LAKERS -at- ROCKETS - 3-9-22 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 8:49 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- ROCKETS - 3-9-22 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

The Suckfest Continues... The team is continually searching for rock bottom. Just when you think they found it, the jokes on you.

The Lakers had two winnable games in Texas and tripped all over themselves … like they do.

LeBron had a chance to win this game in regulation on a reverse layup, but seemed to make up his mind he was going to pass it off. That would have been an uncontested finish. Instead, it went out to Melo who missed the long jumper at the buzzer.

In OT, the Lakers quickly fell behind by 7 points after several makes from Jalen Green. The Lakers would miss some easy layups, and the Rockets would extend the overtime scoring with a 10-0 run just halfway through OT. The Lakers gave up 19 points in overtime and fell 139-130.

Those 19 are the most points allowed by any team in overtime this year. And, the Rockets had a three erased after the fact on a review.


LeBron -- -- As mentioned, he had a chance to win this in regulation with a reverse layup at the buzzer, but kicked out instead. We ran that Monk-LeBron two-man action. That looked like a pretty easy make for him. He had just missed a jumper a few seconds earlier, but not sure what he was thinking on that one. I mean how much better was that than a long iso step-back three after pounding the ball? Which is what we usually see. Defensively a good close to that fourth quarter with a block with 1:23 left and another with 31 seconds left. Big plays on D that were helping the team close on that end of the floor. He just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop that final minute of regulation. His fifth triple-double of the season. Just 7 points on 3-9 shooting in the first half, but he’d get the triple-double early in the fourth. The perimeter shot wasn’t falling (1-9 from three), but he was getting into the paint for scores and doing a good job finding teammates. Small ball all game and he ended up a -17 on the night. The Stats: He scored 23 points on 9-26 shooting (1-9 from three, 4-6 from the line) to go with 14 boards, 12 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks, 5 turnovers and 1 foul in 45 minutes. He was a -17.

Westbrook -- -- One of his better games in a while but at what cost? I meant there’s efficient scoring. There’s passing with low turnovers. It looks good on paper, right? But who cares if you don’t win? If you have to go small to spread the floor so he and LeBron can coexist offensively and suffer defensively? Offensive stats don’t matter when it’s an L to an awful team. I’d rather you get 10 points but lock down so we don’t give up 139. So much drama lately. He can put up 30, but we still lost to a bad Houston team. Let me just reiterate why this was such an awful addition to the team. When you have superstars that need the ball in their hands, there will be times when they play off the ball -- obviously. But what the Lakers did was replace guys who were excellent at not needing the ball to make an impact -- AC, KCP, Kuz. All of those guys fit around LeBron or AD. Their time of possession and usage was minimal. Westbrook is such an awful off-ball player because not only does he not shoot well (wide open for a reason on a three in OT and missed), but he doesn’t set screens and doesn’t cut with any frequency. This was probably one of his better cutting games, too, but we’re not used to it all. LeBron might have been able to hit him for a score under the hoop instead of that kickout, but we’ve got no chemistry. Put the ball in his hands, you’ll get that impact people are familiar with. We handed off the baton tonight and gave him opportunities with a spaced floor to do that. Take it out of his hands, and teams can focus on the other superstars to neutralize them. The lanes for guys like LeBron close up. The double teams for AD when he was healthy came with more frequency. The paint gets packed and the defensive overplays by your opponents don’t pay the price consistently. Meanwhile, on the defensive end you get so many possessions where he just stands around and ball watches that he’s not making anything up there, either. The name calling and drama off court is a distraction to the fundamental flaws in his game and the awful fit he is here (and in most other places where you have another ball dominant star). The Lakers can mitigate some of those issues, but we’ve done a poor job of it. There was an ATO near the end of the first half where we positioned Russ in the dunker spot. That allowed LeBron to get him a layup. The next play, the Rockets left Russ to double team Bron under the hoop. Russ cut to the front of the rim and LeBron hit him for a layup. Off ball screens to free up shooters? For get it. You cannot just roll the ball out there for possession after possession like we do and expect chemistry between LeBron and Westbrook to naturally form. It’s not natural. It’s March and we have deep problems with this still. We blame the coaches, but a huge, massive portion of this is also Westbrook himself. He’s seen all this at other teams, but has yet to really embrace the little things he needs to do. Look at the first half. He had 17 points in the first half on 6-9 shooting -- one of his better, efficient halves offensively all year -- but his team was down by 5. On the defensive end, we saw awful sequences where he just stood there. On one ball watch his man cut around him, took the pass and Russ fouled for an And-1. Ultimately, when it gets down to how people will view his career, it will be these glaring flaws in his game that he stubbornly does not address. Like I said last time, the spotlight is brighter in L.A. and so is the shade from that. He won’t win in the remaining years of his career unless he does address those blindspots. That doesn’t mean he needs to learn to shoot. Just play with higher IQ and better attention to the little things that get teams those rings. The Stats: He scored 30 points on 11-22 shooting (1-3 from three, 7-8 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 6 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 40 minutes. He was a -2.

Monk -- -- Aggressive start early as we set up a lob play on the first possession. Shortly later, he’d sky for an offensive board and then hit a cutter for a score. He’d knock down a three, then kind of fade away for the rest of the half. Better second half as he’d knock down a couple of threes, finish a lob, score a lefty scoop and get a dunk on the break. I liked that we ran that Monk-LBJ two-man action down the stretch. It at least gets us out of the stagnant iso ball. We got 30 from Russ, 23 from Bron, 20 from Monk, 17 from Reaves all in the starting lineup. And lost. Small ball and Monk is typically the smallest guy on the floor. I like that he grabbed some boards to try to help us on that end. He’s genuinely improving on D. He had a couple steals and a nice shot alteration. But our D has to be really careful not to switch him onto bigs that can abuse his size. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 8-13 shooting (4-8 from three) to go with 6 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 40 minutes. He was a -4.

Reaves -- -- Some early foul trouble had him sitting just a couple minutes into the game. He’d come back and hit 2-4 from three in the first half. A strong third quarter from Reaves saw him hit a three, then go to the line again and again for FTs. He’d have 9 points in the third. We kind of buried him for a while there before bringing him back. He’d get a bucket in OT on a pull-up in the lane. I like the aggression. I really want to see double that. Especially with no THT in the mix. Give me 14 or 15 shots and 6 to 8 FTs. That’s the next level of his growth offensively. He’s got more he can give as the game seems to be slowing down for him more and more as the season goes along. Overall, another quality outing by the rookie. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 4-7 shooting (3-6 from three, 6-6 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a -10.

Johnson -- -- Your +/- leader with a +7. I’m not sure about that Melo for Johnson substitution to close this one. Clearly, we got smoked in OT. There were more than a few breakdowns that involved Melo. It’s tough, though, when you need room for your stars offensively. You sacrifice Stanley’s D for Melo’s quick trigger, floor spreading. Three steals on the night from Stanley, including one that led to a big dunk by Malik late. We do need more rebounding when we’re small. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting (1-1 from three, 0-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +7.

Anthony -- -- He had a chance to win it on that LeBron kickout. He had to put the ball down with a dribble before going up. That might have been enough to throw him off. I don’t like closing with him. On a single play like that, it’s good. He should be in there. But defensively, it’s just a problem typically when it’s crunch time. We don’t have a lot of big bodies, so that’s in play on that decision making. He picked up his 14th tech of the season to lead the league. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-13 shooting (3-7 from three) to go with 6 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 5 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a -14.

Bradley -- -- Bradley is in this game and I’m sitting here wondering where the heck is Reaves? I think Vogel wanted that Schröder vs. Bradley matchup, so that’s probably the answer to that question. But 20 minutes is a lot for AB. He sank one three attempt and hit a short baseline jumper. Both of those were in the firs half. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-6 shooting (1-5 from three) to go with 3 boards, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 20 minutes. He was a +1.

Bazemore -- -- He came in with a few minutes left in the first quarter. No THT tonight. But it might be more that Reaves had some foul trouble and that might have opened the door here, as well, for his 9 minutes. Nothing worthwhile to report on the positive side. But 9 minutes and 3 turnovers? Ouch. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-2 shooting to go with 2 boards, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 9 minutes. He was a -6.

Augustin -- -- Strong first half on the floor he’s most familiar with this year. He scored 11 of his 16 points on 4-5 shooting. The three ball was dropping (4-7) and he got a layup attacking off the three line. He also had a putback 15-footer off a long rebound at the end of the quarter. That play kind of drove me nuts because Westbrook didn’t run the clock down to end the quarter. Luckily we got multiple offensive boards and DJ took care of that last one, but not smart ball by Russ there. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 6-9 shooting (4-7 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a -4.

Gabriel -- -- Our other newcomer. He came in with 2 minutes left in the third quarter as LeBron sat. Immediately, he battled on the glass on both ends and drew some FTs for his effort (he’d miss both badly). More FTs on the offensive glass (this time making one, the other another bad brick). Brief stint, but he’s got that kind of Jerami Grant length that you could see working better in this small ball lineups to help you on the glass, while also spacing the floor and doing little things we need more of. Make your FTs and maybe we don’t go to OT. The Stats: He scored 1 point son 0-1 shooting (1-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards and 1 foul in 2 minutes. He was a +4.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Timeout with 31 seconds left and a tie ball game. Here’s another opportunity for a quick-strike setplay to set up a two-for-one close of the game. Sometimes the Lakers run a flare screen SLOB that only takes a few beats to set up for a wide open jumper. You could do that here for Monk or Melo. Instead we inbounded to LeBron, he held it for an iso pull-up and miss. Luckily, we got the offensive board with 13.7 left and another chance to set up a play to win. We don’t get that, the Rockets get the chance to win it in regulation. On our inbounds, we got it to LeBron, who pulled it out and ran the two-man with Monk. LeBron attacked, got penetration and kicked out instead of finishing a reverse that was there and Melo missed at the buzzer. I like the thought process on that last play. We had an unchallenged reverse for the win, a possible dump off to Russ for a layup, or that Melo jumper on the kickout. Much better than stagnation iso ball.

Key Substitution: Melo in to close on both ends. We gave up 23 in the fourth. And then 19 in the 5 minutes of OT.

Key Stats: Got to go with the 139 total points. Small will open up the floor…we got 130… but we also have to really dig in and be scrappy on the defensive end to make that work. We don’t have enough scrappy players on this team anymore.

Coach’s Challenge: A defensive foul on Reaves with under 4 minutes left as he looked to strip a defender on the drive and was whistled. Challenge won for a jumpball. The ball looked off the Rockets player with that strip. Still, it was deemed a jumpball which we won. So saved a foul, got a stop.
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DShotMaker1824
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 8:51 pm    Post subject:

First?
Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 8:59 pm    Post subject:

Pass up a layup to win the game in regulation .
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 9:14 pm    Post subject:

I guess I'm more shocked they are still in the play in; I wonder how much longer before the bottom falls out in that.

Just abysmal. DB, sorry you are having to record this mess.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 9:21 pm    Post subject:

DrDent wrote:
I guess I'm more shocked they are still in the play in; I wonder how much longer before the bottom falls out in that.

Just abysmal. DB, sorry you are having to record this mess.


17 games left and were only have about 3 games lead of 11th place.

12 of those games are vs teams above .500 record...
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:03 pm    Post subject:

miggz23 wrote:
DrDent wrote:
I guess I'm more shocked they are still in the play in; I wonder how much longer before the bottom falls out in that.

Just abysmal. DB, sorry you are having to record this mess.


17 games left and were only have about 3 games lead of 11th place.

12 of those games are vs teams above .500 record...


11 on the road. They had their easy schedule, they blew it.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:14 pm    Post subject:

DrDent wrote:
I guess I'm more shocked they are still in the play in; I wonder how much longer before the bottom falls out in that.

Just abysmal. DB, sorry you are having to record this mess.


Well BI went down with a hamstring injury and they said he'll be reevaluated in 7 to 10 days. So we're probably safe there but other than that…

Anyway thanks DB I don't even know how you're still finding things to say at this point.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2022 10:22 pm    Post subject:

The small lineups coach Vogel is playing is killing this team. If you want to play fast-break basketball, you have to defend and rebound really well, and you can't do that with the lineups we're rolling out.

Management could've prevented this problem by signing a shot-blocking 5 who shoots well from downtown. That way we could've accommodated Russ' strengths without sacrificing defense, and that 5 could've at least somewhat made up for Russ' problems on D.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:23 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Excellent summary that hits to the core of the problem with Westbrook. There are still people who just don't realize how truly bad of a fit he is with this squad. I don't want him in the starting lineup nor do I want him coming off the bench. There's only so much Vogel can do when your highest paid player doesn't move off ball, doesn't set picks and stands around on defense while hunting stats. There's no way to organize a defense around this guy, not with this squad.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:28 am    Post subject:

Aside from the last Warriors game and a big 4th against Utah, Lebron's offense has been eroding the last several weeks.

I'm betting fans are dropping like flies, just hoping for a better product next season.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:29 am    Post subject:

Thanks for all your work this season, DB.

I'm officially throwing the towel. Might catch some of the remaining games, but I'm done with this crap product.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:51 am    Post subject:

I am not sure if the Lakers are looking for rock bottom..but rather they are rock bottom
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 7:04 am    Post subject:

Bron with empty stats. Still don’t know why he was terrified of reverse layup. He got by the only guy who could block him
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 7:04 am    Post subject:

That's the thing guys. These games, and the ones with Fizdale coaching, kind of show to me the issue is the Westbrook/Bron duo, vs anything else. Bron with KCP/Kuz/Caruso > than Bron/Westbrook. There's too many things we need to get done for Westbrook/Bron to do well. We are doing them, like we're leaving the paint open, playing smaller doing all of that. Having shooters like Melo, Monk.

And then as DB said. The cost?

Vogel has no impact as a coach because his defense can't be run
Teams hunt Melo (Green/HOU said as much).
Teams hunt the Lakers mismatches and milk them
Lebron isn't even able to dominate with Westbrook (or Vice versa) in a way that makes it work.

So now they're left trying to rely on AD to come back and rescue. I just don't see it.

We're getting fortunate that we may make the play in because the West stinks at the bottom this year. The 10th/11th team are also stinking it up. We may still get a chance to play the first play in with HCA, and the second (if we win) on the road, but that second one will be a major challenge. Either on the road at the Clippers or on the road at the Wolves.

I dunno what can be done here. Yes we need AD back. Yes it will help. It seems we are getting enough offense on paper. But it comes at a cost. The offense that allows us to be competitive means our defense stinks. When our defense is stronger, then our offense wanes. The team is now just praying that AD comes back and is able to transform the team into a defensive group that can get stops. AD does have elite defensive impact.

Really also been questioning Lebron's leadership in this stretch. Outside of that GST game, he hasn't willed his team to any wins. He's playing the same basketball as if his team is a front runner. I keep saying this. We all saw Kobe. Both as a front runner, contender, underdog. His competitive drive to will his team to wins as an underdog is unmatched. Making FTs in the clutch. Willing your team in the bad stretches. To me, I've realized that Lebron's a great player, but it's very debatable if he's on the level of MJ. If my team has all the parts and they fit, and I'm loaded, I take Lebron. If my team is facing a challenge has some misfits and tough situations to deal with, I take Kobe any day. This is the second time in 4 years as a Laker that Lebron is completely mailing in the season, IMO.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 8:49 am    Post subject:

DrDent wrote:
I guess I'm more shocked they are still in the play in; I wonder how much longer before the bottom falls out in that.

Just abysmal. DB, sorry you are having to record this mess.


If teams follow their current winning percentage in their remaining games, the Lakers would only need to go 4-13 in the final 17 to secure their spot.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 9:30 am    Post subject:

Legitimate and “On Point” assessments by DB and Wolf

LBJ has taken untalented teams to The Finals, see the Cavs vs Warriors in The Finals. Is it realistic for a 37/38 years old player to carry a team on his shoulder - No, despite what LBJ says

Rob/Jeanie/Kurt/Linda made the gamble to allow LBJ/AD to be Assistant GMs in the last off-season. Experiment Failed, painfully it is a decision that most (if not all NBA owners/GMs) would have made in the NBA where players possess great power. LBJ deserved one chance and deserves all the criticism that comes with his decisions despite his claims that he “Does Not Push the Buttons”

Reviewing DB’s analysis of the “Westbrook Fit” - one wonders how LBJ/AD thoughts on how Westbrook would fit and how it would have been better than acquiring Hield or DeRozan? Wasn’t Westbrook/Westbrick brought in to lead the team if LBJ or AD are on the court? Since it was clear that LBJ should be the primary ball handler, what was LBJ’s plans since he is the general on the floor to use Russ (since he is at a loss when he is not handling the ball. Kendrick Perkins has highlighted that Russ has mental (family distractions and/or basketball IQ/disengagement issues since he is always birdwatching when he doesn’t have the ball. The Westbrook that averages a triple double has transformed into the Invisible Westbrook that forces this team to play 4 vs 5 on both sides of the ball. Could one ask what happened to his BasketBall IQ and proclamation of sacrificing?

It has been said that “One theory could be that the team could be growing more and more pessimistic than Kendrick Nunn will not come back at all this season and Augustin could at least provide something down the stretch.” https://www.silverscreenandroll.com/platform/amp/2022/3/2/22957760/lakers-injury-update-news-avery-bradley-kendrick-nunn-return-date-status-knee
Admittedly, this season has seen many injuries, some surprising and some that could be predicted. Lakers went “All-In” acknowledging that the entire regular season would be an extended pre-season for this roster

Westbrook stated that it’s his responsibility to always bring energy any time he is on the court. Maybe the accurate statement that he is always bringing energy when he has the ball and in control of what is happening

Since LBJ is his most dominant when he is handling the ball, what were the Three Amigos’ plan on how they can work together?

It has been discussed on post game shows that Westbrook has played with more superstars than any other player in NBA history without winning a ring.
https://fadeawayworld.net/.amp/nba/russell-westbrook-best-teammates-ranked-10-1

Acknowledge that when Westbrook goes home, he completely turns off basketball to enjoy being with his family - his right. The Black Mamba was consumed 24/7 on winning, whether he was on a great to bad teams

Fascinating that Nets and Lakers, two teams many predicted would play in The Finals could easily be not in the playoffs or forced to be in the “Play-In”
Games. Even the Warriors have had major issues with Draymond out for an extended time. It should be noted that these three teams are among the top teams of paying their superstars

What would have Tyrone Lue done differently with this roster - not much. Clippers have had PG/Kwahi injured but the roster has remained relatively stable that has established a sense of continuity, but will they have a major impact in the playoffs - nope

Lakers are Ring or Bust
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 10:10 am    Post subject:

Love the breakdown of Westbrook's (lack of) fit. The only thing I disagree with is that regardless of what happens the rest of his career, Westbrook will always be remembered as a triple double machine. As an example, I would venture to guess that more people know Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double than his defensive acumen or even the number of championship rings he had.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:56 am    Post subject:

This team reminds me of the 1999 Rockets (Olajuwan, Barkley and Pippen) and the 2003 Lakers (Kobe, Shaq, Gary Payton, Karl Malone). Looks good on paper but horrible on the floor.

Talent by itself will not win. Talent must supplement and compliment each other. On paper, Kurt Rambis and AC Green were average PF's at best. But they supplemented and complemented the other players like Kareem and Worthy on the roster. Robert Horry was not a great PF but he was the perfect compliment to Shaq at C.

Bringing in Westbrook was like bringing in JR Rider when Kobe and Shaq were on the team. Look great on paper but sucked on the floor.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 12:54 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
This team reminds me of the 1999 Rockets (Olajuwan, Barkley and Pippen) and the 2003 Lakers (Kobe, Shaq, Gary Payton, Karl Malone). Looks good on paper but horrible on the floor.

Talent by itself will not win. Talent must supplement and compliment each other. On paper, Kurt Rambis and AC Green were average PF's at best. But they supplemented and complemented the other players like Kareem and Worthy on the roster. Robert Horry was not a great PF but he was the perfect compliment to Shaq at C.

Bringing in Westbrook was like bringing in JR Rider when Kobe and Shaq were on the team. Look great on paper but sucked on the floor.


That 03-04 team was 1st in the Division, 2nd in the West, and made it to the finals. They were a great team and came out the gates running. It was Kobe's Colorado year and they had starters in and out of the lineup all season. Ultimately what did them in was the injury to Malone, Kobe's shooting woes, and Shaq/Kobe feud.

That team is light years better than this team.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:20 pm    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
Bron with empty stats. Still don’t know why he was terrified of reverse layup. He got by the only guy who could block him


To me you could kind of see a point on that drive where he made up his mind he was going to pass. He thought something was going to close up for him when it did not, but the mind was already made up.

Bummer. I do appreciate the process, though, that got him all those options versus our usual M.O. where he's got one option and it's a 30-foot chuck.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:23 pm    Post subject:

Treble Clef wrote:
DrDent wrote:
I guess I'm more shocked they are still in the play in; I wonder how much longer before the bottom falls out in that.

Just abysmal. DB, sorry you are having to record this mess.


If teams follow their current winning percentage in their remaining games, the Lakers would only need to go 4-13 in the final 17 to secure their spot.


Looking forward to it. lol.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 1:28 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Halflife wrote:
Bron with empty stats. Still don’t know why he was terrified of reverse layup. He got by the only guy who could block him


To me you could kind of see a point on that drive where he made up his mind he was going to pass. He thought something was going to close up for him when it did not, but the mind was already made up.

Bummer. I do appreciate the process, though, that got him all those options versus our usual M.O. where he's got one option and it's a 30-foot chuck.

I get it, but you just got own the moment. He’s always said he makes the right play, where Kobe and mj felt they were the only play. I know they are all different, but he was at the rim.
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Laker7
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:01 pm    Post subject:

Mamba Mentality wrote:
Laker7 wrote:
This team reminds me of the 1999 Rockets (Olajuwan, Barkley and Pippen) and the 2003 Lakers (Kobe, Shaq, Gary Payton, Karl Malone). Looks good on paper but horrible on the floor.

Talent by itself will not win. Talent must supplement and compliment each other. On paper, Kurt Rambis and AC Green were average PF's at best. But they supplemented and complemented the other players like Kareem and Worthy on the roster. Robert Horry was not a great PF but he was the perfect compliment to Shaq at C.

Bringing in Westbrook was like bringing in JR Rider when Kobe and Shaq were on the team. Look great on paper but sucked on the floor.


That 03-04 team was 1st in the Division, 2nd in the West, and made it to the finals. They were a great team and came out the gates running. It was Kobe's Colorado year and they had starters in and out of the lineup all season. Ultimately what did them in was the injury to Malone, Kobe's shooting woes, and Shaq/Kobe feud. That team is light years better than this team.


Respectfully disagree. Shaq, Malone and Payton all needed to be in the paint. Rick Fox was on his way out and Deavan George was a slasher who need the paint to be free. Payton was not a spot up shooter similar to Westbrook. Kobe was the only shooter. The Lakers got used to Shaq getting the double so someone was always open. Ben Wallace was able to handle Shaq one on one and no one other than Kobe knew how to get themselves open and create for themselves. Poorly constructed team.
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ThePageDude
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:48 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:

<snip>
Respectfully disagree. Shaq, Malone and Payton all needed to be in the paint. Rick Fox was on his way out and Deavan George was a slasher who need the paint to be free. Payton was not a spot up shooter similar to Westbrook. Kobe was the only shooter. The Lakers got used to Shaq getting the double so someone was always open. Ben Wallace was able to handle Shaq one on one and no one other than Kobe knew how to get themselves open and create for themselves. Poorly constructed team.


I respect your opinion and even agree with the flaws you identified, but I think Malone would have helped tilt the balance, I think he would have made for a very close series and possibly a win for the Lakers, we will never know for sure.
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Killer_Z
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:42 pm    Post subject:

ThePageDude wrote:
Laker7 wrote:

<snip>
Respectfully disagree. Shaq, Malone and Payton all needed to be in the paint. Rick Fox was on his way out and Deavan George was a slasher who need the paint to be free. Payton was not a spot up shooter similar to Westbrook. Kobe was the only shooter. The Lakers got used to Shaq getting the double so someone was always open. Ben Wallace was able to handle Shaq one on one and no one other than Kobe knew how to get themselves open and create for themselves. Poorly constructed team.


I respect your opinion and even agree with the flaws you identified, but I think Malone would have helped tilt the balance, I think he would have made for a very close series and possibly a win for the Lakers, we will never know for sure.


Losing Malone was massive. I remember how badly we needed a 3rd player to step up and help our dynamic duo and no one could. Not even our boy, Slava.
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