WIZARDS -at- LAKERS - 2/22 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:19 pm    Post subject: WIZARDS -at- LAKERS - 2/22 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Ugggh!... LeBron tried to pace himself in this game. It’s hard to blame him considering it’s the middle of the season. But with the schedule the way it is and the personnel we currently don’t have on the floor? The team really needs to get games like this one.

The Lakers pulled out to a 17-point lead in the third quarter and took their foot off the gas. They were cruising, looking comfortable, but LeBron was to comfortable...taking threes and turning the ball over on high risk passes. He had just one real drive in the third quarter.

Quickly into the fourth quarter the lead was gone and the Lakers were working their way into a hole.

With the Lakers in trouble, LeBron tried to turn it on late and get to the rim. We chipped back into it, but self-inflicted wounds bit the team hard. The Lakers had a missed freethrow by LeBron with 3:23, Gasol missed two with 2:30 left and finally LeBron again with 9.8 seconds left that could have given the Lakers a 1-point lead and a win with the stop in regulation.

To be fair, LeBron attacked Westbrook to hit an And-1 to get that chance for the 3-point play on our final possession. But he couldn’t close the deal. So in trying to manage the effort and energy, instead LeBron ended up in overtime once again.

In overtime, the Lakers miscues would pile up and they’d trail again. The role players would come up with some big plays -- AC with a save off a loose ball that would get the Lakers a second-chance score. KCP swished a huge three with 36 seconds left to cut the lead to 1.

With 14 seconds left, it looked like the Lakers got the stop they’d need on a botched pass to Lopez, but the refs called a touch foul on Gasol, giving the Wizards the possession again. On the subsequent inbounds, instead of fouling, we gave up an And-1 layup to Westbrook. Thankfully, he missed the FT.

Down three, LeBron would miss a long iso three (2-10 from three), Kuz would get the board and miss a wild chuck from the corner and the Lakers fell 127-124 in OT.

Should have had this one. The upcoming schedule is tough.


LeBron -- -- It’s hard to critique a guy when he gives you 31 points, 13 assists and 9 boards. But the ebb and flow of this game went as LeBron went. “I got to be better,” he said of his miscues in this one. He’d finish with 8 turnovers in the game and key missed FTs. Multiple turnovers in the third quarter helped let the Wizards back in the game. He started the fourth with another turnover that was turned into a three by the Wizards in transition and Vogel took a timeout. He had a horrible possession in OT where he iso dribbled the clock down, then threw it away and fell behind by 4 points. We aren’t good enough with our missing parts to have LeBron in a coasting, chucking kind of game. The offense gets stagnant and ineffective. We saw late in the fourth when we were in trouble where he put in the work to get to the rim and good things happened. So we’re going to take lumps and losses when our offensive engine is settling and not playing to its strengths by getting downhill. People will read way too much into a game like this. We just need to scratch out some W’s and get through the next few weeks. The Stats: He scored 31 points on 14-29 shooting (2-10 from three, 1-3 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 13 assists, 1 steal, 8 turnovers and 2 fouls in 43 minutes. He was a +3.

Kuzma -- -- Kuz would come up with a huge offensive board where he’d find KCP for an open three to tie the game up late in this one. Great job on the offensive glass. He even got to the last LeBron miss, tried to take it out to the corner, but threw up a wild attempt to try to tie at the buzzer. He sank three threes in the first half in six attempts, then made one of his next five. In the second half, he airballed a corner three and wasn’t close on another. A little sloppy with 4 of the 8 Laker turnovers in the first half, but he cleaned that up. Not a great game. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 5-16 shooting (4-11 from three) to go with 11 boards (4 offensive), 2 assists, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers and 4 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a -10.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- It looked and felt like KCP found his shot in this game. He had a couple of perfect, wide open looks to start the game and he couldn’t knock them down. He finally knocked down a good look at a corner three. In the second half, he swished a three on a kickout in transition where his stance and release looked about as comfortable and smooth as it’s been in recent weeks. He’d hit some big threes with the game on the line tonight. He swished a three with 1:08 left in regulation when Kuzma kicked out an offensive board. In OT, he’d swish a tough wing three taking the ball while on the move to his right. That gave the Lakers a chance. Defensively, he had to cover scoring leader Beal quite a bit and he’s going to make even the best defenders look bad at times. Still, Beal scored 33, KCP got back 21. I’m hopeful. He had a little bit of something to build on in the last game. Tonight, he sank some clutch ones. That should get his confidence back up. But I really liked how his mechanics were looking tonight. This might be the only positive to come out of this one. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 8-15 shooting (4-8 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 40 minutes. He was a -6.

Gasol -- -- He opened up the night with an And-1 three for a 4-point play. He’d sink a big three late on a pick and pop to cut the lead from 8 to 5. He also had a nice find to a three shooter after working the post. Then, damn, down 4 with 2:30 left he goes to the line and misses both FTs. In a game that went to OT, just getting a point there is so huge. But coming up empty? Painful. He and LeBron left 4 points on the line in crunch time. I will say, though that those two looked a lot more comfortable with the pressure on while in our two-man action than we’ve seen. We even saw Gasol in some short-role situations. But when the action stopped and they had to knocked down FTs, ouch. Defensively, 3 blocks and 2 steals from Gasol. Beal did a good job seeking out Gasol’s side of the two-man perimeter pressure to take advantage of him a few times. Definitely, a big difference between switching on to Russ with Gasol in a key moment than with AD. Gasol fouled out on a little nudge touch foul on a pass attempt to Lopez late in the game. We tried to challenge it, but it wasn’t overturned. We’re seeing some improvement with his play lately. I wish our offensive sets weren’t as simple as they are right now. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 2-5 shooting from three (1-3 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 1 turnover and 6 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a +0.

Matthews -- -- Really a nothing game. One of his worst this season. He had an opportunity for a reverse when LeBron set him up, but he didn’t take that, then later in that possession lost the ball on a drive. So turned a potentially good play into a turnover. Then, in the second half, he stole the ball with a nice defensive play, then quickly threw it away for a score the other way. So once again, turning a potentially good play into a turnover. Just an awful game.The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-3 shooting from three to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -11.

Harrell -- -- Really good stretch of ball while LeBron sat in the second quarter. Trezz had four scores during that stretch -- all a bit different. He dunked on a drive with some good foot speed, he faced up and hit a jumper, he bullied his man and hit a short floater, then he drew FTs on the two-man game. Some good moments with LeBron, too. LBJ fired a 50-foot chest pass to him changing ends with speeds for a dunk. He had 15 points on 6-10 shooting in that first half. They slowed him down a little in the second half and Lopez was able to get some scores on him with his size. Either easy jumphooks or putbacks. So it wasn’t a one-sided affair in the second half. So while Trezz was able to get some scores, the impact wasn’t quite as great. Those defensive issues resulted in Vogel going with the bigger Gasol. But Trezz gave you 26 points in 23 minutes. He got tagged with a flagrant foul in the second half as he went up against a couple defenders to try to finish. His arm caught a defender in the face. It’s one thing to call that a foul, but a flagrant? Karl Malone would probably get about 5 of those a game. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 10-17 shooting (6-7 from the line) to go with 9 boards (4 offensive), 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 5 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -5.

Caruso -- -- So many big plays. He’d draw a charge on iso D against Russ with 2:14 left in regulation when we were down 4. Huge stop. He’d miss an open three, but LBJ would fire it back to him and he’d knock the next one down a few seconds later with 1:50 left in the game. He’d tie up a man on an offensive board and LBJ would off that extra possession to cut it to 1. In OT, he had a great hustle to save a loose ball and that looked like it was surely going out of bounds. That would turn into a LeBron jumper. He’d scratch out a couple of FTs with 1:41 left attacking off a busted play, he hit both clutch ones. All of those were huge to the Lakers having a chance in this one. My notes even have him making standout little plays earlier in the game. A great rotation and a box out in one play to shut down a set. He switched on another, then stepped around the big he switched on to knock the return pass away. He got to double digit scoring, but that other stuff was huge. Again, when you got AD out there with LeBron -- two superstars that need the ball -- this kind of stuff is exactly what you want around that. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-10 shooting (1-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards (2 offensive), 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +2.

Horton-Tucker -- -- Some moments in this one. He had a great drive in the first half. He spotted a gap, attacked it, slammed on the brakes pivoted for a fade, his man tried to recover, and he pivoted a second time back into the layup he was originally driving for. With 10 minutes in the game, he had a nice charge of directions on a drive for an And-1. Defensively, 2 blocks in this game, using that long reach. He’s got chops as a defender. It’s the team D stuff that hurts his game, but he’s 20 and learning. That will all clean up. Also, almost forgot, he knocked down another three in this one. They sagged off him a few times, so he’s got to keep that up. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-4 shooting (1-1 from three, 0-1 from the line) to go with 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a +3.

Morris -- -- Getting just a little bit of offense out of him helps a lot. We went small at times to stretch the floor and be mobile on D. He sank a three and had a nice drive off the three line, into a spin and layup. He’d hit another pull-up from midrange. The Lakers released Cook to not guarantee his contract. There are rumors Boogie might be coming. If so, these 22 minutes would likely be all his. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-5 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +9.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: A couple of them. Down 3 with 51 seconds left, Vogel called a timeout. He had the Kieff/LBJ/Kuz/KCP/AC lineup out there. Don’t need a three, but we set one up for Kuz, who didn’t take the shot. So LeBron settled or a long three miss instead. You could see that coming a mile away. We had another timeout with 15.9 seconds left. We got LeBron on iso against Westbrook for an And-1 with 9.8 seconds left. Got to make that FT.

Key Substitution: Keeping Trezz on the bench to close the game after he scored 26 in 23 minutes...that’s a tough call. Not as simple as it might look if you are just looking at the stat sheet, though. Lopez was giving Trezz some problems in the second half and the Wizards were purposely looking to take advantage of that. The other issue is that clogs the paint some for LeBron when we really need LBJ to drive. He wasn’t driving much tonight anyway. Trezz did have 5 fouls and that’s also an issue, but...hmmm.

Key Stats: Let’s just go with the 11-17 from the line.

Coach’s Challenge: With 14 seconds left down 1, the Lakers were called a timeout to challenge what looked like a bungled pass from the Wizards to Lopez. Challenge unsuccessful, ball out of bounds. I think the refs probably anticipated a foul there, but on replay, you got a small nudge of contact from Gasol with an arm, so they didn’t overturn it.
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LakerDYnasty72
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:30 pm    Post subject:

First...with a little regret..lol thanks DB!
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michaelg
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:11 am    Post subject:

Really appreciate your write ups, DB, thank you.

What a frustrating game to watch with the turnovers and missed free throws and some questionable officiating. Lebron seriously flirting with the quadruple double and not in a good way. We’re asking him to do so much without Schroder or Davis... not surprised he loses a little focus in this situation, at this point in the season. Dog days.

It seems like we could have brought Harrell back in at some point in the 4th or OT, he was having a good game.

Good to see the ball go through the net some for KCP with some clutch buckets. Hopefully Good KCP stays awhile and we pick up our shooting again.
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:16 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Great write up as always.
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:26 am    Post subject:

Great Job DB

Dog Days will bring out games like this one where the Lakers seemed to run out of energy to play at the top of their game

With Kuz unable to create on his own, hopefully he will incorporate more Reggie Miller/Ray Allen movement to his game to always be moving.

Too many times, when Lebron had the ball - the other four players just watched (BORING)
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mhan00
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:06 am    Post subject:

Wes has been a huge disappointment. He’s had some decent games and has showed some pretty good D at times, but mostly he’s been just awful. He looks like he’s fallen off a cliff this season. I was excited when we signed him and am hoping that he somehow doesn’t look like garbage soon, but right now if he got benched and never played a minute for us the rest of the season I wouldn’t really complain.
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DrDent
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:48 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB

Tough one. Not looking forward to the games coming up. Maybe when DS returns there will be some light at the end of the tunnel.
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PenG_
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:52 am    Post subject:

If you were trying to make Lebron's load and minutes as laboring as possible, which two players would you remove? That would be AD and DS. He's 36 years old and yet he's having to be John Stockton and Karl Malone.

That said, Lebron's minutes were awful in the 2nd half... just like against Miami. As mentioned in the game thread, seven of his eight turnovers occurred after the 17 pt lead.

His old man game is suffering at the moment not being able to hit a three. Because he can't dump the ball to AD, chucking is the only way he can take off plays. Through 24 games, he was hitting 43% of his threes at 7 per game. He's now 11 of his last 56. He missed six consecutive threes to end, and not a one was close.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:43 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Ugh. We really need that ASW rest.
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PenG_
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:09 am    Post subject:

Weird thing is Lebron was hot from midrange, yet didn't go to that shot once in the 4th. I get that posting up isn't easy when your legs are gassed, but he was super efficient from that 13-18ft range.

Would've much rather he took those shots in the closing minutes than chucking wide threes.
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Rek
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:10 pm    Post subject:

I'm expecting the losses to pile up until / unless Rob can swing a trade for a serviceable starting center. Roster weaknesses are simply being exposed without our Superstar tandem there to hide them.

Shroeder returning will help. But, doesn't change that Marc needs to be coming off the bench which means he needs to be traded since we signed Trez for that role. Not sure what Rob can get back for Gasol + Matthews but he needs to try.
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:37 am    Post subject:

Just a heads up I can't cover this next game.
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