LAKERS -at- THUNDER - 1/13 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:38 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- THUNDER - 1/13 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

7-0 on the Road... With the Thunder winless at home and the Lakers undefeated on the road, this game might have been over at tipoff. If not then, well, then certainly a few minutes after the tip.

The Lakers got out to a quick double digit lead and never looked back. They could get just about anything they wanted in this one and coasted to the 128-99 win over the Thunder.

The 7-0 start on the road is the best start of the franchise. Certainly, you could make a case for having no fans in the arenas aiding that, but last year the Lakers were dominant on the road, as well.

After completing their devastation of the Rockets franchise, good job by the team not getting bored and taking care of business in OKC.


LeBron -- -- The three ball was going down early. He sank back-to-back threes, then hit a third next time down but it was erased for an illegal D. (LeBron took that tech FT because he was robbed of the three ball, I think.) In the second half, he hit back-to-back wing threes from the same spot on the left side. The second one was a 4-point play. Good perimeter shooting night. Some end-of-the-clock percentage busters, but he was once again able to be effective without relentlessly attacking the paint. Just 1 assist in the first half, but in the second, he started finding teammates and added another 6 more, finding some three shooters or Trezz on the two-man game. Good, low-minute, low-impact minutes for LBJ. Defensively, I think he’s been much better since AD got on the team’s D. LeBron has had more closeouts, better communication, better job just locking in and we’ve seen the team’s D contract and recover much better. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 9-20 shooting (5-8 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 7 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a +14.

Davis -- -- He was dominating out of the gates. He had a straight line for a dunk on the face up. His man tried to shade him and AD just powered through him and elevated over the late help. Some easy looks in the post. He had 12 points on 5-8 shooting in the first half. Second half, he scored on a post fade, a floater and a jumphook. All of that deep post game was just looking automatic. He said the team is starting to put it together and loved that the team has been putting teams away to get his minutes lower now. “I’m starting to find my rhythm,” AD said. He said they are still trying to figure things out but that the team has come together quickly after getting more and more reps in. He’s averaging 22.5 points, 8.7 boards, and 1.9 blocks with 40.6% three shooting. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 8-13 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 7 boards (3 offensive), 1 assist and no fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +16.

Schröder -- -- Facing his old team, he got the most minutes tonight with 32. A couple things I liked in this game. First was playing with foul trouble. He picked up two fouls on one defensive stand a minute into the game to get into trouble. Vogel kept him out there the entire first quarter and he didn’t get another. Great job there. In the third he was tagged with a couple more fouls. First time we’ve really seen him foul trouble. He played smart D avoiding situations where he could get tagged for another. So lesson learned for Vogel on this. He can trust Schröder in situations like that. The second thing I thought was excellent in this one was the passing. He did have another bad post entry on one of those long advance pass post entries to AD. But just one turnover tonight. He hit Morris on a pick and pop for a three. He kicked it out to KCP for a corner three. He found AD on a pocket pass on the two-man game for a floater. He hit Gasol trailing for a three. Those were fairly simple passes executed well. His best pass was an attack in the paint to draw Trezz’s man, then wrap the pass around the defender to setup Trezz for the easy one. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 4-12 shooting (1-3 from three, 5-6 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +22.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- On one of the highlight plays of the first half, Kenny’s man reached on the perimeter as THT dribbled. KCP used that opportunity to cut and THT zipped a pass to him for the easy layup. Great read and react for KCP on that sequence as he saw his man turn his head. Note that the lane was wide open for it, too, as we space the floor much better this season. A couple more threes from KCP in this game as well as a soaring breakaway dunk as he got out fast off the Laker defensive stop. Love watching him get out on the break. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-6 shooting (2-4 from three) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a +24.

Gasol -- -- Interesting seeing Vogel bring him out late for garbage time. After the game, coach said he wanted to get some guys some extra conditioning. I thought he got picked on a little bit at the end of the first half. Guys really need to help him out in certain situations, but you saw some wide open lanes where the help didn’t come or anticipate the action well. Still, quietly Gasol worked it out defensively and had 4 blocks and 2 steals in this game. One led to a nice sequence that ended with a KCP dunk in transition moments later. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-2 shooting (1-1 from three) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 4 blocks, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +16.

Harrell -- -- He had a team-high +13 in the first half. AD, Kuz and THT all set him up for finishes at the rim. Meanwhile, on D he had a block and drew a charge. He had another good stretch of D late in the third. He forced SGA into an airball on a challenge on a switch on one end, got an offensive board for an And-1 on the other, then drew a charge on the next defensive stand for another stop. The second night of a back-to-back, three games in four nights, we need that kind of energy and effort to make things easier on our superstars. Great job just beasting in the paint whenever he got the ball. I feel pretty confident when he’s got the ball under the hoop, even if there is a crowd converging on him. Seems to be a bucket or FTs. His prettiest score might have been on an inbounds that came to him at the FT line. He attacked, spun around the defender at high speed and scored the layup. Can’t wait to see him put up big numbers like this against the top teams, as well. It will happen as long as you’re getting that solid D. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 8-12 shooting (0-1 from three, 5-8 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +13.

Kuzma -- -- Again, he knocked down a three on his first touch. Some really good activity on the boards even if the stats didn’t show it. He was continually putting pressure on the offensive glass and had three boards there. He had another shotblock, this one was on a some nice D against SGA. The team switched things up and Kuz jumped on SGA, stayed with him on the drive and then swatted the finish. Really good sequence of D there. Some good moments of passing the ball. He hit Trezz on a nice drive and dish to set him up for a layup. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-8 shooting (1-4 from three) to go with 6 boards (3 offensive), 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 1 turnover in 18 minutes. He was a +8.

Caruso -- -- Great first stint. He set up Kuz on a nice drive and dish. He sank back-to-back threes. Set a screen for LeBron who hit a three. Overall, easy night for AC. I think he hit the floor once and also took a shot to his hand, so a few bumps and bruises, but not a lot of wear and tear. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-2 shooting to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a -2.

Horton-Tucker -- -- He had a nice stretch in the first half of playmaking (a +8 in 5 minutes). He attacked the paint and dumped a pass off to a trailing Trezz for a score. He then showed some nice handles on the perimeter as KCP’s man reached, KCP cut off that and Talen hit him off the dribble on the cut for a layup. In the fourth, he had a nice attack left that was cut off, he spun back the other way to lose the defender, draw Trezz’s man and he set up Trezz for the And-1 layup. Something I’d like to see more of, he attacked the rim, got contact on the defender, hung and used that length to score right over the defender. He had the defender on his heels and kind of ate him up going right at him. Low scoring night, but good job playmaking and playing under control for the most part. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 1-5 shooting (0-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 4 assists, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 13 minutes. He was a +10.

Morris -- -- Spacing that floor with 3-8 shooting from three. He had a nice extra swing pass to AC for a three. We’re playing him with Trezz at the C, LeBron at PF and even Kuz at the SG, so some taller “small ball” units. Last year we used him at the C quite a bit and those units struggled at times because of it. That’s not something we are running these days. We even brought Gasol back late in garbage time to finish the game out instead of putting Morris at C. Quietly effective tonight. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting (3-8 from three) to go with 7 boards, 2 assists and no fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +13.

Cook -- -- He drained a corner three on a kickout on his first touch and he found McKinnie for a corner three on a drive. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-1 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and no fouls in 6 minutes. He was a +7.

McKinnie -- -- Making the most of his minutes. He sank a corner three on a drive and dish from Cook, then had a great follow dunk on Cook’s breakaway miss. I imagine at some point they will get him some minutes with a little more meaning, but that may wait until the regular rotation guys are executing at a high level. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting (1-1 from three) to go with 1 board in 5 minutes. He was a +4.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The tone was set early as the Lakers opened up with a 13-4 start that forced a timeout. They fed AD continuously and it was clear that OKC had no answer for him.

Key Substitution: Let’s go with not subbing out Schröder until the first quarter was over. It’s not that Schröder did anything great during that time, but Vogel got to see how his player would react when dealing with foul trouble. Dennis picked up two fouls a minute into the game and played all 12 minutes without picking up a third in that first quarter. Some knowledge he can put away for later. Obviously, nice to get 25 minutes for AD and 27 for LeBron. Keep those numbers down again.

Key Stats: Let’s go with the 17-37 from three. Only Harrell, AD and THT didn’t hit a three and all of them attempted at least one. Nine others did. LeBron had the season high 5-8 from three. Combine that shooting with the improving defense? That’s trouble.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:46 pm    Post subject:

First
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:22 pm    Post subject:

Excellent!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:20 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

We're still only at 80-85% efficiency. We'll be cooking come February.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:35 pm    Post subject:

Winning is always a beautiful thing but here’s hoping the next game is a bit more engaging.

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:46 pm    Post subject:

Thanks again DB for another terrific summary!

Some remarks:

1. 11 straight quarters they have never trailed.

2. Defense has looked vastly better.

3. Trez, DS, and even Gasol are finding their place on this team.

4. Trez is such a luxury to come off the bench. Not scoring? Just let him bang away a bit and he will get his.

5. I cannot recall the last time, on back to back games, the Lakers blew out their opponents to such an extent that their bench unit got significant run in the 4th quarter. Impressive, even against two clubs struggling to find their identity.

Looking good, New Orleans is next, who actually played the Clips pretty well tonight (they were within 4 in the 4th with about 7 minutes to go), and that was without Zion, etc, etc. We will know where this group is at in the next couple of weeks as the challenges get increasingly tougher, including the Bucks next week, then after that Philly and...the green pukey leprechaun dudes.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:26 am    Post subject:

thanks for the summary

team is starting to figure out its personality, that is different than last year's team.

tighter D but less block shots

with a center with legit offense skills, will force opposing teams to stay with their natural bigs longer

tnt obviously got mad skills!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:53 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Key stat for me: AD playing 25 minutes. LBJ playing 27 minutes.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:24 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

"good job by the team not getting bored and taking care of business..."

I'd rather have a boring game to watch if it means the Lakers are taking care of business!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:58 am    Post subject:

The starters have figured out how to utilize each other. Major props go to Vogel as he decides who starts and he went with the group, and many of us had doubts over these starters (whether some be it Gasol, others Dennis, etc). Sure we are beating up and dismantling .500 or sub .500 level teams, but there is no question one can see the clear improvement in offense execution by this group.

Some the changes I have noticed in the last few games.

1) How the secondary ballhandlers/non Lebron guards are playing. Dennis is a lot more patient as a ballhandler to make his decision. When he is getting some screens from AD or Bron, he is not looking to shoot. FGAs all down, but interesting enough in this last OKC game he started to revert a little into quick firing Schroder, think it was a bit of when he got into it with one of the Thunder players. Outside of that, we have seen major development in our offense with regards to this. THT and Alex, they have been excellent at doing their job of adding some pressure with dribbling, but not forcing. And of course spotting up. The combo guards we have around Bron, are allowing Bron to play a little more off the ball this year and get up better shots.

2) Gasol's 3 point spacing helps our wings or bigs like AD get into the paint without as much doubling. The Lakers were trying to do the same last year, but this year with the added element of Gasol being a 3 point threat, we can have Kieff or Gasol out there as the closest "big" next to AD or Bron in post ups. I do not have the numbers but it seems to me that both AD and Bron have way better post up sets this year. When Trez is out there, at least in the last few games it has been more evident that we recognize his limitations and strengths and are actively trying to take that into account. Trez is trying to slide in off the ball as a rebound threat once a shot goes up from inside, not to just run in there right away. Very important Trez figures this out, to be effective when he does not have the ball on offense.

3) The running is back. We're finally running off stops. We're really exploding, all 5 guys. That's how we did it last year when engaged. Get a stop, and the bigs included just get on a track meet. We're not a high pace offense in the halfcourt sets, but sort of like Showtime, we have the wings and bigs that can get up fast off stops, and we have the elite all time great court visionary in Bron who can create those plays that no one else can in those situations, so running off a stop is a fundamental strategy of ours that we were lacking the first 2 weeks of the RS. It's here now.

Of course it all begins with D. The D has been different since AD made those comments and came back into the game. We're seeing a collective effort to pressure the ball, help, and then rotate quickly. The fundamentals of a Vogel coached team on D, are being applied.

Would be interesting to play a high quality team right now, to test ourselves. We're in a much better spot playing style wise and how guys are fitting in.


Last edited by wolfpaclaker on Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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akgolf
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:59 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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Laker7
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:58 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Excellent breakdown.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:47 am    Post subject:

It’s so nice to finally have a great 3 point shooting team. Opens everything up.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:48 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Thanks, DB!

Key stat for me: AD playing 25 minutes. LBJ playing 27 minutes.


LBJ is playing, by FAR, his lowest career minutes.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:39 am    Post subject:

With this team learning how to effecively play great D with its current roster, it will be interesting to see what Vogel will work on - with the potential of meeting the KD/The Beard/Kyrie Nets

AD vs KD

KCP/Caruso vs Kyrie

Matthews/LBJ vs The Beard

This Laker team seems to have the ability to force KD/Harden/Kyrie to play major minutes while our bench will allow AD/LBJ to have longer rests to be fresh at the end of games
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