NUGGETS -at- LAKERS – 10-25-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: NUGGETS -at- LAKERS – 10-25-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Speed Kills… This was no track meet to start this game as both the Lakers and Nuggets plodded along out of the gates.

They traded leads and by halftime the Lakers led by a point. They actually lost the break just 8-6. They executed more in the halfcourt, running the ball through LeBron to orchestrate the show.

As the second half went along and the leads changed hands, the Lakers started to fade in the fourth quarter, falling back by 8 with the energy in the building going flat.

Stepping into that void? Lance Stephenson.

He sank back-to-back threes and then scored a layup. With that flurry, the electricity was back in Staples and momentum had shifted. The defense picked up with that energy, and the Lakers had the Nuggets on their heels.

To close the game, Luke went small with LeBron at center against Jokic. This resulted in multiple sequences where Lonzo’s D was disruptive and sensational as the Nuggets were sucked into attacking Lonzo/LeBron. Lonzo’s quick hands seemed to be everywhere as he was getting steals, boards and challenging shots. For good measure, he also drained a step-back three against Jokic on the other end.

The Lakers throttled up the speed with breakaway dunks from LeBron (off a pretty pass from Lance…he led LeBron on a chest pass threaded through traffic) and Kuzma on the break off a Lonzo steal.

The Lakers eventually put the ball in LeBron’s hands to orchestrate the offense when it slowed down in the final minute and he was able to manufacture a key layup. Thrilling fourth quarter to watch as the Lakers pulled out the 121-114 win and gave the Nuggets their first loss of the season.

“Speed kills,” LeBron said afterward.


LeBron -- -- His first triple-double in the purple and gold with Kobe (and Magic) there to watch it. The numbers he has in some of the first halves let you know he’s on that pace pretty continually. He had 14 points, 6 boards and 8 assists in the first half. He’s trouble on the break for defenders when he’s got the ball in his hands. “When we rebound the ball we got to do what we do best and that’s run,” LeBron said. But what I really like seeing is when he changes ends with speed and gets a pass to finish. Feels like he’s getting a little more used to going quickly off change of possessions. The three shooting has been a struggle so far early this season. He went just 1-5 tonight. I’m assuming that will get better. Finishing-wise he’s been missing a few he usually finishes, as well. Love having the ball in his hands when it’s crunch time and the pressure is on. He’s only going to look better as the season goes along and we start running more sets. The Stats: He scored 28 points on 10-17 shooting (1-5 from three, 7-10 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 11 assist, 3 steals, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +13. The Action: He sold as if he was going one way, then changed directions by going behind his back, attacked and scored a layup. He threw a pass away in the middle of the paint. He hit Kuzma in transition for a three. He attacked off a Lonzo steal and drew FTs, he missed both. He missed a 30-footer trailing the break, not a great shot. He scored a layup on the screen-roll with Lonzo. He pounded the dribble and missed the corner three. He dunked off the Nuggets turnover a few seconds later. He came off the baseline screen by Svi, took a pass and scored the layup. He attacked in transition, spun at high speed and drew FTs at the rim, he made both. He hit Stephenson for the jumper in the corner. He saw the D sagging off so he fired a bullet to KCP for the wing three. He hit Hart for the wing three. He pushed it up in transition and hit the short baseline fade. He scored off the touch pass from Lonzo. He hit Kuzma on the break for FTs. He missed a jumper iso’ing against Jokic. He lost a dribble as he tried to gather for the finish. Second Half: He attacked in transition and drew FTs, he made both. He missed a wing three. He scored a layup out of the timeout as he sealed the D and took a pass over the fronting D. He threaded a pass to Williams for a layup. He pushed it out with speed and drew FTs, just missing a layup, he made both. He drained a three off an inbounds. He missed a tough three with the shotclock about to expire, but McGee dunked it in. He missed a tough fade across the lane. He found McGee for the short jumphook. He busted out down court off the Lonzo board and he ended up finishing the two-handed dunk on the other end, beating everyone down court. He drew a crowd on a probe and hit Kuzma cutting baseline for the dunk. He iso’d, lost his balance and had a shotclock violation with 1:15, ouch. Ball in to LeBron to run clock, he attacked and muscled past his man, through the contact and scoring the easy layup with 38 seconds left. Back to the line with 12.9 left up 6, he made one FT.

Ball -- -- That stat line is pretty impressive across the board…assists, rebounds, steals and double digit scoring. Defensively, he was pretty amazing in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets tried to go at him with the two-man game and switches. Lonzo disrupted the (bleep) out of that. He ended up with 5 steals on the night. “He’s got some of the quickest hands this league has,” LeBron said. He had two backcourt steals tonight, one on an inbounds, the other just picking his man like he was Ron Artest with the reach. The starters desperately needed improved D and Lonzo gives them that. I liked seeing the LeBron/Ball two-man action, setting screens for each other in the first half. This opens up mismatches for LeBron to exploit and collapse the D with. Late in the game, we saw Lonzo with the mismatch with Jokic trying to guard him. He sized him up and swished his step-back three (2-5 from behind the arc tonight…no airballs, either). LeBron mentioned when Lonzo is aggressive, thinking score first, he’s at his best. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 5-10 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 6 boards, 8 assists, 5 steals, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a +10. The Action: He missed a wing three to start the game. He stole an inbounds pass. He missed a wide open corner three (didn’t look like he went up straight). He attacked from the wing and blew a layup. He hit LeBron on the screen-roll for a layup. He was blocked on a drive. He fumbled a dribble away on the perimeter, unforced error, uncontested points the other way. His post entry hung in the air too long and was stolen (Kuz needs to seal better but that put him in a difficult spot). Sweet touch pass to LeBron in the paint for a layup. He then picked his man in the backcourt and scored a layup (that was like Artest with the reach). He set a screen for LeBron, got the switch, took a LeBron kickout with a couple seconds left and whipped it to Kuzma for a three at the buzzer. Second Half: He worked his way over to the wing and wished a three to start the half. He hit McGee rolling for the layup. He hit LeBron over the fronting D for a layup. He stepped around Jokic to knock the post entry pass loose on a switch. He sank a rare pull-up wing jumper off the high screen (going to his right). Good challenge in the post for force a miss. He pushed it up with speed and hit Kuzma cutting for the reverse. He turned the corner to his right and scored a layup. His perimeter pass was picked off. He lobbed to McGee for the dunk. Short on a pull-up wing three in transition. Great job slapping a ball loose on help D, then diving to the floor for a loose ball and quickly giving it to Hart for the one-man break. He pulled down a big board in a crowd, then hit Stephenson to ignite the break. Great hands again to strip the ball away from Jokic in the paint. He iso’d on Jokic, stepped back to his left and swished the three straight away on the other end. He somehow got Jokic to miss in the post on a switch. He drew a moving screen on Jokic to get a stop. Again great hands on the perimeter handoff to knock it loose to Kuzma who was gone in a flash for a breakaway dunk.

Kuzma -- -- He and LeBron are getting into a real good rhythm together. When LeBron turns heads, Kuzma is off on cuts to get open (Lonzo finding him, too). With passers, you need guys like him who move and get open. Kuz and LBJ teamed up for a huge dunk late in the fourth off one of those sequences. Defensively, when we went to the small ball with a few minutes left in the game it was LeBron at the C spot, not Kuzma. The reason that worked better was just the sensational play by our guards and maybe LBJ being less of a target to attack. Lonzo was a beast pulling down big boards or getting his hands on everything. When we go small, that guard help is key. He had 12 points on 4-10 shooting (2-4 from three) in the first half. He attacked from the corner for a couple of floaters over Jokic trying to take a charge. In the second half, some great work off the ball. The Stats: He scored 22 points on 8-18 shooting (2-6 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 34 minutes. He was a +7. The Action: He missed a tough turnaround after flashing to the ball. He rejected a layup on one end, then swished the corner three on the other. He was stripped in transition, turnover. Nice challenge in transition to get a stop. He attacked across the lane and missed a forced 12-footer. He missed a wing three. He attacked and was swatted out of bounds. He was called for an offensive foul on a push-off. He attacked from the corner and swished the floater. He missed a wing three. He attacked from the corner and hit the floater. Great D to deny his man on a drive and force a turnover. He was then fouled in transition the other way for FTs, he made both. He took the extra pass from Lonzo and swished the wing three at the buzzer. He swished a wing three at the halftime buzzer off the extra pass from Lonzo. Second Half: He curled around the lane to his left and quickly scored a layup stretching out before the D could help. He missed a wing three. He drew FTs off a quick counterstrike, he made both. He choked a reverse on the break. Great baseline cut in transition and Lonzo found him, this time he made the reverse. He missed a pull-up three on a switch. He blocked a drive from behind. He missed a hook across the lane. Once again a great cut baseline as LeBron drew attention, LBJ found him and Kuzma threw down the two-handed dunk over the collapsing defenders. Wow, did he get down court fast off the Lonzo steal for a two-handed dunk.

McGee -- -- Those minutes are climbing (32 tonight…if he can give us that, that’s huge). He looked a step slow from the start of this game (maybe even the tip). Then seemed to warm up a little. He had 9 points and 5 boards at the half. He struggled at times with holding the line against Jokic. But when you think about it, Jokic scored 24, McGee had 21. That’s neutralizing him a bit. He’s killing it. He’s getting some garbage points just being aggressive around the rim and hustling for offensive boards (5 tonight). We’re looking for him a ton, but not just for lob passes (which are a staple). He’s working the post for scores, as well. Defensively, he said he tried to stay on the floor against Jokic, not biting on pumpfakes. He struggled sometimes with Jokic’s weight/strength. Luke is subbing him in and out quite a bit, getting him breathers so that his energy stays strong. “Pace is really going to keep us in game and win games,” McGee said. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 10-16 shooting (1-1 from the line) to go with 7 boards (5 offensive), 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +4. The Action: He spun in the post, got into the chest of the big and scored a layup. Called for a bogus goaltend that Beasley partially blocked first. He dunked off the lob from Lance. He hammered down an And-1 lob off the pass from Svi, he made the FT. He missed a one-hander, got it back and missed the turnaround. He tipped in a missed Stephenson drive. He got bullied in the paint by Jokic for a layup. He rejected a layup. He missed a layup, hustled after it, then hit Lonzo cutting who touch passed to LeBron for the layup. Another layup for Jokic. Second Half: He smothered Harris with LeBron to get a stop. He missed a FT jumper. He rolled to the hoop, took the pass, hung and scored the layup. He missed a post attempt on iso. Back in and he threw down a lob dunk from Lonzo. He missed a sweeping hook. He grabbed a missed shot and dunked it in. He got a short jumphook to crawl in out of a timeout, almost short armed that. He hit a hook across the middle of the paint. He tipped in a missed hook by Kuzma.

Hart -- -- He mentioned gang rebounding several times after the game. That’s the key to their small ball. You’ve got to control the boards, and with Hart and Lonzo out there, they can be effective. Hart didn’t shoot the ball well tonight, going just 1-6 from three. But, man, how much do you love seeing him get that pass from Lonzo who was on the floor after a steal and then pushing it out with speed at Jokic. You just know the defender is in trouble. He’s been much better defensively the last couple of games, but I do still prefer Lonzo as the stopper. Again, Hart had a couple steals tonight. One of them again a steal in the passing lane and taking it for the two-handed dunk. He led the Lakers in +/-. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 3-10 shooting (1-6 from three, 5-6 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +15. The Action: He missed a wing three. He scooped up a loose ball and hit LeBron for the dunk. He got backdoored for a dunk. He missed a pumping three trying to beat the shotclock. He was blocked out of bounds on a reverse. He airballed an open sideline three. LeBron hit him again next time down and he swished the wing three. He smothered Harris to force a prayer. He attacked the rim and was knocked down with no call on the miss. He attacked again and scored the layup (think he wanted the foul on that one, too). Second Half: Unforced error throwing a perimeter pass out of bounds, uggh. He pounced on the kickout, tipping it twice and taking it for the two-handed dunk and forcing a timeout. He missed a wing three. He attacked the paint and drew FTs, he made both. One-man break against Jokic and he drew FTs, he made both. He missed a corner three. Fouled intentionally on the inbounds with 25 seconds left, he made one FT.

Stephenson -- -- “Lance picked us up,” Luke said. LeBron said he sparked the team. Kuz said he was huge. Perfect instance where his value as a bench player showed up was midway through the fourth. The Lakers really needed someone to get going…I even said, “Come on, Lance, get hot.” The Lakers were just looking flat and he got the energy going. Lance sank back-to-back threes to cut an 8-point lead down to 2 and keep the Lakers in the fight. Second night of a back-to-back, you need guys like that to step up. He then scored a layup and later hit LeBron with a sweet chest pass on the break. That was a huge turnaround from down 8 to up 7. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 5-11 shooting (2-3 from three) to go with 4 boards (2 offensive), 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 25 minutes. He was a +6. The Action: He kicked to KCP for a three. He iso’d and hit a wing pull-up. He knocked a pass loose to get a stop. He pushed it out and threw a kickout away. He lobbed to McGee for the dunk. He drained a corner three (probably a foot on the line) on a dish from LeBron. He attacked the paint, missed but McGee cleaned up the dribble penetration. He said Kobe praised him afterward and that he “was a little hyped” from that. Second Half: He attacked and missed a layup and the follow tip (he wanted the foul). He missed a wing three. He attacked, a little (a lot) OC so they didn’t give him a call as he got hit and missed. He knocked down a wing three off the two-man game. He sank another three from about the same spot next time down to cut it to 2. Out of the timeout after the play busted, he attacked down the middle of the lane for a layup to create something out of nothing. He got tapped on a drive next time down. Sweet chest pass across court, through traffic to LeBron on the break for the two-handed jam.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He sank a couple of much-needed threes in the first half. Not much else out there, but at least that fell for him early. He really looked lost out there some sequences. Again, maybe it’s just the hoop IQ. He needs reps in familiar sets/system to get comfortable. When that happens, he’ll be more consistent. He had the team-low -13. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-5 shooting (2-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a -13. The Action: He was stripped curling into the paint. He rattled in a sideline three on a kickout. He was fouled on a loose ball for FTs, he made both. He missed a pull-up elbow jumper. He threw a pass into LeBron’s shins in transition trying to kickout to another Laker, turnover, score the other way. He swished a wing three when LeBron fired a pass to him. He missed a three in transition. Second Half: Wild corner three after looking completely lost on the offensive end, he missed.

Williams -- -- No Zubac to help give up career numbers to Plumlee. Williams got the call. Not that he didn’t have his hands full, too, but our team D was also much better. Somehow we held the line against the Nuggets bigs this game. I think maybe if they were more methodical working their advantage it could have been a lot worse because Jokic was making it look easy. The Lakers really will need another strong, big defender. We have Moe, but I don’t think he’s got the strength yet. Offensively, not much going on for Williams. He was drawing a number of hold fouls after rolling to the hoop early on. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting to go with 2 boards, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a -4. The Action: Nice challenge to prevent a reverse. He recovered to the rolling Jokic to draw a charge. Second Half: He was stripped in transition at the rim. He gathered a pass in a crowd, then rose up for the score. He short-armed a good look at a jumphook.

Mykhailiuk -- -- He looked very comfortable attacking for scores or passes early on. Defensively, some excellent challenges and hustle in the first half, as well. Just about all of his action took place in the first half. Reasonable two-way game for the youngin. He got a couple scores on drives and also hit McGee for an And-1 dunk off a lob. Serviceable minutes, which is nice. Coaches like seeing reliable play. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-3 shooting to go with 2 boards, 1 assist and 1 foul in 12 minutes. He was a -2. The Action: He attacked off the three line and hit a running hook over the D. Superb help rotation to get up and challenge at the rim and force a bricked reverse attempt. He screened to free up LeBron off ball for a layup. He crossed over, attacked and lobbed to McGee for the And-1 dunk. Good recovery to challenge a layup and get a miss. Quick first step off the three line and he took it for the layup. He missed a three in transition, but got his own miss as the board headed back to him, then reset the offense and it led to a KCP three. Second Half: Nothing to report.

Beasley -- -- He passes up such wide open looks sometimes from three it’s frustrating. His first attempt today, he charged after opting not to shoot the wide open three. I think that got him sidelined again for the rest of the game. Just no flow with him. The Stats: He had 1 turnover and 1 foul in 3 minutes. He was a -1. The Action: He didn’t want to shoot the open corner three and opted to charge instead, sigh. Second Half: He did not play in the second half.

Walton -- -- The offense was struggling out of the gates and Luke called a timeout down 9-5… Out of a timeout, they put the ball in Lonzo’s hand to work the two-man game with LeBron for a score… Williams in for McGee with 5 minutes left down 2… Stephenson in for LeBron still down 2 just 30 seconds later… Down 4 and KCP came in for Hart… Beasley in at PF for Kuzma. Svi for Lonzo… McGee back in for Williams with a minute left… The Lakers trailed 26-22 after the first quarter… Timeout down 4 after getting hurt by Plumlee in the paint a couple times… They took a 1-point lead and the Nuggets called a timeout. Hart in for Lance… Williams and Kuzma in for McGee and Svi tie score… LeBron out, Ball in up 1… Down 4, Laker timeout. He brought in the starters again… They led 58-57 at the half. They lost the break 8-6, but made 5-15 threes to the Nuggets 3-14. Lakers had 2 more boards. Lakers had 17 assists with 10 turnovers… Both teams exchanged timeouts after small runs to open the third quarter as the lead went back and forth… Williams in for McGee down 2 with 7:27 left… KCP in for Hart, Lakers up 6… Stephenson in for LeBron, Lakers up 4 with 3:47 left… Nuggets working Jokic in the post… Finally McGee in after the Lakers were getting scorched with that. They trailed by 2… Hart in for Kuzma… Svi in for Lonzo with 37 seconds left... The Lakers trailed 89-87 heading into the fourth… He started the McGee, LeBron, Svi, KCP, Stephenson lineup… Down 5, Luke called a timeout. Too many defensive breakdowns… Hart and Lonzo in for KCP and LeBron down 7 with 6:55 left… Stephenson sank a couple threes to cut an 8-point lead to 2 and force a timeout… They sat McGee for LeBron, moving LBJ on Jokic. Score tied with 3:49 left… Lonzo just sensational on D in this stretch… The Lakers pulled out to a 7-point lead and forced a timeout with just under a minute left. A couple big dunks during this stretch… After a Nuggets score we called timeout, had LeBron attack off a Lonzo screen for the easy layup to go up 7… We went to Hart and Kuzma taking inbounds passes, both intentionally fouled. Hart made one FT… LeBron fouled with 12.9 left, he made one FT. Got to clean that up… Lakers held on to the win…
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George W Buss
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject:

Yeah! Back-to-back wins!
Thanks, DB!

Not sure what is wrong with Beasley and KCP, but it is good to see how Kuz, Zo and Hart step up their games this season.


Last edited by George W Buss on Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:35 pm    Post subject:

I noticed the mighty Jokic has one flaw that zo figured out how to exploit- the rip ball steal when he tries to bounce the ball and move into his post move or jump shot action...

Thanks DB
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KeepItRealOrElse
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:15 pm    Post subject:

We just beat the vaunted Nuggets on a b2b, without 2 of our better players.... lol
See ya'll in the Playoffs.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:24 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

Zo giving it to Murray out there.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:43 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Very gratifying win, this one!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:01 am    Post subject:

These threads R A treasure
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:41 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB! Great recap!

The way Lonzo and LeBron play together is lovely. Add Kuzma and its beautiful.
This trio has played so well together I would not surprised if BI and Rondo came off the bench when back.

On the other hand, poor execution on defence bothers me a lot. Everyone, except for McGee perhaps, is just giving away open lines and open shots. We are mightily over-helping. Maybe it is something Luke wants them to do, but it hurts. They switch on everything and it is great to have players who can do that, but then they get caught with someone missing it and boom, it is an open layup/3pointer again.

Still, we are only 5 games into the season with a new group and new floor generals, but have been playing on par with the best teams. That is really promising.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:03 am    Post subject:

Mcgee looked gased at the end. Love the win but hope we can keep up this level of play
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:16 am    Post subject:

I never watched a lot of LeBron before, but I have a feeling he never got his points that easy like he does. I guess the same applies for McGee.

I really think if they get used to each other on offense the defense will pick up, just by saving energy on the offensive end.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:44 am    Post subject:

Great win. The young guys just need to keep working and moving without the ball. LeBron will find them, he's a very willing and great passer.

Let's hope these last two games are the beginning of a nice season.
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deal
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:19 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!!
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governator
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:45 am    Post subject:

I believe!

Another max or not, this team is a contender next yr just pick up a back up big
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:55 am    Post subject:

I've criticized Luke's small ball approach before, but against Denver I think he nailed it. Small ball can actually work - if played in short stretches, and the guards are capable of defending and rebounding the way Ball does on the perimeter and Hart defends down low, and if we have LeBron take center, not Kuz.

Jokic is one of the most formidable center matchups in the league. We played small ball for a few minutes, at the end of the game, when Jokic was dog tired and we ran his ass off. We got 31 minutes out of Javale McGee(!) and another 12 minutes out of Williams, and the Lakers held the line before we got to that point where we blew past them and kept the lead. IMO Luke played his hand well in terms of neutralizing a formidable center.

I still think we need a bigger, stronger backup center than Williams so we don't need 31 minutes out of Javale to stay with teams like Denver, but kudos to Williams for battling the way he did out there.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:22 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

Lebron - has had a few stinker moments missing layups and FT's but I'm hoping it's just a matter of getting used to the energy needed to be effective in a fast pace system.

Zo - had a few brain fart moments but then snapped out of it pretty quickly. Willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that it was just a momentary lapse.

Lance - "Make 'em dance, Lance!" He's just earned himself a prominent bench role. Good for him.

Going forward - I'm really hoping Luke will seriously try out a McGee, Lebron, Kuz, Hart and Zo starting unit with some combination of Moe (when healthy), Williams, Ingram, Lance, Rondo, SVI and KCP off the bench. This starting lineup really has a flow offensively and that leaves plenty of veterans to shore up the bench unit's effectiveness in maintaining leads.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:02 am    Post subject:

TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
I've criticized Luke's small ball approach before, but against Denver I think he nailed it. Small ball can actually work - if played in short stretches, and the guards are capable of defending and rebounding the way Ball does on the perimeter and Hart defends down low, and if we have LeBron take center, not Kuz.


There was a real sense of urgency when they went to the small ball with LeBron at C. Lance kicked things up a notch prior to that, but when Luke went to that, the guys seemed like they knew they had to take things up a couple of levels to make it work. Felt like he unleashed the dogs.

We've got the guards to hold their own in the post or hit the boards, but they've got to commit to going all out.

You can't run LeBron like that for long stretches. So 3 minutes to close a game? Might be doable. Seems doable physically for him. Still ballsy move by Luke after Jokic ate up small ball before...but he's been eager to get to his real small ball lineup and went for it last night. I'll be curious to see how the Nuggets adjust next time.

On a related note, I've been worried about Kuzma's D in these game closing situations if he wasn't bringing it offensively (he was fine on D last night actually). But he's been bringing it on O now at the PF. What I like about the end of this game, however, was his offensive impact was on stuff he can do all the time...cuts, changing ends and finishing at the rim. The more familiar they are with each other, the bigger impact he will have in crunch time based just on these things that don't go away (unlike a shot or iso ball). Glad we're starting to see more progress for Kuz and Hart on D.

Kind of crazy we've got 3 second year guys we are relying on like this...but we saw this last year from them. Great draft.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:45 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB. What a great, fun game.

It's good to be good again.
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pio2u
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:13 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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mhan00
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject:

It’s still early and teams are going to adjust, but so far the team has looked like it’s delivering what Magic and Pelinka thought it would: lots of playmakers getting us a ton of points inside, mitigating our shaky three point shooting. Our issue has been on defense, especially against bigs, but Lebron at C to end the game last night helped that a lot as well as Johnathon Williams. Hopefully our fast break scores and tons of easy scores inside off of cuts and penetration in the half court keeps up as teams scout and gameplan against us.
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LakerLanny
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:45 pm    Post subject:

I think people are starting to see the method behind Maglinka's perceived madness.

We badly needed veteran toughness to go along with our young core. Rondo, Lance and McGee have proven to be steals so far, great job by Maglinka.
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:00 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
I've criticized Luke's small ball approach before, but against Denver I think he nailed it. Small ball can actually work - if played in short stretches, and the guards are capable of defending and rebounding the way Ball does on the perimeter and Hart defends down low, and if we have LeBron take center, not Kuz.


There was a real sense of urgency when they went to the small ball with LeBron at C. Lance kicked things up a notch prior to that, but when Luke went to that, the guys seemed like they knew they had to take things up a couple of levels to make it work. Felt like he unleashed the dogs.

We've got the guards to hold their own in the post or hit the boards, but they've got to commit to going all out.

You can't run LeBron like that for long stretches. So 3 minutes to close a game? Might be doable. Seems doable physically for him. Still ballsy move by Luke after Jokic ate up small ball before...but he's been eager to get to his real small ball lineup and went for it last night. I'll be curious to see how the Nuggets adjust next time.

On a related note, I've been worried about Kuzma's D in these game closing situations if he wasn't bringing it offensively (he was fine on D last night actually). But he's been bringing it on O now at the PF. What I like about the end of this game, however, was his offensive impact was on stuff he can do all the time...cuts, changing ends and finishing at the rim. The more familiar they are with each other, the bigger impact he will have in crunch time based just on these things that don't go away (unlike a shot or iso ball). Glad we're starting to see more progress for Kuz and Hart on D.

Kind of crazy we've got 3 second year guys we are relying on like this...but we saw this last year from them. Great draft.


The more time passes the more ridiculously good that draft looks for us.

I agree the Lakers must avoid risking LeBron at C for too many minutes. Close games, last few minutes. Sure was fun to watch though!

I am very curious what new wrinkles Malone throws at us next time the Lakers battle the Nuggets.
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