SUNS -at- LAKERS - 1/1 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:48 pm    Post subject: SUNS -at- LAKERS - 1/1 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Crushing Start, Frustrating Finish... The Lakers rolled off a dominating 43-17 first quarter against the visiting Suns. It was one of those quarters where they hounded the opponent aggressively on the perimeter and then the bigs shut down the paint completely. Meanwhile, they got whatever they wanted offensively.

They shot 61% in the first half with 21 assists to lead 74-41.

They Lakers would go up by 36 and then the intensity began to fade.

It’s seemingly predictable in the NBA. The defense had more breakdowns, the offense settled and the Suns picked away at the lead.

With the lead down to 12 with 8 minutes left, the Lakers were forced to bring back LeBron and AD along with the rest of the starters. We would scratch out a few points and maintain enough distance to hang on for the 117-107 win.

It seems we're back to that stretch of winning games while learning things. I'm good with that. Let's string the W's together.


LeBron -- -- Bummed about the 38 minutes he and AD played tonight after building up such a huge lead. LeBron had 10 points, 10 assists and 6 boards by halftime. Again, a lot more focus on getting into the paint from the start (he only took one three in the first half, airballed it because he was fading in the corner). He did iso and sink a couple of midrange jumpers, but wasn’t looking for the three most of this game until late. He settled a bit when we were on the ropes and he took a couple, but he made one with about 4 minutes left that was much-needed when the lead was 8 points. He muscled his way for a layup with a minute left, practically just walking it in. That was seemingly there if he wanted it more. We just didn’t. He’d get most of his points in the second half tonight (21 points) as he set the table in the first half (10 of his 12 assists). LeBron got a good chunk of his points on one possession in the second half. He got whacked in the head on a flagrant (wasn’t intentional), but he turned that into a 5-point possession for himself (could have been 6 but he missed a freethrow). Vogel left him in to play the whole third, changing up his rotation. LeBron would get the boards he needed to complete the triple-double as a result, but that really messed with the rotations to start the fourth. Wish he could have got some rest tonight. The Stats: He scored 31 points on 11-21 shooting (1-3 from three, 8-12 from the line) to go with 13 boards, 12 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 5 turnovers and no fouls in 38 minutes. He was a +18.

Davis -- -- He got popped in the eye on the leakout and it started to swell early in the game. But that didn’t stop him from a strong first quarter. The outside shot was dropping as he sank a three and a couple of wing jumper from the left side. Throw in a couple nasty finishes off lobs (one over a defender, another on a reverse two-hander) and you’ve got that dominant impact ball offensively. He’d have 19 points on 8-9 shooting in the first half. Not much of a second half. Most frustrating was watching Bradley wide open under the hoop when we needed a basket and AD not recognizing it to find him. His reads passing wise are occasionally a bit slow. He’d score just 7 in the second half. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 9-16 shooting (1-3 from three, 7-8 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 2 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 38 minutes. He was a +16.

Green -- -- He picked up some cheap fouls in the first half trying to D-up on Booker. Booker is a little stronger than some of our guards, but Green has the length and size to deal with that better. But he can be a bit foul prone. Offensively, a couple of nice sequences with McGee who found Green cutting for scores at the rim. Green also had a nice lob pass to AD for a dunk. Good chemistry with the bigs. The foul trouble had his third quarter cut short. He hit a much needed baseline jumper with about 7 minutes to go after nearly a 4-minute stretch of scoreless ball. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 4-8 shooting (1-4 from three) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +12.

McGee -- -- Really liked the start to this game. He was impacting everything around the rim defensively, showing good energy to start. In fact, the first play of the game he rejected a drive from behind. But he had several denials. Offensively, he was also making some good reads moving the ball with 4 assists in his first stint (hitting Green cutting down the lane for a layup, and then later a dunk, also pitching out to AD for the open three, then a steal and find of Bradley for a layup all in the first quarter). We ran him 9 minutes in that first quarter with how well he was playing. One of his best first quarters of the year. In the second half, he got dunked on by Oubre, which will happen when you are challenging everything. He’d get another rejection of a dunk from behind shortly later. He drew some FTs with 2:34 left in the game on a drive and made one. We needed just about every point that fourth quarter. Rare he sees minutes then. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 19 minutes. He was a +20.

Bradley -- -- He was putting on pressure D from the start, making the guards turn at least once in the back court every time up. It also resulted in him picking his man twice on the perimeter in the first half. He was making guys work. Offensively, he had the midrange going. He sank a number of jumpers, including one set up for him specifically on an ATO. The shot was looking money. He’s scored 7.6 points per game in 7.7 shots this season. In December, that dropped to 5.4 points on 7.0 shot attempts as he shot 17% from three for the month. Prior to this game, his three shooting for the season was down to 23.5% for the season. He didn’t sink a three tonight as that what comprised his two misses, but good to see that midrange looking automatic. That hasn’t been the case since his return. Some good finishes at the rim, including a follow dunk on KCP’s missed drive as well as grabbing a pass that was behind him on the break and able to score the layup. A season-high scoring night. Hope he builds on this and gets some momentum going. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 9-11 shooting (0-2 from three) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a +23.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He disappeared in the mix tonight. His only make was a pumping sideline three to the beat the shotclock. Last month, he shot 46% from three. For the season, he’s shot 43% from three (and that number is now nearly identical whether he is starting or coming off the bench). We just didn’t see that punch off the bench tonight. He’s been knocking down so many big shots lately, I was expecting him to be the guy in the fourth to end the Suns run, but it didn’t happen. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-4 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 foul in 25 minutes. He was a -12

Kuzma -- -- He went blonde to start the new year. Also, we ran him at a new position. He got some run at the SG spot as we experimented a little bit with some lengthier lineups, sometimes going into zone, but mostly just to match up with Oubre/Booker/Rubio with how we wanted to. Sometimes Booker and Kuz would end up on each other as Booker was covering Kuzma on the other end. He drained a couple of corner threes on that as we found him in the right corner. He also had an attack for a throwdown. I might have burned my coach’s challenge to review Kuzma’s drawing a charge on a big, where he got called for a block. Suns had some momentum in the third on that and you might as well reward him for making a great defensive play. We needed a momentum changing play. Kuzma was the only real scorer on the court to start the fourth that could create for himself, so he tried to make some things happen. The lead got trimmed down to 14 after just a few minutes and Vogel called a timeout. We just didn’t have any chemistry then and really need a better playmaker than Rondo. Prior to that Kuzma had been putting together a pretty good game. We saw a rare occasion when a player argued for a foul, but Kuzma did that tonight. He tried to take one in transition that seemed obvious and didn’t get the call. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 5-15 shooting (3-10 from three, 6-6 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a -2.

Caruso -- -- He didn’t come in until 6:47 in the second quarter (and I think deflected a pass a couple seconds later to help force a turnover). But he sat a little over 3 minutes later. Booker tried to take him to the post and work on him there. We didn’t play him in the third and guess what? Our defensive intensity went away when the vets didn’t bring it with the big lead. We found out in the fourth that he had right calf tightness so he was done for the night. This was kind of the second half scenario where you need Caruso out there to maintain intensity. Hopefully, he’s fine. He had a good December, but his minutes have been a little up and down. In December, he shot 42.3% from three to bump his three shooting to 33.3% for the season. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting from three in 4 minutes. He was a +2.

Howard -- -- Strong first half as we had LeBron out there with him to set him up. Rondo couldn’t provide in creation in the second half and Dwight disappeared a bit as a result. He missed a couple FTs in the second half that helped the Suns continue a rally. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-5 shooting (2-6 from the line) to go with 4 boards (3 offensive), 1 steal and 1 foul in 16 minutes. He was a -3.

Rondo -- -- If the Lakers could pull Collison out of retirement, it would put Rondo back into the third string PG role where he belongs at this stage of his career. I think you can look at the Lakers inability by the bench to do anything tonight as why you need a better scoring/playmaking PG on this team. If we need to rest one of AD or LeBron for a game or two, we are going to have some lengthy stretches of ball where we don’t have a star on the floor. We don’t have the creators to handle that. Rondo had just 1 assist and didn’t make a shot tonight. He and Kuzma on the floor to start the fourth looked awful. Rondo was useless and Kuzma was forcing things trying to pick up the load. They had no chemistry and seemed to be kind of opposing forces out there. Howard worked great with LeBron in the first half. Without LeBron out there, Howard disappeared. Vogel said we have plenty of defensive talent to win those stretches when asked about the offense without LeBron on the floor. Political answer. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-4 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 1 assist, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 15 minutes. He was a -12.

Daniels -- -- He came into start the fourth for 4 minutes where we went -12 with both AD and LeBron sitting. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting and had 1 foul in 4 minutes. He was a -12.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Any second half timeout as that was usually the punctuation mark on some crappy Laker ball. He called one 2 minutes into the second half after he didn’t like the energy from the team. Up big, it’s hard to keep a team interested in January. They were outscored by 8 points to cut the lead to 28 then to start the third. Little did he know he’d be dealing with some uninspired ball all second half. He called a timeout with 11:14 into the fourth when the lead was cut to 18. He called a timeout with the lead 14 with 9:32 left. The lead would get down to 7 with a few minutes left..

Key Substitution: Vogel kind of got cute with the sub patterns in the second half. He left LeBron in the entire third quarter. This meant neither LeBron or AD would start the fourth. The disinterested Lakers already had their lead trimmed down. He was forced to bring his stars and starters back in as the team had no ability to maintain the lead without them. “Sometimes that works against you if you don’t extend the lead in those final minutes of the third quarter,” Vogel said. Especially with this team and its lack of playmaking outside of LeBron.

Key Stat: The Lakers scored 43 points in the first quarter, the most for any quarter this year. They did that while holding the Suns to 17. They shot 70% in that all-around dominant start. It was too big of a hole for the Suns, but kind of set the tone as we’d get a bit too loose later.


Last edited by DancingBarry on Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:50 pm    Post subject:

First!

Thanks, DB!
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drae
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:59 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB

117 - 107 win, not 110
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Klone_dd
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:06 pm    Post subject:

Well, I guess because I tuned out after the 1st half, the team did too. Sorry about that, peeps. I will remain truly engaged for the full 48 from here on out.
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:14 pm    Post subject:

Lakers got bored, a little disinterested.
Built up a big dominating lead after the half.

A win is a win and in January, tough to keep a team that has one eye on the playoffs and a championship, motivated to keep going start through finish against a weaker team.

With the Caruso injury, we once again lost our momentum and flow for the 2nd unit. We have not seen the real 2nd unit of Dwight, Kuzma, KCP, Caruso and Rondo all available, for a few games in a row. The bench was starting to really develop some punch, and then Caruso is going to miss some time now. The change up in players caused some rotational changes and some flow problems as well.

Overall, first half showed the teams dominance and ability.
Second half showed how they are losing interest and fall into bad habits.

27-7 is a brilliant position to be in though, no matter how anyone slices it.
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drae
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:11 am    Post subject:

Shout out to Palifaith on Reddit for this perfect, concise summary of the game:

http://i.imgur.com/J9SBxnq.gif

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/eiuby7/post_game_thread_the_los_angeles_lakers_277/fctj3k7/
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cathy78
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:39 am    Post subject:

Love that it is a win, but I really wish we could get LeBrons and ADs minutes down under 35 closer to 30 on a regular basis.
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deal
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:16 am    Post subject:

cathy78 wrote:
Love that it is a win, but I really wish we could get LeBrons and ADs minutes down under 35 closer to 30 on a regular basis.


That would be great if the bench could hold our leads but we have a
few holes to fill. Still, I like your idea.


Thanks DB.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:34 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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Nobody
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:15 am    Post subject:

Welp, when you put up 71 in a half while playing menacing D and seeing the lead baloon to 36, I can imagine you get bored. You could see that their intensity took a nose-dive after that with all the cute passes, lobs and isolation plays. I'm just glad it didn't bite them in the ass. Also, does anyone else find Booker unlikeable?
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eddiejonze
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:14 am    Post subject:

too much champagne the previous night, and the coffee wore off by halftime
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