LAKERS -at- SUNS – 2-15-17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:05 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- SUNS – 2-15-17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Going Through the Motions… At the Talking Stick Resort that the Suns arena is named after there is a smoke-filled casino. Like any casino it’s packed with patrons mindlessly sitting at the slots, eyes glazed over, pressing buttons into the wee hours of the night. They go through the motions, pour more money into the machines and hope the outcome magically changes in their favor. At the end of the night, they are down big having gone through the motions.

The Lakers played with about the same passion tonight. They went through the motions mindlessly on both ends, eyes glazed over, hoping their fortune magically changed.

The Lakers trailed by as many as 22 points during an 8-turnover opening quarter against the Suns. No hustle in transition, giving up 25 points on the break in the first half. And the house scored big, a season-high 68 points in the first half for the Suns.

Second half, they doubled down on passionless basketball falling back further. With the All Star break looming, their bags were seemingly packed for vacation already. There was just this matter of a couple more quarters of basketball to deal with.

Like a lot of people, I pay a pretty good price to watch the Lakers on TV. I’d probably cut cords if I could in my area, but instead I’m strapped with a large bill every month. Can I get a refund? A discount? Why mindlessly sit through this myself if that’s the kind of effort I’m going to get? Tonight was certainly not entertainment, losing by the largest margin to the Suns that we ever have. Who wants to watch a 137-101 beatdown to these Suns?

These are the kinds of games that certainly don’t sit well with fans. I’m sure they don’t sit well with the powers that be in the Lakers organization … whomever they are these days.


Russell -- -- Glad to see him in the fourth quarter in the blowout. I don’t understand why we haven’t played the young guys more in the blowouts. They need the minutes. Huertas? Calderon? Who cares when it’s a blowout, get the young guys minutes. Luke at least did that tonight. Russell wasn’t very sharp on anything tonight. He had some moments scoring, but generally wasn’t hitting at a high clip or setting up teammates for easy scores. To be clear, he should have had a few more assists but guys were bricking wide open shots all night. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 7-20 shooting (2-6 from three, 5-5 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block and 1 foul in 28 minutes. He was a -32. The Action: He missed a wing jumper on a busted play to start the game. Sloppy pass, turnover, dunk the other way. He swished an elbow pull-up. He swiped a pass, pushed it out and fed Nick for a layup. He missed a baseline pull-up. He missed an open catch-and-shoot three straight away. He hit Nick for the three. He fired a bullet feed to Black in transition for FTs. He missed an open 12-footer on the wing, got to hit those. Not close on a three in transition off the kickout. He swished a corner three on a kickout in transition. He missed a pull-up 15-footer. Nice burst of speed off the screen and he scored the layup. He had 7 points on 3-9 shooting and 3 assists. Second Half: He missed a layup on a probe left. He rattled in a wing pull-up in early offense. He swished a 20-foot pull-up. He was hit from behind on a pull-up three for FTs, he made all three. He missed a wing jumper. He missed a floater. He was fouled on a drive for FTs. He was blocked on a floater, points the other way. He sank a wing three off a handoff in early offense. He missed a point-blank layup. He missed a forced wing jumper. He hit a short jumper. He got tapped on a three.

Randle -- -- There are few words to say. That defense, especially in transition at times… Man. Get back and when you are back, match up. It’s not that hard. And, damn, he just stands around at times. There was a dunk in the third quarter that he just watched develop and Luke quickly took a timeout in disgust. Luke took multiple timeouts in disgust tonight by the defensive breakdowns. Luke: “Don’t waste opportunity. Whatever the score is, there’s a reason that we play a lot of young guys because we want them to experience these things, to learn from them, to be able to play and grow individually and as a group, if we’re just going to go out there and do that even if we’re down 30, what’s the point? We’re not learning anything from that so the timeouts were just to remind them that these were still opportunities that we can use to get better.” The Stats: He scored 13 points on 4-9 shooting (5-5 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal and 4 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a -30. The Action: He was fouled working the offensive glass, he made both FTs. He sank a floater in the lane. He missed a floater. He kicked out to Russell for the three. He drained a pull-up 17-footer. Second Half: He was strip blocked on a drive. He pushed up a board, no one stopped him so he took it all the way for the And-1 layup, he made the FT. He scored a layup when Lou found him under the hoop in transition. He was fouled on a steal, he made both FTs. Wild floater in transition, not even close. He missed a pumping turnaround in the lane.

Ingram -- -- Another one of those 1-x games from Ingram. He probably leads the team in that area. Really, a nothing game from him on both ends. Wonder what he does with his time off. This is certainly the kind of game that won’t sit well with him. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-7 shooting (0-1 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block and no fouls in 29 minutes. He was a -34. The Action: He missed a 21-footer on a kickout. He was picked on the perimeter for a dunk the other way. He threw a sideline inbounds pass away, layup the other way. Way short on a wing pull-up. He opened to the ball and swiped the backdoor bounce pass. He attacked the paint, hung and banked in the drive. He missed a pull-up at the FT line trying to beat the shotclock out of a timeout. Second Half: He was blocked from behind on the break. He missed a corner three. He attacked, ball-faked and drew FTs, he made one. He missed a drive right. He fell asleep and got backdoored on a lob dunk.

Black -- -- He picked up his second foul with 8:30 left in the first quarter. Luke left him in after picking up his third foul in the second quarter and a couple minutes later, Black purposely took a foul, his fourth, and that was that. Dumb foul, showing he can’t be trusted to play with foul trouble. He started the second half pushing off on the offensive end and picked up his fifth. And that was that. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 0-2 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 turnovers and 5 fouls in 9 minutes. He was a -16. The Action: Awful pass, turnover. He missed a jumphook. He picked up his second foul. Russell hit him with a bullet feed in transition for FTs, he made both. Second Half: Quick foul, sit down.

Young -- -- Clank fest from Nick tonight. Some wide open looks, too. Once Booker got scoring big in this game, Nick’s D seemed to pick up some. Still couldn’t hit anything. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-10 shooting (1-6 from three) to go with 4 boards, 1 steal and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a -37. The Action: He missed a wing three. He scored a layup on the break with Russell. He swished a wing three off the swing pass. He forced up a three trying to draw a foul, didn’t hit rim. He missed a wide open three. He missed a pull-up wing jumper (should have hit Nance rolling). Second Half: He was blocked on a corner three. He missed a three straight away. He was hacked on a putback layup with no call and missed. He missed an open corner three.

Clarkson -- -- There was a play in the second half where Clarkson let his man go around him with ease off the dribble (just dumb defense by him) and there was no Laker help D behind him. That kind of typified this one. You want players to have to go through multiple defenders, multiple waves of defense. There was none of that. The team had much better moments last night. Tonight, they checked out. The highlight Clarkson will be shown in over and over in this one was getting tracked down from behind by Booker to swat his breakaway layup. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 6-12 shooting (2-5 from three, 1-3 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 3 turnovers, 1 steal and 3 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a-9. The Action: He attacked baseline and threw it away. He deflected a pass on the other end to help get it back. He pulled up in transition for a three and didn’t hit rim, yikes. He drew FTs up against the shotclock, he made one. He sank a pull-up jumper with his heels on the three line. He attacked in early offense and was stripped. He scooped in a layup off the step-through. He was called for a travel on the sideline and didn’t agree (and didn’t get back on D). Second Half: He charged in transition. He sank a three off the high screen, getting hit from behind. He was blocked on a layup in transition. He attacked the pressure to his left and scored the And-1 layup, he missed the FT. He jumped a handoff and took the steal for a dunk. He sank a wing three. He missed a wing three. Then another one. His man just walked around him for a layup. He missed an open 5-footer.

Williams -- -- So you take a look at the +/- in this game – a 36-point blowout – and you see Lou with a +1 in his 24 minutes. What we probably need most from him now is a little leadership. Guys need to be talked to. I know he’s looking forward to his vacation…maybe even a trade after a game like this. He gets a lot of heat from Laker fans, but he’s probably our most consistent player. In a more veteran, playoff team…one that is a little shallow in the bench…he could make a big impact. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 7-13 shooting (3-4 from three, 4-5 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 steals and 3 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +1. The Action: He lost a dribble out of bounds, turnover. He attacked the open paint and missed a layup (he wanted the foul). He attacked at the end of the quarter and scored a layup around the defender’s arm. He attacked in transition, took contact and scored the And-1 layup, he missed the FT. He crossed over his man badly and swished the wing three. He deflected a pass to get a stop. Great feed on the other end to a cutting Deng for a layup. He hit Randle for the floater in the lane. He drew FTs in early offense, he made both. He missed a forced wing jumper in early offense. Second Half: He attacked to his left and scored a layup. He blew past Booker and hit the floater. Nance kicked out and Lou knocked down the three. He didn’t hit rim trying to beat the shotclock. He drew FTs on a drive and made both. He sank a three off a Randle handoff. He hit Julius under the hoop for a layup. He was stripped in transition. He missed a wing three in transition.

Nance -- -- “It wasn’t one single person, one single unit. It was an entire team letdown tonight,” Nance said. He said he’s going into All Star break and try to come back with one or two things to try to make the team better. He was moving the ball, often looking to pass first tonight. He made a baseline jumper for his only points but led the team with 5 assists. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting to go with 3 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -2. The Action: Nice high-low look to Deng to set him up for FTs. Second Half: He kicked out to Williams for the three. He sank a baseline jumper. He missed an open elbow jumper. He missed a finish on a lob from Huertas and then another. XXX

Zubac -- -- He was in the mix early with Black’s foul trouble. When things were going bad for the Lakers early on, even Zubac was seeing his shots roll out or getting called for a moving screen. He warmed up a little as the game went along. I would have liked to see some more pick and pop with him, especially with Chandler plugging the lane. Defensively, we were under siege and it would take more than a single bigman to turn that around. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting (2-4 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 14 minutes. He was a -17. The Action: Not close on a floater off the two-man game. He was fouled on a throwdown attempt, he made both FTs. He missed a layup on an interior feed. Offensive foul on the screen. He got tapped on a floater, got it back and scored at the front of the rim. Nice touch on an 18-footer off the inverse play. Second Half: He hit an open elbow jumper. He was fouled on the break for FTs, he missed both.

Deng -- -- Another guy that you hope is saying something in the locker room tonight. I mean how many dunks did the team give up? It just happened again and again. Sort of a standard game from him…maybe better than that. Hard to say, but pretty much little impact regardless. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-6 shooting (1-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 block and 3 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -1. The Action: He missed a wing three. He hit a baseline one-hander when his man came up empty on the steal. He missed a layup on an interior feed. He was fouled off the high-low feed from Larry, he made both FTs. Lou threaded a pass to him as he cut down the lane and Deng scored the layup. He missed a wide open corner three on a kickout. Second Half: He blocked his man on iso D. He sank a corner jumper.

Huertas -- He came in midway through the third quarter. Just filler minutes. He scored on a baseline jumper and missed his only three. He’s 4-19 from three this season. “Our effort today was horrible,” Huertas said. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 1 assist and 1 foul in 9 minutes. He was a -3. The Action: He did not play in the first half. Second Half: He didn’t hit rim on a drive. He was shoved on a drive. He missed a wing three. He sank a baseline jumper. He missed a layup.

Walton -- -- Turnover-prone start and the Lakers trailed 7-0 when Luke called the timeout… Black in early foul trouble so Zubac in… More turnovers and the Lakers trailed 21-6 midway through the quarter… Luke brought in Clarkson, Williams, Nance and Deng out of that timeout… They fell back by 22 points… The Lakers trailed 32-15 after the first quarter… Zubac picked up his third foul and sat early in the second quarter for Ingram… The Lakers forced a timeout after cutting it to 13 behind some scoring by Lou… Black in for Nance, Lakers down 14 with 8 minutes left… Randle in for Deng 30 seconds later, Lakers down 18… Russell in for Clarkson, Lakers down 16… All starters back in midway through the quarter, Lakers down 50-34… Black picked up his third foul, Lakers down 11 with 5:36 left. Luke left him in. He then picked up his fourth with 3:38 left and sat… Nance back in for Black… The Lakers fell back big again when the timeout came with a minute left. Now it’s just lazy D… The Lakers trailed 68-48 at the half… Black quickly picked up his fifth and sat… More mindless defensive ball. Luke called a timeout and sat everyone, down 30 midway through the quarter.… They trailed 102-76 heading into the fourth… Russell and Randle back in. They need the time… Several timeouts tonight because of horrific defense… A total of 41 fastbreak points for the Suns… “When we give in like that and don’t play with a certain competitive level, that’s not right for anybody that’s involved,” Luke said…
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Baron Von Humongous
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:11 pm    Post subject:

First. That's the first time I've ever been first. Whiskey for me.

Thanks for the writeup, DB. Whiskey for you for making it the whole way through that game.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject:

I had been telling myself that I didn't want us to tank because it was unlikely we could realistically end up with the 2nd worst record, but after a performance like tonight, I feel like we have a legitimate shot at keeping the pick. I'm both happy and disgusted.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject:

Goodness...

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:24 pm    Post subject:

Vadorojo wrote:
I had been telling myself that I didn't want us to tank because it was unlikely we could realistically end up with the 2nd worst record, but after a performance like tonight, I feel like we have a legitimate shot at keeping the pick. I'm both happy and disgusted.


Yeah, I was prepared to go with an "at least it was good for the tank" silver lining during that first quarter. Then the game just got more and more disgusting as it went along.
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Omar Little
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject:

This is the kind of game that smacks of get the 2nd worst record and end up 4th in the lotto karma.
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject:

It was noted that nobody was mad, angry or embarrassed

Possible Leadership
LouWill - he is part of the bench mob
Deng - ineffective and invisible
Mosgov - ineffective and invisible
DLO - not in his mental makeup
Randle - inconsistent
JC - inconsistently effective bench player
Ingram - quiet rookie
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject:

You sound frustrated, DB. But thanks for putting in the work. These kind of games must be especially tough to sit thru as a fan and also given your duties with the T and R.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say thanks and we appreciate the effort!
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inbz
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Even after absolutely brutal games such as this one, I always look forward to your remarks.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:21 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:46 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Missed tonight's game and I'm glad I did. I could sense your frustration through the text... mad props for all you do!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:47 am    Post subject:

PLATNUM wrote:
You sound frustrated, DB. But thanks for putting in the work. These kind of games must be especially tough to sit thru as a fan and also given your duties with the T and R.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say thanks and we appreciate the effort!


I second this - thanks DB. I appreciate your effort, particularly on days like today when they're unwatchable.

I hate seeing the Lakers tank, but the Lakers are tanking whether I like it or not.

If they do wind up with the second worst record I'll be pins and needles again come lotto day.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:35 am    Post subject:

Appreciate the work, DB. I was only able to watch the first quarter tonight. It was ugly, and I can't imagine that watching 4 quarters of that was a fun experience.

Oh, and Lou is easily the best player we've had this year, and it's not particularly close, really. Yeah he plays almost no D, but it's not like we have any true plus defenders, anyway. And he's been far better than anyone we have on offense. A career year at age 30. (All the more reason to move him at the apex of his value.)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:17 am    Post subject:

Appreciate the analysis, DB. Especially of a stinker, like this one. I can't compare this game to the Dallas game, since I didn't see that one. But, this Phoenix game was the absolute WORST game I've seen from this young team. I get it that we're rebuilding, with a lot of young guys...but damn. At least show some heart, and effort. Complete mail in. After watching that hot garbage, I think it's time for Luke to let Kobe talk to these guys.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject:

DB,

I feel your pain man. That was tough to sit through.

One of the things I noticed last night (and on many other nights) is when teams pressure our guards everything falls apart. Our guards do not seem to attack the pressure, get into the lane and create. They just pull back further away from the basket hoping the pressure with be relieved so they can start the weave / call for picks. Pressure also causes our guards to go into ISO mode rather than try and set up team mates. If I am wrong please tell me.

Randle looked especially bad against Chriss. Chris was athletic, high energy, working for rebounds and generally out hustling Randle. Granted Chriss was 4-11 from the floor but he is only shooting 35.4% from the field for February any way.

I kind of give Clarkson a pass as I could see the wrist was bothering him but he gave it what he had. No body else was stepping up to pick up his slack.

Zubac had an OK shooting night but Len was abusing him on the glass and offensively. Zubac seems to struggle defensively against player his size but does well against smaller (6'9" or less) players. Did well against NYK and Bucks but struggled against Boogie / Cauley-Stein and Drummond / Baynes.

I am at a loss about what to do with the starters (Randle / Russell) lack of effort / intensity particularly on the defensive end. Luke kept them off the floor at the end of the Kings game trying to send a message about playing with energy gets you more playing time and they both came out flat against the Suns. It was almost like eff you, not going to play me in the fourth last night, I will give half azzed effort tonight. Randle is starting to remind me of Elton Brand. Nice stats but not going to dominate a game or carry a team. Russell is starting to remind me of Jason Williams. Tons of potential but not able to put it all together to move up to the next level.

Hopefully things will get better after the break. If not, we are only 1/2 a game out of the number 2 drafting position which will hopefully get us a shot at a good player.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:32 am    Post subject:

^ If Randle turned out to be Elton Brand, damn that would be nice.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
^ If Randle turned out to be Elton Brand, damn that would be nice.


Brands prime years in the NBA (1999-2012) 453 wins 695 losses for a 44.8% win percentage. No thanks.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:30 am    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
^ If Randle turned out to be Elton Brand, damn that would be nice.


Brands prime years in the NBA (1999-2012) 453 wins 695 losses for a 44.8% win percentage. No thanks.


You're blaming losses on him? Come on. He was a beast in his prime. I'd be ecstatic if Randle played like Brand.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject:

yinoma2001 wrote:
Laker7 wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
^ If Randle turned out to be Elton Brand, damn that would be nice.


Brands prime years in the NBA (1999-2012) 453 wins 695 losses for a 44.8% win percentage. No thanks.


You're blaming losses on him? Come on. He was a beast in his prime. I'd be ecstatic if Randle played like Brand.


Yes I am blaming Brand. Statistically he was a beast but was not dominant, especially late in the fourth quarter. Bigger PF's dominated him when he was on defense.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:41 am    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
Laker7 wrote:
yinoma2001 wrote:
^ If Randle turned out to be Elton Brand, damn that would be nice.


Brands prime years in the NBA (1999-2012) 453 wins 695 losses for a 44.8% win percentage. No thanks.


You're blaming losses on him? Come on. He was a beast in his prime. I'd be ecstatic if Randle played like Brand.


Yes I am blaming Brand. Statistically he was a beast but was not dominant, especially late in the fourth quarter. Bigger PF's dominated him when he was on defense.


I find that an odd negative comparison. But so be it.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject:

I quit in the 3rd and I was pretty disgusted tbh. The 'I LOVE BASKETBALL' seems to be far away. I'am losing interest quickly.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject:

Vadorojo wrote:
I had been telling myself that I didn't want us to tank because it was unlikely we could realistically end up with the 2nd worst record, but after a performance like tonight, I feel like we have a legitimate shot at keeping the pick. I'm both happy and disgusted.


So much promise with this team per our FO when the season starts.

However, I never get overly excited.

Last night is further evidence why Magic is here.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:13 am    Post subject:

This was an absolutely disgraceful showing from the Lakers (except Lou). Thanks DB for the recap.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject:

diando wrote:
This was an absolutely disgraceful showing from the Lakers (except Lou). Thanks DB for the recap.


Yeah Lou usually does his thing but he's just a one man show. It's like he plays in a different game when he's subbed in and when he's subbed out nothing remains of his energy. There's no continuity between the starting unit and the bench, they don't play the same game, they don't run the same offense.
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