ROCKETS -at- LAKERS - 2/6 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:53 pm    Post subject: ROCKETS -at- LAKERS - 2/6 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Playing Small... The Rockets rolled out the shortest starting lineup in forever in the NBA, and the Lakers promptly gave fans flashbacks to Luke Walton’s coaching by dropping this one 121-111.

There were three key moments in this game. The first two were whenever we went to our bench and sat LeBron. Rondo and Kuzma were less than inspiring (a -9 for both in the first half), and no one able to cover Westbrook while Harden sat. In the fourth, Rondo missed two threes and had a turnover as the Lakers fell back by 7. (Vogel going with a small ball lineup with Kuzma/LeBron at center were enough to make you groan out loud).

We have a wealth of bigs and underplayed them in both minutes and general usage, but the game was still winnable down the stretch.

The third moment was in the final push. The Lakers had lazy offensive execution (LeBron settling for threes) or weak penetration with the pass and would end up with low percentage shots or turnovers. With some low hoop IQ, they executed their worst when the game was on the line.

“Anytime you see a unique style of play it takes a little time to figure it out,” Vogel said.

There was a bright spot in this one. Darren Collison met with Jeanie Buss today and was at the game. They put him on the big screen and Laker fans approved. The minutes LeBron sits out are painful. Tonight, especially.


LeBron -- -- He had 10 assists in the first half. If the Lakers were on the move, he found guys in the paint for easy scores without any challenging bigs. When we were in the halfcourt, that allowed the Rockets to pack the paint more. He was a little sloppy in a few areas, throwing a couple advance passes out of bounds as well as missing some easy ones right at the rim. Our floor spacing and timing on things was off a bit in this game. LeBron would finish with the 15 assists but the 6 turnovers were painful, including a late turnover on a long pass. He also missed a couple of threes down the stretch. Just poor execution and that cost us. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 8-19 shooting (1-8 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 15 assists, 2 steals, 6 turnovers and no fouls in 37 minutes. He was a -4.

Davis -- -- Offensively, he missed some chippies early, but had 15 points on 7-11 shooting by halftime. I think he could probably also just turn and hit his midrange jumper pretty easily against the smaller players. He’s usually money on those when a smaller guy is on him. In fact, I’m not sure he missed any of those where he just faced up in the midpost on the wing and then took the jumper. We really could have used more screen-roll in this game. Just getting him on the move to finish over the top is hard for the Rockets to defend no matter if they switch or rotate in help defenders. He has about a good foot above every one (more if they are backing up and can’t get up well). Those minutes with Rondo as PG were just awful tonight. Defensively, AD covering Westbrook was fun to watch. Kuzma covering Westbrook? Not so much. AD is just so good defensively as he’s able to move his feet, use his height and not get caught jumping. He was hit on hand on a layup attempt and sprained his index finger in this game. He played through it. The Stats: He scored 32 points on 14-21 shooting (4-5 from the line) to go with 13 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 3 fouls in 40 minutes. He was a -4.

Green -- -- He drained a series of threes at the end of the half. AC finding him twice and LeBron once to close the second quarter. Foul trouble early on reaching. Efficient scoring, but some adventures when he was attacking. He had a wild drive late that he missed (traveled with no call, as well) and then Covington hit a huge three on that miss on the other end. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting (3-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +2.

McGee -- -- He was a +3 in his 16 minutes. I really wanted to see some more big-to-big passing sequences, playing over the top of the D. We just executed very poorly to take advantage of our size. McGee missed a few chippies in this game. Got to dunk some of those and just go after the offensive glass. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-6 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 foul in 16 minutes. He was a +3.

Bradley -- -- The shot was looking good again. He sank a few threes and worked himself into some midrange pull-ups. He got the Harden assignment defensively and did a great job. They tried to shake him with screens, but we’d usually give him time to recover or send some early doubles. Really liked this game from him. There was a moment in the fourth where he hit a long pull-up with his foot on the line, then drew a charge on Harden, avoiding the up-fake, lean-in foul just prior to that. That should have been one of those moments where we go on a rally, but the Lakers proceeded to lay an egg after that. Harden finished with 14 points on 3-10 shooting with 7 assists and 3 turnovers. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 5-10 shooting (3-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 4 assists and 4 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -4.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Not sure what was happening early on. He airballed a couple of threes and bricked another badly. That referenced brick he wasn’t on balance. The other two were decent looks. He really didn’t look ready for this game. He thought going small played into the Rockets favor. “Coach’s decision,” he said afterward. One of those rare moments you see player disagree with the coaching staff this season. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-6 shooting (0-4 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a -2.

Kuzma -- -- He seemed a bit confused defensively early on. He had the Westbrook assignment, as well, in that first half. He had Westbrook overpower him for a layup on one attack that was a little embarrassing. He forced him into an airball on another. But overall not a good match up. When we went small, I wish we had thought about Dudley as our small ball center versus Kuzma/LeBron. He understands where he needs to be, Kuzma doesn’t. Offensively, he was MIA. The 0-4 from three is very misleading. I appreciate Kuzma’s willingness to always put up the tough running threes or halfcourt chucks. He misses a lot of those that will count against his percentage. I think he had three tonight trying to beat the clock. Still, very soft game all around from Kuzma. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-8 shooting (0-4 from three, 0-1 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a -14.

Caruso -- -- Apparently, he was one of the most asked about players on this roster at the trade deadline. I’m glad he’s still on the team. Good first half from AC as he scored 9 points off the bench. He scored a layup off an interior feed from AD. LeBron found him for a three. He drained a pull-up fade. And, sank a couple of FTs. He also found Green for a couple of threes and LeBron for a layup on a nice passing sequence that touched all five Lakers before the score. Defensively, his feisty self. He drew a charge in transition. He had a great sequence with a good perimeter challenge on Harden on iso, then we got the ball to him in transition off of that where he put pressure on the rim for one of our bigs to clean up. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting (2-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a -10.

Howard -- -- Just one stint in the first half for 4 minutes. I would have been tempted to get him some low post looks in this one. I mean if he’s got low position and a small on him, he seals really well. That’s just too easy. We did find him on one for an And-1 against Tucker in the first half. But we didn’t play him in the second half. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-2 shooting (1-3 from the line) to go with 1 board and no fouls in 4 minutes. He was a -3.

Rondo -- -- Well, a good game for Collison to watch. It was one of those combo’s of low IQ from Rondo and poor shooting. That killed us. He and Kuzma were tied with a -9 for team low in the first half. Kuzma was lost on D and also given the Westbrook assignment, as well. Rondo, for his part, had a couple of turnovers on passes. It wasn’t a good stretch (especially without LeBron). In the second half, he had another couple turnovers unsuccessfully forcing a pass into the paint. He threw another bad post entry pass away after that with a horrible angle trying to make the pass. “We were terrible trying to force it inside,” Vogel said. With players partially or fully fronting you typically want better angles to make those passes, or you make the hockey assist to someone else with the better angle as we seal and move the ball. Rondo had 1 assist and 4 turnovers. Just awful. Combine that with missing threes when they left him. Uggh. I think Vogel runs him out there with LeBron just to not tire LBJ down. Collison can do more heavy lifting than Rondo. Hopefully, he saw how he can make an impact for this team. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-5 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 1 assist, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 15 minutes. He was a -14.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The Lakers fell apart late. There was a stretch where Covington hit a tough corner three with AD on him (probably could have challenged that more). Then we threw a ball away. Shortly later Covington hit another three and that was the game. They just fell apart down the stretch, executing their worst when the game was in balance.

Key Substitution: Instead of going with Howard to start the fourth, he pulled a Luke Walton and went small with Kuzma/LeBron/KCP/AC/Rondo. The Lakers fell back by 7. He sat Kuzma for AD, keeping Rondo out there who missed two threes and threw the ball away on a bad post entry angle. We eventually sat Rondo for Green and then tied the game up pretty quickly. We would be better off in those situations with Collison as a three shooter instead of Rondo and as someone who can ball handle and take the burden off LeBron. It was painfully obvious in this one where we could use him.

Key Stats: Let’s go with being tied up 6-6 on offensive boards against a small team.

Coach’s Challenge: D’Antoni took a dumb one in the third on an AD swing through move on the perimeter. You get any kind of contact on that in slow motion and the ref isn’t going to overturn that. Vogel took his down 2 with over 3 minutes left, after AD stepped in to take a charge. They called a blocking foul instead. His heels were in the restricted area, but this was a key moment as the Rockets went up by 4 late and then didn’t really look back from there.
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diando
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:58 pm    Post subject:

First! Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:11 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB- by far for me the most infuriating loss this year since vogel
Inexplicably chose to play down to the Rockets and not strategically use the size. I also would have liked to see Dwight get some post runs along with more AD out there with Javale or Dwight. Instead of punishing them with size, we played to their strength which was strange.

But most frustrating was watching them fall apart the last 3-4 minutes. It reminded me of the last Clipper game...game in the balance and the team starts floundering. The unforced turnovers are unforgivable and the shot selection was maddening.

I really hope this is just a phase but weve lost last 3 straight games vs a team over .500...not a great trend. In fact arent the Rockets the last team Lakers beat who has a winning record?

Addendum: and what was with the awful post passing?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:40 pm    Post subject:

What a maddening loss. The Rockets gameplan is a mockery of the game, but if you can't figure out how to beat a team of midgets that do nothing but hoist threes, that's on you. It was clear to me that they were going to lose the game when they could not get the needed separation in the first. A glimmer of hope with that 13 (or 11?)-0 run in the 4th but then everything went to (bleep). I hate to be a nagging Nancy, but with other contenders strengthening their teams and us staying pat, I just don't see this team winning it all this year.

Thanks, DB!
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Klone_dd
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:36 am    Post subject:

Rondo and Kuzma aside (yes, they and KCP were all bad), the Lakers didn't close well. We were up 3, 108-105 with 5 to play, then only scored 3 more points the rest of the game. Closing has been a recurring problem.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:49 am    Post subject:

Klone_dd wrote:
Rondo and Kuzma aside (yes, they and KCP were all bad), the Lakers didn't close well. We were up 3, 108-105 with 5 to play, then only scored 3 more points the rest of the game. Closing has been a recurring problem.


They need to run lbj and AD in those moments with good plays...not flounder on the perimeter as clock winds down and jack up an off balance 3. We really have not seen AD and lbj be consistent in playing off one another ever since AD came back from injury. That needs to change, eg tonight woukd have been great to punish the rockets with that 2 man game.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:24 am    Post subject:

Frustrating loss. Would have liked to see Howard play more. He was indeed the best low post sealer we had out there. AD wasnt getting that deep. Westbrook killed us again, bullying Kuz anytime he wanted.

Was upset by the way the refs officiated the Rockets defense of AD too. Allowed them to throw forearms at him, but called it against the Lakers.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:44 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Not hating on Caruso (he does so many good things), but he is as bad as Rondo at facilitating and was eating clock. We lost because of the stagnation of our O. I think Lebron was tired in this game as well (shouldn't be since this is only our 4th game in 12 days). I still think Frank should give Cook some run when there is no ball movement like last night. What do we have to lose? As others have mentioned, ball movement late in the game is our achilles heel. Just like we know it, opposing teams know this as well.

Last edited by RI Laker on Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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danzag
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:19 am    Post subject:

How the (bleep) did we lose this game
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:21 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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deal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:49 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB !!!
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LakerSD
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:07 am    Post subject:

One of their worst defensive games.

Yes the Rockets hit shots, but the Lakers were so lazy on that end. AB was the only exception.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:55 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Am I reading this right? Howard and McGee combined for a total of 20 minutes this game? Against a midget lineup? And we trot Kuzma out at center? Yeah, that's very Luke Walton.

Here's hoping we add Collison to the lineup, and here's hoping he's still got it.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject:

#LeSigh

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:39 am    Post subject:

deal wrote:
Thanks DB !!!


Thanks, DB. Really appreciate your sustained efforts. The 'new format' is good. I like it when you extemporize at times, and combine what details player's have with your assessment. (Have a feeling it's easier for you to post these summaries than previously, which is good.)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:49 pm    Post subject:

As a coach, the scrambling double team defense on the perimeter only worked when the starters were on the floor, second, it makes me insane that Howard only played four minutes and we don't put McGee back in either against this short of team. Whenever we focused on paint attack in the first half it worked, even in the half court with some ball/body movement and patience. But as usual, down the stretch in close games it becomes hero ball with no movement. A lot of it is coaching, but some is hardheadedness by the players.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:14 pm    Post subject:

I couldn't go to r/nba today. We're the laughingstock of the NBA for this loss.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:40 pm    Post subject:

Cook and Daniels need PT at this point.
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