PELICANS -at- LAKERS - 1/3 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:08 pm    Post subject: PELICANS -at- LAKERS - 1/3 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

AD Drops Another 40+ on the Pelicans Heads... The former Lakers returned to town for their first game in front of Laker fans since the summer trade. AD stole the show, dropping 46 points while showing the complete game offensively.

The Lakers put up another 40+ point first quarter and led 74-62 at the half. It should have been one of those crushing wins with how well Danny Green was bombing and AD was scoring.

The second unit, however, let them down again during that first half as we sat both our stars and we had no one to compromise the defense.

The second unit would flatline again in the second half, forcing Vogel to burn a couple of timeouts as the Pelicans chipped away at the Laker lead, making things uncomfortable as they got it into single digits.

They would get another big three from Green with a couple minutes to go that would prove to be the dagger. The Lakers won 123-113.

LeBron is the motor of this offense. When the team doesn’t have that, they need to find easier ways to score -- turn good D into fastbreaks, execute set plays, get to the line. They just can’t get that with consistency and don’t have a second motor to run things when LeBron isn’t able to.


LeBron -- -- He’s the motor that makes it go offensively. He had 8 assists in the first quarter. It helps when you have three shooters on fire. Danny Green was knocking them down from the corners and LeBron was finding him on kickouts. Combine that with some feeds to Davis around the rim for more scores and you get the high assist total. The Lakers attacked the paint early on and some late. LeBron could have gotten there a lot more for scores than he did. He could get around Hart anytime those two matched up. They really don’t have a good answer for him. “Just trying to keep them guessing,” LeBron said of defenses. “They don’t know what I’m going to do coming off pick and rolls or in transition.” A couple boards shy of a triple double in this one (I saw McGee steal one from him). The Stats: He scored 17 points on 7-17 shooting (1-3 from three, 2-5 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 15 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 37 minutes. He was a +17.

Davis -- -- LeBron was looking for him early for scores around the rim. Green found him for a massive, reach back throwdown off a lob. When he wasn’t finishing at the rim, he was getting to the line (going 7-7) in the first half to finish with 21 points against his former team. He then showed off the three ball in the second half. All of his made threes looked like warmup shots. That’s what you want to see for him. Nothing off balance, just shoot them like you practice (he’d miss a three in the fourth, not getting his balance). As he was closing in on the 40-point total in the third quarter, he was getting some “M-V-P” chants from the line. Speaking of which, he was perfect in 13 attempts from the line. He’d finish with 46 points on 21 shots (meanwhile, BI whom he matched up with at times) finished with 22 points on 27 shots. Quite a difference in efficiency. The refs gave BI a break on an And-1 lob dunk Davis had over him in the second half. They didn’t call the foul to frame that one up nicely. Defensively, AD had 3 steals, 1 blocked shot and challenged quite a few more. Lakers actually lost the shotblock stat tonight 10-4. I love when he’s the guy defending the weakside on a kickout and can stretch out and get to those passes. The Stats: He scored 46 points on 15-21 shooting (3-5 from three, 13-13 from the line) to go with 13 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 38 minutes. He was a +26.

Green -- -- He was on fire in his first stint in this game. He sank 5-6 from three in the first half on his way to a 20-point half. When he’s shooting like that, this team should be unbeatable. Unfortunately, we don’t always look like that. But he was stroking it early on. He also had 5 assists, including a two-man game we ran with LeBron/Green where DG hit Dwight with the interior feed for the dunk. But the big assist of the half was a lob from Green out at the right wing three line to AD who had to reach back, extend and hammer. Boom! Staples liked that one. LeBron called him one of the worst alley oop passers, but that’s what makes those ones spectacular sometimes. He also helped ignite the other big lob flush from AD by stealing a bounce pass on a help sequence to ignite the break. He was quiet offensively for most of the second half until he hit a huge open corner three on an inbounds with 2:08 left to push a lead from 7 to 10. That was a big hoop. The Stats: He scored 25 points on 9-14 shooting (6-10 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 foul in 33 minutes. He was a +27.

McGee -- -- Our size advantage was really at the PF in this one so we tended to focus the vertical spacing aspect of the game more toward AD. Good job on the glass. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-5 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a +19.

Bradley -- -- Technically, he’s our starting PG (it’s LeBron), but the +/- difference when Bradley was in (+21) vs. Rondo in (-19) tonight...that’s a 40-point difference. Bradley, of course, has a different role. What I did like about him tonight was just the defensive effort. We didn’t have Caruso, so just having him again setting the tone is big. Offensively, he made a three, had a nice off-ball cut where LeBron found him and he drew a couple of FTs. His one assist was a nice find of McGee in transition changing ends for the lob. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 2-6 shooting (1-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +21.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- The only guy with the positive in the +/- off the bench in the first half (+7). He had just 4 points on 1-4 shooting. He didn’t have a great game, but he was aggressive on some attacks to manufacture his points. The three ball looked off as soon as it left his hands tonight, so I like that he was trying put some manufacture points in the paint. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 1-7 shooting (0-3 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -5.

Kuzma -- -- He’d sink a sideline three in transition for his first score, then attack off the three line for a couple of layups after that. Decent start, then he struggled a bit as we went full-bench mode. He’d later hit a wing three on a rare bit of chemistry between him and Rondo in the second half. Defensively, he had a nice block, staying up on his toes and not getting flatfooted to defend a guard and swat it out of bounds. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-10 shooting (2-4 form three) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 19 minutes. He was a -13.

Howard -- -- If we aren’t giving him the ball in the post (which is not what we want to do), then we really need to use his screens, attack the paint, compromise the D and have it make decisions. When it’s just Rondo out there running the offense for that second unit like we’ve seen for stretches in the past couple of games (ie, no LeBron), Dwight is a non-factor. There’s no dribble penetration to clean up. No lob passes to finish with any consistency. So Dwight disappears. Add a playmaker/offensive threat to go with Dwight, and you get Dwight back as a threat. With Dwight back as a vertical threat, you get the D collapsing and it opens up perimeter looks. Instead, we have the wheels falling off and are giving up big leads. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-1 shooting to go with 3 boards, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 16 minutes. He was a -18.

Rondo -- -- A bit of a momentum killer as soon as he came in the game. He dropped a pass out of bounds, then fumbled away another on the break for a couple of turnovers. He ballstopped a sequence to force us into a shotclock chuck. So not a great close to the first quarter after we had some momentum. Then we left him out there to run the second unit with neither LeBron or AD. Those next three minutes were poor and there was no chemistry with Dwight as Rondo can’t consistently put pressure on the rim. Finally we sat Rondo with the lead having gone from 16 to 7 in the first half. He had the team low -9 in the first half. Second half, we saw the second unit die again. Rondo wasn’t as bad in this stretch, but outside of one sequence where he grabbed a nice defensive board and then later hit Kuzma for a three, he was inconsequential. The lead went from 22 to 13 during his minutes in the second half. We were just a sinking ship. He’s a third string guard at this point in his career. The Lakers starters destroyed the Pelicans. When Green is going off like that, AD is dropping 46, there’s no reason for this game to be as close as it is. Rondo had the team-low -19. Ideally, Rondo is in that vet role like Dudley where he can mentor guys or where we can go to in case of emergency. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting to go with 5 boards, 5 assists, 1 turnover and no fouls in 15 minutes. He was a -19.

Daniels -- -- With Caruso out, we’re giving Daniels a little run. He sank a three in the first half. In the second half, he had an ill-advised iso attempt against Ingram that resulted in a turnover. If Vogel had his way, it’s probably Cook that would be dropped for a player like Collison. But the contracts between Cook and Daniels are a little different. So who knows how this plays out in the next few weeks? The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-1 shooting from three to go with 1 turnover in 9 minutes. He was a -5.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Let’s go with the timeouts Vogel took late in the third quarter and early fourth. After we sat LeBron and Green up 22 and brought in Rondo and Daniels, the offense cratered and the lead was trimmed down to 17. Vogel called a timeout with a minute left. The offensive orchestration was abysmal again like it was in the first half. The crowd died down and the energy got sucked out of the building. Good timeout as the team responded and closed the last minute well to push the lead back up to 22 heading into the fourth quarter. But they came out flat again to start the fourth quarter, Kuzma and KCP missing shots. No defense. The lead was trimmed to 15 in just over a minute. Here’s probably where you miss some of that hustle for AC as the team just had no defensive spark, but the offense flatlined, as well.

Key Substitution: Anytime Rondo came in. It wasn’t good and we kind of made it worse. Once again Vogel mixed up the second unit rotations in the first half, letting Rondo run the offense while both LeBron and AD sat. That's asking for trouble. When Rondo was out there in the second half, it was always with one of the two on the floor. The team still looked awful and it allowed for the Pelicans to take some momentum at a key juncture in the game. Rondo was a team-low -19. They've really got to focus on these minutes. Hopefully, AC will be good to go soon.

Key Stat: The Lakers were outscored 19-5 in the first 7 minutes of the fourth. There was no real tip of the spear. Vogel said they were too hesitant offensively. The pace died down, as well.
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drae
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:11 pm    Post subject:

First! Great write up
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:16 pm    Post subject:

You were kind to rondo. 3rd string is generous. He shouldn’t be in the league at this point.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:21 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:58 pm    Post subject:

Rondo killing the momentum is as certain of a thing as death and taxes.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:07 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

In the first half, I remember thinking to myself that it can't be just Rondo, it's the fault of all the bench player. But, alas, I was mistaken, because in the second half it was quite clear who the main culprit for these meltdowns has been. Hopefully the FO reacts, because we won't get far without another competent penetrating ballhandler. Rondo offers nothing at this point.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:01 am    Post subject:

Vogel needs to address a slow-growing reality that any opposing team can come back against the Lakers once the full bench is in

Maybe Kuz needs to play more with Rondo to provide somebody that create their own shots, along with shooters like either Daniels or Cook.

The bench's defense doens't seem to be as aggressive and the passing not as precise, surprising since Rondo is suppose to be a good passer.

The bench's play seems to highlight the need for Caruso to be either an additional passer and somebody that plays intense pressuring defense - not on the bench (understanding that he is taking care of an injury)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:07 am    Post subject:

Regarding the bench:

Rondo has had some good games. It seems pronounced that all the second unit shortcomings are on Rondo, yet when Rondo was injured, Cook leading the 2nd unit was not good either. We have even tried Caruso at second unit PG, and again no success when Lebron is out. The reason why the 2nd unit is not strong is that there have been so many lineup shifts with the 2nd unit with the injuries, while with the other units there is some consistent major impact talent. Of Cook, Caruso, Bradley - Rondo is the only one who can actually make a penetration pass. None of those other players can make one and it is a huge asset on this team if you can make a penetration pass. Totally agree we are lacking some firepower on the bench, but it can not be put all on Rondo. Not like Cook, Caruso, Bradley at PG were doing any better or would do any better.

Kuzma has been in and out of the lineup. Dwight has been consistently there but aside from him, and maybe Caruso, there have been musical chairs with the other 3 guys. It has been Cook early on, then Rondo, then back to Cook for a bit, a little Caruso, at PG. The SG has been Daniels, then to Caruso, then to KCP. Kuzma has been in and out, and Dudley has had some run there as well. We have had so many different 2nd unit lineups. There is no go to 2nd unit lineup, aside from the one that closes the 4th Q which is basically a Lebron led lineup, with Dwight inside, Kuzma, KCP and usually another starter until AD comes back in.

We had a nice run of games when our bench was Dwight, Kuzma, KCP, Caruso and Rondo. 4 out of 5 played with either AD or Lebron. It worked very well. That is the lineup I would go with. It was not done in this game because the lead was huge, so Frank experimented and gave the 2 stars rest, and also wanted to get some reps for a complete 2nd unit. It backfired.

That said, I am happy the Lakers are looking at Collison or that he wants us. He has played for Vogel in the past. Has a good 3 point shot. Can attack the basket. Not a selfish player, historically. He is the sort of guy who would come in and play his role well and he would be willing to do multiple things, not just one, like say a Derrick Rose. I saw one of the ESPN guys say that the #1 priority for the Lakers heading into the trade deadline is not wing, but 2nd unit PG. Nice.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:23 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Collison would be nice. Let "Playoff" Rondo get some rest.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:31 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:59 am    Post subject:

Wouldn't it be nice if even two of these guys could have a good offensive night during the same game instead of taking turns?

Bradly
Green
Kuz
KCP

We need a consistent 3rd scorer NOT an occasional 3rd scorer on a rotating basis!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
Regarding the bench:

Rondo has had some good games. It seems pronounced that all the second unit shortcomings are on Rondo, yet when Rondo was injured, Cook leading the 2nd unit was not good either. We have even tried Caruso at second unit PG, and again no success when Lebron is out. The reason why the 2nd unit is not strong is that there have been so many lineup shifts with the 2nd unit with the injuries, while with the other units there is some consistent major impact talent. Of Cook, Caruso, Bradley - Rondo is the only one who can actually make a penetration pass. None of those other players can make one and it is a huge asset on this team if you can make a penetration pass. Totally agree we are lacking some firepower on the bench, but it can not be put all on Rondo. Not like Cook, Caruso, Bradley at PG were doing any better or would do any better.

Kuzma has been in and out of the lineup. Dwight has been consistently there but aside from him, and maybe Caruso, there have been musical chairs with the other 3 guys. It has been Cook early on, then Rondo, then back to Cook for a bit, a little Caruso, at PG. The SG has been Daniels, then to Caruso, then to KCP. Kuzma has been in and out, and Dudley has had some run there as well. We have had so many different 2nd unit lineups. There is no go to 2nd unit lineup, aside from the one that closes the 4th Q which is basically a Lebron led lineup, with Dwight inside, Kuzma, KCP and usually another starter until AD comes back in.

We had a nice run of games when our bench was Dwight, Kuzma, KCP, Caruso and Rondo. 4 out of 5 played with either AD or Lebron. It worked very well. That is the lineup I would go with. It was not done in this game because the lead was huge, so Frank experimented and gave the 2 stars rest, and also wanted to get some reps for a complete 2nd unit. It backfired.

That said, I am happy the Lakers are looking at Collison or that he wants us. He has played for Vogel in the past. Has a good 3 point shot. Can attack the basket. Not a selfish player, historically. He is the sort of guy who would come in and play his role well and he would be willing to do multiple things, not just one, like say a Derrick Rose. I saw one of the ESPN guys say that the #1 priority for the Lakers heading into the trade deadline is not wing, but 2nd unit PG. Nice.


The problem with all those other options is that they are all SGs, not PGs. Their best stretches offensively have been in the rare stretches they were actually able to get penetration as that activates everyone else, as well. But they cannot do it consistently. Unfortunately, Rondo doesn’t do it consistently and effectively either. And his penetrating passes are not something consistently used (or used with consistent purpose by the staff). When AD sits, they are pretty nonexistent. So the offense starts to look purposeless. It’s a huge mistake not to keep AD on the floor with Rondo during those first second unit rotations. And it’s a huge mistake for those two not to explore the chemistry more when he is out there.

The other issue is pace. One of the reasons they really miss Caruso in the mix is how disruptive he can be defensively. We need more defensive intensity. That can lead to some opportunities to push pace. Which is really what can help that second unit and Rondo. That activates more of his pacing game (of course it doesn’t help he’s fumbling away outlet passes last night).

I also don’t like the Dwight/Rondo lack of chemistry. We leave a ton on the table when we can’t get dribble penetration to activate Dwight. Rondo is too easy to defend in those situations.

So if we are not disruptive on D to get out on the break or we are not working more AD/Rondo actions, then the limited benefits Rondo can bring have that unit going backwards rapidly because he also can’t consistently get effective dribble penetration.

Which is ultimately why you need more of an aggressive, scoring/playmaking threat out there to make everything fall into place and work. The sub patterns by Vogel the last couple games to have both stars sitting has certainly been interesting timing.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject:

unleasHell wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if even two of these guys could have a good offensive night during the same game instead of taking turns?

Bradly
Green
Kuz
KCP

We need a consistent 3rd scorer NOT an occasional 3rd scorer on a rotating basis!


It’s certainly a moving target for Vogel to manage, which causes their own issues.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:22 am    Post subject:

Hi, arm chair coach here.... With lebron and AD on the bench, shouldn't at least part of the focus be to feed Dwight lobs? Or at least acknowledge he's in the game? He's still very capable if they fed him the ball.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:24 am    Post subject:

I know they don't want Dwight to post up, but if everything else is floundering, give it a shot?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject:

A Mad Chinaman wrote:


Maybe Kuz needs to play more with Rondo to provide somebody that create their own shots...


The chemistry of these two has been awful. I don’t think they trust each other.

And who can blame them?

We need to get them working together more instead of trying to do their own thing. We had the one sequence where Rondo hit Kuz for a three but it stuck out to me because it’s been so rare that they worked out something together. I’m trying to recall any set plays with both of them working together effectively. I think we ran a UCLA cut for Kuzma off a Rondo screen last night but even that hasn’t been effective like it was last season.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:43 am    Post subject:

oaktown_dimond wrote:
Hi, arm chair coach here.... With lebron and AD on the bench, shouldn't at least part of the focus be to feed Dwight lobs? Or at least acknowledge he's in the game? He's still very capable if they fed him the ball.


Most of why he’s been good has been from either LeBron able to set the table for him or some dribble penetration from somewhere that draws his man to help and Dwight can get the putbacks. LeBron is a big threat off the dribble so Dwight’s man has to help which opens up a lot of those lobs. If he’s not the hall handler and playmaker, then that doesn’t happen. Here’s where some of those Rondo/any-of-our-other-guard issues come in. It would be nice if LeBron didn’t have to be that guy and could play a little off ball to not have to do as much heavy lifting. When he tries to do that, the lobs disappear and Dwight disappears because of that lack of skill set on the floor.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject:

oaktown_dimond wrote:
I know they don't want Dwight to post up, but if everything else is floundering, give it a shot?


I like to as a last resort option in a possession or if we run a set play to create low position early in a set.

I’m not opposed to some little duckins under the hoop where Rondo could find him and he could go to those little lefty jumphooks off the glass. I’d like to see something with a little more timing and purpose rather than just dump the ball to him and we stand around while he tries to go to work. We don’t have a lot of plays like that in our book at the moment. We have that one play we run often to start games for McGee to come weak to strong off a screen for that jumphook, but not a lot in our playbook for our C’s like that yet.

If the shot clock is low, though, I’m all for dumping the ball to him to go to work and that being one of our defaults that we go into.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:27 am    Post subject:

Now I could be completely wrong with this, but too often it looks like guys just move around to-n-fro trying to create an opening or mismatch which is fine when you have guys who can create their own shots.

But when you don't have guys who can create, I see a lot of forced shots or LeBron launching a desperation shot to beat the buzzer.

Vogel need to work more on creating plays for guys, (not) surprisingly this works after time outs..

I think they need more set plays when they are not on a fast break!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:14 am    Post subject:

oaktown_dimond wrote:
I know they don't want Dwight to post up, but if everything else is floundering, give it a shot?


Nah, let's save that for the playoffs.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:35 am    Post subject:

unleasHell wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if even two of these guys could have a good offensive night during the same game instead of taking turns?

Bradly
Green
Kuz
KCP

We need a consistent 3rd scorer NOT an occasional 3rd scorer on a rotating basis!


They scored 123 points, I will take that even if it was against the soft Pelicans.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:42 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
oaktown_dimond wrote:
I know they don't want Dwight to post up, but if everything else is floundering, give it a shot?


I like to as a last resort option in a possession or if we run a set play to create low position early in a set.

I’m not opposed to some little duckins under the hoop where Rondo could find him and he could go to those little lefty jumphooks off the glass. I’d like to see something with a little more timing and purpose rather than just dump the ball to him and we stand around while he tries to go to work. We don’t have a lot of plays like that in our book at the moment. We have that one play we run often to start games for McGee to come weak to strong off a screen for that jumphook, but not a lot in our playbook for our C’s like that yet.

If the shot clock is low, though, I’m all for dumping the ball to him to go to work and that being one of our defaults that we go into.

I have been wanting the Lakers to just create penetration via the pass. The Clipper game was really frustrating to watch, as they did not work hard enough to create that penetration. Since that game, it has gotten more and more consistent each game. We are seeing Lebron constantly attack into the defense and find players on the move. Pärt of why we do not go too much to our 5s is that we focus on AD. But when AD is resting, Dwight is out there. We have to go to Dwight a bit. I think the issue with Dwight is that the Lakers do not want him focused on offense. They want him being elite at defense, rebounds, finishing plays others create and of course pick setting. They may feel if they get Dwight into that stuff, he may lose focus. This is probably the first year in Dwights career where has been willing to do all the other things and completely ignore his own touches. There is probably still some concern that if you start feeding him like that, he begins to change his mindset.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:18 am    Post subject:

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