BLAZERS -at- LAKERS - 2/26 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:57 pm    Post subject: BLAZERS -at- LAKERS - 2/26 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Back in the Win Column... Guard Dennis Schröder returned to the floor for the Lakers against the Blazers tonight and helped L.A. take a 102-93 win.

The team turned defense into offense, getting out on the break off steals and blocks. In the second half, they locked down completely. The Blazers scored just 36 points as the Lakers improved their aggressiveness on the perimeter to hold Dame in check.

When LeBron wasn’t stealing the ball, blocking shots and putting the ball through the hoop, Schröder took over and scratched out points from the line and in the paint. The two combined for half of the Laker scoring tonight.

With 4 steals and 3 blocks, this was one of LeBron’s best defensive games of the season.

“Just trying to do whatever it takes to get us off this losing streak,” LeBron said.


LeBron -- -- Some really aggressive D. He had 3 blocks, all in the first half. Some excellent reads on that back line of the D as he was able to jump in front of passes or rotate over to help or take a charge. Great seeing him put in the extra effort on that end while leading the team in scoring. That good D led to transition buckets. That’s probably the most disruptive he’s been all season on D with the 4 steals and 3 blocks...the kind of numbers AD gives us at times. We just miss that. Some better tag teaming tonight with one of Schröder and LeBron always on the court. A little bit of a slow start to begin the game, turnovers on his first two post touches. But it wasn’t to be one of those big turnover nights that we’ve seen lately. The Lakers are getting better at countering help that comes to him on those postups. They are also doing a better job when he draws the doubles off the high inverse ball screens with the guards. Excellent all-around game from LeBron tonight. The Stats: He scored 28 points on 11-25 shooting (2-5 from three, 4-8 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 7 assists, 4, steals, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 36 minutes. He was a +9.

Schröder -- -- Just huge to have him out there. We slide other guys back into their roles and he can manufacture some much needed points. Vogel pulled him early in the first quarter in order to bring him back when LeBron rested. That gave Dennis the ball in his hands to go to work. He had 9 points in the first quarter and drew several whistles (including a moving screen call on the defensive end to get a stop). He’d sink a three early on, but miss a lot from the midrange. But as the game went along, his ability to scratch out points from the line is just huge. He had the whistle blown against him, too. He picked up his fourth foul 5 minutes into the second half and had to sit. Vogel would bring him back late in the third and play some important minutes while LeBron sat. Despite 22 points from his guard, Vogel: “I would say his impact was most felt on the defensive end.” He pressured his man, rotated with speed and had a big steal when he re-entered the game. He’d score a floater off that on the other end. I think we probably get a couple of W’s recently if he was available. Just the wrong time for the Covid protocol stuff to bite us in the regular season. Hopefully, we can avoid that the rest of the way this season. The Stats: He scored 22 points on 6-14 shooting (1-2 from three, 9-9 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +1.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Quiet night offensively, but again he was wrestling with the head of the snake defensively once again for a major chunk of time. He and Dennis definitely need a lot of help on those defensive stands against Dame and the team did a better job in the second half. We got split quite a bit on doubles in the first half. KCP would score a reverse in transition, lob to LeBron on the break and also sink a corner three, which was nice to see after several Lakers missed those. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-5 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 25 minutes. He was a +3.

Gasol -- -- I saw Marc Gasol dunk tonight. In fact, this was probably his most aggressive game around the rim (he usually settles for fades). He was letting it fly from three, as well, but only able to sink one of those. He struggled in the first half keeping Kantor off the defensive glass. Gasol had 1 defensive board while Kantor had 2 offensive boards against him. The Laker D locked down in the second half. With Portland it’s not so much about rim protection as it is about our perimeter D and scrambling behind that. Gasol wasn’t targeted and his minutes were cut short as we went small in the fourth. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-7 shooting (1-5 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 block and 3 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a -9.

Morris -- -- Man, struggled with the shot tonight. He got the Lakers a couple of their first baskets in the game, then was stone cold. Got to knock down those open threes. Some fight in him on the glass, which I liked. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-8 shooting (0-4 from three, 0-1 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -9.

Harrell -- -- Good team play around him offensively tonight. He was a +12 in his 10 first half minutes. He had 10 points on 4-5 shooting. LeBron hit him on a perfect full-court pass just over the D for a score. He also found him off an AC/LeBron two-man sequence for another score. THT hit him in the interior and Schröder with a pocket pass for a floater. So no iso ball in that half, but better passing from the team. In the second half, we had a 4-pass sequence that ended up with LeBron whipping one to him under the hoop for the easy And-1. Just great ball movement there. Great to see him put in 17 when he only had maybe one or two iso sequences at most. Defensively, he had to deal with helping on the perimeter at times and battling on the defensive glass. I love seeing him showing high and using our mobility to recover. The Lakers locked it down in the second half. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting (3-4 from the line) to go with 9 boards (5 offensive), 2 assists, 1 block and 1 foul in 30 minutes. He was a +22.

Kuzma -- -- Not a lot of action in this one. He definitely had some good moments on the offensive glass again, including tipping in a missed FT. That was where he imposed himself the most. He had a three erased that came just a beat after the quarter ended. I think he double clutched it and there wasn’t enough time. So just 4 points, but 11 boards tonight (including 5 offensive). Last game his shot selection wasn’t great, so maybe he went back to the dirty work effort a little more. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 1-5 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 11 boards (5 offensive), 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +5.

Caruso -- -- Having Schröder back really helps him slide back into his offensive role. Much better game tonight. The bald eagle was soaring a couple times in this one. Once, in the first half when Gasol found him on a dive for the slam. He also filled a lane on the break and hammered. AC also hit from three on some kickouts, as well. He probably should have tried finishing a couple of times at the rim instead of overpassing, but strong game overall. We’ve been occasionally running that two-man game with him and LeBron, getting the ball to AC in the middle of the paint on the short-roll. He had a nice setup to Gasol for FTs on that in the third quarter. We get into a 4-on-3 scenario and can take advantage if we are aggressive. He and THT can playmake in those scenarios. KCP and Wes, usually pick and pop. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-10 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 6 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a +11.

Horton-Tucker -- -- Some of his better help D of the season and Vogel rewarded him with some playing time in the first half. He had two blocks in that first half, but just some of his rotations behind the ball as we were scrambling were much sharper than they’ve been. That was nice to see and nice to see Vogel reward that. Offensively, we even called his number on an ATO. He got the ball in the horns handoff going to his left and then set up Trezz for an And-1 with a bounce pass in the interior. He scored his couple of baskets on the move. One was pushing out a board for a layup. The other was a drive, slamming on the brakes and hitting the one-hander. So hard to cover that. Glad to see us keep giving him minutes. He’s going to make a lot of mistakes when teams make him make decisions defensively. But it’s looking like he’s learning from them. By the way, if you want to see THT take a lefty layup, it happens in Backstage Lakers in practice. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-5 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 5 boards, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 2 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a +7.

Matthews -- -- His best play of the night was posting up, drawing a double and then kicking it to a shooter for a three. That was about it. Glad Vogel kept his minutes low. I’d like to see him sit and rest his legs. Last time we did that, he had a couple of good games. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting from three. He had 1 assist, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 9 minutes. He was a +5.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Really, the whole second half D. They held the Blazers to 36 points in the half. Once Dame stopped scoring, the Lakers controlled the game. Good job with the adjustments and tightening up the pressure on Dame in the second half.

Key Substitution: Bringing in Schröder every time when LeBron sat. The Lakers were up 8 when LeBron sat with 2:35 left in the third and up 11 when they brought LeBron back in the fourth. The first few minutes of the fourth quarter were important. The Lakers extended their lead and took control during that stretch. When LeBron wasn’t it, it was a Trezz/Morris/Kuz/THT/Schroder lineup out there.

Key Stats: The Lakers won the break 23-13 and points in the paint 52-30. We’d make only 7-27 from three (Blazers 11-37), but the ability to get out in transition for some easy ones was key.
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cathy78
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:26 pm    Post subject:

Didn't expect a W. But glad they did it and played some D!
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ramirezmu8
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:40 pm    Post subject:

Thanks for the write up. Feels good to finally WIN again!
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:44 pm    Post subject:

Team had much more energh and flow that was on display last season and the first part of this season

Glad that Vogel is allowing THT learn on the job.

Hopefully Gasol will be start making his 3pt shots from the top of the key with more consistency to be a legitmate threat against players such as Embiid, Gobert and other centers

Is KCP the Laker's verion of PatBev - depended on defense (hopefully) while offensively challenged

Morris seems to be tired that is affecting his play. Hopefully the ASG break will help him

Kuz is trying to be a Rodman/AC-type person - along with their offensive abilities

Good to have a win
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Laker4lifer4real
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:24 am    Post subject:

At one point Kuz had 9 boards in 14 minutes.
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PenG_
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:49 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

As you mentioned, another poor night from three. I couldn't be happier to get the win, but you'd think by accident we'd have a bounce back game from deep.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:58 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Winning!
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:18 am    Post subject:

About time for a W.

The key was the defense. Some of our rotations were amazing. 6 rotations in one play, and still challenging a shot. I thought Portland was making some very very tough shots early on, and that did not hold up.

Holding a team to 93 points, 38.6% shooting. Portland averages 114, so we held them to 21 points below their average, but they were without CJ and Jurkic so that could have played a part.

Some times teams are just off, but this one, I saw the intensity right from the 1st Q, from Bron. Bron was anchoring our D sometimes, with great rim protection.

If there ever were an example to give on defense being a team thing, this game was it.

Great to have Dennis back, especially when he is used and played like that. Completely free, and more aggressive to go to work. That is what I want to see a lot of. Not by coincidence, in this game, we were a +/- of 0, without Bron in 12 min that Bron sat. That is HUGE. If you can get a 2nd unit in those minutes that does not lose the lead or stays neutral that is a win in my book.

Only downside in this game is our crap 3 point shooting continues. We beat a team by holding them down to 93, not really by playing great offense. We won't get that offense until we can start shooting the 3 ball well again.
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sonic the laker
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:25 am    Post subject:

With the way we've been playing, I didn't expect a win. But, I'm glad the Lakers got it. It looks like the Lakers are trying to move the ball, and players, more on offense. Not just relying on LeBron, even though LeBron will still get plenty of iso's. I like this approach, and believe they should keep it up. Even when AD comes back. This team needs to learn to be more assertive with taking shots. Good shots, out of good offensive sets. Earlier in the season, the only reason the ball moved, was to find AD/LeBron. And, then it stuck. Guys only moved, to get out of their way. That's stagnant offense. We have too much talent for that...if used correctly. I still see some of that, even now. But, not as much as before.

I'm not celebrating off of one win, though. I don't think the Lakers need any MAJOR changes, to their roster. A serviceable mobile, athletic big, would be a nice addition. We'll see how Jones works out. And, either Wes stepping up, or another 3&D wing to take his minutes. After that, its on the coaches to get the team to play TEAM basketball. On BOTH ends of the court. Beating up on a team that's more injured than we are doesn't really impress me. Though, I was happy with the defense, and the fact that the Lakers didn't find ways to beat themselves. Small steps...
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:01 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Thanks, DB!

Winning!


+1
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Laker7
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:45 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. One of the better games the Lakers have played in the last three weeks.
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Richcbt
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:49 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, as always, DB. Your observations are always on target and insightful. I keep hoping we'll play THT, because I think he's got huge potential if he gets the experience.
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