KNICKS -at- LAKERS - 12/25 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: KNICKS -at- LAKERS - 12/25 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Five In A Row…Merry Christmas, Laker Fans... The Knicks have been an early season success running their version of D’Antoni’s offense and thriving. The Lakers, on the other hand, have been trying to survive. With the 100-94 Christmas day win, he Lakers are slowly pulling themselves out of the hole that their early season chaos and injuries have put them in.

Their offense is showing a mix of effective two-man game, off-ball screening and mismatched iso plays for their superstars. Defensively, they are becoming more consistently on the same page.

They sealed the win today with a two-handed jam by Pau down the middle of the lane.

“I don’t dunk as often as I used to,” Pau said. “It felt good to go to the hole.”

Looked good, too. Slowly, but surely, the Lakers are warming up the engine and getting this car to roll.

[Note: Slightly smaller version of the recap today. Dinner time!]

Kobe -- -- Aggressive first quarter at the SF, then he seemed he picked his spots more later. Nice to see a few whistles for him again in this one. He didn’t get the benefit of a late review by the officials when the ball looked like it went of Melo as the two battled under the hoop. Love seeing Kobe off ball again (just 1 turnover tonight…Lakers as a team had 12), but we also ran some Kobe/Nash two-man game in order to get Felton to switch on Kobe. Kobe was overpowering him for scores early on today on iso. So, he had more of a mix to his game today, but with a lot more purpose when we went to is. Down the stretch, Nash orchestrated the offense effectively, but we mixed Kobe in mostly on those iso switch type of plays. Kobe played through the second half, finishing the third with a big And-1 layup that also got a tech on the Knicks (but he missed both FTs that could have given the Lakers a lead heading into the fourth). With Nash doing more heavy lifting these are easier minutes. Got to work on reducing his minutes, however. The Stats: He scored 34 points on 14-24 shooting (1-5 from three, 5-7 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 44 minutes. He was a +11.

Howard -- -- Some key Dwight/Nash screen-roll action late in the fourth for a dunk and FTs as well as fouling out Chandler. Great to see Dwight knock those down from the line. (He’s set up a step behind the FT line for the past couple of weeks or so. He looks much more fluid with his stroke.) Loved seeing the high-post split play with the ball in Howard‘s hands and Nash/Kobe splitting at the top of the key (Kobe got a wide open jumper in the fourth that forced a Knicks timeout…and later we cycled it back to Kobe in the post for a layup). With Brown we had the split plays on the wing, which we occasionally still do. Glad to see them working the off-ball stuff more in this manner. It forces the defending bigman to stay up high and help even though Dwight is 20+ feet from the hoop. The Lakers went deeper into their Nash off-ball screen sets. One variation out of it was a slip screen as Howard faked like he would set one for Pau who had the ball in his hands, and it led to a high-low dunk for Dwight. Show me that again, very nice. Howard‘s easier shots in this game were set up by Pau and Nash. Those two combined for 17 assists. And people were wondering why the offense looked so stagnant without them? Defensively, Howard was the glue. He had a very tricky job of staying with Chandler until the last second and then help out. Chandler got nothing and the lane was plugged well. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 4-8 shooting (6-9 from the line) to go with 12 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 38 minutes. He was a -1.

Nash -- -- The Lakers are starting to look scarier in crunch time. So many weapons and Nash is barely scratching the surface of their capabilities and arsenal. He worked the two-man game with Howard for a number of scores in the fourth. He sank a big elbow fade again with under two minutes off one of those. He missed a wide open floater with over a minute left that he normally makes. Great shot to have at that time of the game, just didn‘t get it to go. Early on in the game, it looked like the Knicks tried to take the pass away from him and he got a couple of scores right out of the gates. Not a super clean game. Some of the sets got mucked up a bit and turnovers resulted, but we cleaned that up. In addition to the two-man game, we saw some great off-ball screens again from Nash as they explored a couple new variations on the same set they ran last game for the layup and oop. This time we saw Metta pop out with the ball in Pau‘s hands to shoot open threes (and we also saw that Dwight/Pau high-low mentioned above). Defensively, he did a good job staying in front of his man. It’s vital we have Dwight back there to protect the lane for him, but they did a solid job. Nash was a little hesitant to mix it up with the bigs when he needed to box out, double, etc. In the past with the Suns, D‘Antoni actually thought Nash helped to a fault and that was one of their flaws defensively. He can pick his spots more with guys like Dwight and Metta out there. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 7-12 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 6 boards (3 offensive), 11 assists, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 38 minutes. He was a +4.

Gasol -- -- He came up with some clutch points down the stretch. The biggest, of course, was a driving dunk with 12 seconds left off an inbounds pass and the shotclock low. The Kobe option was covered so the ball came to Pau, the Orange Sea parted and he attacked down the lane to slam the door shut on the Knicks. Great finish today. Pau got off to a good start playing out of the high post, setting up others and even hitting a wing three. When the Knicks went small, we struggled to impose our size. Some of that by design (keeping Pau on the perimeter), some by Pau not battling hard. We did get a few second chances, however, against their smaller lineup early on. He was a little ticked at some no calls down there, but just needs to man up a bit more. We’ve got to improve on that. He had Melo defending him down the stretch, and we finally went to it late in a shotclock with 41 seconds left and Pau drew a foul, he made just one FT, however, to lead by just 3. Still, glad to see us manufacture a good scoring opportunity against a mismatch, even if it seemed like an afterthought. If teams are going to go small, we need to get better at exploiting that. On the other end, we saw the Knicks do a miserable job of exploiting Jason Kidd against Pau. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-13 shooting (1-3 from three, 2-4 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 34 minutes. He was a +2.

Morris -- -- He got the start and was put on Melo for the first few minutes today. Why not go with Ebanks if you want to keep Metta off the bench? Not sure if we just wanted to go with some speed and gamble with that. Props to Morris‘s defensive game for D‘Antoni to think that highly of him, but that‘s a tough situation for Darius. In the second half, D’Antoni started Metta, however. A few minutes for Ebanks wouldn‘t have hurt with how Melo started that half. Offensively, Morris couldn‘t connect on a couple of open looks. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-2 from three and had 2 fouls in 7 minutes. He was -7.

Peace -- -- Great first half, especially the second quarter when he hit several threes and also got Melo sitting with foul trouble. He just looked so controlled offensively. We should have pulled Metta late in the first half when he had two fouls, he picked up his third with 30 seconds left and had to sit. That came back to nearly haunt us. Against those All Star SFs, we need to be a little more careful as witnessed by the types of whistles Melo got later. Really cheap foul call with 3 minutes left when Melo was up-rooting Metta’s arm and it led to a couple points (if anything, let that go…but we‘ve see Howard and Kobe called for offensive fouls on that play). Later, the phantom foul that sat Metta for good with 2 minutes left was pretty ridiculous as he challenged a shot from the side and didn‘t touch him. Nice three shooting today, but he also had a couple of scores in transition for the Lakers. Those were a rare occurrence as the Knicks don‘t turn the ball over. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 6-11 shooting (3-6 from three, 5-7 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers and 6 fouls in 39 minutes. He was a +6.

Meeks -- -- He missed three straight threes in the second quarter that could have gotten the crowd going and the Lakers rolling. He just didn’t have it. Again, don’t dribble in the half court when you don‘t have it. Just move the ball if you’ve got nothing. He had a scary drive late in the game before Pau’s dunk where he was blocked out of bounds. Thankfully, that wasn’t a turnover. Not effective offensively other than as a threat from three for floor spacing. He gave his usual good energy, which is vital. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-6 shooting (0-4 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +8.

Duhon -- -- The offensive flow kind of died when he came in the game in the first half. We definitely leaned on Kobe to start the fourth. Some bad passes by Duhon, throwing it to a Knick early in the fourth or in a crowd trying to create for Howard. If we’re going to lean on Kobe, we might go with Meeks at PG defensively to space the floor and get better energy going. Notice how we iso’d with Nash on the floor. They were getting switches to force doubles on Kobe or let him go iso against a smaller man. You can’t do that easily with Duhon because he’s not an aggressive threat like Nash. Kobe/Blake have some two-man experience so you might see that work a little better down the line. In any event, with all the experience we have playing without Nash, you would hope they can pull out a few plays that run a little smoother. They were never comfortable with some of those second-unit rotations. The Stats: He didn’t shoot and had 1 board, 1 assist and 1 turnover in 10 minutes. He was a +2.

Hill -- -- Some awkward lineups today. They just didn’t have much rhythm when he was on the floor. He also wasn’t having his usual success on the offensive glass, so that limited his minutes. The Stats: He didn‘t score on 0-1 shooting to go with 2 boards and 1 foul in 8 minutes. He was a +2.

D'Antoni -- -- Nice to get a Christmas win!… He went with Morris to start against Melo. Not sure why we felt that would work better than Ebanks. If you want to keep Metta on the bench, Ebanks for a few minutes against Melo would probably work better, especially since he‘s played Melo well previously. When he went to Metta to start in the second half, Melo got loose for scores, but we weathered that… Looked like D’Antoni had a steal or caused a turnover at the end of the third quarter as the ball bounced at his feet while he had a foot on the court. He quickly retreated somewhat guilty to the bench… Pau, Hill, Metta, Kobe, Duhon to start the fourth. That wasn’t working and he sat Hill to go with Howard. We switch from a PG to Kobe-type of offense with Duhon… They gave the ball to the Knicks with 1:28 left when it looked like Melo last touched it as it went out. After a review, even. The Lakers were up 5, but luckily we stole it back… 29 seconds left up by 3 with 21 on the shot clock, we called a timeout and ended up with a Meeks attack from the corner. I don’t think that‘s what we wanted. Not sure what we were trying to accomplish there, but I think Kobe wanted the two man game with Nash to iso, but we went away from it… We called timeout with 6 on the shotclock after Meeks was blocked. Out of that, Pau attacked from the three line and dunked with both hands. I think that was all Pau vs. a play call, but it worked well as the D was concerned with other threats… Lakers had just 6 points on the break, the Knicks 8. This was more of the D’Antoni half court offense than any pushing of tempo today. It looked controlled and effective with a nice mix of mismatch iso, two-man game and off-ball, read and react screening to set up scores…
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mhan00
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject:

Merry Christmas!
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George the Greek
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject:

In the end, I was like GAAAASTROOOOOOOONG!!!
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JUST-MING
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject:

Thank you. Happy Holidays.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject:

MERRY CRIMBUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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SilverBullet
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject:

Merry Christmas DB!
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limchrc
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject:

Good win!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject:

JUST-MING wrote:
Thank you. Happy Holidays.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject:

Merry Christmas DB!

GREAT game! Lakers are back from the abyss, and starting to win the close ones instead of losing them. I'm liking the way this team is developing a personality and rekindling that fire.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Most fun game of the year so far.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject:

Thanks for the recap even today DB!!

Merry Christmas!!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject:

AceFresh wrote:
JUST-MING wrote:
Thank you. Happy Holidays.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject:

Arbitrary wrote:
AceFresh wrote:
JUST-MING wrote:
Thank you. Happy Holidays.

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busym
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:11 am    Post subject:

Great game. This was a real test for the Lakers and they pased it. NY has one of the better teams in the NBA and the Lakers beat them. In my opinion the Lakers are improving with each game. They are going to be awesome come playoff time. Great writeup DB. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject:

Good win. Must win tomorrow too, gotta keep momentum going and pass road tests.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject:

Nash is godlike, the dude is 39 yrs old and he's arguably the most valuable player to this team with the Antoni system.

A big difference with Nash is the playmaking. You see him getting Gasol involved, always gets the ball to him at the elbow and screens for a 3pt shooter, easily our most effective play last night.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:00 am    Post subject: Re: KNICKS -at- LAKERS - 12/25 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

DancingBarry wrote:
Gasol -- -- The Kobe option was covered so the ball came to Pau, the Orange Sea parted and he attacked down the lane to slam the door shut on the Knicks.


You've outdone yourself this time DB. Very very nice job!
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audioaxes
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject:

This game is a blowout if one of Morris/Duhon/Meeks step up and earn their minutes.
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