LAKERS -at- NUGGETS - 12/3 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- NUGGETS - 12/3 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Back to the Dirty Work... On paper, this is as tough a game as you will have as you’ve got two of the top teams facing each other. For the Lakers, that also meant going into the Mile High City and trying to come away with a huge road win.

A lot of people were saying that the team hasn’t quite looked ready for this kind of test yet. Certainly, the defense has slipped with Bradley out. The offense whenever LeBron sits has been consistently poor. And the rebounding has left a lot to be desired lately.

But you hope iron sharpens iron for the Lakers. You hope they rise to the challenge and learn in the process.

That seems to have been the case tonight. The Lakers returned to doing the dirty work to win a game. They controlled the boards, outrebounding the Nuggets 56-35. They held the Nuggets to 29% shooting from three. They controlled the pace, outscoring the Nuggets 22-6 on the break.

In the closing minutes tonight it was that defensive end that they could lean on with big stops and physical battles on the glass. It was a total team effort as the Lakers took the 105-96 win over the Nuggets.


LeBron -- -- Going into this game, he had a 7-8 career record in Denver. Not real successful. In the first half, he had 13 points on 5-9 shooting to go with 3 boards and 3 assists in 17 minutes. What you like about that is we had an 11-point lead and let Rondo successfully do some heavy lifting for him. So it was an easier first half. LeBron had a burst of energy midway through the third quarter (transition scores and a dunk on a crossover) to help the Lakers stop some Denver momentum and build back a small lead. That was a key stretch. We maintained that lead while he sat again, getting ready to start the fourth. He might have been a little tired in the fourth, settling on some mismatches he shouldn’t have. Right, when I was telling him to pick up his energy, he hit AD on the roll, then followed AD’s miss with a putback jam. Huge play with some extra effort late in the game. Our stars looked a little ragged at times offensively down the stretch. But you can’t get mad about it. AD and LeBron are 5th and 6th in the league in loose balls recovered. LeBron is also 10th in the league in charges drawn per game. Those are hustle stats, not superstar stats. He’s definitely leading by example with those kinds of things, so if he sees anyone not hustling (like we saw at the half of the last one), he’s got a right to call them out. Definitely seems like we rest a bit more on the offensive end, then on D. The Stats: He scored 25 points on 9-18 shooting (1-4 from three, 6-6 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 9 assists, 4 turnovers and 3 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +4.

Davis -- -- Flu-like symptoms for AD (and apparently one of several Lakers, LeBron said 4-7 guys). I thought maybe it showed to start the second half and maybe on his jumpers and FTs. But really, defensively, he was sick...in a good way again. Multiple stops down the stretch. It’s funny how the Nuggets ended up going at him so many times. Part of that was because of switches off of Jokic, part of it was them trying to post up Jokic against AD. He held the line. How do you like that D, Nuggets? LeBron hit the nail on the head when he mentioned, AD allows us to go 1-on-1 in those situations defensively. We can switch and still box out, control the boards and challenge all shooters. “You saw what he did in the fourth quarter not only against Joker but Jamal Murray, too, in those last couple possessions,” LeBron said. This is the problem for the Nuggets in the playoffs. How do they deal with LeBron and AD in a 7 game series? The Lakers can seemingly handle the Nuggets stars better than they can handle ours. Some very nice screen-roll plays tonight. That Rondo-AD connection was alive and well. He sank a three, stepping into a wing three on a swing pass. Prior to this game, AD was shooting 34.4% from three on 3.4 attempts and Jokic was shooting 23.2% on 4.2 attempts. Jokic went 0-2 from three. (AD’s 9th in the league with 4.1 contested threes per game and 9th in overall contested shots.) If Jokic can’t knock down threes, that really limits his effectiveness. The Stats: He scored 25 points 9-18 shooting (1-3 from three, 6-9 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +11.

Green -- -- Man. Rough shooting night from him. He hit one three in transition (that was almost blocked from behind) and missed everything else from behind the arc. Everyone else was making theirs. At least one of those missed threes led to a Caruso highlight dunk. Despite the poor shooting, we had him in there closing because of his D and length on the boards. He’s 10th in the league in contested threes with 78 and the Lakers as a team did a great job protecting the three late in the game. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-12 shooting (1-7 from three) to go with 7 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +2.

McGee -- -- I thought he did a good job helping set the tone on the glass. After giving up so many offensive boards lately, they controlled the boards tonight. “That’s the No. 1 thing I wanted to see improvement on,” Vogel said. He scored a couple of layups. One on a give-and-go-and-give-back with KCP, the other on a dive off AD’s post up. Short minutes. The team came out real flat in the second half (but I thought AD and others were dragging just a bit). That hurt JaVale’s +/-. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-5 shooting to go with 6 boards, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 14 minutes. He was a -6.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Very active start to this game. He had 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in the first 8 minutes. He struggled a bit with his shot in that stint, but all the other stuff was gold. If he can give you those little things at that kind of a clip, that will get it done. He’d score just 2 points on 1-4 shooting in his 16 first half minutes, but had a +11. Just a very well-rounded first half. In the second half, he continued to do a good job staying in front of his man defensively. When we had to switch, he managed to get it done. Scrappy game without scoring. If he and Green could hit in this game, it would not have been close. They both kind of played on just one end most of the time tonight. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-5 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers and no fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +3.

Kuzma -- -- He looked awful in the last one, unable to play his game, which has been muted quite a bit this season because of injury...stress reaction injury, eye injury, ankle injury...and the new role and teammates. Talk about it being tough to getting into a comfort zone? That’s a lot coming at a young player. He’ll come around. It looked tonight like we were trying to get him the ball a little more on the move and into his floater. We set up a couple plays for him, I believe one was an ATO play, so some purpose behind it. Kuzma even got in on the glass, pulling down 5. He also had a couple of really nice challenges to get stops. He’s got to do more of that, especially if he’s still finding himself on offense. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-6 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 2 assists, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 19 minutes. He was a +8.

Howard -- -- He was beasting tonight. Vogel on Dwight: “He fouls a lot but he brings physicality to the game. You know what I mean? It turns it into a fight. It just brings an edge to our team.” Strong first half patrolling the paint and being disruptive on D. He had just 1 block, but he was anchoring and his presence was felt. He had a lob dunk off a Rondo drive and another dunk on LeBron driving and lobbing. Nice to see the bounce back in his game and the playmakers getting it to him where he can finish. In the fourth, he had a great sequence finishing a lob from LeBron at one end, then rejecting a layup on help D on the other. (Of course, I think he was called for a moving screen on the other end, which seems to happen once a game). But he was causing problems with his physicality in the paint and got to the line quite a bit (didn’t hit them well, but he was a problem). These were some key minutes from him because LeBron was not on the court for some of those stretches. He and Rondo were able to keep the team afloat. He missed a corner three tonight and got benched after that. I think it was a coincidence, but it probably reminded Vogel that LeBron was on the bench at that time. Good looking shot, but those jumpers are the “me” touches we want to avoid. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-8 shooting (0-1 from three, 3-8 from the line) to go with 6 boards (2 offensive), 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 19 minutes. He was a -2.

Caruso -- -- The Accountant swooped in to file a return on the Nuggets in the first half. He came weakside off a Danny Green missed three and hammered the putback dunk. He struggled with foul calls tonight and fouled out. He’s active, hustling and scrapping. He had a huge battle for a defensive board and was fouled with 1:45 left up by just 2 points. He hit both clutch ones. Those little things win ball games, whether it’s a late game charge he draws (he’s 8th in the league in charges drawn per game...he’s got 6...league leader is Moe Wagner with 15.) Or getting a key challenge, deflection or rebound. Tonight, it was that big board/foul battle with the game on the line. That kind of stuff builds trust with your coach, especially when Vogel made a point to the team to control the defensive glass. Just 16 minutes because of the fouls, but a +11. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-3 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 6 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a +11.

Rondo -- -- Really important/big minutes from Rondo tonight. First off, we’re in a back-to-back situation, so having him do more heavy lifting may pay off tomorrow. Second, with a number of guys sick, getting this effort from him helps. Third, and most importantly, he allowed us to stay even or build a lead some when LeBron was sitting. As mentioned, those are the minutes we have to figure out. Tonight, they had it. He had 9 points on 3-5 shooting (2-2 from three) with 4 assists in his 13 first half minutes. He was a +6. He sank a couple of open threes when they sagged off. He attacked and lobbed to Dwight. Hit hit AD rolling for scores. He had a big shotclock beating jumper to bail out the offense out of a timeout late in the game. The Lakers desperately need guard play like this. Glad to see it in a big game. Defensively, he did enough. He grabbed boards, he jumped a passing lane anticipating a play for a steal. He got beat on some rotations he didn’t make, but it wasn’t with regularity. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting (2-2 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 25 minutes. He was a +8.

Daniels -- -- He came in to swish a couple of threes in the first half. One of those, he was going at pretty high speed to take a pass in the corner, but quickly got squared up and fired to drill it. Not easy. Even Daniels was in on the rebounding, grabbing 3 in his short minutes. Every player had a rebound tonight. Nice. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-3 shooting from three (0-1 from the line) to go with 3 boards and no fouls in 10 minutes. He was a +6.

Vogel -- -- Western Conference Coach of the Month for November (the fifth time he’s won the coach of the month award). “In our culture all individual awards are team awards,” Vogel said. It’s a long season with a tough December schedule. If he somehow wins this in December, then the Lakers are a very, very good team.

Key Moment: Man, this is a tough one. Caruso getting the foul on the defensive board up 2 and making both FTs with 1:45 left? AD stuffing Jokic in the post? AD denying Murray at the rim on the switch? One of those. Let’s go with Caruso since Vogel brought him back in with his 5 fouls. He saved him for that crunch time and Caruso was able to come through on the defensive glass, which was an emphasis from Vogel before this one.

Key Substitution: Any time LeBron sat and Rondo/Dwight had to pick up the load. They were great tonight.

Key Stat: Let’s go with the +/-. Every Laker had a positive in the +/- in the first half to build an 11-point lead. The Lakers were getting it done across the board in that first half. The bench had 29 points (Nuggets with 20). The Lakers had 15-4 advantage on the break. They had an 11-2 advantage on the offensive glass. The question was could they hold up and not tire in the second half? Well, they got outscored immediately out of the gates in the third. But by the end of the game, every Nugget was a negative on the +/-. Pretty rare you see that in a close game.


Last edited by DancingBarry on Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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eddiejonze
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:41 pm    Post subject:

First!!!
This team has grit man- On the road, elevation, bad refs, no AB, half the team sick.
Way to grind it out.
Thanks DB!
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cal1piggy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:00 pm    Post subject:

nice win!
ad did a good job on jokic who normally kills us
we may be a bad matchup for the nuggets
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:06 pm    Post subject:

Quality win. Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:22 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
How do you like that D, Nuggets? 


Well played, sir.
Well played
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Shaber
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:23 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
It must be something Vogel said to the team in between the two games and the team responded.
Way to go.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject:

Grit and grind mode tonight. A great road win, bouncing back from the Dallas loss.

AD and LBJ played like superstars on both ends of the floor. Rondo and Dwight were very effective as well. Mix in Caruso throwing down a "Here's your stuffing, Nuggets" dunk, and we got a sweet W.

I really dig the team setting a goal to not lose 2 in a row. That says something about their mindset for the season.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:28 pm    Post subject:

Great post, as always DB!

Seeing the contrast between tonight and the Mavs game, I think the Mavs are right up there with the Clippers as our biggest threat this season. Luka cancels our Lebron. Porzingis cancels out AD. (Kind of) And it’s close with the rest of the team.
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levon
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:30 pm    Post subject:

It was so satisfying to beat the Nuggets in their arena. They've sneakily become such a hateable team for me.

I don't like Jokic or his pissy attitude and little bump-flopping. I loved watching AD stuff him and make him look like a bumbling idiot. I also loved that he shoved AD in the back on his layup attempt at https://youtu.be/d4Xdo5M_Hy4?t=661 (of course went uncalled) and that Lebron dunked it right down. And watching him jump an inch off the ground to try and get the 2 lobs to Dwight from Lebron, after which Dwight hung off the rim and screamed.

Also (bleep) Murray for his Lonzo clowning. I just hate how smug they are. Add Millsap to the list tonight. Plumlee has that punchable face too. Perennial pretenders.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:18 am    Post subject:

AD guarding Murray all the way from the 3 point line to the basket and watching Murray not able to do much vs AD was best moment for me. I can’t stand Murray and AD gave him a big can of “gtfo”

Glad to see LBJ give acknowledgement to what AD allows. We discussed this here preseason and that is he allows the wing defenders to be aggressive, cuz they know an all world defender is back there who has their back. We haven’t had anything like AD in the paint for years...and I don’t think we’ve really had anyone like him period who can literally guard all 5 positions extremely well from (if needed) the 3 point line on in. No one comes to mind. He’s like a combo of mvp Shaq in the paint and cooper on the perimeter.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:26 am    Post subject:

That was the best team D that we have shown this season.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:29 am    Post subject:

Nice!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:41 am    Post subject:

Wow - a "Moe Wagner" sighting on this board - LOL!

When Lebron made same lazy cross court passes that got intercepted, maybe this might be an indication that he might need a slight "blow." Despite Nuggets having the second best record in the West, these type of passes will be lethal plahing against Clippers, 76ers, Bucks and Raptors who will make you pay on any pass that does not have serious intention with pace

AC is always doing the "DFish/Foxy/Horry" type plays that are invaluable in wins but not often seen in the stat sheet.

Regarding the Lakers' curent and recent downward trend, Richard Jefferson shared that players "see" games in a set of games that could account for the downward trend. The first 15 games, with a new staff/players/system, very important to establish an identity (in this case, defensive identity) - mission accomplished. There will be ups and downs, but the the first 15 games provide them that theh do have something to hand their hat on). In addition, Bradley is still recovering, wait till he comes back
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LOVE The Great Caruso Dunk!!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:37 am    Post subject:

Team stats

Points +9
Lakers 105
Nuggets 96

Field Goals +2
Lakers 39-84
Nuggets 37-81

3 pointers +1
Lakers 7-24
Nuggets 6-29

Points in the Paint +8
Lakers 52
Nuggets 44

Assists -2
Lakers 24
Nuggets 26

Turnovers +5
Lakers 16
Nuggets 11

Rebounds +19
Lakers 56
Nuggets 35

Fastbreak points +16
Lakers 22
Nuggets 6

Look at those rebound numbers.

We will win when we are able to stay with teams from 3 point land and like usual win the points in the paint battle. We tend to win those paint battles regularly. If we can stay with teams from 3, or not be too outscored from outside, we control the game. Our 3 point defense may be the key to the season.

Nice job by our guards and team to get back on defense, despite the speed of the Denver backcourt.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:41 am    Post subject:

Some talk after Dallas game that we do not take enough 3s. Do not think that was it. It was the lazy offense we begin to fall in love with. Straight dumps to the post. Mid-range or perimeter isos for AD. Late in a shot clock. Guys holding the ball too long. Those things are what sets us back. Not playing inside, getting the ball inside is our biggest strength, and I thought the way we got the ball inside in this game, vs the Dallas game was a big difference.

It seems we start off stagnant in the 3rd, happened in Dallas game as well. Nice move by Vogel to insert some speed with AD at the 5 and Rondo at the 1 with Kuzma when that happened. Lakers ran some great pick and rolls in those situations and when they got the ball inside, it was a lot better designed. This is a key to our development, not to just get stagnant on offense and play lazy offense. McGee and the starters tend to be the biggest culprits of that.
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deal
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:43 am    Post subject:

Good game. Thanks DB !!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:28 am    Post subject:

Winning is good!!!! Thanks DB!!

9 straight wins on the road is VERY GOOD. We haven't lost outside of Staples so far this year.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:19 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Excellent write up as always, excellent result on the road in Denver!

I'm SO glad Vogel has these players focused on their strengths and playing together. KCP is continuing to play some of his best basketball while AB is out, particularly on defense, and he's playing within the offense as well. The Dwight/Rondo combination actually works! Caruso with his defense, scrap and hustle earning him closing time minutes. AD's defense. And offense. LeBron showing some real leadership out there on both ends of the court.

Great game! Let's keep this up at Utah please!!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:28 am    Post subject:

First, could not watch the game last night. I live in Colorado and League Pass was blocked due to local Altitude Sport channel was carrying the game. Altitude went from being public on Direct TV to only being available with the sports package which is way too much money.

Tickets in the lower part of the Pepsi Center were going for around $300 so I passed on that.

Followed the gamecast on ESPN.

Is something wrong with Cook? Plus minus says he should be playing more but Troy Daniels is getting more playing time lately.

Plus Minus year to date.

Link

Player PTS
LeBron James 172
Danny Green 120
Anthony Davis 120
Alex Caruso 85
Dwight Howard 79
Quinn Cook 68
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 65
Avery Bradley 55
JaVale McGee 52
Kyle Kuzma 41
Rajon Rondo 29
Kostas Antetokounmpo 2
Zach Norvell -4
Troy Daniels -7
Jared Dudley -17
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:44 am    Post subject:

eddiejonze wrote:
First!!!
This team has grit man- On the road, elevation, bad refs, no AB, half the team sick.
Way to grind it out.
Thanks DB!



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:31 am    Post subject:

levon wrote:
It was so satisfying to beat the Nuggets in their arena. They've sneakily become such a hateable team for me.

I don't like Jokic or his pissy attitude and little bump-flopping. I loved watching AD stuff him and make him look like a bumbling idiot. I also loved that he shoved AD in the back on his layup attempt at https://youtu.be/d4Xdo5M_Hy4?t=661 (of course went uncalled) and that Lebron dunked it right down. And watching him jump an inch off the ground to try and get the 2 lobs to Dwight from Lebron, after which Dwight hung off the rim and screamed.

Also (bleep) Murray for his Lonzo clowning. I just hate how smug they are. Add Millsap to the list tonight. Plumlee has that punchable face too. Perennial pretenders.


I also dislike them, and Jokic in particular. He's got that whiney TD feel to him.

Fantastic win, I did not expect it to be frank.

And thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:14 pm    Post subject:

DrDent wrote:
AD guarding Murray all the way from the 3 point line to the basket and watching Murray not able to do much vs AD was best moment for me. I can’t stand Murray and AD gave him a big can of “gtfo”


Yes, I think one of those then transitioned into the Caruso rebound play. So that whole sequence was the moment of the game for me.
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