LAKERS -at- MAVS - 1/10 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:39 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- MAVS - 1/10 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Small Ball... This season, the Lakers have avoided playing small ball. Why would you with AD, McGee and Howard? Midway through the third quarter, the Lakers found themselves without those three and losing momentum.

Let’s rewind.

After the collision with the floor in the last game, Anthony Davis sat out this one. Despite that, the Lakers jumped the Mavericks from the start, pouring in a season-high 45 points in the first quarter as they were finding shooters for threes and scoring in transition.

As is almost always the case with a big first quarter, teams spend the rest of the game giving up those leads.

The Mavs made a few runs in the second quarter, cutting the Lakers lead to 12. But the Lakers starters finished the half strong behind Kuzma’s 21 first-half points. With their highest first half scoring output of the season, the Lakers led 79-58.

Enter the third quarter. The Lakers centers picked the wrong time to get into foul trouble. Just 6 minutes into the third quarter, McGee and Howard both had 5 fouls each.

Down all three of their bigmen, the Lakers went small as the lead was cut in half. With Jared Dudley at the center spot and LeBron sitting, the Lakers managed to extend a 10-point lead to 13. The bench held the line.

When LeBron returned, they kept the small ball lineups and pushed the lead back up to 20 and would cruise to the 129-114 road win. A gutsy, scrappy bit of work by the second units tonight as the Lakers took their seventh straight win.


LeBron -- -- We managed to keep his minutes down to 32 while undermanned on the first night of the back-to-back. The Lakers managed to play him just 15 minutes in the first half and keep their big lead in the process. He was aggressive, attacking the paint via the drive or post, hitting a couple of threes, as well. He’d take 16 shots in just 15 minutes for a 19-point, 9-board, 6-assist half. On the assists, he was finding three shooters open in the corners and also teamed up to lob to Dwight after making Boban move his feet. They’d need to lean on him a little more in the second half as our bigs were done after about half a quarter. Loved how he just overpowered his men to get to the rim again and again. When he missed, he get his board and score a putback. Just overpowering. He passed Jordan for all time field goals made on a drive, spin and layup. He’s behind Kareem, Malone and Wilt. The Stats: He scored 35 points on 14-25 shooting (3-6 from three, 4-5 from the line) to go with 16 boards, 7 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and no fouls in 34 minutes. He was a +8.

Kuzma -- -- “I’m a rhythm player and when I continue to get a chance to get a rhythm, my game shows,” Kuzma said. I don’t know if this was the most important game of Kuzma’s career, but there was a lot of hype coming into it. With Davis sitting and Pelinka in the stands on the road, Kuzma slid in the starting PF spot. He’d need to step into those big shoes, elevate his game and show why the Lakers have been so bullish on his future. He didn’t disappoint in the first half, scoring 21 points on 7-13 shooting to lead the team. He was aggressive, taking threes, putbacks, attacking the paint for floaters and layups, getting into the midrange and to the line. The Lakers also made a point of hitting the glass in this game, which hasn’t been Kuzma’s strong suit this season, but he was in there battling. He did most of his work on the offensive glass, though. In the second half, we went to our bench small ball lineup and rode that for a long stretch as they were getting it done. So that limited his minutes a bit, but he’d finish the night with 26. That’ll work. “He came and set the tone for us offensively,” Dudley said. He had a couple of assists tonight, one was a lob to Dwight as Kuzma took a pass and immediately read the play on the move. I believe that was a set play. If we could just create a few more opportunities like that per game where we get him on the move going to the rim and an opportunity to score or finish, I think that would make a huge difference for him. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 9-22 shooting (2-8 from three, 6-6 from the line) to go with 6 boards (4 offensive), 2 assists and 2 fouls in 34 minutes. He was a +8.

Green -- -- He’d make one three, a leaner that he seems pretty automatic on whenever he gets those. That was his only score. I got a little nervous when we were kind of looking for scorers out there and he’d try to iso. Really quiet night. I didn’t have a lot of notes for him. The starters lately have been getting the team off to some impressive first quarters. They had the 43 against the Suns, then 42 against the Pelicans, but dropping 45 against the Mavs was next level. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-4 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 block and 3 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +13.

McGee -- -- Picked up fourth and sat with 2 minutes into the third for Dwight. Dwight picked up his fourth a minute later, then a fifth shortly after. McGee came in and quickly got his fifth. Not smart. The fifth foul was totally avoidable. He was able to scratch some points on a couple of putbacks and layup on a two-man sequence with LeBron, where JaVale showed some nice footwork (underrated part of his game around the rim). He battled for a loose lob pass and dunked it in for his other bucket. A little sloppy from the line tonight. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 4-4 shooting (1-4 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 2 steals, 1 block and 5 fouls in 18 minutes. He was a +9.

Bradley -- -- He was sick and had to leave the previous practice. We need him to take on the head of the snake against Dallas (the only game we lost to them was without him). He set the tone being a pest, not just on Luka at the point of attack, but harassing him after switches and on help. Offensively, good start, hitting a couple of threes from the corners in the first quarter as well as that disruptive D. The game, especially in the playoffs, really comes down to two-way impact minutes. The more of those you can get on the court, the better. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting (2-3 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +10.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- A bit of a quieter night from KCP. He sank a corner three and had a steal for layup in the fourth for his two buckets. Loved that steal. The Mavs had just 9 turnovers (Lakers 7) but that felt like one of those back breaking scores that took the wind out of the Mavs. Late in the game, it looked like he tweaked his knee or leg. Not sure the status of that. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-6 shooting (1-3 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a +6.

Caruso -- -- I loved the fire after stripping the ball out of bounds on iso D against Luka in the fourth as he was about to rise up for three. AC then turned to his bench and yelled. Luka took exception with it and the two traded words down the court. But that was AC’s Pat Bev moment. Show me more of that. The team needs more bark in their dog. He also had a backcourt steal on an inbounds giving them a little of that feistiness. Great job getting to the line and manufacturing points tonight. I want to see him drop a 20 on some team soon. His aggressiveness on the attack is starting to show a little more. Third most minutes of anyone tonight. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 2-3 shooting (5-5 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +6.

Howard -- -- He picked up a weak flagrant foul in the first quarter, trying to meet the contact and physicality on a boxout. Then he got yelled at by Rondo for goaltending. That became a 5-point trip for the Mavs. It kind of set a tone, though, for some physical play under the hoop on both ends. He scored 10 points in the first half, getting lob passes from LeBron and Kuzma. His battling on the glass also got him some putbacks. But all that physical activity, took their toll on our center spot as we racked up the fouls. Dwight would pick up his fourth and fifth midway through the third quarter and the Lakers were up against it. We’d sit him and, thankfully, the team didn’t have to bring either him or McGee back as they handled their business. “Too many people got hit and I got too many fouls tonight,” Dwight said. He mentioned how after the Knicks game (and those comments from SAS about the team being soft), there were some texts traded among the players. They want to go out and crush teams. Dwight said they need to do it the right way and not get into foul trouble like tonight. But I kind of like this early January trash talking about this team. It gives them some extra energy and focus at a part of the season that’s a little hard to come by. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-4 shooting (2-4 form the line) to go with 6 boards, 1 block and 5 fouls in 10 minutes. He was a +3.

Rondo -- -- He worked it out with that small ball unit. He and Caruso manufactured some very important points from the line in the third quarter. Later, in the fourth Rondo got to the rim for a couple layups and then knocked down an elbow jumper. This was a gutsy effort by the team on the road. Give some credit to Rondo and Dudley for keeping the Lakers poised when they faced adversity. Rondo seemed a little more focused with that added pressure. He kept the pace going, which has been important for his minutes of late. We also made an emphasis to rebound in this game. Rondo had some nice crack backs to help defensively there. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 3-9 shooting (4-4 form the line) to go with 5 boards, 3 assists, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a +9.

Daniels -- -- Nothing to report in his garbage time minutes. The Stats: He had no stats in 3 minutes. He was a -2.

Cook -- -- He came in for the final couple of minutes and knocked down three pull-up jumpers off of screens. Brief stretch, but good to see the ball go through the hoop. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-3 shooting in 3 minutes. He was a -2.

Dudley -- -- A +6 tonight. If you didn’t see the game, you won’t know how important that was. With AD out, Dudley normally slides into the backup PF minutes. Without AD, McGee and Howard out, apparently he’s our small ball center. He worked it out in about an 8-minute or so stretch in the third and fourth quarters. We switched on a lot of stuff defensively, he got in position to try to go vertical to disrupt around the rim and he communicated. “He understands body position,” Vogel said. “He’s not the longest, most athletic guy in the league but he’s one of the best in terms of field goal percentage at the rim.” He held down the fort. It was sketchy, but the team scrapped. They’d go from a 10-point lead to as much as a 21-point lead over that stretch. He even had a moment to post up a smaller player and he hit the short turnaround in the middle of the paint. Late in the fourth, he had to go up against Boban in the post defensively, as well. Dudley said people don’t realize how deep the team is and said he told Vogel to make him a back up 5 now, instead of the 4. “To me, he’s the player of the game,” Bradley said afterward. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 4 boards, 1 block and 5 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a +6.

K. Antetokounmpo -- -- I would have like to see us call up Cacok instead. We could have used that bigger, stronger body tonight with the fouls. We only used Kostas in garbage time. He tied up Boban for a jumpball, which he lost, but that was about it. The Stats: He had 1 assist in 2 minutes and was a -4.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Both Laker centers had 5 fouls each midway through the third quarter. AD was in his civilians. LeBron sat for his rest. Up 10, Dudley, Green, Caruso, KCP and Rondo held down the fort, actually extending the lead to 13 points to finish the quarter.

Key Substitution: Dudley manning the C spot when all our bigs were out. But also, Vogel not subbing the bigs back in and riding that small ball lineup was just as important. They ended a Mavs run and built on a lead.

Key Stat: 79. Most points in a first half since 2006.

Coach’s Challenge: Vogel called for the timeout with 9:49 left as the Mavs had rushed the inbounds pass. Carlisle picked up tech saying they had inbounded. That got him tossed (his second tech). Anything else on top of that was just gravy. Although, KCP missed the tech. The challenge was unsuccessful. Later in the fourth, the Mavs would use theirs on a blocking foul on Luka, which was unsuccessful, as well.
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drae
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:42 pm    Post subject:

First!

Wonderful write up

Wonderful game
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:46 pm    Post subject:

Night on LG ain’t over till I read thoughts and ratings!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:01 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:49 am    Post subject:

One of the best wins, this team has had. I hope they ride it to the championship!
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deal
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:20 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB !
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:20 am    Post subject:

Nice recap, DB.
You could sense they came out with an extra gear of physicality, toughness and mentality in this one.

Kuzma was big early.
Lebron was on a different level.

I thought one of the things that was not discussed on the play by play guys, was how well the Lakers moved defensively in this one. Frank has been mixing up some zones with man, not always going man. The way we zone though is very interesting, as we have so much length and foot speed that we can cover a lot of ground. The Mavs did not know where to get their open looks from. Obviously the Mavs are a borderline playoff team without Porzingis, so it was a lot easier without having to deal with another all-star caliber player. But still, the Mavs suffer more defensively than offensively without Porzingis. So we did a great job early on just not letting them get good looks and made Luka's life tough. This is what happens when you see a team multiple times. A good coaching staff and team gets better and better once they see the same team again. Interesting to see how we play the Bucks and Clippers in future match ups.

Offense, the paint touches, LOVE that they were still getting that penetration. This team's game is so reliant on paint play. Getting dribble penetration, or penetration through a pass or through a post up. Lebron is a marvel in this area, he can dominate a game using all 3 of those penetration skills. Rondo helped in this one with some much needed dribble penetration and some passing, and I also love how Caruso is starting to now attack the basket off the dribble more consistently.

Getting a win like this was huge. Tonight is going to be a really tough one, if AD is out, a B2B on the road, OKC has been a top 5 team the last 6 weeks. I was hoping for a split in this 2 game road trip with the AD injury, so love it we got this W.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:07 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB! Great win, on the road, without AD.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:24 am    Post subject:

To bad we could not consistently get a game like this from Rondo. We would be unbeatable.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:29 am    Post subject:

RI Laker wrote:
To bad we could not consistently get a game like this from Rondo. We would be unbeatable.

This game had little to do with Rondo. He did not make a shot until late in the game. Was 0-5 at one point. But he had good intentions, attacking the basket. Most important change in Rondo, is that we are setting up the offense earlier. I can not stress this enough. The offense needs to be focused on penetration and needs to start early. We can not wait until the shotclock is down to 8, 10 before we try to create penetration.

So in that regard, Rondo is dong better as is the team. Overall as a player he is doing the same, in fact his shooting has been abysmal since his return from injury.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:38 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
RI Laker wrote:
To bad we could not consistently get a game like this from Rondo. We would be unbeatable.

This game had little to do with Rondo. He did not make a shot until late in the game. Was 0-5 at one point. But he had good intentions, attacking the basket. Most important change in Rondo, is that we are setting up the offense earlier. I can not stress this enough. The offense needs to be focused on penetration and needs to start early. We can not wait until the shotclock is down to 8, 10 before we try to create penetration.

So in that regard, Rondo is dong better as is the team. Overall as a player he is doing the same, in fact his shooting has been abysmal since his return from injury.



He did not force anything. He kept everyone under control. He protected the ball. The offense was not stagnant. He was not a detriment.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:58 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:26 pm    Post subject:

Yeah, the more I watch this team, the more I think Kuzma and AD both prefer to setup in the same spots, but AD gets priority becuase he is better. Kuz has been forced to play a new role and a lot of SF this year and its just not his strength
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject:

Remarkable win, and great write-up. Thanks DB!

Great to see that squad of Dudley, Green, KCP, Caruso and Rondo step up the way they did.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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