PISTONS -at- LAKERS - 1/5 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:49 pm    Post subject: PISTONS -at- LAKERS - 1/5 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

The Block Party... When you saw the trio of Laker bigs the team was going to roll out to start this season, you knew they would be a good shotblocking team.

This good? Probably not.

The Lakers rejected 20 shots tonight, one shy of the franchise record (and the most for an NBA team since 2001, someone said).

They needed them.

The Lakers flexed their muscle to start, holding the Pistons to a single basket for several minutes to start this game. Then, they relaxed.

While the defense was blocking shots left and right, the team was also sending the Pistons to the line again and again. Barely a few minutes into the second half, the Pistons were 21-21 from the line (while the Lakers were just 3-5).

The Pistons went on an 11-1 run to cut the Laker lead to just 2 early in the third, then Detroit would take a 5-point lead late in the quarter on back-to-back threes.

Frank Vogel burned a timeout. Then a minute later took a tech at the end of the third. He’d get the team’s attention.

They ran off a 16-0 run to open the fourth. Yet, they still couldn’t shake the Pistons, who were able to make a run of their own. It would come down to the wire with some big scoring plays by AD down the stretch, including a corner three with 1:28 left to beat the shotclock. That was the dagger.

The Lakers squeaked out another win, 106-99, in a game they should have dominated. The 20 blocks,however, will make some noise.

“They make it easy on us,” LeBron said of his bigs.

“You can’t ask your perimeter guys to push up on the three-point line as much as we do without that support behind you,” Vogel said.


LeBron -- -- This came pretty much came down to the moments LeBron was on the floor and the moments he was off. While the intensity of others would fade, he’d keep the team rolling. He was just a couple assists and rebounds shy of a triple-double in the first half. He’d get it later. In that half, he got up high for a SLOB lob from KCP that he threw down. “He tested me, so I had to go up there and get it,” LeBron said. Test passed. He was the only Laker to score in double digits in the first half with 10 points on 5-7 shooting to go with 8 assists and 8 boards. He’d ignite the team to start the fourth quarter. He’d have a nice coast-to-coast score for a layup, and he’d lob to Dwight for a dunk. Later in the quarter, he’d impose his will on his man, turning the corner with speed and throwing it down. His statline might be a little more efficient than it looked. He had some putbacks in there on his own misses. He couldn’t hit a three or draw FTs, so you end up with as many points as shots. I do think he paces himself some in the regular season as far as how much he tries to get to the rim. But he’s a beast when he wants to be. He can muscle his way there consistently and as we saw with that lob, if he’s got a runway to take flight he’s still got another level he can take it to. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 10-21 shooting (0-3 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 14 boards, 11 assists, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +23.

Davis -- -- He swatted 6 shots in the first half and added 2 more in the second half. There was potential there he could have had a triple-double, but wasn’t able to get a couple more. Offensively, he was settling a ton in this one. A lot of jumpers and not a lot set up for him to finish. He definitely didn’t have that same aggressiveness we saw in the previous game. He was a -11 after three quarters (and would finish that way). But once he came back in midway through the fourth, he was more engaged on that end. He was in on a bunch of points down the stretch. He got to the line a few times. His biggest make was a corner three with 1:28 left and the shotclock about to expire. That was really his best look at a jumper all night. He could stay on balance and swished it. He’d follow that up shortly later with an iso drive for a score at the rim. The Stats: He scored 24 points on 7-16 shooting (1-4 from three, 9-10 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, 8 blocks and 3 fouls in 38 minutes. He was a -11.

Green -- -- Not a lot going on in this one. He had all his scoring in the first half. He hit a floater, sank a wing three in transition and scored on a reverse when AC found him cutting. Nothing really noteworthy in the second half. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-5 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 3 boards, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 blocks. He was a +9.

McGee -- -- He and AD combined for 10 blocks in the first half. They immediately added a few more to start the second half. With Drummond, they could camp out in the lane a bit and erase anything around the rim. The coach challenged them not to give up as many points in the paint as the last game. They won the battle of the paint 66-32 tonight. Offensively, he had a floater and jumphook. But he also hit a three in the first quarter to beat the shotclock (it banked in straight away and rattled around before going down). The Stats: He scored 9 points on 4-6 shooting (1-1 from three) to go with 3 boards, 6 blocks and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +4.

Bradley -- -- He picked his man on the perimeter, pushed it out for what looked like a sure layup, then twisted his ankle as he was about to go up. Rolled it reasonably and was helped to the locker room. I assume he’ll tap out for Caruso now for a few games. We’ll have to see. Prior to that, he was the only guy to get a block outside of our bigs (he recovered on Rose to reject a layup). Scoring-wise, he sank a corner three and hit a midrange pull-up curling off a screen. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-5 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a +9.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He swished a couple of corner threes and hit a midrange pull-up in his first stint. That would give him 8 points to be our second-leading scorer of the first half. Not a lot of big scoring. He came down a little awkwardly on a reverse layup attempt midway through the second and stayed on the ground. He went to the locker room after that, but he’d return. Hopefully, something doesn’t swell up after the game. Not a great second half after that. He’d add a layup on the break when AD found him. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-10 shooting (2-3 from three) to go with 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -12.

Kuzma -- -- He was a complete nonfactor offensively the first three quarters. His two buckets: One was a short runner cutting off a LeBron baseline drive where LBJ found him. The other was an And-1 layup on the break in the second half. Defensively, to start the fourth, he and Caruso teamed up for some nice perimeter defense on a couple straight possessions. The eventual steal by Kuzma allowed him to hit AC for the dunk and force a timeout. He’s kind of lost in the shuffle again. He doesn’t seem comfortable and is disappearing. We’ve got to get him going downhill more at the rim. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-8 shooting (0-3 from three, 0-1 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 21 minutes. He was a -2.

Caruso -- -- “He went out there and flew like the eagle he is,” McGee said afterward. The Bald Eagle shaved the head a bit and put on a headband and took court. Glad to have him back in the mix. This team has suffered from intensity issues and he definitely helped that in the fourth quarter. He does such a great job navigating screens and staying in front of his man or recovering to his man and allowing his big to return to his. Watch him in this game if you want to see why he makes such an impact defensively. He just blew up a number of plays and caused the point of attack to pause again and again and try to reset the offense. It’s a subtle thing and doesn’t show up in any of the typical stats. Offensively, he was actually our third leading scorer tonight. He had 7 points on 3-6 shooting and a couple of assists in the first half. I’m more impressed with the assists. One was a baseline lob to McGee he instantly recognized and the other was a feed to a cutting Green for a layup. The more of that court vision we can get from him the better...especially since we ran him in a stretch without Rondo or LeBron in the second quarter. The team played well enough in that stretch. He got some big points in the second half with an And-1 bank on a drive that helped us during our run. He also had a dunk on the break when he and Kuzma teamed up for a steal. AC tried to cram one on Drummond at the end of the half and got blocked. That would have been huge. He also missed a dunk late in the fourth, he should have finished. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-9 shooting (3-5 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +4.

Howard -- -- The Lakers needed a spark to start the fourth quarter and Dwight helped provide them with one. Big plays on both ends. He battled on the offensive glass with a great swim move after being boxed out, grabbed an offensive board as his man was spinning around backwards and dunked. He then had another lob dunk finish from LeBron. Meanwhile, he was blocking shots and causing issues. He swatted Drummond on iso in the post, then waved a finger at the crowd. He got a piece of a Rose drive. Then with a minute left, he destroyed Svi on a drive. Big effort in that fourth. “We were great cleaning things up,” Vogel said of his bigs. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-8 shooting (3-5 from the line) to go with 9 boards (5 offensive), 5 blocks, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +9.

Rondo -- -- He was a -4 when he came in to close the first quarter with LeBron sitting, but when LeBron came back they turned that around. Really, not much of an impact in that first half. He had one of those lobs to AD when he spins backdoor, which is what we want to see more of. But he missed his wide open looks and also threw a pass away in transition (his work on the break the last two has been a bit ugly). He did finish a layup on the break when AC found him. You can see plays where he works off the screen and can’t really press an advantage. That hurts. It gets a little compounded when he either then pounds the dribble more or passes it off to someone not really with an advantage. It just kills clock. What kills me, though, are some of the mental mistakes. Sometimes, I really don’t know what Rondo is thinking on plays. It’s one thing to not have your athleticism and ability to beat players off the dribble consistently, but he needs to be the veteran steadying force (like a Ron Harper or Brian Shaw, who were able to just play the game the right way and be glue guys that help everyone). Rondo had an awful cross-court feed in the fourth quarter, easily swiped by the Pistons. Vogel immediately got out the hook after that. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 20 minutes. He was a +2.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Down 5 with a minute left in the third, Vogel called a timeout. We had just given up back-to-back threes and he was irked. He would later pick up a tech to end the third quarter. I’m not sure what for specifically, but I think he was trying to fire up his team. They were coasting. The Pistons would miss the tech FT and the Lakers would score back-to-back transition layups to start the fourth quarter and force a timeout. They opened the fourth on a run (they would have a 16-0 stretch to take back the lead). They would give up a run, but the intensity was finally back in the game.

Key Substitution: The subs in the fourth were key. Dwight helped change the game. Taking out Kuzma and Rondo to bring back LeBron and AC to close the fourth. Really glad to see AC get the close. We missed his intensity the last couple games. We needed that tonight, especially as the Pistons were putting together a 13-1 run. He and Howard gave the Lakers some nice bench spark in that fourth. This game was really about our intensity level and those two brought it up a notch or two.

Key Stat: While the Pistons got a ton of freethrows (30-35), the Laker bigs were holding the line at the rim. Since the Pistons don’t have floor spacing bigs, we could stay in drop coverage and meet them at the rim. If you want to watch a clinic in shotblocking, the trio of Laker bigmen put one on tonight. The 20 Laker blocks were one short of the franchise record. “We’re all on a string when it comes to playing defense,” AD said.

Coach’s Challenge: Vogel used his midway through the third quarter on a bogus foul call on Green that sent the Pistons to the line. The call was overturned, but Detroit got the ball back and dunked off the inbounds pass. But it saved Green a foul, which might have been important since it was his third and we were down Bradley for the rest of the game.

Tech: Vogel picked one up with a minute left in the third as the Pistons had been to the freethrow line at a ridiculous pace for three quarters. “It was the reason for my tech. It’s two ways. Let’s just say I wanted my guys to stop fouling and I wanted to draw attention to … uh… what I wanted to draw attention to. Leave it at that. Keep my money.”
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eddiejonze
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:00 pm    Post subject:

First!
thanks DB.
My god the refs were Keystone cops out there.
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lounger
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:09 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

AC and Dwight were a big help tonight. I hope the Lakers fix the issues when Lebron, AD aren't on the floor. Better yet, fix the issue when Rondo is on the floor.
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:43 am    Post subject:

lounger wrote:
Thanks, DB!

AC and Dwight were a big help tonight. I hope the Lakers fix the issues when Lebron, AD aren't on the floor. Better yet, fix the issue when Rondo is on the floor.
The Bald Eagle and D39 bring energy to the court. Need to get Kuz to get going on the 2nd team is key, along with AC and Dwight. Maybe more set plays to help Rondo be affective is in the very near future
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:11 am    Post subject:

This one was late for those of us in EST. Glad it went out way. Thanks for the recap.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:47 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Block fest!
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akgolf
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:16 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:37 am    Post subject:

Good to get the win and the bigs played incredibly well.
This was a hard nosed effort from the Pistons, I give them credit they did a lot of good things. Svi looks like a much improved shooter and player.

I did not like the offense in the 2nd half during a stretch when we would stop the penetration at the mid-range. We need to get the ball much deeper into the paint. For some reason perhaps it was fear of Drummonds ability inside we began to settle. This and the fouling really hurt us.

Seems like the team was coasting and woke up in the 4th Q.

Matt Barnes was talking about something. He says teams in January tend to play their worst ball, that it is the dog days of the season. He says come post-ASB you will see more energetic team. He was talking in general.

It is nice that in comparison to say the Clippers who are losing games when they do not bring their A game, we can pretty much beat almost anyone without playing particularly well.
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:43 am    Post subject:

That second unit struggle. For some reason it happens moreso with AD than with Lebron. Lebron and the 2nd unit tend to go on runs. AD and the second unit have some issues.

Kuzma has to become more consistent. We thought after his most recent return that he was going to give you 3 out of 4 good games. Well after those first 3 out of 4, he has struggled most of the games after.

With KCP likely going to the starting unit with AB out I am sure for weeks, the bench gets a bit thinner. Unless Kuzma begins to show some consistency in scoring the ball, we will continue to struggle when Lebron sits. Rondo is not a scorer, he can only make plays for teammates and the occasional basket. He has also shot the ball poorly since his return from injury.

Howard and Caruso are the two impact consistencies on the Lakers bench this season. Rondo and Kuzma have been underwhelming.

Stats show the Lakers once again kill the opposition in the paint. During this win streak, the 3 point shot attempts are down. Good to see. You want quality looks from 3. If you do not make them, so be it. But get quality.
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:01 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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danzag
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:07 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
That second unit struggle. For some reason it happens moreso with AD than with Lebron. Lebron and the 2nd unit tend to go on runs. AD and the second unit have some issues.


LBJ can create. AD needs someone to set him up.
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject:

Rondo who shares a same agent as Darren probably knows he's coming to take his minutes. The sulking and lackadaisical play...

Kuz whose name has reportedly been either on the trading block or Lakers doing due diligence.

Both seem affected by it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:24 pm    Post subject:

Love the excitement that Dwight AD and McGee are bringing on defense. LeBron’s dunk was awesome
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LakerLanny
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:27 pm    Post subject:

Very nice DB, in regard to Caruso....he is not just hustling for show, but hustling in a way as you said that is hard to quantify by stats but it is obvious in watching the games how hard he is to score on, how he closes out on shooters, how he doesn't give up when beat initially, etc.

I am big on this guy because he makes winning plays and I like how he wants to dunk on everyone (with varying degrees of success, lol)
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