CELTICS -at- LAKERS Ė 7-8-17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: CELTICS -at- LAKERS Ė 7-8-17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

The Triple-DoubleÖ This game was going to be tough for the Lakers as the Celtics essentially got a running start with more games under their belt than the Lakers heading into this.

Still, the Lakers opened up strong, keeping the Celtics scoreless for several minutes on D, and Lonzo Ball driving the Lakers offensive attack. Ball would finish the night with an 11-11-11 triple-double, reassuring the sell-out crowd that he does, indeed, have game. Fellow rookies Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart rounded out the solid Lakers starting unit, both had strong performances.

Without Ingram, the Lakers lack of depth on this team was exposed as the bench was essentially destroyed. Once we went to rotations late in the third, the lead was quickly lost.

The Celtics won the game 86-81 off their small ball attack with their C hitting five threes and the Lakers unable to counter.

Late/rushed write-up today after spending the post game breaking bread with several of LG's finest last night. Great time talking hoop for several hours at dinner!


Ball -- -- Like a slot machine coming up with all cherries, Lonzo Ball dropped 11 points, 11 assists and 11 boards, a triple-double in his second game of the Summer League. The pace was notably faster with the Lakers getting the ball up court for quick counterstrikes off made baskets multiple times in the game. You got a sense that some of his teammates realize that if they hustle down court he will find them for easy baskets. As they learn, the Lonzoís impact on the team throttles up. Give a guy like Nwaba a step on you in those situations and itís trouble (I think Brewer is going to be great at this, as well, next season). Ball hit a three early and that might have helped open up the half-court game a little more for penetration. Last game, they were going under screens and daring him to shoot because he was stone cold. This game, you could see in warmups the shot was going in at a much higher clip. He still only made 1-5 threes (would have been 2-6, but he stepped on the sideline on one of themÖI think the Lakers must have done that half a dozen times this game). His last basket to complete the triple-double was on a coast-to-coast drive for a dunk. There were some nice moments getting into the paint with his handle, including one nice inside-out dribble to break down the D. He also tried to squeeze into seams that werenít there. Again, there was a couple occasions where you want him to finish at the rim instead of overpass. No midrange game, of course, in this one, either. Still no off-ball work for him, as well, which has been a prominent part of his scoring. The team, thankfully, put Blue on the bench and ran with Hart, but this is still only the second game. I keep waiting for them to draw up an off-ball oop for him out of a deadball, but that hasnít come to fruition. Defensively, his work on the boards will help the one-and-out possessions, and like we saw in this game on occasion, the ball will get down court in just a couple seconds off those situations. Guys will have to find a balance of changing ends quickly and making sure we got the stop. He had another block in this game, that size will obviously translate to putting up some numbers in this category. There was still an instance or two where Ball would try to ice the screen-roll but his help D wasnít on the same page or left the help situation too early, which looks like he gives up penetration too easily. Overall, a well-rounded game where he helped his team in multiple ways. Thatís what we want to see. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 5-13 shooting (1-5 from three) to go with 11 boards (3 offensive), 11 assists, 4 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block and 4 fouls in 34 minutes. He was a +7.

Kuzma -- -- The part of his game that sticks out as something you think should transfer to the next level was the three shooting. Kuzma made 5-10 from different spots beyond the arc. A couple of those misses were of the heatcheck variety. One of his makes came last in the game as he trailed the break, took the pass and had to step in to knock down the three straight away while at high speed. Thatís a tough shot, but one that raises and eyebrow about his potential here. The 31 points seems like a lot, but it actually could have been closer to 40. He missed a number of chippies around the rim he should have had. They actually could have milked him more against Tatum in the post if you wanted. Tatum wanted no part of that and was easily rocked back by Kuzma, giving no resistance. Tatum really needs to work on his strength on D. Defensively, for Kuzma this was a great matchup. Tatum is an excellent iso scorer and put Kuzma to the test. Kuzma had some excellent challenges on him and on occasion got a little overzealous trying to block a shot on the perimeter, giving up FTs instead. I think, again, the D is promising and something that will transfer. Not sure about the garbage points, etc., that may be tougher to come by at the next level, but what are whatís the take away from the above? Three and D potential is strong. The Stats: He scored 31 points on 12-26 shooting (5-10 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal, 1 block and 4 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a -1.

Hart -- -- The Lakers might have won this game had Hart not gone down with the injury. That just meant that without Ingram, weíd have to rely even more on the bench, which got destroyed and gave up the lead. His experience shows in a variety of areas on the floor and this is key when thinking about the bigger picture plans. The Lakers, if their 2018 plan is to play out, will need guys who can contribute who are on cost-controlled contracts like Hartís. Guys that can play above their contract and make an impact as part of the rotation as the team looks to win now. Everything Hart did in this game is something we saw in college. It all transferred to this level. He was strong at finishing on the break, able to take and finish through contact. He also showed a floater game, as well. He sank one three. Iím hopeful that with better ball movement, youíll see maybe a little more time and space for him to shoot, which will help. Defensively, he and Kuzma are both very willing defenders and were up against some tough covers in Tatum and Brown. Hart will rotate and recover (actually got some great challenges in this game). He played smart and really didnít give up anything easy. If heís in a mismatch, his strength pays off, especially on the defensive glass. How can you not love his rebounding? It might be even more important from your guards these days with bigs being pulled out on the perimeter by stretch 4s and 5s. Getting a couple more possessions a game because your guards can board does add up. Heís superb at this and showed more of that in this game. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 6-13 shooting (1-5 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 1 assists, 4 turnovers, 1 steal, 1 block and 1 foul in 30 minutes. He was a -2.

Nwaba -- -- Better game from Nwaba. Give him a step in transition and you are in trouble. So we saw some quick strikes with Ball/Nwaba and Nwaba takes care of business at the rim. His freethrow shooting looked awful and he also didnít attempt anything from the perimeter. Both of those are obviously concerns/challenges for him to work on this offseason (he made just 1-5 from the line and it wasnít pretty). Defensively, much better game than the last, which didnít look like the Nwaba that we know. He led the team in minutes and Iím not sure if he even came out in the second half of the game. Celtics have some good young ballers on the other side of the floor and we leaned on that more experienced D. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 6-9 shooting (1-5 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal, 1 block and 4 fouls in 36 minutes. He was a -2.

Zubac -- -- Better game from Zu as he was out of sorts quite a bit in the last game. Still, we pulled him in the third quarter as he was winded, hands on his knees at the FT line on the defensive end. He didnít return after that. Conditioning definitely seems to be an issue right now. This game hinged for me on our inability to deal with the Celtics small ball. Semi Ojeleye hit 5-9 from three as our bigs failed to get out to him on the three line. And on the other end, we never took advantage of our size. That can manifest itself in multiple ways, go to the post to back him down or collapse the D, or dominate on the offensive glass so badly, the opponent is forced to match your size. We did neither in those situations. No touches for Zu down low and no effort from Zu on the offensive glass (0 offensive boards). Offensive boards require effort and energy, thatís been a challenge for Zubac so far. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 2-5 shooting (3-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 block and 3 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a +5.

Bryant -- -- Bryant also had issues with the small ball attack from the Celtics. He should be better suited for this than Zubac because of his footspeed, but he still needs to learn to challenge as well as Zubac can. Offensively, I would have liked to see us explore that pick and pop with him to show off his range. We didnít look for that in this one. He showed some poor hands, as well, in this oneÖsomething to keep an eye on as an ongoing issue. The Stats: He didnít score on 0-2 shooting to go with 1 board and 3 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a +0.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject:

First?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

A couple of notes. Agree 100% but if Ingram play last night the Lakers would've won the game.

Starting lineup was significantly better and got a much better pace going early. However the second unit let the lead slip away quickly. Vander Blue needs to be the focus of the second unit rather than Caruso and Ware. Also Bryant needs to get more playing time with the second unit.

I really liked what I saw out of Kuzma and Hart. Still disappointed with Zubac and his conditioning.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject:

Kuzma's D was surprisingly good at times. He's not perfect on that end, obviously, but loved the fight in him against talented scorers like Tatum and Brown (not sure who was on him at all times - combo of Nwaba/Kuzma? - but they made him look like a rook). He has good foot speed and is a smooth mover overall on the perimeter, and I thought he did a solid job cutting off penetration for the most part and contesting shots. He was a bit overly aggressive, like you mentioned, but the discipline should come over time. Unfortunately he doesn't project as someone that will provide much resistance at the rim. But it's nice that he might be able to provide some things that Randle doesn't, like switchability against the PnR and 3-point shooting (things that we hope Jules will bring to the table eventually), and vice versa - their skillsets aren't nearly as overlapped as originally thought and we should be able to play them together at times with Lonzo. Those guys pushing the ball in transition, along with BI, will be a joy to watch...

And with Hart, as much of a defensive reputation as he had coming into the NBA, I was still pleasantly surprised by his motor and aggressive playing style on defense. Dude was hell bent on sliding and staying in front of his man and contesting everything. Maybe it's because we've been conditioned to watching piss poor perimeter defense the last few years, but it was a welcome sight. If the kid can get his shot together, he should definitely be a major cog in the back court rotation this season. Hell, with his defense alone, he should be in line for some PT. It's not like we have anyone else signed that's much better than him
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:54 pm    Post subject:

TheBlackMamba wrote:
Kuzma's D was surprisingly good at times. He's not perfect on that end, obviously, but loved the fight in him against talented scorers like Tatum and Brown (not sure who was on him at all times - combo of Nwaba/Kuzma? - but they made him look like a rook). He has good foot speed and is a smooth mover overall on the perimeter, and I thought he did a solid job cutting off penetration for the most part and contesting shots. He was a bit overly aggressive, like you mentioned, but the discipline should come over time. Unfortunately he doesn't project as someone that will provide much resistance at the rim. But it's nice that he might be able to provide some things that Randle doesn't, like switchability against the PnR and 3-point shooting (things that we hope Jules will bring to the table eventually), and vice versa - their skillsets aren't nearly as overlapped as originally thought and we should be able to play them together at times with Lonzo. Those guys pushing the ball in transition, along with BI, will be a joy to watch...

And with Hart, as much of a defensive reputation as he had coming into the NBA, I was still pleasantly surprised by his motor and aggressive playing style on defense. Dude was hell bent on sliding and staying in front of his man and contesting everything. Maybe it's because we've been conditioned to watching piss poor perimeter defense the last few years, but it was a welcome sight. If the kid can get his shot together, he should definitely be a major cog in the back court rotation this season. Hell, with his defense alone, he should be in line for some PT. It's not like we have anyone else signed that's much better than him


It's refreshing to hear the front office and coaching staff to state our plan and actually follow through. How many times did we here Byron preach that we want to "hang our hats on our defense" - but we had no real pieces on our roster that could play good individual/team defense in today's NBA and our defensive rating/poor record was a reflection of that.

Not saying that we will be all-world defenders suddenly. We still have a ways to go... But last season who were our defense-minded players poised for the today's NBA? Nance maybe?

Now we have more defensive player pieces that can play with him... Brewer, Nwaba, now Hart and Kuzma, maybe even Bryant... and Ingram of course should be improved on that end.

Likewise, Luke would preach ball movement and sharing the ball...
but our bulk of scoring came from ISO ball with Lou, Swaggy, DLO and Clarkson being our primary scorers off the dribble. With 3 of the 4 gone, and this new breed of 2-way/gym rat/ball sharing players we are building around, IMO we will see better ball movement. We have seen hints of it in Summer League and I expect this to just continue to grow.
Perhaps the scoring will drop off, but I think players will step up in this new system and the scoring efficiency will vastly improve.

The net result of these this culture change should result in a better brand of basketball and I'm excited to see it unfold- It should also result in more W's.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject:

Props DB. Thanks as always for taking time away from the family to get this done. Sorry Laker7, but BI does not belong out there as his talent level is off the charts in comparison to the rest of these kids. I do not care about getting a W (Yes even against the d bag Celtics). Its about getting these kids in a flow to make an assessment. There is some serious potential talent on our team.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject:

The most important breakdown LG posters want to hear is what happened when you "breaking bread with several of LG's fines" - lmao!!!

Any update on Hart?

Weir, Blue and Caruso appear to be mismatched with this team, maybe there were/could be more effective in a different system

Surprised that Zu was winded? Wondering if he has a personal trainer to help him focus on what his game needs?

Lonzo's passes, similar to what KLove has done throughout his career, have everybody alert - otherwise a pass might hit them in the face!

It will be intriguing to see how Bryant improves between now and the preseason
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:47 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Remember to hydrate in Vegas.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject:

You all gotta give DB extra credit for this one since I was distracting him the entire game. Amazing as always DB.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject:

Once again AAA DB

So on NBA radio today Brandon Hayward was making a comment about Lonzo, saying he didnt think he has the speed / quickness to turn the corner on his man, especially on the pick and roll. Suggested a scout also said this to him.

One thing they didnt mention was how often the defense went under the screen, however.

So you were at the game and may have had a better angle or view of things...what are your thoughts re Hayward's comments?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:54 pm    Post subject:

^ I think Caruso turned the corner on someone last night...so I don't know that this was the best NBA level example of defensive talent out there to make any judgements from. I don't think Ball will have issues with that as he works on and polishes his game.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:59 pm    Post subject:

To add to what DB said re: Lonzo's speed. I think any inability to penetrate is more about skill than it is athleticism. Ball is often too upright and, while he has an adequate handle, he doesn't have an elite handle yet. If he gets lower on his dribble and refines his handles, that will make a big difference. He also dribbles looking to pass, not to score, so he lacks some craftiness in his dribble too that most NBA guards have to get into the paint (often leading to a short pull up J or floater). Finally, this is a pick and roll league - very few PGs get to the paint without a pick. That's significant because Lonzo also needs to learn how to use a pick better (for purposes of scoring) and how to hit the roll man. There are so many things he can improve on which will help him become a much better scorer (making no mention of just hitting his 3s), which is actually a good thing given where he is at already.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject:

LakerSanity wrote:
To add to what DB said re: Lonzo's speed. I think any inability to penetrate is more about skill than it is athleticism. Ball is often too upright and, while he has an adequate handle, he doesn't have an elite handle yet. If he gets lower on his dribble and refines his handles, that will make a big difference. He also dribbles looking to pass, not to score, so he lacks some craftiness in his dribble too that most NBA guards have to get into the paint (often leading to a short pull up J or floater). Finally, this is a pick and roll league - very few PGs get to the paint without a pick. That's significant because Lonzo also needs to learn how to use a pick better (for purposes of scoring) and how to hit the roll man. There are so many things he can improve on which will help him become a much better scorer (making no mention of just hitting his 3s), which is actually a good thing given where he is at already.


Got it, thanks for the input fellas!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject:

LakerSanity wrote:
To add to what DB said re: Lonzo's speed. I think any inability to penetrate is more about skill than it is athleticism. Ball is often too upright and, while he has an adequate handle, he doesn't have an elite handle yet. If he gets lower on his dribble and refines his handles, that will make a big difference. He also dribbles looking to pass, not to score, so he lacks some craftiness in his dribble too that most NBA guards have to get into the paint (often leading to a short pull up J or floater). Finally, this is a pick and roll league - very few PGs get to the paint without a pick. That's significant because Lonzo also needs to learn how to use a pick better (for purposes of scoring) and how to hit the roll man. There are so many things he can improve on which will help him become a much better scorer (making no mention of just hitting his 3s), which is actually a good thing given where he is at already.
Since Lonzo didn't play much P&R at UCLA, but has a very high basketball IQ - he will quickly learn.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject:

LakerSanity wrote:
To add to what DB said re: Lonzo's speed. I think any inability to penetrate is more about skill than it is athleticism. Ball is often too upright and, while he has an adequate handle, he doesn't have an elite handle yet. If he gets lower on his dribble and refines his handles, that will make a big difference. He also dribbles looking to pass, not to score, so he lacks some craftiness in his dribble too that most NBA guards have to get into the paint (often leading to a short pull up J or floater). Finally, this is a pick and roll league - very few PGs get to the paint without a pick. That's significant because Lonzo also needs to learn how to use a pick better (for purposes of scoring) and how to hit the roll man. There are so many things he can improve on which will help him become a much better scorer (making no mention of just hitting his 3s), which is actually a good thing given where he is at already.


I think he uses his body well shielding himself and the ball from defenders. You are correct its a pick and roll league, and I think our guys have to learn (sounds silly because its one of the first things kids learn how to do) how to set a solid screen. He is upright, but it may be more from looking for that open man. His ability to use both hands will help overcome his lack of speed and elite handle (as you correctly point out yet). I am looking foward to Lopez who sets a solid screen and will give teams nightmares in a pick and pop situation because of his good outside shot.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:56 am    Post subject:

Thanks db
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB! Excellent analysis, as always. Though, I'm not sure if Thomas Bryant displayed bad hands, in that game, because he rarely got the ball in a scoring position. Celtics clearly did some scouting, as they stayed tight to him, on the perimeter, as opposed to Ojeleye's wide open shots, on the other end. And, as you noted, neither Zubac, or Bryant, got enough touches in the post, to combat the Celtic's small ball lineup.

Lot's of intelligent analysis from other posters in this thread, as well!


ZOOM!!!!!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject:

Rewatching the game last night, I think he fumbled three passes. Just something to watch for. Obviously, they've only played a little together so no ones on the same page with consistency so that can play a role in that.
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