bruins averaged 10,428 per game at Pauley Pavilion. It is the highest average since 1997-98. If the essence of Hollywood was crystallized in sport, it was through those high-flyin’, fast-breakin’, no-look passin’ Lakers under three-peat entrepreneur and movie star-handsome coach Pat Riley. Even the Lakers of the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal era, led by zen master Phil Jackson, were as much Hollywood soap opera as they were NBA champions. “You think of USC football and you think of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush and more TV-type stuff, and we’re not like that,” said Afflalo, UCLA’s junior guard and leading scorer at 17.2 points per game. “I think (fans) have come to expect us as winners. I think that’s what it is. “I don’t think they come to the game to see us defend well. They don’t come to the game to see us get up and down and dunk all day. Honestly, I think they enjoy us winning.” Howland cannot recall a light-switch moment in which he realized the importance of defense, but he remembers playing one-on-one basketball in the Goleta boys’ club, and understanding what it took to win. It is a philosophy Howland never forgot. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!