LAKERS -at- PACERS - 12/17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:35 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- PACERS - 12/17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Welp... With news there would be no AD in this game (and no Kuzma), the Lakers slid their third-sting PF, Jared Dudley, into the starting lineup and hoped that … well, hoped.

They took an obvious hit on both ends of the floor but pulled out to a 12-point lead at one point in the first quarter.

The Pacers rallied back in the third quarter to turn the tables as the Laker offense stalled midway through the quarter.

L.A. fell back by 9 points, but with LeBron going to the bench, the Lakers second unit rallied. Howard, Caruso and Bradley ignited the offense and tied the game up with a minute left in the third.

“Those guys played extremely hard,” Vogel said.

The fourth quarter went back and fourth. The Lakers went up 5 with 3:20 left. In close games, this is where AD as a closer on the defensive end has shined. No matter what the Lakers offense might do, they could often lock down on D and hold a lead like that.

Where the game turned was probably from self-inflicted wounds. The Lakers were their own worst enemy from the freethrow line. LeBron and Dwight missed 4 straight freethrows (L.A. was 2-8 at one point in the fourth). They’d make just 47% from the line in this game. Combine that with weak three shooting (this game put that in the spotlight again), and the Lakers couldn’t hold the line. They’d fall 105-102, snapping their 14-game road win streak.

This was a tough one, but one you can learn a lot about your players. Who is going to step up when you don’t have your stars on the court? Some great efforts by a few role players tonight.

“Shorthanded our guys competed their tails off. Very proud of them,” Vogel said.


LeBron -- -- He picked a bad game to not have his shot. He went 0-6 from three and 4-8 from the line. The perimeter shot was just not there and that really limited his effectiveness. We needed a 30 from LeBron in this one, not a 20 on 20 shots. Sadly, we also really need to figure out how to play with a little more offensive savvy down the stretch. Once again, the offense went dry in those final few minutes as we drained clock and just attacked on high screens or iso’s with little ball movement. “Made shots versus missed shots,” LeBron said. We definitely had a couple good looks from three down the stretch we missed. LeBron liked the team’s composure despite the misses. The team kind of goes as LeBron does. Early in the game, a lot of attacking at the rim with strength. He was also putting the ball in teammates hands where they could score. The Lakers had a 12-point lead in that first quarter with him orchestrating and leading the attack. Early in the second half, he got a little loose with the ball, coughing it up. He’d finish with 5 turnovers. That’s 28 turnovers in the last 5 games. Yikes. He had some moments muscling in And-1 layups and getting to the line where we could have manufactured points. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 8-20 shooting (0-6 from three, 4-8 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 9 assists, 5 turnovers and 2 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a -9.

Green -- -- He sank a couple of threes in this one, good to see. He had a great track down block in transition, as well. He had a couple turnovers in the second half, always an adventure when he’s not spotting up. But he did have a good drive off the three line early in the game to dish to McGee for a dunk. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-4 shooting from three to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 28 minutes. He was a +5.

McGee -- -- Most of his action was in the first half. He had 8 points on 4-6 shooting at the half. No AD meant that McGee would have to go possibly longer stints and more minutes. He came back in with 4 minutes left in the first half for Howard. So usually he’s planted on the bench after his one stint. He’d finish with 22 minutes. Dwight was the dominant big tonight, but the C spot still combined for 30 points on 15-18 shooting with 14 boards and 5 blocks. That’s some serious production in their 48 minutes. The question has always been who’s the third star on this team, it really might be the Howard/McGee combo. McGee got his scoring on setups from teammates. LeBron on a lob to start the game. Green with a drive and dish. LeBron finding him again on a behind-the-back pass for a reverse. Another dunk off a lob from LeBron. And a dunk off a quick bounce pass from Rondo while McGee was on the move. Also, give him a screen assist in this one for dumping KCP’s man with a hard one and allowing Kenny to hit the wide open three. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 5-8 shooting to go with 8 boards (4 offensive) to go with 1 assist, 3 blocks, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +0.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Well, I guess he kind of screwed up that last sequence of the game not curling. KCP said they took away the first option. Not sure about that. Some nice work early on by KCP changing ends with speed for scores. Best plays from him were probably a steal in the fourth anticipating a kickout. In the first half he had a screen-roll lob to Dwight. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-10 shooting (1-3 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 fouls in in 28 minutes. He was a -7.

Dudley -- -- Well, he got the start in place of AD and Kuzma. He’d sink a three for his only make. Serviceable minutes, but it’s one thing to have Dudley back there rotating under the hoop defensively and a whole different thing when it’s AD and guys are trying to shoot over that. A massive difference you could see instantly the moment this game began. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-5 shooting (1-4 from three) to go with 1 board, 2 assists and 1 foul in 15 minutes. He was a -4.

Caruso -- -- Key minutes in this game were apparently when Caruso sat. He had a team-high +9. He picked up 3 fouls in the first half, but ran a good stint, drawing a couple of charges and getting a steal (just great anticipation on a rotation in the paint). In the second half, he was more aggressive offensively. He sank a pull-up three. He found Bradley cutting for a layup. He attacked with the clock low, spun and scooped in an And-1 layup off the dribble. On an ATO, he turned the corner on a drive and hit Dwight diving for the dunk. He’d drain a sideline three in transition. Then, with 55 seconds left, he got tapped on a corner three on a kickout against the clock. Still, when you step back and think about this one, this was such a strong game. He’s on the road, we’re down a couple key players, we need guys to step into that void and Caruso did. I’m not sure if he was feeling it or if he knew he had to be aggressive because we were without an important player. But he’s had a couple of very good offensive games when we needed guys to step up in that regard. Great sign. Would love to see another of those 20- or 30-point games like he dropped last year sometime this season. Some super small ball tonight where technically he was probably the powerforward considering that he was lined up at that spot on the freethrow line to box out. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-8 shooting (2-5 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and 3 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +9.

Bradley -- -- The defense had moments of good and moments of breakdowns where there was no Davis to save them. Bradley wanted more consistent D for longer. “We had stretches of it, but we have to put a full game together,” Bradley said. He was short again on his first three attempt of this game. All of them have been short up to this point. Finally, in the second quarter, he got his legs under one and swished the wing three. His first make behind the arc since returning. While that isn’t working, it does seem like he’s been able to work an off ball cut every game for a layup. He had a nice one weakside off a Rondo drive for a reverse. That part of his game seems to finally be translating a little this season. Best play of the night might have been getting a strip on one end then lobbing to Dwight on the other for a dunk. No fouls in this one, which was nice to see. I like seeing AB and AC as aggressive as they both there tonight. Two-way minutes are the key to playoff wins. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 6-14 shooting (1-4 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and no fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -8.

Howard -- -- This is the Dwight that makes this team very dangerous come playoff time. We didn’t land a superstar with our cap space this summer, so we need guys like Dwight and JaVale to give us impact, two-way minutes, especially when our stars are sitting/out. Dwight was perfect from the floor tonight (10-10) to raise up that FG% in the restricted area to an elite level. He helped make a group of bench guards work by anchoring the paint and finishing at the rim on passes. He had finishes on lobs again and again (Rondo, Bradley, LeBron, Caruso, Green all found him for dunks). He came in the game with 4 minutes left in the first quarter as McGee sat. So we moved up his time on the court and always ran one of McGee or Howard in the game. (Thankfully, no LeBron at center experimentation from Luke Walton.) Asked what he thought of Dwight’s performance, LeBron said he’s seen him put up big numbers before. “He knocked me out of a chance at seeing Kobe in the finals,” LeBron said. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 10-10 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 6 boards, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -2.

Rondo -- -- Some key minutes tonight when we ran extended time with no LeBron or AD on the floor. We haven’t done that much at all this season (unless it was a blowout). But in the middle of action, we’ve always got one of those guys on the floor. Surprisingly, the team held it together. Great passing from Rondo tonight. Reading things like Dwight spinning backdoor on his man for a lob, LeBron cutting behind his man for a lob or throwing a quick bounce pass after taking a kickout to McGee on the move for a score. That’s making something out of nothing. Just reading and reacting. Wish he could have knocked down that 29-footer at the end of the game, obviously (and option A on that was an 0-6 LeBron from three), but we should haven’t been in that position anyway had guys hit their FTs. I’m probably more annoyed with Rondo going 50% from the line himself tonight. Still, good job taking up some of the load and not turning the ball over. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 2-9 shooting (1-4 from three, 2-4 from the line) to gow ith 5 boards, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 26 minutes. He was a -4.

Daniels -- -- We could have used his three shooting, but just one attempt in his 12 minutes. He’d sink a baseline pull-up working off the dribble for his only score. While he had the +5 and was part of that small unit that worked in the third quarter, I’m just not seeing enough from him this season. If there’s a roster spot available, I think it’s his. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 1 assist and 1 foul in 12 minutes. He was a +5.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The Pacers missed a freethrow and gave the Lakers a chance to tie it. Rondo pushed it up, gave it to Dwight, got it back for a pretty good look at a three. He launched from 29 feet and was tapped, just missing to send it into overtime. The Lakers went 8-31 from three. On that play, KCP was supposed to curl and we were going to hit LeBron coming to the ball. It broke down, so Rondo took and missed the three.

Key Substitution: We went small with Dwight, Daniels, Caruso, Bradly and Rondo in the third quarter. This unit dug the team out of a 9-point hole in the quarter. Things were heading south rapidly and with no AD or LeBron on the floor, they scrapped and pulled the Lakers back in it.

Key Stat: Got to go with the freethrow shooting. Not having AD can hurt here, too. The Lakers at one point in the fourth were 2-8 from the line with LeBron and Dwight missing 4 straight. The Lakers would finish the night 8-17 (47%) from the line. The Lakers worst performance of the year from the line. Wrong time for that. If they sink 70% in this game, that’s 4 more makes in a 3-point loss.

Coach Challenge: With 11 seconds left and down 2, Rajon crashed the glass for an offensive board and threw it off a Pacer to regain possession. It looked like his foot was close to touching down before releasing the ball. The Pacers challenged and the play was overturned. Hard to tell even in the replay, but that Pacers regained that key possession. Tough one to overturn. “We might be one for twelve this year on overturns,” Rondo said.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:40 pm    Post subject:

First!

Thanks DB:(.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:56 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

Free throws....Free throws....Free throws....

Also, I am starting to get nervous about Green. I keep on expecting him to turn it on and finally break out, but nada.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:10 am    Post subject:

Last 4 games Lakers are:

37 for 130 from 3 Point Land 28.5%
57 for 92 from the free throw line 61.9%

That is not going to get it done.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:31 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

"Good" loss. Played really well vs a playoff team without AD and Kuz on their homecourt. Only loss by 3 and had chances to win? Got 53 points from the bench? I'll take it.

I missed the game, but the highlights look like Dwight was a beast. He will be key all year vs starters and bench bigs. He's my X-factor vs the Clippers. Bron and the coaching staff needed to see his still had games like this in him.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:42 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB !!


FT's & 3's were a big issue this game, it also shows we're shallow at
the PF position if AD goes down. Kuzma does not have the D to hold
down the position in long stretches.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:46 am    Post subject:

LeBron killed us with his inability to make a damn free throw. It's starting to become painfully obvious in a close game that Hack-a-Lebron is a pretty safe approach to get only 1 out of 2 if even that.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:49 am    Post subject:

DillonSD wrote:
LeBron killed us with his inability to make a damn free throw. It's starting to become painfully obvious in a close game that Hack-a-Lebron is a pretty safe approach to get only 1 out of 2 if even that.



LeBron's our quarterback, our shooters need to knock down their shots. Sure it would be great for LBJ to hit his shots but our supposed shooters need to do their jobs.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:34 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

I was pleasantly surprised with how we competed against a top 4 East team on their home floor, without our best 2-way player and the DPOTY in AD. Early on it even looked like we could beat them with some distance. We were playing really well.

Unfortunately I think the game changed when the second unit came in, with Bradley and Rondo. I had a different take on Rondo than you in this one. More of it had to do with him and Bradley together, than it was anything individually.

We need to establish more second unit scoring depth and with the injuries it has been difficult to do this. This was a great example of how much more we could use our Cs. Dwight and McGee are elite at what they do. We need to be running more of these plays when AD is with us, so we can get that extra scoring option.

I know the league has shifted towards 30 three pointers a night being normal, in fact maybe even less. However I rather see this team get more action with players moving towards the basket, than the 3 point shots. We settle for open 3s, but an opposing defense prefer our ball club shoot those 3s than they would want us to keep the ball moving and getting a better shot.

We should look for early 3 pointers, in transition, in early offense if open and if it ls a quality spot up shooter in a spot they have good consistency at. For example I think Kuzma is a good 3 point spot up guy from corners. I wonder what Danny Green's spot up numbers look like from different spots, and KCP's as well.

But to see Bradley shoot those 3s, and then Caruso, and then Lebron. I don't get it.We are not built to be an elite high volume 3 point shooting. We are built sort of like the 2014 Spurs team that won a title, they should around 21-22 three pointers a game, and even they had better 3 point shooters than us. We play elite D, we have elite paint players, we have some elite mid-range guys. Our 3 point shooters are good in some spot up situations, but overall we are an average 3 point shooting team. Should an elite team at all other departments, but average at 3, be shooting about 35% of their FGAs from 3? That is over a third of their shots are from 3.

To me, I want to see our 3 point attempts get closer to 23-25. Better shots, and more early offense 3s and less halfcourt winding down offense 3s. Get the ball more inside through dribble penetration, finding players on the move, rollings bigs and more post ups. It will go a long way for our offense.

At some point this staff has to realize that Danny Green is a sub 40% shooter, as is KCP. Bradley is a sub 30% shooter from 3. Caruso-Kuzma-Lebron are all at 35-36% average shooting. We don't have elite shooters from 3 on this team.

That said, maybe the coaching staff feels that the Lakers players will get better at shooting those 3s as the season evolves and unfolds. I don't know, but when I see Dwight being able to do what he is, when I look at McGee's ability to finish in the paint, when I see Bradley's mid-range and around the basket game, Caruso's finishing around the basket, and ofcourse Lebron and AD. I don't think it's great that these guys are shooting as many 3s as they are. It's not like we have Steph Curry and Klay on this team. We are an average 3 point shooting team. We are elite at all other areas of the court on offense and defense. Should 35% of our offense be 3 point shooting?

The other thing - perhaps Rob can go out and get another sniper. Someone who can play Danny Green's role for the bench. We need a player that is true shooter and can defend. Our guys defend very well in Caruso, Bradley. And Rondo is a QB2 and needed. But we don't have that sniper we can rely on off the bench, someone that can knock down those shots. They are needed with Dwight in the middle, Lebron or AD, sometimes both Lebron and AD, and usually we see Rondo out there as well, or Caruso. So that's 4 guys there who are not stand out 3 point shooters. We need at least 1 really good 3 point shooter for the second unit.

If not, I hope Frank considers switching Bradley with Green as starters. Green is not shooting great but he is our most reliable and pure 3 point shooter. Since KCP has doing so well as starter and has hit his 3s, we can start Bradley next to him and even set a better tone defensively. Then Green comes in with Rondo off the bench, giving us some much needed 3 point shooting from outside.

Lets assume Bradley stays coming off the bench, we'll end up with a rotation of Dwight, Lebron/AD, Kuzma, Bradley, Rondo/Caruso.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:24 am    Post subject:

There’s so many valid reasons why it shouldn’t matter that we lost, but given our position towards the end of the game it’s hard not to be upset we gave it away because of missed fts. Sigh. Just sucks to lose a game we had because of some things that were completely in our control. Oh well, on to the next. Thanks for the wrap up!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:26 am    Post subject:

Wolf,

Great analysis but I respectfully disagree with your suggestion to move Green to the bench. I would rather move KCP to the bench and start Bradley. Bradley and Green are very disruptive defensively and have given opponents trouble getting into their offense. We keep them off balance then bring KCP and Caruso off the bench. KCP provides the scoring and Caruso provides the defense for the second unit. Both can stretch the defense for Howard and Kuzma to operate in the paint. Just my opinion.

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wolfpaclaker wrote:
Thanks DB.

I was pleasantly surprised with how we competed against a top 4 East team on their home floor, without our best 2-way player and the DPOTY in AD. Early on it even looked like we could beat them with some distance. We were playing really well.

Unfortunately I think the game changed when the second unit came in, with Bradley and Rondo. I had a different take on Rondo than you in this one. More of it had to do with him and Bradley together, than it was anything individually.

We need to establish more second unit scoring depth and with the injuries it has been difficult to do this. This was a great example of how much more we could use our Cs. Dwight and McGee are elite at what they do. We need to be running more of these plays when AD is with us, so we can get that extra scoring option.

I know the league has shifted towards 30 three pointers a night being normal, in fact maybe even less. However I rather see this team get more action with players moving towards the basket, than the 3 point shots. We settle for open 3s, but an opposing defense prefer our ball club shoot those 3s than they would want us to keep the ball moving and getting a better shot.

We should look for early 3 pointers, in transition, in early offense if open and if it ls a quality spot up shooter in a spot they have good consistency at. For example I think Kuzma is a good 3 point spot up guy from corners. I wonder what Danny Green's spot up numbers look like from different spots, and KCP's as well.

But to see Bradley shoot those 3s, and then Caruso, and then Lebron. I don't get it.We are not built to be an elite high volume 3 point shooting. We are built sort of like the 2014 Spurs team that won a title, they should around 21-22 three pointers a game, and even they had better 3 point shooters than us. We play elite D, we have elite paint players, we have some elite mid-range guys. Our 3 point shooters are good in some spot up situations, but overall we are an average 3 point shooting team. Should an elite team at all other departments, but average at 3, be shooting about 35% of their FGAs from 3? That is over a third of their shots are from 3.

To me, I want to see our 3 point attempts get closer to 23-25. Better shots, and more early offense 3s and less halfcourt winding down offense 3s. Get the ball more inside through dribble penetration, finding players on the move, rollings bigs and more post ups. It will go a long way for our offense.

At some point this staff has to realize that Danny Green is a sub 40% shooter, as is KCP. Bradley is a sub 30% shooter from 3. Caruso-Kuzma-Lebron are all at 35-36% average shooting. We don't have elite shooters from 3 on this team.

That said, maybe the coaching staff feels that the Lakers players will get better at shooting those 3s as the season evolves and unfolds. I don't know, but when I see Dwight being able to do what he is, when I look at McGee's ability to finish in the paint, when I see Bradley's mid-range and around the basket game, Caruso's finishing around the basket, and ofcourse Lebron and AD. I don't think it's great that these guys are shooting as many 3s as they are. It's not like we have Steph Curry and Klay on this team. We are an average 3 point shooting team. We are elite at all other areas of the court on offense and defense. Should 35% of our offense be 3 point shooting?

The other thing - perhaps Rob can go out and get another sniper. Someone who can play Danny Green's role for the bench. We need a player that is true shooter and can defend. Our guys defend very well in Caruso, Bradley. And Rondo is a QB2 and needed. But we don't have that sniper we can rely on off the bench, someone that can knock down those shots. They are needed with Dwight in the middle, Lebron or AD, sometimes both Lebron and AD, and usually we see Rondo out there as well, or Caruso. So that's 4 guys there who are not stand out 3 point shooters. We need at least 1 really good 3 point shooter for the second unit.

If not, I hope Frank considers switching Bradley with Green as starters. Green is not shooting great but he is our most reliable and pure 3 point shooter. Since KCP has doing so well as starter and has hit his 3s, we can start Bradley next to him and even set a better tone defensively. Then Green comes in with Rondo off the bench, giving us some much needed 3 point shooting from outside.

Lets assume Bradley stays coming off the bench, we'll end up with a rotation of Dwight, Lebron/AD, Kuzma, Bradley, Rondo/Caruso.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:33 am    Post subject:

Quote:
Great analysis but I respectfully disagree with your suggestion to move Green to the bench. I would rather move KCP to the bench and start Bradley. Bradley and Green are very disruptive defensively and have given opponents trouble getting into their offense. We keep them off balance then bring KCP and Caruso off the bench. KCP provides the scoring and Caruso provides the defense for the second unit. Both can stretch the defense for Howard and Kuzma to operate in the paint. Just my opinion.

I am fine with that, I just worry that once KCP loses the open shots and chemistry he has with AD/Lebron and starting, he will regress a bit. Believe ir or not, KCP has been better than Green as a starter on both sides of the ball. So if he keeps that up, hard for me to justify sending him to the bench, I also think Rondo and Green would have some good chemistry and you could close the game/half out with Green at the 2 or 3.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:15 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
Quote:
Great analysis but I respectfully disagree with your suggestion to move Green to the bench. I would rather move KCP to the bench and start Bradley. Bradley and Green are very disruptive defensively and have given opponents trouble getting into their offense. We keep them off balance then bring KCP and Caruso off the bench. KCP provides the scoring and Caruso provides the defense for the second unit. Both can stretch the defense for Howard and Kuzma to operate in the paint. Just my opinion.

I am fine with that, I just worry that once KCP loses the open shots and chemistry he has with AD/Lebron and starting, he will regress a bit. Believe ir or not, KCP has been better than Green as a starter on both sides of the ball. So if he keeps that up, hard for me to justify sending him to the bench, I also think Rondo and Green would have some good chemistry and you could close the game/half out with Green at the 2 or 3.



I agree with you Wolf. I do not think this is even debatable (at least for the past 15/20 games anyways).
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:51 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Most years I go see the Lakers when they're in Indy playing. My one chance of the year to see them play in person. The problem is, of all the times I've gone I can only remember them winning once. They seem to be snake bit when they play here. So this year I was still on the fence, as I had a feeling they would lose. Then I got a last minute call to play a gig at a private party. Best gig ever. Not only did I get paid well for playing maybe an hour, but I got surf and turf and drank about $100.00 of really really good wine.

I'll never say I'm glad they lost, but giving AD a night off was the right call. This loss doesn't set the team back any. If anything it will make them stronger.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:23 pm    Post subject:

Not surprised we lost..it just hurts because we could have won. No worries..pretty good game for the most part.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:36 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! We were bound to lay an egg. But being shorthanded and with the poor 3 pt and ft shooting, we were right there. Hope we get AD and Kuz back soon (and hope we stop the losing streak at 1).
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:28 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
Last 4 games Lakers are:

37 for 130 from 3 Point Land 28.5%
57 for 92 from the free throw line 61.9%

That is not going to get it done.


Agree, the Lakers could be 1 game into a 4 game losing streak!

And Now for Something Completely Different:

When did the Pacers hire Don Rickles as a Coach?

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