LAKERS -at- SUNS – 10-24-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:36 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- SUNS – 10-24-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

First W of the Season… On the schedule, this one was one of the more sure things for a win. The Lakers needed to take care of business.

They did that and then some in the second quarter. The Lakers scored 44 points in the quarter on their way to a 76-54 halftime lead. They had 18 assists at the half with just 2 turnovers. They had 6 steals in the second quarter, alone. Just dominated.

Hard to take away too much from this one except for a couple of areas. First, we saw Luke bench KCP for Hart. That might be a change we see for a while. Secondly, we saw Lance Stephenson kill it as the backup PG as he finished the night with 23 points, 8 assists and 8 boards in 25 minutes.

“We played very unselfish,” Lance said. He had 5 of his assists in the first quarter and kept the offense flowing. The team had just 2 turnovers heading into the fourth quarter (that fell apart a little bit in garbage time and they finished with 8). They would finish with 32 assists.

It helps when the three ball is falling. They made 10-28 from three tonight on their way to the 131-113 blowout of the Suns.

Hopefully, this team can learn to get stops with consistency.


LeBron -- -- At the end of the first half, there was one of those moments where you sit back and say “LeBron is a Laker,” still trying to convince yourself. Ariza went for a steal at midcourt, LeBron lost him with a behind-the-back dribble, then attacked the paint, threw it off glass to himself and followed it up for the layup. Just toyed with the defenders. He came back in just prior to this with about 3 minutes left after a brief rest and it seemed like he was going for the kill. It was time to take over and make sure the Suns didn’t try to chip away at a lead before halftime. He had 17 points, 7 boards and 7 assists in the first half. Those are numbers most would kill for after a whole game. We limited his minutes in the second half as we kept the big lead and were able to rest him as we hit a back-to-back. Good to finally get his first official W in the purple and gold. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 7-16 shooting (1-5 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 10 assists, 3 steals and 1 fouls in 28 minutes. He was a +19. The Action: He swished a three on his first attempt. He drew FTs in transition, getting contact at the FT line and putting up a shot, he made both. He got tapped on a layup at the rim. Great pass to McGee in the paint, who then blew the uncontested dunk. He scored the lob away from the fronting D. He missed a wing pull-up jumper. He missed a wing three against a big. He forced Ariza to throw a pass away. He cut baseline, took a pass and hit the jumper. He got tapped on a layup that rolled out. He attacked and kicked to Ball in transition for the three. He hit Lonzo with a pass over the fronting D for the And-1. Ball reversal to Hart for a three. He gave it up in transition and got it back for a layup. He told Williams to get out the lane, then attacked his man and muscled in a layup. He was fouled while battling on the offensive glass, he made both FTs. He no-looked to McGee under the hoop for the dunk. He went behind his back as Ariza tried to steal it from him, attacked, passed it off the glass to himself and then scored the layup with a second left. He then stole the inbounds and missed the 30-footer at the buzzer. Second Half: He missed a wing three off a stalled offensive sequence. Hockey assist going to Hart on his right on the break, then Hart went to Kuzma on the left wing for the dunk. He choked a layup after muscling past a defender. He posted up and hit KCP cutting for a layup. He missed a wing fade. He missed a step-back wing three against the shotclock. He found Kuzma for a short bank. He sank a wing jumper. He threaded a bounce pass to Kuzma cutting for an And-1 layup.

Ball -- -- Early foul trouble that had him sidelined after a few minutes into the second quarter. He made it out of the half with just two and finished the game with only two. He generally does a good job avoiding picking up extra fouls when he’s in trouble. He said the difference tonight for the team “all had to do with defense” as they destroyed the Suns in the second quarter with 6 steals. Lonzo had a couple steals. That’s why he’ll get the starting job…it’s his D. Offensively, he did his usual pushing the pace to get quick strikes for the team. He did his usual airball of a three (every game now) and he also splashed a three, as well. He was more of a playmaker tonight, however. We started seeing some two-man action. We also saw him attack the rim off that, which is not the norm. Hopefully, that increases. Continued improvement. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 5-9 shooting (1-3 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 28 minutes. He was a +4. The Action: Quick lob pass to McGee off the tip for a dunk. He missed a corner three. He was called for a charge off a pass off. He missed a short one off the glass in transition. Late on a pass to McGee, turnover. He picked up a second foul with 7:41 left in the first challenging a three shooter. He broke down the D and lobbed to McGee for the dunk. He drained a wing three on a kickout in transition. He sealed his man, took the pass from LeBron over the fronting D and scored the And-1 layup. He jumped a passing lane and took it the distance for the dunk. He took a pass from LeBron, then hit him cutting on the break for the layup. He took a dribble and airballed a three. Second Half: He grabbed a board and quickly changed ends, leading to a KCP dunk. He double teamed the post and gave up a layup. He missed a cutter, then missed a jumper. Nice board sandwiching a big to pull it down. He threaded a pocket pass to McGee for FTs. Change of pace off the two-man game to attack for a layup. One-handed jam on the break off the backboard pass from Lance.

Kuzma -- -- A lot of chemistry going on with LeBron. Kuzma isn’t a ball dominant player. This is why I’ve felt he’d be a great fit with LeBron. He doesn’t need the ball and can work off superstars. He cuts, he spots up, he runs the floor. LeBron is hitting him on sequences he’d often find Kevin Love with. “I think Kuz is making a big adjustment just cutting like that,” Lonzo said. He’s looked more like himself as his slid back into this PF role. A lot of what he does, especially around the rim, reminds me of Cedric Ceballos from a couple decades ago (Kuz is going to score 50 one day, too). Lanky, fast, able to finish tricky layups under the hoop. We want him to be a better defender than Cedric, however. That’s the real challenge for Kuzma and whether he could displace Ingram from the starting lineup. Ingram’s beating him on the D end. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 7-15 shooting (0-2 from three, 3-3 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 foul in 29 minutes. He was a +13. The Action: Good effort to tip a defensive board to a teammate. He missed a pull-up wing jumper. He blew past his man on the baseline and threw down a reverse jam. He missed an open corner three. Quick attack off the catch and he drew FTs on the drive, he made both. He missed a drive but was fouled after to regain possession. Good job hustling on the break and he cleaned up a KCP miss. He choked a layup after driving through the D in transition, no one challenged him. He missed a floater. He worked off the corner screen, took a pass, curled and scored a layup. Second Half: He took the pitch back off the weave, attacked, got contact with the big and muscled in the score off the glass. He missed a short one in the middle of the paint. LeBron to Hart on his right, Hart to Kuzma filling the left lane for a dunk, pretty basketball. He attacked, drew the D and hit McGee for the dunk. He missed a wing three in early offense and Luke tried to settle him down. He was blocked on a runner (not a great attempt). No help D on a dribble penetration to give up a dunk. He kicked to LeBron and LeBron went back to him for the short one off glass. He cut behind a defender, gave him a nudge as he did and LeBron threaded a bounce pass to him for the And-1 layup, he made the FT.

McGee -- -- Man, he’s fit so well with this team. He had 15 points and 4 blocks in the first half, hitting a couple of jumpers (including a three). This is the most productive offensively he’s been in years. He blocks shots, changes ends with speed and is always active. We shuttled him in and out quickly. “When we see him a little fatigued, we try to get him a quick rest,” Luke said. So he had short stints that added up to 26 minutes and 20 points. McGee went 1-2 from three tonight. The second one was in early offense and got him benched. “JaVale and I had a talk about those threes,” Luke said. He wants him rolling and collapsing the D that way. “He works on his three every day. Coach tells him not to,” Kuzma said. Too funny. “Luke is very communicative and he always talks to me and tells me what he sees out there and what I need to do, so that’s always great for me,” McGee said. Keep working on that three ball, JaVale. Lol. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 8-13 shooting (1-2 from three, 3-6 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks and 2 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a +22. The Action: He won the jumpball and dunked on a lob pass from Lonzo. He blocked Booker’s drive, then Ariza’s. On the other end, he blew an uncontested dunk. He threw down the lob from Svi. He denied a dunk attempt. He missed the short one in the paint. He sank a jumper from the top of the key. He sank an open three from the top of the arc next time down. He worked the post, up-faked and drew FTs, he made both. He gathered the lob from Ball and dunked. He dunked off the no-looker from LeBron (great job getting down court in transition). Second Half: He missed a wing three (and Luke decided to go to the bench). He reverse dunked off the pass from Kuzma. He drew FTs when Lonzo hit him cutting, he missed both. He was fouled while trying to crash the glass, he made just one FT. He took an interior feed, missed the layup, got it back and finished. He hit Svi for a three. He blew a layup on a rim run (dunk that).

Hart -- -- He moved into the starting lineup, which should help everyone with how badly KCP has been playing. He made 4-6 from three, which is huge, but if Josh wants to stay with the starters, he’s going to have to elevate that D. “Josh really started picking his defense up as the first quarter ended,” Luke said (mentioning also that they started out soft). I’ve been really disappointed with his perimeter defense. We’ve got no issues scoring. We need guys who can get stops and Josh needs to keep working on his craft at that end of the floor. At the very least, he should be hitting that defensive glass hard like we know he can. Only 1 defensive board in this game. No. 1 goal for this team is to lockdown on D. I think with how well he’s shooting and how scrubalicious KCP has been, that defense is the only way Hart is getting removed for the starting lineup for a while. Better job tonight. Hopefully, he can turn it up and be disruptive. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 5-8 shooting (4-6 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a +21. The Action: He missed a three straight away. He drained a deep three off a kickout to the wing. He sank a wing three on a ball reversal. He jumped a passing lane on an inbounds, swiped it and took it for the two-handed jam. He then drew a charge cutting off baseline on a drive to get a stop. He drew FTs on a loose balls scramble, he made one, got it back and missed a three. Second Half: He missed as floater in the lane. Great extra feed on the break to Kuzma for the dunk. He drained a tough three, fading a bit as he rose up at the top of the arc. He attacked the paint, drew the D and fed to Lance for the score. He stepped around a big to swipe the ball, then outlet down court for a Laker dunk. He took a handoff, got to his spot and hit the three at the top of the key. He threw an interior pass away.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- It’s about time. By that I mean, it’s about time he’s been sent to the bench. He’s been awful. Let him find his way against some bench units and maybe get that confidence going. He continued to shoot the three ball poorly with just 1-6 made. But he was able to scrape together some points in transition and off some cuts. Defensively, a little better, but he also had bonehead plays like doubling off Booker to help in the post. Despite going to the bench, he actually led the team with minutes in the blowout. Well done, Luke. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 6-14 shooting (1-6 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a +5. The Action: He bricked a pull-up three in transition. He sank a corner three on a kickout. He made a tech FT. He missed a three at the buzzer. Not close on a drive but he wanted the foul. He missed a layup on the break getting undercut with no call (Kuzma cleaned it up). He attacked off the three line and hit the layup. Second Half: He curled into the paint off the LeBron post and scored a layup when the bounce pass came. Lonzo hit him changing ends for the dunk. Dumb doubling of the post and he gave up an open three to Booker, uggh. He missed an open wing three. He missed a three straight away. He attacked a crowd from the wing and missed a runner. He dunked off the Hart steal. He iso’d and missed a three. He swiped a ball and outlet for a score. He threw a perimeter pass away, breakaway score. Give and go with Zubac for a layup.

Stephenson -- -- Asked what got him going, he said, “I want to win.” Lonzo went out with foul trouble early and Lance took over. Superb job moving the ball and finding teammates in that first quarter, tallying 5 assists. He was finding shooters (and McGee) who were hitting. Simple and effective. Meanwhile, he let the scoring come to him. No major iso, ball stopping sequences that killed rhythm. He finished the half with 12 points on 6-7 shooting and 6 assists. That’s how we want him to play. In the second half, we got into a bit of garbage time ball, so it wasn’t quite how we want it and things got a little sloppy. “He danced a little bit late in the game,” Luke said, but mentioned that for the most part he was playing the style they want. He also praised Lance’s defense which has been strong of late on ball. “It’s very fun and contagious when he’s out there,” Kuzma said. The Stats: He scored 23 points on 10-14 shooting (1-2 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 8 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +6. The Action: He put back in a missed Kuzma jumper while still in the air. He lobbed to LeBron over the fronting D for a score. He kicked out to Hart for the three. He kicked out to McGee for the open jumper. He kicked to McGee for an open three next time down. He missed a long wing pull-up jumper. He crossed over and hit a floater from about 12 feet out. He kicked out to KCP for a three. He attacked left with a quick first step and scored a layup. He bullied his way to the rim like LeBron and flipped in a layup. He scooped up a loose ball, pushed it out, hesitated and attacked for the layup. He hit LeBron for a baseline jumper. He grabbed a missed drive and powered back in the layup. Second Half: He attacked and missed a drive. Change of pace to draw a perimeter foul for FTs, he made both. He iso’d at the end of the quarter, attacked off the dribble, drew the D and fed to McGee, who missed, but scored on the follow. He iso’d with the shotclock low, worked the dribble and swished the jumper from the top of the key. Bad inbounds pass on the sideline to get the Lakers their first turnover in about 35 minutes, but we got it back and fed it to him down court for the dunk. He iso’d, spun and hit Williams for a jumper. He finished off the drive and dish from Hart. Moving screen off the handoff, another turnover. Another turnover on a perimeter pass. He swiped the ball to ignite the break. He missed a wing three, we got it back to him and he hit the sideline three on a mismatch. He threw a breakaway pass off the glass to Lonzo for the one-handed jam. He missed an iso fade.

Williams -- -- I know Luke is happy to have him back. The front office’s blindspot right now seems to be the C position. So when we were able to get Luke another player to run at C, Williams has been quickly thrown into the fire. Another healthy 20 minutes tonight. Not as good defensively as the previous effort, but still held the line for us, which is better than what we had been doing. He’s mobile enough to switch and long enough to give us some rim protection. He also had some nice perimeter harassment using that length of his on passers. I want to see him and Ingram out there using that length to put pressure on the D. Hopefully, he continues to grow into the role. I’d love to see him improve that freethrow shooting, as well. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-4 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards (3 offensive), 1 assist and 5 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a +0. The Action: He pulled down an offensive board between defenders on a missed FT. Second Half: He was rejected badly on a finish attempt. He crashed the glass and scored the putback. He attacked down the paint and earned FTs, he made one. He hit a baseline jumper off the drive and dish from Lance. Good job on the perimeter on a switch to smother the passer and help force a turnover with Hart. He sank a pick and pop 17-footer.

Mykhailiuk -- -- A good amount of minutes for him tonight. These are all valuable for him right now. He’s probably got one more game before he’s out of the rotation again, I would think, so hopefully he can get some good work in. We called his number to hit a three to start the fourth quarter. The more he gets reps in set actions like that, the more comfortable he’s going to get. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 1-6 shooting (1-2 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and no fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +4. The Action: He attacked and lobbed to McGee for the dunk. He swiped an errant pass, pushed it out and was fouled as he went behind his back, he made one FT. He missed a tough drive on the break, but Stephenson cleaned up the dribble penetration. Second Half: He came off the corner pindown, took the pass at the wing and hit the three to start the fourth. He scooped up a loose ball in transition and chucked it down court to Lance for a dunk. He went up high to tap out an offensive board and it led to a Laker score. He hesitated and let the D catch up, then moved in and missed a wing jumper. He then missed a tough turnaround a few seconds later. His scoop was blocked for a score the other way. He didn’t hit rim on a wing three off a good close. He couldn’t connect with Zubac rolling, turnover.

Zubac -- -- Well, apparently he’s ahead of Beasley on the depth chart right now. He came in late in garbage time. Not much to report. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting to go with 2 boards, 1 assist and no fouls with 2 minutes left. He was a -4. The Action: He did not play in the first half. Second Half: He grabbed a rebound and was blocked.

Walton -- -- Stephenson and Williams in for Ball and McGee with 7:41 left, down 1… Svi, KCP and McGee back in to go with Kuzma and Stephenson, Lakers down 2… Hart and Williams in for McGee and Kuzma, going small… The Lakers led 32-30 after giving up a 4-point play in the final seconds… Williams, LeBron, Svi, KCP, Stephenson lineup… Stephenson ignited the team with scores (after a great passing first quarter) and forced a timeout… Starters all back in up 5… They started to impose themselves on the Suns… Lakers up 18 when LeBron sat with 4 minutes left for KCP… LeBron back in a minute later for Hart, Lakers up 16… Lonzo out for Hart to protect fouls… The Lakers led 76-54 at the half. Sheesh. Lakers had 17 points on the break and 18 assists with just 2 turnovers… Williams in for McGee with 8:32 left (after an early offense three by McGee)… KCP in for Hart who had four fouls with 8:04 left, Lakers up 24… Trimmed to 20, Luke called a timeout… Lead was trimmed back to 16… LeBron and Kuzma out for Svi and Stephenson… The Lakers led 106-86 heading into the fourth… He started a McGee, Hart, Svi, KCP, Stephenson lineup… McGee out for Williams, Lakers up 22… Lakers up 25, Lonzo back in for Hart with 4:45 left… Zubac in for Williams…
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George W Buss
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject:

Woohoo, first win of the season!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:43 pm    Post subject:

go lakers!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:45 pm    Post subject:

BOOM!!!!! The synergy between these guys is apparent. Hopefully they can insert Ingram and Rondo seamlessly. Kuz, Zo, and Hart work much better with Bron though. JW is playing like the big we needed for back-up minutes. Cut Zu. Good guy but just isn't producing at all and has regressed immensely. Lance looks like a black hole with his dribbling but the guy does find open guys even though he gets me nervous with every dribble LOL!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:29 pm    Post subject:

Great win!

Thanks a ton DB as usual.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:32 pm    Post subject:

Great win!

Thanks a ton DB as usual.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:41 pm    Post subject:

Finally!! A win.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: LAKERS -at- SUNS – 10-24-18 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

DancingBarry wrote:
and how scrubalicious KCP has been


@ scrubalicious
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

This win was nice but let's see if this will translate to a win tomorrow against Denver.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:10 am    Post subject:

Heck yeah!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:41 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB great to get a win finally. Hopefully winning becomes more of a regular occurance. Kuz is better as a starter. Will the Stephenson light bulb continue to burn brightly or will it go back to flickering?

Thanks again for he write up.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:57 am    Post subject:

Goodbye Owen!

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:23 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Nice to get a win. It'll be interesting to see if Luke adjusts the starting lineup once Rondo and Ingram get back.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:36 am    Post subject:

The lineup with Lonzo, Kuz, and LeBron were masterful together. This presents challenges because Rondo and Ingram are both awesome players. Lonzo should start. Kuz flows better with LeBron.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:52 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:21 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

What a great, fun game! It's good to be good again.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:54 am    Post subject:

1st of many!

Really loving the player movement on the floor while LBJ is at the elbow or midpost. He and Kuz are sync'd up to do damage. In their young careers, Kuz has been the better offensive player than BI. BI uses his length better on defense. If the two learn what they lack, both would be awesome.

Javale has been a nice surprise. I took him for granted on GSW, but he's got a nice all-around game and he's certainly making an impact.

Although "Dance" had a great game, I still cringe while he has the ball. I just have to get used to the showboating.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:56 am    Post subject:

Fun October game to watch. Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject:

These young core can be like GS' Steph/Klay/Draymond in terms of growth
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