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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
We're Looking at Lonzo Ball's Weaknesses All Wrong

http://lakerfilmroom.com/looking-lonzo-balls-weaknesses-wrong/


Well said. Thank you so much.
I suspected something along these lines.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject:

I have to say, GT, you see things so much more clearly than 99% of those that post here. I agree completely about Ball. The thing is, he mastered high school, then pretty much did the same in only one year of college. How 18 and 19 year olds progress until they hit 25 is the one question no one can answer for 99% of the kids coming out. It was far safer when they were coming out at 21.

You can pick out weaknesses on ALL players at a young age. Many of those weaknesses will be overcome, some may not. Players can learn to be better ballhandlers, better rebounders, better defenders as much of this is simply effort and learning the fundamentals (which some elite athletes ignore because they are so good). Shooting can improve for some, not for others though so make sure if you are taking someone near the top you don't "assume" they will improve.

But passing at the level of guys like Magic, Stockton, Kidd...that cant be taught. And it seems to me this kid Ball might well be one of the best passers this game has seen in a while. And that's reason enough to take him.

I saw Ben Simmons play in Vegas last year, and he was simply amazing. The last thing I would want to see if Ball and Simmons playing with each other as a laker fan.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:48 am    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
We're Looking at Lonzo Ball's Weaknesses All Wrong

http://lakerfilmroom.com/looking-lonzo-balls-weaknesses-wrong/


GT I have to somewhat disagree with you on this one. To be clear, I do believe that Lonzo is worthy of the number two pick for his overall package of skills, particularly the long range shooting and transition game. I think the team will benefit a lot from as a secondary ball handler in the half court next to DLO and that his PnR skills are just fine for that role. I also think he can improve as he showed some signs late in the season, like against Cincy, of dealing with different coverages off the dribble.

However, I believe that this part of this game needs to be put under a magnifying glass if you're measuring him against prospects like Fultz or are entertaining the notion that he is a primary lead guard that would result in a Russell being expendable (I know you aren't but many are). I don't think anything good would happen if he was put in that position. In my view, it's something to be worked on, like Jackson's shooting if he's ever going to reach a high ceiling.

As you note, in college he typically faced hedges where they left one player open and where he could immediately throw an over the top pass to a shooting big. On the next level he will exclusively face switches and drop coverage.

Teams will do whatever they can to avoid helping off shooters. Not just on guys like Lonzo, but on everyone. The two top assist guys in the league average as many shots out of the PnR in two games as Lonzo has taken in 36 (based on the 26 shots counted in coach dave's vid). Even an extreme example, Rubio, does that amount in 5 games. Is it because they don't know that it's not as analytically efficient? I doubt it. Rubio probably doesn't want to take even that many, but that's what teams give him.

I think his tendency is to hit the first unguarded guy he sees after one or two dribbles, regardless of situation. That's great when you have the college clock and four other shooters, and the defense has a tendency to be out of position. He had that luxury. On the next level, no one is going to gift you an offensive advantage and the first open guy you see will be open for a reason. They'll gladly let you burn off clock resetting the possession. I've never seen Lonzo throw a pocket pass. I've never seen him take a three after a guard has gone over with the big dropping. Given his propensity to take contested threes in isolation I have to assume that he's simply not comfortable taking this particular shot rather than any reservations about its PPP. And it makes sense given the play style that he grew up with that he's never had to.

If the defense doesn't think you're going to do a good job beating their big, then there's no reason to help enough where they would get into a close out situation on a shooter. The question is if he can ever get to that level with his handles and pull up game. If not, I have a hard time envisioning an offense being run through him over and over again in a playoff game. That's the thing that the teams working him out have to determine. Again, he doesn't have to get there or to be that guy to be really valuable to a good team that's constructed a certain way. But it's definitely something to consider if you're picking among a pool of talented prospects for upside.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
We're Looking at Lonzo Ball's Weaknesses All Wrong

http://lakerfilmroom.com/looking-lonzo-balls-weaknesses-wrong/


I think the Gifs you chose highlight some of his major weaknesses that will be very hard to overcome.

Discounting the awful defense that you see in these videos, which he won't see in the NBA, they really highlight his lack of explosion in the half-court.

The 1st GIF should be an easy lay-up for a 6'6" player. He gets a brush screen from Leaf to create room to turn the corner, has a smaller player on his hip, yet doesn't have the burst to attack the basket. Instead he is forced to throw a wild pass to Leaf that forces Leaf to make a wild drive. Not exactly the best highlight of Lonzo's skills.

While it is nice to see Lonzo get in the lane on the 2nd GIF (although it is awful defense), you clearly see a lack of explosion as he goes to the basket. He just doesn't get any lift off the dribble.

In those two GIFs Lonzo looks like an average to below average athlete. Do you have any GIFs where he shows explosion in the half court and off the dribble?

BTW- I think the last GIF is the most exciting - where he snakes the PnR. If he can do that on more consistent basis, he will then be able to create for others.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:52 am    Post subject:

Great read, GT. I particularly like the point that we don't know how good he is at making low percentage shots because he's too smart to take enough to tell.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject:

Pete getting a shout out on BR

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2715588-who-is-the-dream-draft-target-for-every-nba-team?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming-national
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject:

LakerMindLA wrote:
The 1st GIF should be an easy lay-up for a 6'6" player. He gets a brush screen from Leaf to create room to turn the corner, has a smaller player on his hip, yet doesn't have the burst to attack the basket. Instead he is forced to throw a wild pass to Leaf that forces Leaf to make a wild drive. Not exactly the best highlight of Lonzo's skills.


https://giphy.com/gifs/ll8SzpLKu1TAk

1) Ball kicks this out because he draws Adebayo, not because he has can't finish with the smaller player on his hip. The kick out is a more efficient play than taking this shot over length. For him, and most other players too.

2) It's a little off the mark, but it isn't a wild pass, and he certainly didn't "force" Leaf to do anything here. He got Leaf the ball in a situation where his defender has to close out hard BECAUSE of Lonzo's attack, which is easy to beat. That's a wide open one-dribble pull-up if Leaf makes the correct decision.

Quote:
While it is nice to see Lonzo get in the lane on the 2nd GIF (although it is awful defense), you clearly see a lack of explosion as he goes to the basket. He just doesn't get any lift off the dribble.


https://giphy.com/gifs/VHYuMT5JopML6

1) Bigs leave their hedge too early all of the time in the NBA. That isn't exclusive to college.

2) He jumps from the 2nd to last hash mark and switches to his left hand and finishes. Not sure what you're looking for here.

Quote:
In those two GIFs Lonzo looks like an average to below average athlete. Do you have any GIFs where he shows explosion in the half court and off the dribble?

BTW- I think the last GIF is the most exciting - where he snakes the PnR. If he can do that on more consistent basis, he will then be able to create for others.


If you're looking for the best athlete, it ain't him. I'm looking for the best basketball player. I saw Steve Nash make a career out of getting into the paint with tools and without "explosion". Just saw Kyrie slicing guys up with skill below the rim as well. We value different things.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:55 pm    Post subject:

Answering a lot of mailbag questions on the pod tonight. Let me know if you guys have any.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:22 pm    Post subject:

fiendishoc wrote:
GoldenThroat wrote:
We're Looking at Lonzo Ball's Weaknesses All Wrong

http://lakerfilmroom.com/looking-lonzo-balls-weaknesses-wrong/


GT I have to somewhat disagree with you on this one. To be clear, I do believe that Lonzo is worthy of the number two pick for his overall package of skills, particularly the long range shooting and transition game. I think the team will benefit a lot from as a secondary ball handler in the half court next to DLO and that his PnR skills are just fine for that role. I also think he can improve as he showed some signs late in the season, like against Cincy, of dealing with different coverages off the dribble.

However, I believe that this part of this game needs to be put under a magnifying glass if you're measuring him against prospects like Fultz or are entertaining the notion that he is a primary lead guard that would result in a Russell being expendable (I know you aren't but many are). I don't think anything good would happen if he was put in that position. In my view, it's something to be worked on, like Jackson's shooting if he's ever going to reach a high ceiling.

As you note, in college he typically faced hedges where they left one player open and where he could immediately throw an over the top pass to a shooting big. On the next level he will exclusively face switches and drop coverage.

Teams will do whatever they can to avoid helping off shooters. Not just on guys like Lonzo, but on everyone. The two top assist guys in the league average as many shots out of the PnR in two games as Lonzo has taken in 36 (based on the 26 shots counted in coach dave's vid). Even an extreme example, Rubio, does that amount in 5 games. Is it because they don't know that it's not as analytically efficient? I doubt it. Rubio probably doesn't want to take even that many, but that's what teams give him.

I think his tendency is to hit the first unguarded guy he sees after one or two dribbles, regardless of situation. That's great when you have the college clock and four other shooters, and the defense has a tendency to be out of position. He had that luxury. On the next level, no one is going to gift you an offensive advantage and the first open guy you see will be open for a reason. They'll gladly let you burn off clock resetting the possession. I've never seen Lonzo throw a pocket pass. I've never seen him take a three after a guard has gone over with the big dropping. Given his propensity to take contested threes in isolation I have to assume that he's simply not comfortable taking this particular shot rather than any reservations about its PPP. And it makes sense given the play style that he grew up with that he's never had to.

If the defense doesn't think you're going to do a good job beating their big, then there's no reason to help enough where they would get into a close out situation on a shooter. The question is if he can ever get to that level with his handles and pull up game. If not, I have a hard time envisioning an offense being run through him over and over again in a playoff game. That's the thing that the teams working him out have to determine. Again, he doesn't have to get there or to be that guy to be really valuable to a good team that's constructed a certain way. But it's definitely something to consider if you're picking among a pool of talented prospects for upside.


Doc, what does the clock matter? UCLA and Ball played at a really fast pace. I don't think that their offense used even 15 to 20 seconds very much.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
Answering a lot of mailbag questions on the pod tonight. Let me know if you guys have any.

1) What are your thoughts on Jackson's handle v. Ball's?

2) How would you scheme a defense against Lonzo Ball knowing his weaknesses?

3) Five Guys, In N Out, or other?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
Answering a lot of mailbag questions on the pod tonight. Let me know if you guys have any.


Well, let's take the opportunity here...

If you could elaborate more on why you think Jackson can't play SG, please. Even if he doesn't improve his shooting, he's already a good spot-up shooter (50% in uncontested 3P), he's quick and big enough to defend the 2 and he's an intelligent player, who can learn to navigate screens - which he didn't because he played PF most part of the season. And he's a good passer.

Maybe he can't play it right away, he must adapt and learn, but I believe he's much more capable of playing SG than Ingram.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject:

Fiendish, will reply when I get a little more time, my dude.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
We're Looking at Lonzo Ball's Weaknesses All Wrong

http://lakerfilmroom.com/looking-lonzo-balls-weaknesses-wrong/


Beautiful breakdown and counter argument.

My concern is... Lonzo's been allowed to get away with low attempts at mid-range shots and P&R opportunities in college. I'm not sure that will fly in the NBA where a mid-range game and effectiveness in the P&R are staples of so many great players and teams.

Also, not sure Lonzo has the greatest handles for a PG and I question his unorthodox shooting style that may have been effective against player that will never play in the NBA.. but will that work against quality defender getting into his face and daring him to drive?

I do agree that Lonzo Ball is a unique player... question is... will his unique qualities lead to prosperity or disaster at the next level. At this point, I still believe for the latter and hope, if he's selected by the Lakers, for the former.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
Fiendish, will reply when I get a little more time, my dude.


All good
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Doc, what does the clock matter? UCLA and Ball played at a really fast pace. I don't think that their offense used even 15 to 20 seconds very much.


When they didn't get that early shot, they ran it down quite a bit. And college defenses break down really easily when you have NBA caliber shooting. It's just a different type of game, and it's not going to be that easy to get the defense off balance at the next level.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:10 am    Post subject:

fiendishoc wrote:
GoldenThroat wrote:
We're Looking at Lonzo Ball's Weaknesses All Wrong

http://lakerfilmroom.com/looking-lonzo-balls-weaknesses-wrong/


GT I have to somewhat disagree with you on this one. To be clear, I do believe that Lonzo is worthy of the number two pick for his overall package of skills, particularly the long range shooting and transition game. I think the team will benefit a lot from as a secondary ball handler in the half court next to DLO and that his PnR skills are just fine for that role. I also think he can improve as he showed some signs late in the season, like against Cincy, of dealing with different coverages off the dribble.

However, I believe that this part of this game needs to be put under a magnifying glass if you're measuring him against prospects like Fultz or are entertaining the notion that he is a primary lead guard that would result in a Russell being expendable (I know you aren't but many are). I don't think anything good would happen if he was put in that position. In my view, it's something to be worked on, like Jackson's shooting if he's ever going to reach a high ceiling.

As you note, in college he typically faced hedges where they left one player open and where he could immediately throw an over the top pass to a shooting big. On the next level he will exclusively face switches and drop coverage.

Teams will do whatever they can to avoid helping off shooters. Not just on guys like Lonzo, but on everyone. The two top assist guys in the league average as many shots out of the PnR in two games as Lonzo has taken in 36 (based on the 26 shots counted in coach dave's vid). Even an extreme example, Rubio, does that amount in 5 games. Is it because they don't know that it's not as analytically efficient? I doubt it. Rubio probably doesn't want to take even that many, but that's what teams give him.

I think his tendency is to hit the first unguarded guy he sees after one or two dribbles, regardless of situation. That's great when you have the college clock and four other shooters, and the defense has a tendency to be out of position. He had that luxury. On the next level, no one is going to gift you an offensive advantage and the first open guy you see will be open for a reason. They'll gladly let you burn off clock resetting the possession. I've never seen Lonzo throw a pocket pass. I've never seen him take a three after a guard has gone over with the big dropping. Given his propensity to take contested threes in isolation I have to assume that he's simply not comfortable taking this particular shot rather than any reservations about its PPP. And it makes sense given the play style that he grew up with that he's never had to.

If the defense doesn't think you're going to do a good job beating their big, then there's no reason to help enough where they would get into a close out situation on a shooter. The question is if he can ever get to that level with his handles and pull up game. If not, I have a hard time envisioning an offense being run through him over and over again in a playoff game. That's the thing that the teams working him out have to determine. Again, he doesn't have to get there or to be that guy to be really valuable to a good team that's constructed a certain way. But it's definitely something to consider if you're picking among a pool of talented prospects for upside.


I'm not necessarily trying to argue that he doesn't need to work on these parts of his game, I'm arguing that it's misguided to knock a kid on volume rather than efficiency, at least as it pertains to less than ideal Play Types.

You're correct that he's gonna see a bunch of drops & switches on the next level, and will need to pull-up against those drops and prove that he can exploit those switches with his individual offense. But he was actually solid on those mid range pull up attempts when he did take them, and his volume was low in large part because of those pop guys. Same is true with him not taking shots when the guard goes over on those drops.

I'm not gonna knock a kid for making the better play. I'd describe these things as question marks rather than weaknesses, because he was actually decent at them when he did them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:21 am    Post subject:

New Podcast - Final Thoughts on the NBA Draft

https://www.almightyballer.com/laker-film-room-ep-25-final-thoughts-on-the-nba-draft/
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject:

^ Sure, but it goes hand in hand with the more tangible parts that people are skeptical about. That he doesn't have an advanced handle for a NBA PG. That he might need a lot of space around him to get pull up off cleanly, due to his mechanics (hinted at by the left right imbalance).

Without being able to work him out ourselves, I think we have to look at these as risks. After all, we are also projecting a 38% three point shooter on the college level as a shooting liability (for good reason).
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:29 am    Post subject:

GoldenThroat wrote:
New Podcast - Final Thoughts on the NBA Draft

https://www.almightyballer.com/laker-film-room-ep-25-final-thoughts-on-the-nba-draft/


This was a good one (already listened on Tom's link). I thought you actually held back a bit when Darius was going on his rationalization spree at the end.

I guess my counter example to drafting a defender high is, armed with hindsight, where would you draft Draymond in 2012. (Though if you look at Draftexpress, it's funny that they were projecting him to be a defensive liability due to being a tweener.)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject:

GT, totally agree with your statement regarding good defense being a manifestation of 'culture' where the 'stakes' play a big part of success on that end.

It would be a mistake to take Jackson based solely on defense. If they take him, hopefully it will be because they think he is bpa on BOTH sides of the court.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:03 am    Post subject:

Ball's shot being an exaggerated version of KD's shot was intriguing.
Who was that brother talking?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject:

fiendishoc wrote:
^ Sure, but it goes hand in hand with the more tangible parts that people are skeptical about. That he doesn't have an advanced handle for a NBA PG. That he might need a lot of space around him to get pull up off cleanly, due to his mechanics (hinted at by the left right imbalance).

Without being able to work him out ourselves, I think we have to look at these as risks. After all, we are also projecting a 38% three point shooter on the college level as a shooting liability (for good reason).


I agree that we have to look at the risks, I just don't agree with the framing of these things as major weaknesses at this point, or even weaknesses at all. It's more of an unknown, and if that's as far as you can take the greatest criticisms of a 19 year old, that's quite a compliment, in a way.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject:

epak wrote:
Ball's shot being an exaggerated version of KD's shot was intriguing.
Who was that brother talking?


My brother.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject:

fiendishoc wrote:
GoldenThroat wrote:
New Podcast - Final Thoughts on the NBA Draft

https://www.almightyballer.com/laker-film-room-ep-25-final-thoughts-on-the-nba-draft/


This was a good one (already listened on Tom's link). I thought you actually held back a bit when Darius was going on his rationalization spree at the end.

I guess my counter example to drafting a defender high is, armed with hindsight, where would you draft Draymond in 2012. (Though if you look at Draftexpress, it's funny that they were projecting him to be a defensive liability due to being a tweener.)


I'd probably draft Draymond 2nd in a redraft, behind Davis.

But since we don't have the benefit of hindsight, how do I distinguish a prospect as being the next Draymond Green or the next Stanley Johnson/Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? I can only think of a couple of recent Top 3-5 picks were drafted with defense being their primary calling card, and I can't think of any recent ones who worked out.

IMO, I think it's wiser to draft a guy who has an offensive skill that you can hang your hat on.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:31 am    Post subject:

I also think Lonzo may be a sneaky good defender in the NBA. I think the lazy narrative is that he's a poor defender. At worst, I can see him being an average to slightly below average defender.
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