NUGGETS -at- LAKERS – 3-13-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:17 pm    Post subject: NUGGETS -at- LAKERS – 3-13-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Payback… Isaiah Thomas ran clock on the final possession, let the shotclock expire, then fired the ball across court to Jamal Murray – King in the Fourth giving it to the Douche in the Fourth.

The Lakers just finished off the Nuggets 112-103, hoping to play spoiler for the Nuggets in their playoff aspirations. Thomas, Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle all finished with 20+ each, driving a stake into the Nuggets with a strong fourth quarter from each.

The Lakers built an early 13-point lead but gave it right back on a 17-5 Nugget run to start the second quarter. The Lakers would score just 13 points in the second quarter, a season low.

Still, they had a 1-point lead at halftime despite shooting 7-25 from three (getting a bit too three happy).

“We weren’t playing our game. We were shooting way too many threes and we weren’t getting enough passes,” Luke said, mentioning they had the lead, however, because of how they defended.

They would fall back by double digits, but the trio above had other plans tonight. Kuzma would score 24 points in the second half, showing off the full repertoire. Thomas would be the steadying force. And Randle, the junkyard dog and enforcer.

“I love the grit we played with tonight, especially in the fourth quarter,” Luke said.

They would get timely scores and key stops down the stretch to take the win. The Lakers are 12-1 in their last 13 home games.


Randle -- -- This is starting to become Randle’s team right now. He’s a beast in the paint. His motor for rebounds is exactly what you hoped for and saw at times when he was in college. He’s just relentless now that he’s in better shape. He’s pull down 7 offensive boards (and I know he kept alive at least another one or two that he didn’t get credit for). He had a strong first quarter, but a turnover-prone second one. We came out a little flat in the third quarter and Luke sat him a bit early. “I know he was frustrated for coming out,” Luke said, but he wanted to space the floor and change things up just a little. This would work in their favor later. He’d bring back Julius to man the C spot in the fourth quarter, sitting both Lopez and Zubac (who was awful in the first half). Randle’s energy kept their intensity up. He had some excellent perimeter D on Murray and others. This is the new NBA, trading out swat for switch and bogging down the screen-rolls. Love how well he’s finishing, too. The intensity was also on the offensive end. More dunks on people, more ability to power up in traffic. All of that sparks the team. Late in the game, he had words with Jokic, who he said tried to hook his arm and pull his shoulder out of place with a flop. Julius shoved him to the ground then walked over to bark at him. He’s learning how to consistently impose his will and mentality on the game this season. Fun to watch right now. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 11-17 shooting (4-7 from the line) to go with 13 boards (7 offensive), 2 assists, 4 turnovers and 4 fouls in 39 minutes. He was a +13. The Action: He missed a jumphook in the middle of the paint. He took contact at the FT line and banked in the one-hander. He tipped in a missed drive. He missed a runner in transition. He backed his man down, drop-stepped and powered in the And-1 over the smaller man, he made the FT. He iso’d and sank the tough 13-foot fade across the lane. He took the ball at the top of the key, quickly attacked left and scored the layup over his man. He attacked right, missed with his left but got his miss back and was fouled. He was swatted after spinning into traffic. Poor pass in transition, turnover. He spun and was blocked (didn’t use his body well that time). He couldn’t handle and interior feed. He spun and fell in the post, turnover. He lost the ball on the perimeter. Nice switch in the post and he forced his man into a turnover. Second Half: He drew the D and kicked to Kuzma for the corner three. Out of a timeout, he lost the ball in the post for another turnover. He grabbed the airball and powered in the layup. He crashed the glass and cleaned up a miss. He drew FTs on the offensive glass, he made one. He crossed over, attacked and threw down the quick jam past Plumlee. He pulled down a board, pushed it up, attacked and hit the runner. He missed in the post. He was hacked in the paint for FTs, he missed both with 3:38 left up 4. He kept a board alive off IT’s miss and IT scored off it. He scored a layup off the screen-roll. Great individual D on Murray who wanted to shoot a three on him, we knocked the ball loose and gave it to Randle for the breakaway dunk to go up 9. He gave Murray a hard foul next time down. Pressure D to force Murray to step out of bounds. Intentionally fouled shortly later with 33 seconds left, he made both FTs. He got into Jokic’s face for some antics with 21 seconds left.

Ball -- -- Man, ugly. He was scoreless on 0-5 shooting in the first half with 2 turnovers, picking up where he left off in the last game. I loved the Luke benched him early in the third, but just for a couple minutes. Let him get ticked, come back and show more fight. He’d help dig in defensively (great backcourt steal and score) and on the boards (finished with 9). He’d sink a big fourth-quarter three with 7:40 left as we were starting to impose our game. An ugly game for Lonzo, but he’d still finish with 5 points, 9 boards, 8 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Just find a way to contribute when you can’t shoot. He would brick a couple FTs intentionally fouled with 1:24 left. Got to spend all summer cleaning that up. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-11 shooting (1-7 from three, 0-2 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 8 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 40 minutes. He was a +15. The Action: He missed a wide open wing three. He swiped a ball on the perimeter. He rejected a layup in transition and it led to a Lopez three on the other end. He missed a step-back 18-footer (should have attacked the middle). He stripped a man on help D, pushed out the break and hit KCP for the three. He missed an open wing three in transition. He got caught in air in transition and threw it away. Another turnover overpassing instead of going for the layup. They left him from three and he clanked again. He stripped his man. He got tapped on a deep two-for-one three. Second Half: He missed an open wing three to start the second half. He bricked and iso step-back three shortly later, really? Mustard off the hotdog trying to go behind his back in the paint to Randle, turnover. He swiped a backcourt inbounds, we got it back to him, he attacked from the corner and scored the layup. He attacked strong but blew the layup finish. He kicked out to Kuzma for a three. Great job pulling down a defensive board while battling a big, then pushing it up floor for the break. He sank a wing three on a kickout from KCP. Bad looking runner, too flat. Nice D on the other end to challenge a drive and force a miss. He was intentionally fouled with 1:24 left, Lakers up 7, he missed both FTs badly.

Lopez -- -- He had 15 points on 5-10 shooting in the first half. He’d score just 2 in the second half as we sat him for Julius for the rest of the game. He wasn’t terrible, but I think we wanted more out of the post from him. We’d run shooters at the PF a little more for him in the third quarter, but we didn’t seem to be playing with life out there. Despite the 3-6 shooting from three, Luke would mix things up and not look back. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 6-13 shooting (3-6 from three, 2-3 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 block, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -4. The Action: He tapped out an offensive board. He sank a wing three off the pick and pop. He worked the post and hit the tough turnaround. He swished a three in transition. He missed a face-up bank (first miss on one of those). He sank a wing three on a kickout. He missed a wing three. Into the post finally off the rim run and he scored the quick And-1 layup, he made the FT. Finally back in the post again a few minutes later and he drew FTs, he made one. He missed a three (get back in the post). He missed a jumphook. He airballed a step-back three, argh. Second Half: Short on an odd one-hander on the baseline. He blocked a shot. He short-armed a FT jumper. He attacked from the midpost and scored. He fouled Jokic from three to give up a 4-point play.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Quiet night from KCP. He wasn’t automatic from three tonight, so he reeled that in a little (attacking off the three line and hitting guys like Ball for the three) and do the other things. Again, he hit the boards hard and would also mix in some assists. He and Randle teamed up for a big steal late in the game on Murray that led to a monster smash from Randle. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 3-6 shooting (1-4 three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 5 assists, 2 steal and 3 fouls in 36 minutes. He was a +0. The Action: He missed a pull-up wing three. He hit Lopez for a three. He missed a wing three out of a timeout. He curled into the lane, elevated and scored high over the D. He hit a corner three on the kickout from Ball on the break. He missed a wing three out of a timeout. He picked up a charge on Murray, jumping in front of him on the perimeter. He battled on the offensive glass and drew FTs, he made both. Second Half: He attacked off the three line and hit the layup. He attacked from the corner and kicked to Ball for the wing three. Bogus foul on him defending the post to give up FTs. He helped Randle force a steal against Murray, got the ball and gave to Jules for the slam. Intentionally fouled with 55 seconds left, he made one FT.

Kuzma -- -- Stud. Great game from Kuz. He shot a poor 1-6 in the first half (0-4 from three) but was battling hard on the boards, pulling down 9 in the half and defending well. In the second half, he started to get going offensively with threes and an And-1 early in the half, but his defense struggled a bit. He’d rally on D and put up more fight as the game went along. He’d twist his ankle on a drive and have to go to the locker room. He was hobbling and in pain. Who knows how that ankle will look tomorrow…probably not good. Still, he came back and came up with an 8-point stretch with a baseline jumper and a couple of threes. The skills on display tonight for a rookie were impressive. He’d nail 5 threes, he’d hit a running hook, he’d score off a Euro-step with his off-hand, off glass for an And-1. He’d score 24 points in the second half. Did not look like a rookie out there tonight…and certainly left that rookie wall in pieces for a night. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 10-20 shooting (5-11 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 13 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 39 minutes. He was a -9. The Action: He missed a sideline pull-up jumper. He attacked off the three line and missed, but Randle cleaned it up. Nice challenge on help to force a miss. He missed a corner three in transition. His kickout was picked off. He missed a wing three. Nice job holding position in the post, then rotating to deny a drive and force a turnover. He missed an open three on a kickout. He attacked with a few seconds left in the half, spun, nearly lost it, got it back and scored the layup (his only score of the half). Second Half: He swished a corner three on a kickout. He sank a three off the pick and pop with ball at the top of the arc next time down. Deep three next time down when the shotclock was about to expire. He gave up too easy a score in the post on the other end. He attacked in transition with speed, Euro stepped and went glass for an And-1 with his left, he made the FT. He couldn’t finish a dunk on a cut. Missed a rotation and gave up a three. He attacked off the three line, spun and hit the hook. Nice change of directions but not close on the finish. He swished a corner three on a kickout next time down. He missed a wing three on a kickout. He pushed out the break, the defender set up for a charge and Kuzma changed directions at the last second and flipped in the layup. Wow, all kinds of contact on a layup attempt at the end of the quarter and no call (rolled his ankle on that, as well). He faked on the kickout, moved in and swished the leaning jumper. He sank a three coming off a screen at the top of the arc to take the pass. Next time down, he sank a wing three on a kickout. XXX

Thomas -- -- “Each and every game, each and every day I’m feeling better. It’s going in the right direction,” Isaiah said. He had 8 points on 2-5 shooting in 12 first half minutes (a +2, but the second unit did not hold the line well after helping build up a lead). He came in early in the third quarter for Lonzo who was struggling. We’d then bring Zo back and run both of them on the floor. He was the steadying, consistent force. IT made four threes tonight. They were looking good early on. Love seeing him break Jokic’s ankles with a change of direction for the uncontested layup. Earlier in this season, he wasn’t able to exploit the switches like he had been last year. He also came off a screen with speed and pulled up for an open 17-footer that Denver had no chance of stopping. Those are the things we want to see more and more of. Defensively, we left him in down the stretch, even when we needed defensive stops. The Nuggets couldn’t take advantage with any consistency (even blowing a post entry pass to a big when he was on him). The Stats: He scored 23 points on 7-19 shooting (4-9 from three, 5-6 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +15. The Action: He missed a three trying to beat the shotclock, got it back and was fouled for FTs, he made both. He kicked out to Lopez for a three. He swished a pull-up three in transition. He came up open off the high screen and knocked down the three (looking like FTs right now). A little off balance on his next three working off the screen and he missed. He was stripped trying to dribble through defenders. Too deep into the paint and he was rejected. Second Half: He missed a pull-up in the lane. Looked fouled on the perimeter with no call and lost the ball. He missed an easy looking floater. He missed another floater. He hit a leaning, pull-up three off the screen. He picked up a tech after getting no call on a step-through where he got tripped. He missed a wing three. He drained a three off a drag screen. He missed off the drag screen next time down. He attacked the paint and drew FTs against Plumlee, he made both. He came off the screen with speed to get the big backing up, then pulled up and swished the open 17-footer. He missed a deep three on iso. He missed a tricky layup in the paint, got it back, pulled it out and hit short baseline jumper. He missed a corner three on a kickout. He got a mismatch, nailed Jokic to the floor off the cross-over and coasted in for the layup. Intentionally fouled with 47 seconds left up 6, he made one.

Caruso -- -- Nothing flashy tonight. He drew a couple of FTs on a drive for his points. He played his usual feisty defense. I swear opponents look at him like they better attack him and then quickly find out it’s not that easy. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 2-2 from the line to go with 1 board, 1 assist and no fouls in 10 minutes. He was a +6. The Action: Swing pass to Wear for a three. He attacked in transition and drew FTs, he made both. Second Half: Nothing to report.

Zubac -- -- Yikes. Not a good stretch for him in this one. He got blocked on a dunk attempt. He had the ball stole from him from the high post and he gave up 3 fouls in his 5 minutes. He needs to bring it. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting to go with 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 5 minutes. He was a -2. The Action: He showed the ball in the high post above his head and it was knocked away from behind, then he gave up an And-1 on the other end. He showed the ball and was rejected on the dunk attempt. Nice defensive play to block a lob but he was called for a bogus foul. Second Half: He did not play in the second half.

Wear -- -- Some hit and miss moments out there. He’d sink one three for his only points. Key stretch early in the fourth when Kuzma was out where Wear took over for him. When Kuzma returned, we went from trailing by 5 to leading by 3 during that. He was a bit foul prone, but also had a moment or two where he was disruptive on D. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting from three to go with 1 board, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 13 minutes. He was a +5. The Action: He sank a three off a swing pass. He missed a wing three. He got tapped on an open sideline three on a kickout. Second Half: Good D, smothering his man and forcing a kickout.

Walton -- -- Lakers up 1 when IT came in for Kuzma with 5:39 left in the quarter… They forced a timeout a minute later up 5. Randle rolling… Lakers up 11 when Wear and Caruso came in for Ball and Randle… Zubac, Wear, Kuzma, Caruso, IT to close the quarter, Lakers up 10… The Lakers led 35-22 after the first quarter… Same unit to start the second quarter… Lonzo back in for Caruso up 8 after 3 minutes… Randle in for Zubac… KCP in for Wear… IT out for Brook midway through the quarter. Lakers up just 3 now… Timeout a second later with the score just 40-39. Lakers outscored 17-5 in the first half of this quarter (a 10-0 run right now)… Not going to Lopez in the post enough (Lakers would go 1-12 from three)… The Lakers led 48-47 at the half. They had 10 turnovers… Trailing by 5 early in the third, Luke called a timeout… At this point I might sit Ball for IT pretty soon. He’s been awful… Yep, Luke benched him a minute later (7:37 left), Lakers down 4… Another timeout down 10… Lonzo back in for Randle a couple minutes later. Hopefully, the couple minutes out will have pissed him off… Randle back in for Lopez, down 11… Caruso in for KCP, down 10 with a minute left… The Lakers trailed 82-77 heading into the fourth… He started the Randle, Wear, Ball, Caruso, Thomas lineup… KCP in for Caruso down 4… Down 2 with 8 minutes left. The Nuggets brought back their starters. The Lakers with Randle, Wear, Ball, KCP and IT… Kuzma back for Wear, Lakers up 3 with 6:40 left… Despite the bit of a limp still, Kuzma came in and knocked down a jumper and couple threes to give the Lakers a 7-point lead with 5 minutes left… Timeout up 7 with 1:37 left. Luke left IT in on D. Hopefully, that doesn’t hurt. They tried to exploit it on a backdoor cut, but we somehow forced a turnover (don’t know how he lost that)… Lakers closed… They would finish 15-40 from three and a poor 17-25 from the line…
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject:

First.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:26 pm    Post subject:

Great write up DB! Missed the game but I really wanted this win.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:28 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
King in the Fourth giving it to the Douche in the Fourth.




Good one DB!!

Great win, thanks again for a great write up as always!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:42 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Whatever happens on offence or when their shots are not falling, Ball and Caruso bring some excellent D. That's an exemplary professionalism right there.
Something for Zubac to follow.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:05 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:51 am    Post subject:

Not sure where else to post this but Randles play against Jokic at the end of the game, where Jokic was looking for a fight really made me aware of what a douche bag Jokic is.

Jokic was grabbing and pushing Randle all game long, it was annoying to Randle at times and you could see it, but he always took it like a man, figured it was part of the game. Refs where letting a lot go and Randle dishes it out too so no harm no foul.

But then Jokic gets a little shove from Randle and flips out, like he hasn't been doing worse all game long. What a dick! But I really like Randle, he just laughs at people and stays out of it. Someone will try to pop him eventually simply because they won't like his bull dozing around the basket. Too bad for them, he is going to take what the refs give him. He lets the refs dictate the play and doesn't really care what the other teams think.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:12 am    Post subject:

Randle is a player with the old school mentality. That's extremely rare in today's nba. Kobe passed the torch to him.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:39 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

I can't say from what I've seen this season (admittedly limited recently) that Zubac looks like an NBA player.

Randle on the other hand... he took a big step forward last year, but he's taken an even bigger one this year. I shudder to think of how good he'll be next year if he keeps up this trajectory. Hopefully it's for the PnG
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:55 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB !
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:59 am    Post subject:

Again, signs of tangible growth

Ball contributing despite not being able to hit the backboard on offense

KCP getting boards when not scoring

Kuzma being a beast despite a sprain ankle

Randle playing through his temporary lapse

IT becoming more of his old "closer" self

Caruso being a pest

Zubac hopefully learning that he has to play with mean intentions against players like Nokic

Brook learning to not be obsessed with the 3 point shot and at the 3 point line where often his height is a liability if he is not hitting his outside shots

Ennis learning that the less he plays, the better the team play
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:15 am    Post subject:

This game solidified it for me. This is my favourite team since our 2009/10 team.

I love Randle. I would be heartbroken to lose him regardless of what happens this offseason. Lonzo is incredible to watch, and going to be a joy to watch develop. I think extremely highly of Ingram, both in terms of potential as a player and as a dude to support. Kuzma is fantastic, KCP has really been a fantastic part of the team all this season apart from his stint in Jail. I realise "culture" is a buzzword, but this team is enjoyable to watch and their interactions are extremely enjoyable to see. A lot of these guys I would like to watch on the Lakers for the rest of their careers.

I've felt this way for a lot of this season, but especially since Luke was forced to start Randle (I like Luke and believe in him, but the way Randle was handled gave good reason to question his process).

Exciting times for Laker fans!

(P.S. Thank you for all your write ups DB. They're always a joy to read.)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:03 am    Post subject:

thanks DB

Nice to see Kuzma starting to play better the last 2 games.

Randle continues to look like he has broken out into all star level play and he keeps raising the bar. Nice defense last night
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:04 am    Post subject:

Taking down a full strength Nuggets squad fighting for a playoff spot while not having 2 of your top rotation guys available... GROWTH!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:05 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
I just feel that this Lakers team can win against every team.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:08 am    Post subject:

MURRAY SUCKS !!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:09 am    Post subject:

This win made me very proud of this young depleted team.

Showed a lot of heart not letting those punk ass Nuggets get a win in our house.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:35 am    Post subject:

Thank God we stop giving Ennis minutes, we need to figure out a way to cut Zubac and Wear’s minutes now
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:38 am    Post subject:

al242 wrote:
Thank God we stop giving Ennis minutes, we need to figure out a way to cut Zubac and Wear’s minutes now


You want to run a 7 man rotation? Overall Wear has had a positive impact. As for zubac, well we can always play Bryant, not sure why he rarely gets any minutes.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:43 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:53 am    Post subject:

al242 wrote:
Thank God we stop giving Ennis minutes, we need to figure out a way to cut Zubac and Wear’s minutes now


They're only playing because of injuries
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:56 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

I watched Ju give it to Milsap, who is a legit all star. They had to double and triple team that young bull. I think I'll call Ju El Toro.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:18 am    Post subject:

Texas_Pete wrote:
Thanks DB.

I watched Ju give it to Milsap, who is a legit all star. They had to double and triple team that young bull. I think I'll call Ju El Toro.



I actually started calling him that in his second season.

Question for everyone, especially DB, whom I thank so much for the summaries.

We lost Ball for awhile, kept winning. We've lost BI for awhile now, yet keep winning.

Do we keep rolling like this over the same stretch without Julius ?
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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Joined: 17 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject:

Wino wrote:
Not sure where else to post this but Randles play against Jokic at the end of the game, where Jokic was looking for a fight really made me aware of what a douche bag Jokic is.

Jokic was grabbing and pushing Randle all game long, it was annoying to Randle at times and you could see it, but he always took it like a man, figured it was part of the game. Refs where letting a lot go and Randle dishes it out too so no harm no foul.

But then Jokic gets a little shove from Randle and flips out, like he hasn't been doing worse all game long. What a dick! But I really like Randle, he just laughs at people and stays out of it. Someone will try to pop him eventually simply because they won't like his bull dozing around the basket. Too bad for them, he is going to take what the refs give him. He lets the refs dictate the play and doesn't really care what the other teams think.


I saw a snippet this morning somewhere that, according to Randle, Jokic had just got done trying to do the same arm grab/shoulder shove dirt move that Nurkic used to injure Lonzo's shoulder around New Year's Day. The old Olynyk play. Randle didn't take kindly to that. Serves Jokic right that he was badly embarrassed along with Murray at the close of yesterday's game. Jokic didn't succeed in landing Randle on the injured list, but hey it's the thought that counts.
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