LAKERS -at- THUNDER – 2-4-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:51 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- THUNDER – 2-4-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

3-2 Road Trip… The Thunder had stomped on the Lakers in the first two meetings. The Lakers pushed back today.

It was a collective effort with everyone making contributions.

Both teams were trading leads all game. When it looked like the Thunder might make a run, the Lakers dug in and fought back with tough, physical ball and some excellent ball movement at times.

In the fourth quarter, the Lakers stretched out to a double-digit lead. Ingram with big plays, Lopez hitting another three, big rebounds by Hart…they were delivering blows. The dagger (or what should have been the dagger) started on the defensive end. Brandon Ingram switched onto Melo, blocked his jumper and quickly outlet to Randle for a dunk with 1:08 left to take a 10-point lead.

That should have been it, but the Lakers are their own worst enemy at times. Clarkson with turnovers, Ingram with missed FTs and it was a one possession game with Clarkson nearly giving it up again on the dribble along the baseline.

Julius on the Lakers play in the final minute: “No one give up any threes, get the rebound and knock down our freethrows, and we did almost exactly the opposite.”

A final defensive rebound and timeout by Hart in the corner and the Lakers would hold on to a 108-104 road win.

“I was most proud of how we engaged ourselves in the fight this time,” Luke said. Good job by the coaches, too, getting the Lakers to that point to take a tough one like this.


Randle -- -- The beast. We’re playing our best players, playing physical and getting road wins. So many good things from Julius in this game. He dominated the Melo vs. Randle matchup, frustrating Melo with his physicality on offense (and drawing a tech from him). Worthy: “Then you had Carmelo crying to the referee. ‘He’s hitting me in the chest. He’s backing me down.’ You’re damn right he is.” He was ticking Melo off fighting for position and battling. He had 10 points and 6 boards in the first half. We were running the offense through him with how much attention the Thunder started paying to Randle in this matchup. Julius was finding teammates on the perimeter for scores. His critics will focus on the turnovers (4) that seem to get so overblown because they irritate people. But when you look at what he does defensively and how he causes so many problems for teams with his lateral speed and strength, you’ve got to let that go. Work on it sure, but realize how teams don’t want to attack him in crunch time or are learning you can’t run the two-man against him. That’s just such a huge defensive advantage. Good scoring game tonight finishing around the rim (but not well at the FT line where he went 4-8). Julius held on to the ball after getting gang mugged by multiple defenders on a couple of key inbounds passes in the final seconds of this one. We really need someone we can got to for FTs in crunch time. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 7-15 shooting (1-2 from three, 4-8 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers and 3 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a +7. The Action: He missed a tough floater in the lane off an interior feed. He beasted Melo in the post for the easy jumphook. He kicked to Lopez for the open three. He missed the short fade in the lane. Quick pushout, he gave it up, got it back and dunked. He attacked baseline and was hacked for FTs, he made one. He was blocked in the post, we got it back to him and he swished the corner three up against the shotclock. He missed a wing three up against the shotclock. He hit a jumphook across the lane over Melo. He hit Hart for the three. He lobbed to Ingram on the give-and-go on an inbounds. Too far on the long hit ahead to Ingram, turnover. He was called for an offensive foul trying to fight for position. Second Half: He was stripped on a drive. He attacked from the wing and drew FTs at the rim, he made one. He choked a layup on the break. He bullied Melo in the post for a layup. He attacked baseline and drew FTs, he made one again. He fumbled a pass away. He kicked to Ingram for a corner three. Blocked from behind after spinning baseline. He muscled up a layup after wrestling for the ball. He couldn’t finish a layup trying to power up at a tough angle. He busted down court after Ingram blocked a shot, took the pass and dunked with 1:08 left. He was fouled on an inbounds and mugged by multiple Thunder defenders, he made one.

Ingram -- -- Ingram was key in the Lakers building that big lead in crunch time. A couple of players were especially big. The first was an And-1 drive against George (which also resulted in a tech for a 4-point sequence). The second was the play of the game where he switched on to Melo to block his shot and ignite the break for what should have been the dagger score. The offense is clunky at times, but they’re getting the job done with Ingram at point. The pick and roll action is still sketchy at best. In transition, he wasn’t as fast pushing the pace as he was in the last one, but had his moments. Defensively, we tried to use his length to defend Westbrook, then later switched to Josh Hart. Scrappy effort by both. A couple big plays by Ingram in the fourth on both ends on that George matchup. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 7-13 shooting (1-3 from three, 1-3 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 5 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 36 minutes. He was a +5. The Action: He missed a turnaround in the post, should have gotten lower position on the mismatch. He choked a lefty layup after blowing by his man, not sure how he missed that. Nice challenge on Westbrook to force a brick. He dribble a ball off his foot on the pick and roll, turnover. He blew past Westbrook and dunked. He couldn’t finish a drive. He scored a layup on the break off the extra pass from JC. He missed a floater. He forced Westbrook into a turnover with a nice reach on iso D. He stretched out for the finish on the give-and-go lob from Randle off a SLOB play and he finished it. He attacked off the screen-roll and was tied up after fumbling it. He attacked George, spun in the middle of the paint and dunked. Second Half: He hit Lopez on the slip screen for a dunk. He jumped a passing lane to deflect a pass and get a stop. He missed an open three on a kickout. He attacked the paint and lost the ball. He faced up and hit the jumper over Westbrook. He stripped George on a drive to get a stop. He sank a corner three on a kickout. George gave up a straight line, Ingram attacked it, took the contact and pressure D and scored the And-1 layup, he made the FT (George got a tech). He missed a wing three. He switched onto Melo, blocked his jumper, controlled it and outlet to Randle for the uncontested dunk. He choked two FTs with 26 seconds left.

Lopez -- -- We needed his big body out there to hold the line against Adams on the glass. Luke matched those two up all game and that resulted in big minutes for Lopez. Adams didn’t kill us on the glass in this one. “It was a conscious team effort,” Lopez said. He led the team in scoring with 20 points, sinking 4-9 from three. Adams had to respect his range. When he didn’t, he got burned. Brook hit a huge one out of a timeout late in the fourth to push our lead to 12. This is the game where you don’t want Lopez to go into the post (with a defender like Adams) unless you get a switch. They did a pretty good job of playing that right tonight. There were a couple possessions we got switches on, but largely a perimeter oriented effort tonight. Excellent passing by Brook, as well. Whether it was a quick swing pass or a skip pass across court, he found shooters and they knocked it down. Much easier to hit good looks on compromised defense than trying to hit tougher pull-ups off screens from that range. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 8-18 shooting (4-9 from three) to go with 5 boards, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +11. The Action: He missed a wing three. He missed a forced drive across the lane. He hit an easy jumphook across the lane on a mismatch. He gave up an offensive board. He swished a wing three a few feet behind the line. He missed a three trailing the break. He lost a ball in the post, score the other way. He hit KCP under the hoop for a layup. He missed a forced turnaround against a double team. He sank an open wing three on a kickout. He missed a wing three next time down. Second Half: He dunked on the slip screen. Nice bounce on an open wing three and it fell. He blocked Adams under the hoop. He missed a three at the top of the arc. He threw down on the screen-roll sequence with KCP. He missed a forced step-back three. He threw a pass away out of a timeout. Not close on a floater. He hit a turnaround fade at the FT line on iso. He attacked and setup KCP for the And-1 with a no-looker. Skip pass to JC for the three. He missed a jumphook in the post over Grant. Big three out of a timeout to extend the Laker lead to 12.

Hart -- -- This kid. Playing like grown man once again with another double-double (his fourth). “He’s always had the heart of a big. I’m proud to say that and claim him as a big,” Lopez said. He led the Lakers on the boards with 11. Several of them were big, but the one that really staggered the Thunder was in the fourth when he pulled it down, quickly pushed out to get the defenders on their heels and scored the layup around them. He’s figuring out that changing ends on his own rebounds like that can be a huge weapon. He was extremely efficient tonight and knocked down a couple of threes and well as both FTs (yay!). So much good in this game from Hart. A couple not-talked-about plays were his two defensive stands against Melo in the post on switches. We got stops on both of them and Melo’s blood boiling with the refs. “His all-around game, again for being a rookie on a stage like this, is really impressive,” Luke said. He had 10 points in the first half. Later in the second half, we had him bringing the ball up court a few times starting in the third quarter. First stretch of him running the point. We’re just asking him to initiate the offense, nothing more. “I’m just trying to fill any role the team needs,” he said. Once again, he led the team in minutes. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 5-6 shooting (2-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 39 minutes. He was a +7. The Action: He pushed out the break and drew FTs at the rim after bumping off the D, he made both. He sank a sideline three on a swing pass. His kickout was picked off. Offensive board and kickout to Lopez for three. Great job in transition D to step around a big to swipe the hit ahead and ignite the break. He swished a three on the catch and shoot. Another stop against Melo on a switch (two for two so far). He picked up a loose ball and hit the midrange jumper. Second Half: He drew the D and kicked to KCP for three. He swiped a perimeter pass. He curled off the handoff and scored the layup. He hit the side of the backboard on a corner three on a bad kickout that caused him some trouble. Great effort on the defensive glass to knock the ball away from the Thunder. His pocket pass was picked off for a dunk the other way. He mistimed a defensive board to give up a possession. He grabbed a defensive board, pushed it out and scored a layup before the D could get set.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Good game from KCP. He had a couple of brain cramps defensively, but offensively he was letting the game come to him and finding open teammates when there were opportunities. He had a couple of scores around the rim (a drive-and-dish from Lopez to him and some putbacks). He’s been very effective crashing the offensive glass lately. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-11 shooting (1-4 from three, 2-3 from the line) to go with 5 boards (2 offensive), 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +10. The Action: He missed a pull-up three in transition. He attacked in early offense and hit Randle for the dunk. Poor job stopping ball and giving up a layup. He was swatted out of bounds on a drive. He scored a layup off an interior feed. He cleaned up a Lopez crazy miss. Putback layup off a Lopez miss. He missed a three coming off the screen, looked fouled. Second Half: He sank a wing three on a kickout. He drew a charge on George, staying in front of him on a drive. Great two-man sequence to hit Lopez rolling for the dunk. He deflected a lob. He made a tech FT. He missed a forced midrange pull-up off the handoff. He missed an open sideline three. He crossed over Adams and hit the baseline jumper (we got the mismatch by a quick pushout). He made a tech FT. He bricked a floater. He scored a lefty And-1 layup on the drive and dish from Lopez, he missed the FT.

Kuzma -- -- One of the quietest games we’ve seen from him this season. His minutes were limited with our need to run both Lopez and Randle for big minutes today. When he was out there, he played under control and didn’t force things. His only score was on a putback off his own miss. I think he’ll be happy to get back home and hopefully get a little more rest. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 3 boards, 1 block and 1 foul in 16 minutes. He was a -7. The Action: He missed a wing three. He stopped Felton once, he pulled it out, attacked and Kuzma blocked him the second time. He missed a short one, got it back and scored. He missed a floater. Second Half: Pressure D on a jump switch to force a turnover.

Clarkson -- -- He kind of messed up a pretty good game in that final minute. He threw a horrible pass at midcourt after getting himself doubled into a corner. That resulted in a big steal and score. He would throw another one away shortly later. That was the bad. The Lakers shot 13-30 from three and Jordan sank 4-7 tonight. Those were huge. We were finding him open on kickouts and that helps him keep it simple. With catch and shoots, his balance is better compared to pulling up off the dribble, where his body is a bit all over the place. Big scoring game from him. Our bench wasn’t very effective outside of him. “We made some strides in the right directions,” Clarkson said of the road trip. Will he still be with the team for another road trip? The Stats: He scored 18 points on 6-12 shooting (4-7 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a -4. The Action: Not close on a wing three. Was short on a midrange pull-up. He sank a wing three on a kickout. He missed a wide open wing three. He faked himself into a travel on iso, uggh. He attacked from the wing and scored a layup. He missed a short one from the right side. Extra pass on the break to Ingram for the layup. Second Half: He sank a corner three on a kickout in transition. He made a tech FT. He sank a wing three off a skip pass. Excellent reach to knock a ball loose and force a shotclock violation. He sank a wing three on a skip pass. Too long on a pull-up three off a screen. He up faked, attacked the paint and hit the runner over a couple defenders. He made a tech FT. He attacked and missed a drive. Dumb pass at midcourt to give up a steal and dunk. He threw another one away in the backcourt.

Nance -- -- Luke said Larry thanked him for saving him $2,500 by taking a tech in the first half. Luke jumped onto the floor when Nance was about to explode about a call. Instant tech for Luke and Nance headed down to the other end. Meanwhile, the OKC players were getting techs left and right. Those were huge points in this game. Lakers correctly went big minutes with Randle and Lopez, limiting Nance’s time. He scored his only points after grabbing a loose ball around the rim. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting to go with 3 boards (2 offensive), 1 block, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a -3. The Action: He missed a putback jumphook. Awful perimeter pass against the Thunder attacking the passing lanes, turnover. Bad inbounds pass and it was stolen for a three. He picked up a loose ball and scored a layup. Second Half: He blocked a shot under the hoop.

Brewer -- -- A couple nice moments for Brewer attacking on counterstrikes after made baskets for scores. Nice to manufacture points just with hustle and speed on the road. Lakers were punching back today, unlike the previous two games against OKC. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-4 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 1 foul in 8 minutes. He was a -3. The Action: Speedy counter attack after a made basket and he scored a layup. He missed a corner three. He drew a charge on George, but was called for the block. Second Half: He slashed around a defender on a counterstrike after a made basket for a layup. He was blocked on a dunk attempt.

Caruso -- -- We only ran 9 minutes for our more traditional PGs today. Caruso got all those and we limited them by bringing in Hart for him pretty quickly in both halves. Not a lot of notes or impact from him. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting to go with 3 boards, 1 block, 2 turnovers and no fouls in 9 minutes. He was a -3. The Action: He missed a floater after getting a defender on his hip. He got a moving screen call for a defensive stop. He drew the D and kicked to JC for the three. Second Half: Bad pass in the paint, turnover.

Walton -- -- He really had the team up for this game and kept them focused and in the fight all game. They were nowhere near sniffing a win in the last two meetings against the Thunder. They battled tonight and will have a big fight next time they meet... The Lakers pulled out to a 12-4 lead to force a timeout… He sat Lopez, Randle and Ingram for Caruso, Kuzma and Nance up 5 with a minute left… He picked up a tech when a foul was called on Nance on the offensive glass… JC in for KCP… The Lakers led 25-22 after the first quarter. Good job on the defensive glass… He started the Nance, Kuzma, Brewer, JC, Caruso lineup… He brought in Hart for Caruso… Ingram in for Brewer… He brought in Randle for Nance midway through the quarter, score tied… Lakers not walling off Westbrook in transition and Luke called a timeout down 4… All starters in now… The Lakers led 51-49 at the half. The Lakers won the offensive glass 8-1… Lakers hit a couple of threes to force an early timeout up 6… A 6-point lead was turned into a 2-point hole and Luke called a timeout. Lakers giving up a couple threes… JC in for Ingram… Kuzma in for Randle… The Lakers led 82-79 heading into the fourth… Nance, Kuzma, Brewer, JC, Caruso lineup… Hart in for Caruso… Ingram in for Brewer up 3… Lopez in for Nance when Adams came in up 5… Randle in for Kuzma… They pushed out to a 10-point lead with 3:32 left… Lopez hit a big three out of a timeout to extend it to 12… Lakers starting to take the air out of the ball on offense… A 10-point lead with 1:08 and the Lakers go into meltdown mode with turnovers and missed FTs… Big defensive board and Hart called a timeout with 5 seconds left up by 4 before falling out of bounds. Heady play… “We got to keep our composure and be strong with the ball,” Luke said…
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chazz
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject:

first baby!
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LakerSD
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Youngest team in the league imposed their will on the game.

They took it to OKC physically
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chazz
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject:

Very good game....Not to harp on Clarkson but quite a FEW times when he got the ball on O he would just start dribbling and stall the O.....I hope we can somehow keep Randle but Clarkson I wouldn't mind gone because of how the O just watches him dribble when he has the ball
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akgolf
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:57 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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oldlakerfan
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:03 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB great writeup as always.

3-2 what a great trip for the leagues youngest team.

Randle and Clarkson seem to come up big every night.

BI 2 nice games in a row playing the point.

Hart looking like another first round steal

Gotta feel good about this team and Luke is doing a good job too.

Can become a dominate defensive team with Lonzo
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CervantesRises
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:03 pm    Post subject:

I think we're 2 injuries this year from being a .500 team. Would like to see them go north of 35 wins on the year...which I think they can.
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Inspector Gadget
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject:

It was good to see Lopez out play Adams for a change
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Rek
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

It's time to waive Ennis and sign a backup PG for the rest of the season.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. I thought that was one of Walton's best coached game.
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unleasHell
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:25 pm    Post subject:

Inspector Gadget wrote:
It was good to see Lopez out play Adams for a change


Yes, great point!

ALSO: Hopefully, George saw how much fun he could possibly be having NEXT year!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:35 pm    Post subject:

3-2 on the road. Sweet!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject:

I love the physicality of JR and Hart in the starting lineup. In our best moments we were outrunning teams, but now we're outmuscling them too.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject:

Great job DB as always!

Big needed win for the LakeShow. I hope the Lakers keep this team together and only go after PG13. I think I would move Clarkson and keep Randle right about now.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:52 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Great writeup! What a great game! Well, except for the scrum ball by OKC almost succeeding in the last minute.

LOTS of Lakers had great games this time around. Sooo good to see the Lakers beat OKC in Oklahoma!

Paul George - you're better off here.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:08 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject:

DB, awesome write up as usual. Thanks!

A couple of things.

1. I like the Lopez / Randle combination on the floor. Randle provide low post offense and can guard bigs on the permeter while Lopez can shoot from the outside and defend the rim with blocked shots. They have different games that complement each other. Two games in a row we have Lopez and Randle in at the end of the game and both were wins.

2. Hart is working his way into next years starting line up (maybe). I was worried about how the Lakers would replace KCP when he left but now I am OK with the thought of Hart either starting or taking a KCP type role with the second unit.

3. Cannot say enough about the Ingram / Caruso PG team. Kept pushing the ball and kept it moving. I do not want to burn Ingram out with too many minutes as the backup to Ball once Lonzo gets back but he is a nice emergency backup to have.

4. I don't know if Hubie Brown is getting senile or just did not prepare for the game but first he said Caruso came over from Europe then said he played at Tennessee then finally got it right with Texas A&M. I am hoping it was lack of preparation cause it would be sad if he is losing it. I did like the points he brought up about the Lakers in the game.

5. The halftime show just ticked me off bad. All Chauncey, Jalen and Pierce wanted to talk about was about how bad the Thunder were playing. Did not give the Lakers credit for anything in the first half. But then again what should I expect from the haters at BSPN.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject:

Great trip despite tripping in Orlando. Great job Lake Show!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject:

Looks like they finally passed my early season prediction of 20 wins and 62 losses.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:33 pm    Post subject:

CervantesRises wrote:
I think we're 2 injuries this year from being a .500 team. Would like to see them go north of 35 wins on the year...which I think they can.


37 should be the target ...
we should strive for at least that ..
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:39 pm    Post subject:

chazz wrote:
Very good game....Not to harp on Clarkson but quite a FEW times when he got the ball on O he would just start dribbling and stall the O.....I hope we can somehow keep Randle but Clarkson I wouldn't mind gone because of how the O just watches him dribble when he has the ball


Because he doesn't have a lot of talent around him in that second unit, but yeah I understand what you mean. If we can get a player of equal talent or equal impact to replace him I'd be fine letting him go, but he's won several.games for us this year.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:55 pm    Post subject:

Lakers have now won 10 of 14. This game was impressive to me since the first 2 we got destroyed, which included that first matchup which basically ignited a string of poor games by the team.

I'm liking how Walton is utilizing Hart. His toughness fits with what we've been doing.

If that 8-11 start and now 10-4 last 14 games is more indicative of this team than that horrific 3-16 stretch then we just need one max guy, not 2. At this point randle is showing me a ton and I think the core of this squad plus,say, PG13 would be a tough team.

Not sure what the starting lineup would be but ball, Ingram, kuz, hart, randle and JC with a single max guy = profit
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:02 pm    Post subject:

Always enjoy your recaps. Thanks.

I'm pretty new around here, but are you the real Dancing Barry?
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject:

No, but glad you recognize the name. Getting more obscure a reference for people as the years go on.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:09 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
DB, awesome write up as usual. Thanks!

4. I don't know if Hubie Brown is getting senile or just did not prepare for the game but first he said Caruso came over from Europe then said he played at Tennessee then finally got it right with Texas A&M. I am hoping it was lack of preparation cause it would be sad if he is losing it. I did like the points he brought up about the Lakers in the game.



I love Hubie! He is my favourite national colour commentator

I think you're right, he is getting more forgetful nowadays. But even so, he still retains this remarkable talent of explaining - in very simple terms - what is happening on the floor. I have always valued the understanding he brings especially to a basketball lay person like myself.

I rather have him than someone obnoxious like say a Van Gundy.
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