LAKERS -vs- HEAT - 10/9 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:50 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -vs- HEAT - 10/9 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Excruciating... This game went back and forth down the stretch. Each team scoring, Butler and LeBron, again and again. And then it came down to two possessions.

The Heat got a call against AD trying to go vertical against Butler. Two freethrows to take back the lead. On the other end, LeBron drew the D on a drive, kicked to Green for a wide open three straight away. He missed. Morris pulled down the rebound could have taken a shot for the win. Panicked and threw a pass away. And now we’re 3-2.

After an intentional foul, the Lakers fell 108-111. Excruciating game.

In the third quarter, the Lakers gave up 14 points on three possessions -- three trips down the floor. That’s insane. The first was a huge possession where the Heat scored 6 points after a flagrant foul call on Dwight on a putback. After a bad shot by Green on the other end, the Heat extended the lead to 8.

LeBron reeled them back in, but the Lakers would give up a 4-point possession, fouling a three shooter. With 37 seconds left in that third, they fouled again on a made three again to give up another 4-point play.

They trailed by 6 heading into the fourth with 12 minutes to make it up and the championship on the line. They fought back and exchanged leads again and again, but just couldn’t retake the lead one last time. Their D had been holding tight until those last couple of minutes.

The Bubble isn’t like a normal series. A 3-1 lead doesn’t mean you have a normal advantage. There is no road for the opponent. There is no home court advantage with the refs. No home court crowd to pull you through.

They’ve got to defend the screens better and play desperate.


LeBron -- -- We wasted an excellent game from LeBron. Just not enough help around him in this. He had the three ball going in the first half, sinking 3 of 4 on his way to 21 points (9-11 shooting). He was also able to get to the rim on a few occasions in transition. Mix in a couple of post up attempts and he was keeping the Lakers attached. Defensively, some breakdowns. Although, one of them was with us trying to deal with the Heat running a horns set with their guards in the high post. Late in the game, he was imposing himself down the stretch. Possession after possession muscling his way to the rim. In that final possession, the Heat sent the double, LeBron gave it to the wide open shooter. Green was way short. Tough, tough loss. The Stats: He scored 40 points on 15-21 shooting (6-9 from three, 4-6 from the line) to go with 13 boards, 7 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 42 minutes. He was a +7.

Davis -- -- He went down with 48 seconds left in the first, grabbing his leg. He reaggravated a right heel contusion, banging it against one of the Heat. That diagnosis took a little while and Laker fans held their collective breaths. Thankfully, he came back in the game a few minutes later with the Lakers now down 8 and seemed to be able to do everything. He had 13 points on 6-9 shooting in the first half. In the second half, he was able to get some rim run action for some scores. He sank some big freethrows down the stretch while we were reeling the Heat in during that fourth. Morris tried to find him off an offensive board and the Heat got into AD’s back and the pass was too high. I was yelling at my TV screen, “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!” when Morris got that offensive board. He then panicked and threw it away. A little poise there, we had time to do something better. Wish he would have gave us a chance by connecting with AD. Defensively, the Heat worked at shaking AD off Butler all game. That often saw some high horns action with guards instead of bigs. The Stats: He scored 28 points on 9-15 shooting (2-5 from three, 8-8 from the line) to go with 12 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 42 minutes. He was a +7.

Green -- -- Arrrrgh! He was wide open with the game on the line, straight away and came up short. Hit the front of the rim on the miss. Some foul trouble in the first half as he picked up a couple touch fouls on one possession. He hit a three kicking out, relocating and getting it back. He also scored on a tough step-through baseline jumper taking contact with no call in that half. In the second half, he’d catch a ball out of bounds. Uggh. He would sink a three in transition later in the game, but the missed his next big ones. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-8 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 foul sin 24 minutes. He was a +12.

Howard -- -- He picked up double tech with Butler, who wrapped him up under the hoop away from the ball. Later in the second half with the score tied, he tried to block a Butler putback and didn’t get ball, hitting Butler in the head. A flagrant-1 for Dwight that turned into a 6-point possession. His only points were getting fouled on an offensive board for FTs. Really wish we’d dominate the interior a bit more in this one. The Heat actually outrebounded us on the offensive board in the first half. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 0-1 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a -3.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- We could have set it up for KCP for the win. He doesn’t seem to think about it and just let it fly. He missed a couple prior to that final possession, so maybe that chilled Vogel. But he was big for the Lakers in that fourth. Early on, they worked him off those pindown curls with AD for some offense going toward the rim. In the second half, he stole the ball on one end, then hit a three on the other. He sank a big three with the shotlcock low. Then, one of the bigger shots of the game, he hit a huge three with 6:18 left that got the Lakers over the hump after a long stretch of clawing back into this one. HE’d also get a dunk on the break shortly later. Defensively, a little up and down. Some really good moments for sure, but there were some possessions where we let shooters relocate and were ball watching. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 6-15 shooting (3-8 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 foul in 31 minutes. He was a +0.

Kuzma -- -- He could not connect from three in this one. Just painful, including airballing a corner three. He’d score a layup in transition. He’d get another when LeBron got a Kuzma miss and fed him cutting. If we get him on the move like that, it plays to his strengths. Just not enough of it. Defensively, some good moments on Butler or going vertical to get a stop on a rotation. I trust him more out there than Morris on that end against Butler, but we didn’t do that late. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-10 shooting (0-4 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 block and 3 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -17.

Caruso -- -- He got subbed out for Green for three shooting down the stretch. AC scored 3 points, making 1-2 from three. He had a couple of nice assists to LEBron. One was on a drive and lob to him out of a timeout. Another was a bounce pass on the two-man sequence for a dunk. He does not get a lot of love from the refs. Seems like if there’s a cheap foul, it will find him. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -6.

Rondo -- -- Another 1-7 performance from Rondo. We need that Playoff Rondo back. The bench just struggled at times, particularly in the first half. A couple good setups for AD in this one. But Rondo also gave some of that back, either not boxing out to give up a putback to a guard or fouling a three shooter on a close out (that one was AD’s fault as he didn’t rotate, but Rondo still gave up the extra FT). Those little mistakes just add up and in a one-point game...you can’t have mental lapses. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 1-7 shooting (0-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 18 minutes. He was a -13.

Morris -- -- No points in this one. He missed his only couple of three attempts. His one rebound was that last offensive board...and that promptly turned into another of his 3 turnovers. Man, I knew he was going to panic on that. Defensively, they do seek him out against Butler. I feel much more comfortable with Kuzma in those situations. Shoot, I would have felt more comfortable with Kuzma making a decision (probably shoot) with that offensive board. In any event, good job getting to that, just panicked. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-2 shooting from three to go with 1 board, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -2.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: It came down to one shot, one play. You knew they were going to leave the screener and stay on LeBron. That meant Green likely would have the ball in his hands to win the game with what they set up. Man, I would have trusted a cold Quinn Cook more, lol. Green has been good historically in those situations, but lately? He’s failed us quite a bit. Painful. (You might have also worked a scenario where LeBron gets to go iso before any help D.) But there was no one within a mile of Green. Defensively, they also struggled to get stops down the stretch. The switching on the screens hurt them whenever the Heat got it. Vogel could throw out the 3-2 zone to end that, but because this game was so close, I’d be surprised if he rolled that out.

Key Substitution: A few. See above. We knew that’s who the ball was going to go to. Green had hit a couple, but he’s just been so off, you knew he was missing an open look. Another key sub: You could also argue sitting Morris for Kuzma defensively during a Heat timeout, but we kept Morris out there. Lastly, some credit to Vogel for binging AD back in early in the fourth. However, again, I really don’t like that small ball Morris lineup with Bam out there. I’d go Howard briefly while AD rests and go a little bigger.

Key Stat: Hmmm. A few here to look at. The 15 Laker turnovers? About 3 of those were unforced. Just painful. If the Lakers won, the 25-4 advantage on the break was huge. Good job pushing pace with more regularity. Stat of the night is probably Duncan Robinson with 26 points on 7-13 shooting from three. That killed the Lakers.

Coach’s Challenge: In transition in the fourth quarter, LeBron scored what looked like an And-1 layup, but the refs called the charge. Vogel has mentioned these calls are rarely overturned. He challenged anyway as Robinson was moving into it. The Lakers were down 8 with 9 minutes left at the time. The challenge was unsuccessful.
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Theseus
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:58 pm    Post subject:

Not sure why Kief was in those last two possessions instead of Caruso, he seems to make more happen out there. Kief didn't look good.

Tough game, but nice write up. Thanks again,
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:21 pm    Post subject:

Morris couldn’t even get in the vicinity of guarding butler
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:51 pm    Post subject:

Wasted a super human effort from LeBron and now Davis seems hurt. Hopefully they can get one more. This Heat team has no bussiness being as good. Hats off to them.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:57 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

Wish they could have pulled this one out and ended it. Every game, heck every play, can lead to a critical injury to one of our guys and the series turns on a dime. Just close it out, gets down to the last few minutes of a close game 7 and one or two key plays can cost the championship.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:07 pm    Post subject:

Disappointing loss!

Regardless, thanks for your Thoughts, DB.


...soon...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:12 pm    Post subject:

Seriously if you want a DG open 3, you don’t need a timeout for that to happen. Lebron can make it happen any play. Save the last time would’ve gave us a chance at the end
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:01 pm    Post subject:

Those six point and multiple four point possessions in the third quarter were ridiculous. It's hard to let that happen and win a Finals game.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:20 pm    Post subject:

DB,

This was not the write-up I wanted!!

HOPEFULLY next game...but the Lakers need to assert their will against the Heat. The Lakers have all the pressure on them. Bron had a great game that was wasted and AD did his part. This Laker team desperately needs a third guy that brings it EVERY game. This team just doesn't have that player this year. The Lakers must go all out in game 6. IF it goes 7--anything can happen!

Winning on a Friday night would have made for a fantastic weekend.

More drama to come!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:07 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB, a frustrating result, but a good summary of the game.

After having cooled off (I was pretty upset after this one), some things jump out to me.

1. Heat hit 14 3's, shot 42% from 3. Duncan Robinson was 7/13 from 3 - That's ridiculous. Butler was also getting loose way too much.

2. Lakers shot themselves in the foot multiple times with poor play and poor coaching. Vogel's insistence with the Micro lineup backfired this time - both times the Heat extended their lead to at least 9 points. Lakers had to cut into that lead . 3rd quarter, Lakers started to really get some things going, to only shoot themselves in the foot with what you noted - 14 points in 3 possessions over a handful of minutes span: Just really horrific play from a team trying to win a championship, and honestly I can't say I've seen that (14 points in 3 possessions) happen before. If that was not enough, I did not like what happened the last 16 seconds - JB's clear path to the basket (AD should not have been placed in that position), and then the decision to have DG take that 3 was very curious (the only time I believe he was asked to win or tie at end of game this year was the Dallas game in Dallas earlier this year, where he hit the shot after a smashing screen by Dwight) combined with Kieff's confusing decision making.

3. Lakers Big 2 combined for 68 points and 25 rebounds. They were a combined 8-14 from 3, and overall combined shooting was 24-36.

Looking at the above, it's hard to not just get so frustrated at this game. Wasting a performance by AD and LBJ like that is just maddening, with plays at times that were truly mind-boggling and not championship caliber. (many of their poor plays were self inflicted).

4. With the foregoing said, and despite my reservations, Vogel has shown losses will typically lead to adjustments by him. Spo made his for this game (had Butler be more aggressive, and also forced different switches to get AD off Butler). I think if Vogel can find a way to slow Butler (doubles? How come I've only seen a double on Butler just twice in this series, and that was game 4? Or how about a zone?), and the guys can just not create self-inflicted wounds [with these silly turnovers - Dwight tossing ball to the Heat, twice Laker players stepping out of bounds when receiving a pass, etc), they will be ok.

At the end of the day, the Lakers were up and down almost all game with their play, while the Heat were fairly even keeled. When the Lakers played well, they were better than the Heat - I think that showed by the fact that despite alot not going their way they were 1 defensive stop or one DG shot from winning the series. I think if they just clean things up, and go to their next level with effort and execution they will be ok.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:20 am    Post subject:

Very frustrating for them to waste a gem of a game by LeBron. Really hoping AD feels a lot better on Sunday and they finally close it out this time.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:33 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB (
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:38 am    Post subject:

Woke up and I'm still pissed. We had the (bleep) game, we had it!

Thanks, DB.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 5:18 am    Post subject:

Lakers are going to have to make some changes as to how they defend Duncan Robinson and Dunn. Those guys are who hurt the Lakers the most. Butler is getting any call he wants on any contact he gets. When the league does that for you, you have no shot against that player, unless you double them and force the ball out of their hands.

The bench with Rondo, Morris, Kuz, Caruso really let us down in this one.

Two things close out the series for us.

1) Defense on Heat role guys like Robinson-Herro-Dunn. Stick to your man, and do not let them get easy shots. Fight through screens harder so these guys do not get switches, because they do are not able to get easy scores unless you get caught in rotations off screens. This is critical for us on D.

2) Our role players need to hit more of their open looks. Danny Green missing that shot was bad, but when you see Morris pass up a wide open look and try to force feed AD the ball (when AD is one healthy foot and not even calling for the ball, actually looking to rebound). Just take that shot. Our role guys need to want to take and hit those shots, and to me they seemed timid and afraid of the moment yesterday. It is their first time trying to win a title together, this group has not won a ring together before.
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anth2000
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:17 am    Post subject:

I thought kuzma and Morris were terrible in defending Butler. They lack speed and almost always never put up their arms when he was shooting mid range.

Vogel has to make an adjustment.

Such a wasted brilliant game from Lebron.
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laker50
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:19 am    Post subject:

Miami has such great ball and player movement. That is the difference in the game. Also, they have better perimeter shooters. And their defense just swarms Lebron.
With the Lakers it is Lebron on 4. And the perimeter players cannot hit a clutch shot. The Lakers live and die by the 3.

As soon as Kuzma came in you saw he game turn. He always makes mistakes at clutch situations. Doesn't come out to receive pass. Jumps into defenders and gives fouls. The game turned when Kuzma came in.
And Rondo had a poor shooting game.

With AD hurt it is going to be a tough.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:38 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

I'll blame this one on the league needing to extend the series.

Daniel Richard Green, Jr.

Damn.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 6:39 am    Post subject:

Finals Game Score totals (I'm not advocating this as the best measure, but it's available):

Code:
27.1   LeBron James
24.3   Anthony Davis
08.4   Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
07.2   Rajon Rondo
05.4   Alex Caruso
04.9   Kyle Kuzma
04.7   Markieff Morris
04.1   Danny Green
02.7   Quinn Cook
02.5   Dwight Howard
00.5   J.R. Smith
00.4   Jared Dudley


The rest of the team, 40.8. LBJ and AD, 51.4. The two have a greater differential to the rest of the team, than the Game Score of the best player from the rest of the team

This the team. Yes, the Laks were 21 seconds away. Yes, the Laks were a close foul away. Yes, the Laks were a wide open three away. But one of these other professional athletes need to step up. I wonder what Shaq thinks of Kuzma about now. . . .
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:06 am    Post subject:

Our bench let us down. Only 14 points and 1-11 from 3 along with a plus minus of minus 38. We have been out scoring the Heat bench throughout the series but this game came up short.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
Lakers are going to have to make some changes as to how they defend Duncan Robinson and Dunn. Those guys are who hurt the Lakers the most. Butler is getting any call he wants on any contact he gets. When the league does that for you, you have no shot against that player, unless you double them and force the ball out of their hands.

The bench with Rondo, Morris, Kuz, Caruso really let us down in this one.

Two things close out the series for us.

1) Defense on Heat role guys like Robinson-Herro-Dunn. Stick to your man, and do not let them get easy shots. Fight through screens harder so these guys do not get switches, because they do are not able to get easy scores unless you get caught in rotations off screens. This is critical for us on D.

2) Our role players need to hit more of their open looks. Danny Green missing that shot was bad, but when you see Morris pass up a wide open look and try to force feed AD the ball (when AD is one healthy foot and not even calling for the ball, actually looking to rebound). Just take that shot. Our role guys need to want to take and hit those shots, and to me they seemed timid and afraid of the moment yesterday. It is their first time trying to win a title together, this group has not won a ring together before.


I've been going back and forth on this game. I agree with you how they've guarded Butler has been strange in this series. The counter became AD, but that was stifled by the Heat running some different screen sets and then AD hobbling in the 4th. Which leads to - why have they refused to throw different looks, such as doubling him? We doubled Jokic more often and Jokic is a much better passer, so I'd understand the reluctance to double Jokic since often it leads to a direct score by the Nugs...but Butler? As I recall, the *only* two times the Lakers did this (game 4) he commited a turnover, and then another time just passed away from it. Both times he looked uncomfortable.

Also, how come the Heat defense literally look like they've choked the middle of the paint off, yet still are able to jump out and contest 3's? While with the Lakers D there's lots of lanes to attack to the hoop? I know MIA's offense is probably the top motion offense in the NBA, but couldnt we also pack it as well [making movement difficult] and then jump out and contest?

Finally, I wish I could find an unforced turnover stat location - I feel that was costly to the team, the unawareness of where they are on the court when receiving a pass (I believe Kieff and Kuz turned over, 1 a piece, this way) and stepping out of bounds. Or simply throwing balls away, especially on fast breaks or momentum moments - or When Dwight literally, on an in bounds play, toss the ball directly to a Heat player. Those are things you can control. Seemed like most of the Laker turnovers were a result of them just playing mindlessly at times. Combine that with those 3 insane fouls that led to 14 points...yea.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:43 am    Post subject:

anth2000 wrote:
I thought kuzma and Morris were terrible in defending Butler. They lack speed and almost always never put up their arms when he was shooting mid range.

Vogel has to make an adjustment.

Such a wasted brilliant game from Lebron.


Agreed. Many times over.

And yep, LBJ does not shoot 6-9 from 3 that often.

I thought the Lakers 3% would be the gauge of the series...and I was wrong. While their losses in this series can be pinpointed to different things (eg bench shooting, turnovers, etc), the fact remains in their 2 losses their vaunted defense failed to stop Butler down the stretch.

Now that I think about it more, both of their losses a combination of 1.numerous mind numbing bad possessions on offense (leading to self inflicted turnovers) 2. Inability to stop Butler.

The first issue they can clean up themselves; #2 comes down to coach. Spo one upped Vogel in game 3 with how he used Butler. Vogel countered in game 4. Spo then countered in game 5. On you Vogel re what defense will be doing (hint, hint, throwing in more doubles and zone is not a bad idea...you can always scrap it if not working...but to not even try when Butler going off is lazy coaching).

p.s. Oh, and one more thing - ditch the micro ball lineup if Bam is in for the Heat. Unleash Javale for those moments of rest for AD and when you choose to sit Dwight - just have a quick hook if, indeed, he is "too slow" or otherwise is not showing up. Play a defense that let's him hover around the rim, see how it goes for a little bit...cant be worse than the Micro lineup's -10 or so during its stint.
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oaktown_dimond
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:55 am    Post subject:

I know Jack about basketball compared to you guys, but it sure looked like we were barely setting any picks for the shooters... And when we did, they were super weak. Just a bunch of iso ball, right?
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Jesusdelonla
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:20 am    Post subject:

oaktown_dimond wrote:
I know Jack about basketball compared to you guys, but it sure looked like we were barely setting any picks for the shooters... And when we did, they were super weak. Just a bunch of iso ball, right?


worst is just dumping it down to AD at the elbow and asking him to make plays

that's not a good idea specially when Iggy is guarding him
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:14 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. My main takeaway is that our big two did not get nearly enough support. KCP being about the lone exception, not enough. Looking forward to more balanced support on Sunday leading to the title!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject:

We needed all high-basketball IQ guys on that last possession. I'm still mad about the mix Vogel had out there with everything on line. Terrible. Just glad it happened in Game 5 so maybe they learn from it.
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