NUGGETS -at- LAKERS – 10-2-17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: NUGGETS -at- LAKERS – 10-2-17 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

The Preseason Process… The preseason may not be friendly to the Lakers.

The Lakers played the first of two games in a row against the Nuggets and are now a third of the way though their preseason. It will be rough out of the gates for teams with a lot of roster changes as they don’t have that collective experience and knowledge versus units that have been together longer.

The Nuggets are integrating a new player in Millsap, but their core is well versed in playing with each other. The Lakers are integrating several new pieces and it’s not always pretty.

The Lakers pushed out to an early lead, turning stops into scores the other way. That’s what we want to see a lot of.

What we don’t want to see was the turnover/foul fest later in the second quarter that had the Lakers trailing. The Lakers had 16 turnovers in the first half.

Maybe they don’t have their wind yet, but, again, they are still in the getting-to-know-you stage. They barely know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, not mention the playbook.

As the game went along, the Nuggets drilled the Lakers beyond the arc (hitting 15-27 threes). Too many times the Lakers left shooters open and paid the price on their way to the 113-107 loss.

The bright spot in this one? Once again, Kyle Kuzma leading the team with 23 points off the bench. Kid is killing it.


Ball -- -- He twisted an ankle as he landed on a foot after a great shotblock recovery from behind late in the first half. “I’ll be alright,” he said. He wasn’t at full speed in the second half as he had a slight limp going. While they can’t afford him to go down with injury at anytime this season, any kind of early season injury would be a setback. They want to develop habits now that carry over even when he’s not playing. “I got a little nervous when I saw him go down,” Luke said, mentioning how important he is at this stage of the team’s development. “The way we want to play that is just going to slow down that process,” he said when asked about possibly losing him. The team had some early moments in this one. They were pushing tempo and getting into a rhythm. Some good fastbreaks with Ingram, Brewer and Clarkson. Whether the team started to tire or the Denver D forcing them into errors, they started to sputter in the second quarter with turnovers and didn’t have the same energy going. Still, some progress. He started out slowly in UCLA as they tried to figure out how to use him (and as Ball, himself, was learning that team). In the Summer League, kind of the same thing – slow start, chemistry started to form and the team started to click. That’s what you want to happen again with this team. We definitely saw fewer iso, ball stopping moments from teammates in this one. Hopefully, the ankle doesn’t swell up too much and he doesn’t miss any games. A few too many turnovers in this game, but some moments where you could see the team identity already. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting (1-3 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 21 minutes. He was a -11. The Action: He pushed it up with speed and hit Ingram ahead for the transition score. He pushed out the break, looked off the D and scored the And-1 layup, he made the FT. He threw an advance pass away expecting Randle to do something different than he did (aim for the head). Nice recovery from behind to block a drive. He shoveled a pass to JC on the break, who then lobbed back to him for the throwdown. He missed a wing three. He stepped on the sideline on a push off, turnover. He threw a pass away (looked like he had Randle on the other side on the roll). Turnover on a cross-court pass. He drained a wing three next time down. Over-the-back foul to give up FTs. He scooped up a loose ball, pushed it out and missed the layup. Nice recovery to block a shot, but he twisted an ankle when he came down on a foot. He had 8 points on 3-5 shooting and 2 assists with 4 turnovers in the half. Second Half: He missed a wing three in transition.

Ingram -- -- Getting stronger is going to help him get by guys a lot easier. He won’t be bouncing off them as much and will be bumping them on their heels instead. He had a couple moments attacking the rim, but not a lot else tonight. Definitely glad we didn’t see quite the level of ball stopping we saw from him in his two previous Lonzo games. I’m sure he’s not going to be very satisfied with how he’s played, however. Not a lot of impact. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-8 shooting (0-1 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a -13. The Action: He attacked to his right, got deep and easily scored the And-1 over Chandler, he made the FT. He was blocked on a drive against Millsap (too strong) and he threw it away for a score the other way. He took the advance pass in stride and scored a layup over the D that was on its heels. He curled into paint and couldn’t finish in traffic. Turnover as he pushed off on the sideline to attack. He attacked to his right and couldn’t finish. He attacked baseline and was muscled out of bounds, turnover. He drew FTs pounding the dribble on iso, he made one. Second Half: He faced up in the post and missed the baseline jumper. He missed a corner three next time down. He missed a pull-up jumper at the elbow. He cut weak to strong off Bryant’s post, took the pass and scored the And-1, he made the FT. Nice D to get a piece of a pull-up jumper.

Randle -- -- Luke really liked how he improved in this one over the last game. The D was better as was his energy. “We just got to do it for longer stretches on the defensive end,” he said. That’s always been his issue in the past couple of years – playing with aggression for longer stretches. He and Faried got into it a bit late in the game and Randle picked up a tech and Luke sat him. I kind of like seeing him play with that chip on his shoulder. Wish we would have left him out there. I guess I shouldn’t hold out hope by now for him to set real screens. Why this still persists is beyond me. Some really weak ones in this game. No threes in this game by Randle. One of the ways Julius would handle defenders sagging off him last year was turning to those quick kickbacks/DHOs that would free up teammates while Randle’s man sagged back. With his investment this summer on his shot, it seems like we’ll see fewer of those possessions. But he didn’t shoot any threes tonight and we still didn’t see that. Again, we lost Nick, Lou and DLO, so the chemistry has to start over. I’m sure will start to see those plays come on line at some point. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 5-10 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -13. The Action: Quick attack across the lane and he scored a layup in transition for the team’s first score. He charged in transition trying to back a man down with too much speed, he then picked up his second foul biting on a fake on the other end. He sank a jumper from the top of the key in early offense. He threw an inbounds away (wow, that might make Shaqtin’). He kicked out to Deng for the sideline three. He posted up, drop-stepped to set up his right and was fouled, he made both FTs. He missed a wing jumper. He dunked off the KCP lob. He was blocked on a putback layup. He attacked across the lane and hit the jumphook. He had 10 points on 4-6 shooting and 8 boards at the half. Second Half: He missed on a post-up attempt, but kept it alive. He attacked and missed the short runner. He was blocked on a layup attempt. Good challenge on D, he took an outlet, rumbled through defender and fired to KCP for a layup. He was called for a charge in transition to erase a hoop. Nice challenge to force an airball three. He bullied his way down the middle of the paint and hit the runner. He tied up Faried on the perimeter to force a jumpball, which he won. He was stripped in the post and had some words with Faried. He then gave a forearm to Faried on the other end for a tech. Luke sat him after that.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- I think this might be more in line with the typical game we see from him (maybe with another made three in the mix somewhere). Some good moments defensively that helped turn into quick strikes the other way. Hopefully, that becomes a bit more contagious among the rest of the team. A .350 three shooter who averaged nearly 14 ppg last year, that’s pretty similar production offensively to Clarkson in both those categories. So figure that’s the kind of output you should expect. Tonight he pretty much did that. Just need a better job knocking down the threes. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 5-12 shooting (1-6 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +0. The Action: He banked in a pull-up brick at the elbow. Nice help D strip to ignite a breakaway score. He came off a screen to hit a 19-foot catch and shoot. He missed a corner three in transition but hustled to knock a ball loose from behind, diving to the floor to save it to a teammate. He lobbed to Randle off a two-man sequence for a dunk (great look). He was stripped on the perimeter, then fouled. He was robbed on an And-1 jumper that went in and the refs took back. He missed a forced three. He swiped a kickout and ignited the break for a score. Second Half: He curled into the paint and drew FTs on a runner, he made both. He pulled up and hit the baseline jumper in transition. He clanked a pull-up 16-footer next time down, not close. He missed a three up against the shotclock. He scored a layup off Randle’s transition feed. He drew FTs on a kickout and made both. He missed a pull-up 19-footer as the offense broke down. He drained a wing three on a kickout. He missed a corner three in transition that could have cut the lead to 4. Tough perimeter D, he knocked it loose, getting a big stop with 43 seconds left. He missed a wing three.

Zubac -- -- With the strong performance in the last game (and Larry’s lackluster one), Ivica got the start against Jokic. He had a little chemistry possibly building with Ennis in the last game. One of the disappointing things with Zubac this summer (and there were many…hands, inability finish, etc.) was his lack of footspeed and anticipation despite looking much leaner. His reaction time (and ability to react because of technique) have looked much improved. He said the game is moving much slower for him now unlike in summer. Whether that’s our pace or his adapting and improving (which I think is the case), he’s looking a lot better. More explosive, more mobility, less upright. No points in this game or shots, however, as we didn’t have that half-court chemistry. So he was really a nonfactor on that end of the floor. He and Bogut both speak Croatian and apparently have bonded a little with that. He’d be an excellent mentor for him. The Stats: He didn’t score or shoot to go with 3 boards, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 18 minutes. He was a -16. The Action: Bad read on the short roll and he threw it away. He missed a floater trailing the break. He interfered with a tip-in to erase some points. Nice challenge on Jokic in the post to get a stop. He was called for a travel as he faced up after rolling to the hoop. Second Half: Nothing to report.

Kuzma -- -- Once again, he led the Lakers in scoring off the bench. He nailed four threes, had some finishes off cuts and a score on one of those leakouts…just the typical sort of thing he did all summer long. Kid is for real and Luke ran him a good 29 minutes tonight. Just love watching him play the game with that mobility and sweet stroke. He’s also a sponge off the court. “He’s such a good kid…off the court, he’s constantly trying to learn,” Deng said. Kuzma played both the 3 and the 4 tonight. Defensively, Kuzma said playing the SF he’s got to get through screens while covering guards, which is not what he’s used to. He’s got the footspeed to handle it and his length will make up a step if need be. Luke mentioned he’s got a lot to work on defensively as a rookie, just learning the game at this level. “His competitive spirit is very impressive,” Luke said, but still needs to learn the little things. He’s got potential to be an excellent defender as he gains that experience. Late in this game, he was one of the sparks that nearly brought the Lakers back. The Stats: He scored 23 points on 9-17 shooting (4-9 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +8. The Action: He missed a floater. He swished a three on a cross-court feed from Bryant. He had a ball knocked loose (or lost the handle on the perimeter) for a turnover. Nice help D rotation to knock a ball loose himself and ignite the break. He drained a quick-fire corner three off an inbounds. He got completely tapped on a wing three. He was called for a travel on the perimeter (he did not like that call). He missed a face-up baseline jumper. Great touch pass trailing the break to Bryant for the dunk. He missed a tough three at the end of the half. Second Half: He up-faked, attacked and hit the runner. He missed a sideline three. He missed another three from the other side next time down. Great cut baseline off of Clarkson’s dribble penetration and he reversed when JC found him. He swished a baseline pull-up next time down. He missed a wing jumper. Quick post move and he earned FTs, he made one. Great slip screen, Caruso found him and he was quickly off the floor for a layup. He called his own number and drained a deep three right over a defender to cut it to 7. He sank another wing three to cut it to 6. He leaked out, took the long outlet and scored a layup to cut it to 4 moments later. He got stripped slightly as he rose up for an iso three and was forced into a brick, not close (not much of a play call, either).

Clarkson -- -- Remember last year when he had those crazy up-and-down moments. Really good on one play, really bad on another. This game was a little like that. He had some excellent passing sequences, but also some really questionable decision making. He was in on a couple of the passes of the game, though: A sweet lob to Lonzo on the break and another no-looker to Kuzma cutting baseline. He was also part of a unit that got benched for getting outplayed in the fourth. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-7 shooting (0-3 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers and no fouls in 18 minutes. He was a -5. The Action: He was stripped trying to create. He drew FTs on a pushout and made both. He got down court with speed, took the pass from Ball and lobbed back to him for the jam. He attacked with speed off the handoff from Kuzma and scored the layup. He missed a transition wing three next time down. He missed a pull-up 17-footer on iso. Second Half: He forced a baseline runner on iso in early offense and missed (pull that out). He kicked out to Brewer for the corner three. He missed a good look at a three straight away. He attacked the paint and no looked to Kuzma cutting baseline for the reverse. He attacked at the end of the quarter and was fouled as he went strong to the rim with 1.6 left, he made both FTs. He missed a corner three. He attacked the paint and hit the short floater. Why are you helping on Plumlee on the perimeter (he gave up an open three to Harris as a result). Awful pass on the two-man game, dunk the other way.

Nance -- -- Nance can’t afford to get lost in the action – floating through minutes without elevating his game. That subpar impact last night had him sitting to start this one for Zubac who stood out. After he picked up three fouls in the first quarter as well as a sprained right index finger, he was back on the bench for the rest of the half. Little to pull from this one in the limited minutes other than the foul trouble. The Stats: He scored 1 points on 0-1 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 steals and 5 fouls in 9 minutes. He was a -8. The Action: Great job reaching around a high post entry to knock a ball loose, then he went to the floor to recover and draw Millsap’s third foul and earn FTs, he made one. He gave up an And-1 jumper on a reach. He fouled trying to prevent a transition score, good hustle, but his third in the first quarter. Second Half: He choked a layup.

Deng -- -- Good game by the vet. Last year, Deng was one of the team’s better defenders, but struggled with his shot early on, making people wonder how out of shape he was. He didn’t look out of shape in this one. He was aggressive, was hustling up and down the court and knocking down long jumper. The Lakers depth at his position has only grown with Kuzma joining the roster. Hard to see exactly how they fit him into the roster, but tonight they were able to with foul trouble and Nance’s injury. A good job by Deng hustling on both ends. He got in on some transition scores, changing ends well. He had 9 points and 6 boards at the half and didn’t play in the second half. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 4-9 shooting (1-1 from three, 0-2 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 1 assist and no fouls in 10 minutes. He was a +0. The Action: He curled into the lane and missed the short runner. He sank a long corner jumper off a jab step. He couldn’t finish on a baseline drive trying to create on iso. He swished a sideline three on a Randle kickout. He missed a corner three. Good job changing ends off the KCP steal and he rode the ball in over a defender for a layup. He cleaned up a missed breakaway with a putback off some good hustle down court. He was fouled hustling for a loose ball on D and earned FTs, he missed both. Second Half: He did not play in the second half.

Brewer -- -- We saw a brief flash or two of him running the floor with Lonzo. Those two change ends so quickly I’d like to see more of them out there together. Scrappy minutes. He hit a three, got some points on the break. It’s hard to see how the rotations will end up. Luke was pleased with the second and third unit energy and he helps bring some of that spark. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-3 shooting (1-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a -3. The Action: Quick attack when Lonzo fired an advance pass to him off a missed FT and he drew FTs, he made both. Second Half: Steal in the backcourt. He sank a corner three on a kickout. He tipped in a missed three crashing the glass. He dunked getting out on the break with Ennis.

Ennis -- -- So the roster shuffle with Nance/Zubac also impacted Ennis, who showed some great chemistry with Zu in the last one. The bigs were changing with frequency for him throughout the game. He was the recipient of two of the worst calls by the refs. One was a travel call as he tapped out a defensive board, another was an obvious goal tend on a floater in the paint. Refs trying to read his mind on those plays, coming to poor conclusions. Preseason for them, but that was awful. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 2-4 shooting (1-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a -9. The Action: He found Kuzma for a corner three on an inbounds from the opposite side of the court. Nice switch to knock a ball away on a pass to a big. He attacked right and hit a floater over a big on the other end. Horrible travel call on a great defensive board he tapped out between two bigs as he pushed out (ridiculous call). His floater was obviously goaltended with no call, sheesh. Second Half: He curled into the lane and drew FTs on the drive, he made both. He swiped a ball, pushed it out and fed Brewer at the last second for the dunk. He missed a layup, we got it back to him and he sank the open corner three. He missed a wing pull-up jumper.

Blue -- -- Wish he was more in the rotation. He had a quiet 8 minutes, but played some tough D and hit a big shot late. Quiet minutes for him, but the team played well. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting to go with 1 board and no fouls in 8 minutes. He was a +11. The Action: He did not play in the first half. Second Half: He attacked off the three line, nudged his man on his heels with the shoulder and scored the layup. He missed a drive, but tapped it out.

Bryant -- -- Some good moments battling with his strength and size in the paint against Jokic and the Nuggets bigs. He led the team with a +8 in his 6 first half minutes and finished the game with the team-high +17. He had some very good challenges at times. There were some breakdowns in team and confusion out there, which is to be expected, but he went toe-to-toe out there and stood up well. He’s young but showing a lot of potential. We have yet to see him stretch the floor yet, which he can do. Offensively, his best plays were a couple of reads out of the post to teammates. He ended up with 4 assists. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 1-2 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 4 assists, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 16 minutes. He was a +17. The Action: He found Kuzma cross court for a three. Good job changing ends at the end of the quarter, but time expired as he chucked up the runner. He dunked off the touch pass from Kuzma in transition. He drew FTs on the defensive glass and made both. Second Half: He fumbled away an interior feed. Great job battling for a missed layup and it led to an Ennis three. Nice read as Ingram came weak to strong on a cut for an And-1. Nice challenge on a guard to get the stop.

Caruso -- -- He came in fairly early in the fourth with KCP to take over the guard duties from Ennis and JC. Good job orchestrating the offense and setting the table. He had a lot of bounce in his step and pushes the pace faster than Ennis, so that provides a little spark. The team played well while he was out there as he had a +14. The Stats: He didn’t score or shoot and had 3 boards and 2 assists in 9 minutes. He was a +14. The Action: He did not play in the first half. Second Half: He hit Kuzma on the slip screen for a layup. He kicked out to KCP for a three.

Weber -- -- He came in with 43 seconds left down 4 to go small. The Stats: He had no stats and was a -2. The Action: He did not play in the first half. Second Half: Nothing to report.

Walton -- -- The Lakers pushed out to a 14-5 lead, changing ends with speed… Nance in for Randle who had 2 fouls, Lakers up 7… Lakers up 8 when Kuzma came in for Zubac… Bryant quickly in for Nance, who came back in shortly later. JC in for KCP… Deng in for Ingram, Lakers up 8… Tempo very fast and the Lakers taking advantage of it. Defense turning to offense… Lakers up 24-16 when Ball sat for Ennis with a couple minutes left… Nance with some foul trouble. Bryant in… Lakers up 31-26 after the first quarter… Randle, Kuzma, Deng, Clarkson, Ennis to start the quarter… Zubac, Randle, Brewer, KCP, Ennis now… Ball in for Ennis, Lakers up 6… Ingram in for KCP. This unit lost the lead with multiple turnovers… Bryant, Deng, Ingram, KCP, Ball lineup… The Lakers trailed 61-56 at the half. The Lakers had 16 turnovers in the half. They shot 4-11 from three… Timeout with 5 seconds left on a shotclock and we couldn’t inbounds the ball, turnover, then a delay of the game for a tech. That went backwards… They fell back by 16 and Luke called a timeout after 5 minutes… Luke benched the starters. Wholesale change to go with Bryant, Nance, Kuzma, JC and Ennis… Brewer in for Nance… They started to chip away at the lead… The trailed 91-80 heading into the fourth… Some awful moments by Clarkson to start the fourth quarter and the Lakers quickly trailed by 20. Timeout… Ingram, Caruso, KCP in to go with Bryant and Kuzma… Randle and Blew in for Bryant and Ingram a minute later… Lakers get the Nuggets in the penalty early… Randle sitting after picking up a tech. Bryant in… They cut it to 8, forcing a timeout… Down 4, they got a stop and called a timeout with 43 seconds left. Luke brought in Weber for Bryant to go small… Not much of a play call as Kuzma iso’d and bricked…
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mhan00
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject:

We need someone other than Kuz to hit threes consistently.
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OregonLakerGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:19 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
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TheBlackMamba
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:22 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB. If the goal is to win games this year and Deng really is back in shape with a better-looking outside shot, don't you think he should be part of the rotation, even if at the expense of Jules/Junior's minutes? He clearly doesn't look like he's done and still can show plenty of hustle on the court. Like you said, he was one of our best defenders last year and on a young team like this, we need veteran guys that can play.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:26 pm    Post subject:

TheBlackMamba wrote:
Thanks, DB. If the goal is to win games this year and Deng really is back in shape with a better-looking outside shot, don't you think he should be part of the rotation, even if at the expense of Jules/Junior's minutes? He clearly doesn't look like he's done and still can show plenty of hustle on the court. Like you said, he was one of our best defenders last year and on a young team like this, we need veteran guys that can play.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:01 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!!

Looks like Randle is in great shape and fills the star line, but he doesn't appear to make a tangible impact on games - wondering why

Need to figure out why Nance is invisible for extended periods of time

JC is becoming like JR - he can shoot you into games and his miscues can take you out of games

Surprised at Deng's effort. He appears to be hungry

With the kids working out all summer, how can they be running out of energy?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:19 am    Post subject:

The Lakers need to establish a go to scorer. Someone needs to step up. Kuzma and Randle are the only ones who are aggressive towards the hoop.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:53 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Excellent write up as always. Glad it's preseason. Lots to work on for the Lakers.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:18 am    Post subject:

mhan00 wrote:
We need someone other than Kuz to hit threes consistently.


I agree most of these guys don't fit this system. Imho Ingram's strength is fine, if he gains too much muscle weight he will slow down even more. What he needs to work is on his 3pt shooting, a step back shot, and a fall away turn around jumper. Randle has to stop driving to the basket and trying to take shots against bigger guys, he needs to expand his game to a short jumper, and even shots behind the line.
Unless you can prove to the league that you have a perimeter shooting game they are going to shut the lanes down.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:26 am    Post subject:

We actually played pretty decent D last night. I liked that. Our defensive lapses were limited to (1) problems closing out on shooters at the 3 point line and (2) transition defense (which was mostly due to 22 turnovers and not necessarily our D).

The difference in last night's game was 3pt shooting. Both teams shot around the same FG% overall, but looking deeper into the #s, Denver shot 15-27 from 3 while we shout 9-25 from 3. That's the point differential right there.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject:

1st quarter the team was playing some good solid basketball, then the team kinda fell off a cliff, what's promising is that through the 2 games we have been competitive but then the 3rd quarter something goes wrong, hopefully that doesn't become a trend this season cause we know about that from last year.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject:

That first quarter gave me a glimpse of what this team can look like.

So early in the preseason with such a short training camp. I am happy to see a glimpse!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:51 am    Post subject:

Dr. Funkbot wrote:
That first quarter gave me a glimpse of what this team can look like.

So early in the preseason with such a short training camp. I am happy to see a glimpse!


And we have seen those glimpses with Ball and Ingram not playing well.
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RCS926
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:05 am    Post subject:

Three point shooting is definitely an issue in these first few games. Because we don't have a dynamic one-on-one threat with offensive gravity, our halfcourt offense is going to live and die by the 3 ball. On days when we're hitting, we'll look like world beaters. When we're not hitting the 3 ball, we'll have to rely on creating turnovers and not giving up too many on our end. That 2nd quarter was brutal. Thankfully, we're still in the preseason, and I expect the offensive execution to improve and the TOs to go down. It has been nice to see flashes of the active swarming defense that forces TOs. We just need to be more consistent with the effort and have fewer lapses.

After 2 preseason games, it's clear that the first unit is lacking the kind of chemistry that the 2nd and even 3rd units have, and I think a lot of it has to do with BI. I still have faith that he will work it out, but his instinct to attack off the dribble can kill the flow of the offense especially when he is determined to score. I think he needs to not worry about living up to the expectation of being our go-to guy and lead scorer and just let the game come to him. I know that some are concerned about Randle, but he always has DHOs and PNRs to fall back on. I feel like BI is still figuring out where he fits in the offense.

As far as individual players, my standouts are:

Kuzma - Instinctive, aggressive and fully committed. That describes him on both sides of the ball. BI, Randle and Nance need to take some queues from Kuzma when it comes to making quick and smart decisions with the ball. He played with a ton of energy in SPL, but he looks noticeably quicker on the floor after dropping some weight and getting stronger. Keep in mind that he looks quicker out there against bigger and stronger athletes compared to SPL. I think Kuzma at the 3 is a viable option, and although I'm not advocating for it just yet, inserting him into the starting lineup in place of BI would do wonders for the 1st unit IMO.

Zubac - It's amazing how far he has come defensively since the SPL. He didn't look like he belonged on the court at times against SPL talent, and now he's doing a great job of hedging and recovering against legit NBA guards. I'm honestly amazed by what I've seen from him on the defensive end in these first two games. If he continues to D up like this, then he's back to being a core piece of our future. The offensive talent is already there, but there was always a question of whether or not he could help defend the perimeter. He has passed with flying colors so far.

KCP - I love his activity on the defensive end. That scrappiness can become infectious as long as it doesn't lead to overly aggressive defense, which we've seen at times from BI and Randle. Offensively, he had a much better game, and I'm glad that he looked more comfortable out there than he did in game 1.

Lonzo - Let's hope his ankle isn't going to slow him down too much. He had some nice moments in the game. I particularly liked when he turned on the afterburners and got that and-1 layup. We all know that he's a guy that builds chemistry with the units that he runs, but as I pointed out earlier, the chemistry with the 1st unit isn't there yet. That's not on Lonzo though because he will continue to move the ball. Other guys need to continue to adapt their game so that the there is constant player and ball movement.

Ennis - I love his steady hand out there with the 2nd unit, which is exactly what we need from our back-up PG. He plays at a slower pace than Lonzo, but he still keeps the ball moving and makes really smart decisions on the floor.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:36 am    Post subject:

I fell asleep at the half but what I saw was fun. Oh and I was glad to hear that Ball's ankle thing wasn't a big deal. Thanks for the recap DB
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject:

RCS926 wrote:


After 2 preseason games, it's clear that the first unit is lacking the kind of chemistry that the 2nd and even 3rd units have, and I think a lot of it has to do with BI. I still have faith that he will work it out, but his instinct to attack off the dribble can kill the flow of the offense especially when he is determined to score. I think he needs to not worry about living up to the expectation of being our go-to guy and lead scorer and just let the game come to him. I know that some are concerned about Randle, but he always has DHOs and PNRs to fall back on. I feel like BI is still figuring out where he fits in the offense.


I'm giving BI a few games more before I really start worrying. He played in two first games (first of preseason, first of summer league) where those are going to sometimes default into iso problems and offensive execution issues. This last game, he still had some iso in his game, but it wasn't like those previous two. So I want to see what happens when the offense starts to get put in place and guys start to know how plays can form. I think that will help him. Because, yes, it sticks out and we lose the free flowing passing we want. I know he can move the ball as we saw all last year.

Kuzma is definitely a problem for the guys on the team fighting for minutes because he makes such quick decisions and reads. He's a little older so that probably helps his transition to the NBA, but he's perfect for the 3 or 4 spots and our chemistry. Once he starts cleaning up the variety of little mistakes he makes, Luke will probably start to run out of reasons other than seniority for not starting him. Kid has been killing it at the combine, summer league and preseason.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:54 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
RCS926 wrote:


After 2 preseason games, it's clear that the first unit is lacking the kind of chemistry that the 2nd and even 3rd units have, and I think a lot of it has to do with BI. I still have faith that he will work it out, but his instinct to attack off the dribble can kill the flow of the offense especially when he is determined to score. I think he needs to not worry about living up to the expectation of being our go-to guy and lead scorer and just let the game come to him. I know that some are concerned about Randle, but he always has DHOs and PNRs to fall back on. I feel like BI is still figuring out where he fits in the offense.


I'm giving BI a few games more before I really start worrying. He played in two first games (first of preseason, first of summer league) where those are going to sometimes default into iso problems and offensive execution issues. This last game, he still had some iso in his game, but it wasn't like those previous two. So I want to see what happens when the offense starts to get put in place and guys start to know how plays can form. I think that will help him. Because, yes, it sticks out and we lose the free flowing passing we want. I know he can move the ball as we saw all last year.

Kuzma is definitely a problem for the guys on the team fighting for minutes because he makes such quick decisions and reads. He's a little older so that probably helps his transition to the NBA, but he's perfect for the 3 or 4 spots and our chemistry. Once he starts cleaning up the variety of little mistakes he makes, Luke will probably start to run out of reasons other than seniority for not starting him. Kid has been killing it at the combine, summer league and preseason.


I'm with you DB. BI is still worth investing in. I just know that the 1st unit would be immediately better if you swapped out BI with Kuz. We're not looking for quick fixes though, so I'm completely fine with giving BI some time to find himself.

With regards to Kuz, his greater maturity definitely helps him, but let's not discount the fact that he has a pure stroke with a quick trigger, great bball instincts and is an even smoother athlete now that he's trimmed down a bit. This kid is the real deal and will cause opposing 3s and 4s all kinds of trouble because Kuz isn't afraid to play his game. I love the fact that he didn't stop shooting even though he missed his first few 3s and ended up with a nice percentage from behind the arc as a result.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject:

A Mad Chinaman wrote:


Looks like Randle is in great shape and fills the star line, but he doesn't appear to make a tangible impact on games - wondering why


Definitely think there's some issues with intangibles. If he did more of that dirty work on D like the jumpball he forced with Faried, just making plus plays on D or setting better screens on the other end...I think those are all little things that this team needs more of and his impact would be greater. Of course, with young players, those are the kinds of things they often only learn over time/experience.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject:

RCS926 wrote:
I love the fact that he didn't stop shooting even though he missed his first few 3s and ended up with a nice percentage from behind the arc as a result.


Yeah, don't think I mentioned that but it stood out to me when he missed a three from one side of the court and didn't hesitate to fire another three from the other side of the court next time down. Love that aggressiveness. I noticed in the summer league, even though we all thought of him as super aggressive...there were some stretches where he reeled in his three shooting because he wasn't hitting. But you just didn't notice it because he was able to change gears and make an impact in other ways. That's what really impressed me and why I thought the "he's just hot" arguments about him were bogus. He can beat you in a lot of different ways if something isn't working.
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calistrtballr
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject:

Start kuzma over ingram. Hes earned it. Maybe that will wake up iso ingram to get his act right.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject:

Kuzma right now is where I hope BI will be by midseason.
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yinoma2001
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:39 am    Post subject:

Klone_dd wrote:
Kuzma right now is where I hope BI will be by midseason.


Remember, Kuz is also 2 years older than BI.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

I was at the game last night. A few of my thoughts:

KCP is a junkyard dog on defense. He got low, moved his feet, denied easy looks and hit the floor diving for loose balls. Same with Tyler Ennis. Vander Blue was fiery as well. Even before the injury, Lonzo was passive on defense. Guys blew by him and he gave a half-hearted wave to try to knock the ball loose from behind. It was a marked contrast to the rest of the guys who seemed to be scrapping for posiition.

The offense suffered and stayed around the perimeter for much of the night because none of the bigs, with the exception of Randle, were able to set effective picks. Bogut and Lopez should be able to help on that front. Guards just pushed Zubac out of the way when they would have been flat on their ass trying to run thru Bogut or Lopez. That has the potential to help the whole offense.

Every time the Lakers got out on the break and finished with authority, Magic was on his feet celebrating. You know it's the style of play he wants to see them get into consistently.

Magic has also been in Brandon Ingram's ear telling him to force his way into the paint, absorb the contact, and use his length to score. He was very aggressive to follow that, especially in the first half when he had more playing time.

You could tell the difference between the men's bodies on the Nuggets vs. the rail thin Baby Lakers who are in the weight room constantly, but who are going to take some time to fill out and gain strength. Ingram's frame may mean he's always a beanpole, like Durant or George Gervin, but it doesn't mean he won't be effective.

All around, the Lakers played with great energy and got more than their share of the 50-50 balls that were up for grabs, simply because of their aggressiveness. They are fun to watch.
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RCS926
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject:

Scherm wrote:
Thanks DB!

I was at the game last night. A few of my thoughts:

KCP is a junkyard dog on defense. He got low, moved his feet, denied easy looks and hit the floor diving for loose balls. Same with Tyler Ennis. Vander Blue was fiery as well. Even before the injury, Lonzo was passive on defense. Guys blew by him and he gave a half-hearted wave to try to knock the ball loose from behind. It was a marked contrast to the rest of the guys who seemed to be scrapping for posiition.

The offense suffered and stayed around the perimeter for much of the night because none of the bigs, with the exception of Randle, were able to set effective picks. Bogut and Lopez should be able to help on that front. Guards just pushed Zubac out of the way when they would have been flat on their ass trying to run thru Bogut or Lopez. That has the potential to help the whole offense.

Every time the Lakers got out on the break and finished with authority, Magic was on his feet celebrating. You know it's the style of play he wants to see them get into consistently.

Magic has also been in Brandon Ingram's ear telling him to force his way into the paint, absorb the contact, and use his length to score. He was very aggressive to follow that, especially in the first half when he had more playing time.

You could tell the difference between the men's bodies on the Nuggets vs. the rail thin Baby Lakers who are in the weight room constantly, but who are going to take some time to fill out and gain strength. Ingram's frame may mean he's always a beanpole, like Durant or George Gervin, but it doesn't mean he won't be effective.

All around, the Lakers played with great energy and got more than their share of the 50-50 balls that were up for grabs, simply because of their aggressiveness. They are fun to watch.


Did you see this during the game, or are you referring to comments that Magic made leading up to the preseason? This is concerning if it's happening during the game. Magic has got to let Luke coach his team without interfering. Part of the issue with BI right now is that he's trying too hard to live up to Magic's expectation that he'll be our go-to guy and leading scorer.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:36 pm    Post subject:

calistrtballr wrote:
Start kuzma over ingram. Hes earned it. Maybe that will wake up iso ingram to get his act right.


Oh Ingram is already awake he just needs to tweak his game and stop forcing the dribble drive when it's not there. With his length he should be able to pull up and hit some jumpers.
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