LAKERS -at- BLAZERS - 12/28 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:44 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- BLAZERS - 12/28 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Back in the Win Column... Banged up and trying to get back on track, the Lakers got some scoring punch from their bench tonight.

Kyle Kuzma had 20 of the Lakers 71 first half points to lead the bench.

In the third quarter, when the starters were fading, it was the bench to the rescue again as they closed the quarter strong to build an 8-point lead.

KCP hit a big three at the end of the third, then saved his next two threes for late in the fourth to bury the Blazers for good, 128-120.

The bench poured in 72 points in the win, their biggest outing by far this season.

Hopefully, the Lakers can get back on track and string together a series of wins as they finish off this tough December schedule.


LeBron -- -- LeBron had one of the stats of the night with the 16 assists with just 1 turnover. He had 10 points in the first quarter, including knocking down a corner three off a drive and dish from Kuzma. I’d love to see Kuzma used a little more as the setup man for plays like this. We also had a Rondo pocket pass to LeBron rolling for a layup. I believe both of those plays were ATOs and show the staff thinking about others doing some of the heavy lifting on set plays. They were making LeBron the finisher with less strain on him where he doesn’t need to dribble on those. Really liking the chemistry with his AD/Kuzma front court. Both AD/Kuzma change ends with speed and LeBron is always looking for them. LeBron is pretty brilliant at those 70-foot passes. Also on the chemistry side with Kuzma, we’re starting to explore the half court sets. We had an ATO to start the fourth where Kuzma was in the corner and cut off a Rondo screen. LeBron fired a pass to him on the move for the score at the rim. They ran that again and Rondo slipped the screen, but couldn’t handle the pass. Much better close for the team tonight. Glad we didn’t bring Rondo back in this one to close like the last game. Not that Rondo was playing bad, but KCP and Kuzma make the offense flow much better. LeBron was able to get a score on a drive and found AD for a lob. KCP also connected on a three. No stalling out of the offense. He also had a track down block in transition in the fourth, bringing some extra effort to close this one. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 7-15 shooting (1-4 from three, 6-8 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 16 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +5.

Davis -- -- Lackluster first half with just 7 points on 1-5 shooting. He’d go 6-11 from the second half. He didn’t seem to be imposing himself in his opportunities. He had a couple of sequences early on where he pushed out rebounds, one for a score himself, another where he found Caruso with a bounce pass for a layup. But other than that he was kind of coasting a bit early on. He’s really shot the three ball poorly (2 of last 24 before making one tonight). When you are doing that, you should not be putting up off-balance, fading three looks. They need to be wide open, square-up shots (which a lot have been). But right after making a good look on his one hit from three tonight, he chucked up one of those bad, off-balance threes. Just an annoying shot. Phil Jackson would have called that “indulgent.” If you want to get separation from teams, these are the shots you avoid as a team (the Blazers would put together an 11-0 run during this stretch to reel us in). I really hope someone is in his ear about that kind of thing. Late in the game, he hit a buzzer-beating jumper from the top of the key on an inbounds pass. He also connected with LeBron for a lob. He didn’t have that edge to his game tonight like we want to see, but good moments to close with those two scores. He hurt his shoulder in the second half getting hacked with no call as he was about to go up for a dunk during that stretch of bad ball. We had to call a timeout in the third off of that, but he came back out. All of his fouls, he picked up in that third quarter, as well. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 7-16 shooting (1-4 from three, 5-6 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 36 minutes. He was a +6.

Green -- -- He was shooting blanks early on and missing some wide open looks, too. He sank a sideline three in transition to start the second half for his only points. Really not much impact in this one. I did appreciate the rebound he slapped from Whiteside’s hands off his face and out of bounds for Laker ball. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-6 shooting (1-5 from three) to go with 2 boards and 1 foul in 19 minutes. He was a -13.

McGee -- -- It sure seemed like there were a lot of rebounds or 50-50 type of balls where the Lakers got whistled for a push or foul. McGee had a couple of those tonight that just seemed unnecessary. Very sloppy, foul-prone ball that hurts the team as a whole. The minutes tonight were yuck. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-2 shooting to go with 4 boards, 1 block and 4 fouls in 11 minutes. He was a -8.

Bradley -- -- Still in the starting lineup. I’ve mentioned this previously, but I really think KCP should have retained that role. I guess on the one hand you don’t want guys to lose their spot to injury, but KCP was playing great ball. Bradley? Not so much since his return. He had a few early scores to start the game. But had the team low -12 in 12 first half minutes. So the Lakers were a +19 when he was off the floor in that half. He stretched that to a -15 by the time Vogel called a timeout in the third quarter and sat him. McGee/Bradley just seemed to be mucking up a few too many possessions on either end. You couldn’t wait to get Kuzma in and one of our other guards. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-9 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 18 minutes. He was a -15.

Kuzma -- -- “He’s an aggressive scorer,” Vogel said. “He just puts pressure on the defense.” He also mentioned that his scoring ability also allows the defense to get set on the other end. The Lakers had a season-high 72 bench points. They ran McGee for about 5 minutes to start and then brought Kuzma in to go five-out. He scored 17 points in that first stint. He’s been aggressive on iso, calling his own number. He even waved off Rondo who was calling for the ball so Kuz could score on iso. I like this. He’s not floating. He’s not looking to defer. He’s getting back to himself...but with an improved three ball. He was 3-9 from three, but that quick trigger with results from three really forces the defense to stay tight on him and spread the floor. When he drops 20 in a half on 7-9 shooting, he forces his way into more and more minutes. He may not be starting, but he will be closing when doing that (we closed with him instead of Dwight in the final minutes). Kuz was actually 4-10 from three tonight as hit a 55-footer but after the first quarter buzzer went off. Didn’t count but he’s been surprisingly good at the buzzer beating heaves this season. Defensively, his issues on that end or very much over hyped. Last year, he improved on it. This year, he’s looking better when healthy. Some excellent moments to force his man into poor shots. Caruso mentioned how great Kuzma was talking on D after this one (and gave him props during the game, he said). Kuzma had some nice pressure at the point of attack on one sequence as a man came off a screen and this helped force a turnover. “Kuz is just giving us a huge lift off the bench,” Vogel said. He’s back to himself. Keep it going. The Stats: He scored 24 points on 9-17 shooting (3-9 from three, 3-3 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist and 1 foul in 30 minutes. He was a +14.

Caruso -- -- He got more minutes tonight (20) as Vogel said he needed to find more minutes for Alex. We closed with him on the floor along with KCP as our backcourt. Lillard is a tough, tricky cover. His change of speeds off the screens cause our D to pick up some fouls. Scoring-wise, he drained a three off a swing pass, scored a layup attacking from the wing, drew some FTs from a drive and had a nice And-1 reverse in transition off a bounce pass from AD. Our guards were putting up points. We may not have had our D together, but we didn’t lose a quarter because we were able to put up points consistently from all areas. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-6 shooting (1-1 from three, 2-3 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a +13.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Great job tonight (led the team with a +22). He was a Blazer killer in that second half, throwing the biggest haymakers. Loved the final play of the third quarter. We’ve seen this a couple of times. With 3.7 on the clock, Kuzma chucked an inbounds down to AD who is the tallest receiver on the court. He got the pass in a crowd and immediately fired to the corner to KCP for the wide open three, which he drained. KCP had another huge three with 3:54 left. We had an 8-point lead and got a few stops, but couldn’t get that next hoop to get it to double digits. We got out on the break, found him on the left side, he stepped back and hit the corner three. He then hit one with 2:50 left, on a fade in that same corner. Not easy. He also had a nice strip on Bazemore in the final minute. Just an excellent job of closing. Glad we recognized tonight and closed with him and Caruso. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 4-7 shooting (3-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 block and 3 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +22.

Howard -- -- Mixed bag defensively (despite the 4 blocks). The matchup with Tolliver was painful at times. They were scoring with ease against us when the Blazers went to their small ball, five-out lineup against Dwight to start the second quarter. The Lakers would send help to CJ and leave open shooters open. Or when Dwight played drop coverage, they gave up the open midrange. In the third quarter, he let Tolliver walk in for an offensive board, then walk out and hit a three while watching. And watching he and Rondo defend the two man game in some moments was, well, hard to watch. But Dwight also had some moments around the rim on D, rejecting a shot behind Kuzma, another to save a layup as a man cut baseline as well as another on Whiteside at the rim in the fourth. So some good anchoring of the D, as well. Offensively, he had some dunks. I was more pleased to see him knocking down FTs. The shot looked a little flatter but was on the mark. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting (3-4 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 4 blocks and 3 fouls in 19 minutes. He was a +6.

Rondo -- -- Strong outing from Rondo. He seems to play Portland pretty well. He had a series of scores to start the second quarter, then found LeBron on the ATO two-man sequence for an And-1 layup. He was a +5 in the first half, scoring 9 on 4-4 shooting with a couple of assists and no turnovers. In the second half, he’d get some points on the break in a couple possessions, hit an open jumper, setup Dwight for FTs. He did have a possession where he pounded the dribble into a shotclock situation. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 6-8 shooting (1-2 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 4 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 18 minutes. He was a +12.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: There was a stretch in the fourth quarter where we had an 8-point lead, got several stops, but couldn’t score on the other end. KCP hit a huge step-back corner three in transition that wasn’t the dagger, but close to it. Huge shot. KCP when then hit a dagger for good from that same corner a minute later. Glad Vogel closed with him and Caruso in the backcourt.

Key Substitution: In the third quarter, the Blazers were working on a run to even the game up (11-0 scoring at one point). Vogel brought in Kuzma and KCP for Bradley and McGee (who were both playing poorly). Rondo came in shortly later as LeBron rested. They closed the quarter strong to give the Lakers an 8-point lead heading into the fourth. We’d maintain that separation all fourth.

Key Stats: The Laker bench scored 72 points (beating their previous high of 53). Just huge production. Kuzma, Rondo, Dwight, KCP and Caruso were all scoring.

Tech: He said he was angry and edgy coming into this one. “I got an early tech because I wanted our group to feel that,” he said. Vogel picked up a T in the first quarter, yelling at the refs apparently for not calling fouls on some AD-related contact.

Coach’s Challenge: Lakers were on the right side of both tonight. Portland used theirs in the second quarter on a LeBron steal and breakaway where he missed a layup but drew a foul call. The challenge failed as LeBron had a heel clipped as he went up for the layup. Vogel used his on an And-1 layup midway through the fourth that seemed like a tricky choice as there was contact, but they challenged the continuation call and won that. That saved 3 points as we got a stop shortly later.
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LakersFan_73
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:51 pm    Post subject:

Glad to see they're back on the winning side of things. Thanks DB.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:34 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB, I'm glad to get back on the W's column.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:12 am    Post subject:

Thx, DB!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:21 am    Post subject:

Good to get the W, but this this one should not have been so close. They just couldn't get enough separation and the Blazers always snuck back in with those three bombs and early foul trouble for the Lakers. It seems that Dame gets an inordinate amount of FTs on those deep threes when the defender gets screened. 14 FTs for him despite not driving for the majority of the game. I have a strong dislike for teams that only shoot threes.

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:29 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. KCP should be in the starting lineup as he is our best "real" guard by far. How about our BENCH......F'ing INCREDIBLE job by EVERY one of them.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:58 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Let's get back on track!!! Pile them Ws!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:39 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:10 am    Post subject:

I have a ? about last night's game. Wasn't watching it, just following along on twitter and the box score at rotoworld. Late in the 3rd Q, at least by the box score, it had Anfernee Simmons being fouled on a 3-point shot and taking 3 FT attempts. Making the first two and missing the last. Later the box score was adjusted to have Simmons shooting 2 FTs, making the 1st and missing the 2nd. Was this just an error by whoever is updating the box score or did Simmons actually shoot 3 FTs and then the refs later decided that the shot attempt he was fouled on was a 2-pt shot and not a 3-pt shot. Many times I've seen a player initially credited with a 3 pt shot made in the box score and it is later changed to a 2. If that happened here, how does it get decided that Simmons earned 1 FT made out of 2 attempts if he made the first 2 out of 3 attempts initially. I'm guessing it had to be a box score error from the start because that really wouldn't make sense.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:31 am    Post subject:

This was a Laker style game. This is our identity.
+20 in points in the paint, 60-40 advantage to the Lakers.
+13 in points on fast breaks. 21-8 advantage to the Lakers.

+6 in Field Goals made (Shot 51%).
-12 points on three point makes.

This is the brand of basketball (on offense) we are about. Get the ball to the paint as much as possible. Take the open mid-range if you are a good mid-range shooter. Get players on the move to the basket via pass. Constant penetration either through dribbling, passing (finding a player on the move) and sometimes posting up. Get the 3 pointers through first creating the penetration.

Blazers defense is not as good as some of the better teams. However our tactics should not change. We have to have faith in our bigs, we have to have faith in Lebron as a penetration player. We have to have faith that our 3 point shooters will knock down open shots. Do not settle. First create the penetration, then anything else.

Defensively we played streaky D. 36 minutes of average to no D. 12 minutes of elite D. Typical of a contender on the road. At least our offense was where it needs to be.

I am still scratching my head at why AD and Lebron shot a combined 18 three pointers against the Clippers. They shot 14-22 combined on the Clippers taking away the 3s. They shot a combined 3-18 on three pointers. Realize that against the Clippers we LOST the paint battle 54-42. We shot 12-45 on three pointers and the Clips shot 9-25. I put that game squarely on AD and Lebron (more Lebron) as to why we could not close them out. This Blazer game is the blue print on how we want to play. If the team packs the paint in, then you move the ball, fake the 3, and then drive. Set more screens off the ball. You do not want to just dribble outside the 3 point line ..... we do not have Lillard on this roster. Its Lebron. A power guard.
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unleasHell
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:30 am    Post subject:

RI Laker wrote:
Thanks DB. KCP should be in the starting lineup as he is our best "real" guard by far. How about our BENCH......F'ing INCREDIBLE job by EVERY one of them.


Yeah, but keep Bradly as a starter and move Green to the Bench, maybe that will light a fire under him...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject:

Plus Minus December Only

Player PTS
Alex Caruso 65
LeBron James 59
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 44
Kyle Kuzma 40
Anthony Davis 33
Danny Green 20
Troy Daniels 20
Jared Dudley 6
Rajon Rondo 4
JaVale McGee -1
Dwight Howard -3
Talen Horton-Tucker -7
Quinn Cook -11
Avery Bradley -39

Link
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:14 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
Plus Minus December Only

Player PTS
Alex Caruso 65
LeBron James 59
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 44
Kyle Kuzma 40
Anthony Davis 33
Danny Green 20
Troy Daniels 20
Jared Dudley 6
Rajon Rondo 4
JaVale McGee -1
Dwight Howard -3
Talen Horton-Tucker -7
Quinn Cook -11
Avery Bradley -39

Link


First off, Caruso. Not surprised because he's so disruptive on D. Such a great glue guy. But still that's a serious number and we had to deal with a tough schedule.

Secondly, not sure what to make about our two C's being near the bottom and nearly identical...other than the spacing on offense can be an issue. And on D we just aren't as mobile. But it's interesting their numbers are nearly the same when McGee is with the starters always and Dwight is in that second unit.

Troy Daniels playing better for sure (hard not to).
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