CLIPPERS -at- LAKERS - 12/11 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:54 pm    Post subject: CLIPPERS -at- LAKERS - 12/11 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Wrecking Ball... We took No. 17 and two months later, we’re back. Well, not all of us.

The Lakers sat LeBron, AD, KCP and others. The Clippers rolled out their playoff rotation to start. The Lakers bench units held serve and eventually won the preseason ugliness 87-81.

When the Lakers get their full team on the floor they are going to demolish teams this season.

Last year the core was essentially this:

LeBron
AD

Maybe:
KCP
Caruso

This year the core will look more like:

LeBron
AD
Harrell
Schröder

Maybe:
Gasol
Matthews
KCP
Caruso

It’s a deep team, and the guys who led the team in scoring tonight (THT and Kuzma) aren’t even on that list.

The Lakers are going to beat teams at their own game all season. Why? Just because they can.

If opponents want to go big, fine. If they want to go small, fine. If they want to play fast, be my guest. If they want to try to slow it into a half court game, sure let’s do it. No matter what opponents do, they are going to face a big wrecking ball with the Lakers.

Let’s tear the league down.


Harrell -- -- He’s probably the easiest of the new players to integrate into the roster. At the very least, he’s going to go out there and play with energy and hustle. That will make things happen no matter where your team is at in a preseason game. He nearly had a double-double in the first half with 9 points and 10 boards. But even beyond that, you don’t really need an offense for him to do his thing. It’s easy to dump the ball into the post and watch. Trezz’s beach is that left block where he can face up in the post and attack what the defender is giving up. He’ll go with the strong hand into a jumphook or crossover and power baseline for a finish. We saw all of that tonight. The two-man action wasn’t really there with any consistency, but that will come. With all the Laker bigs sitting, we generally looked small. Vogel ran some zone in the fourth quarter with Trezz out there. Late in the game, he went to work a little in front of the Clippers bench on iso. PatBev was his annoying self giving him crap and you could see Lou and others join in a little. Clippers are going to miss his energy. The Lakers will win games from it. Exactly the kind of player they need to get the grind of the season after not getting much rest. Defensively, he drew a couple of charges early on. Get used to that. Once we have the full roster and our bigs playing along side him, the D is going to be interesting. He can cover a lot of ground. So can AD. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-13 shooting (3-4 from the line) to go with 12 boards (4 offensive), 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +2.

Schröder -- -- Harrell has the advantage of easily fitting in no matter how little chemistry we have (ha, see Clippers last year). Schröder’s offensive game will be more reliant on proper floor spacing, execution of plays and learning the players around him. This game would have been simpler for him with floor spacing bigs, but we sat our three main floor spacing bigs in this game. Try picturing AD, Gasol and Morris out there as a different look with defenders pulled from the paint. Part of what Schröder will do offensively depends not quite so much on his man, but the defenders behind him. He will attack when he sees no one guarding the house behind his man. So there were some flashes of that tonight. There will be more as guys position themselves better. But if you want instant chemistry, I think having those floor spacing bigs out there will activate that quicker. We briefly saw a moment of Schröder putting pressure on the rim and Trezz cleaning it up with a putback dunk. Picture AD running in the pick and pop that needs to be respected, but also crashing the glass as Schröder collapses the D and drags the help over to him on drives. It’s going to be good. Vogel got some good reps in with that Harrell/Schröder duo tonight. We’re going to need a lot more. Some turnover-prone ball tonight. A couple bad perimeter passes were sloppy. He’ll do that. I think he gets a little lazy with those and I don’t think that’s changing with the Lakers, but he’s not going to be giving too many 1 assist, 6 turnover games. Chalk that up to preseason on a new team. He had a season with Chris Paul and now JKidd and LeBron will be in his ear. He’ll play some pretty smart ball at times. A couple of things to note about his three ball. He’s very good on catch and shoot opportunities. We saw him get his feet set and knock down his first one. When he has that much time, he’s a problem for the D. The other three was after getting a mismatch against Zubac on the perimeter. This is something we struggled with a little at times last season. He’s going to eat that up as he’s just too fast. When our offense gets organized, you’ll start to see that consistently. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-11 shooting (2-2 from three) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 6 turnovers and no fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +1.

Kuzma -- -- I want to see him out there with some better half-court passers in LeBron and Gasol. Kuz is great when he’s cutting off ball with guys who can read that or when they’re getting stops and changing ends. LeBron facilitates a lot of that, of course, but Gasol does, too. He’ll hit Kuz on outlets after boards or cuts down the lane in the half court. This game was more just handing off the baton to create versus running something with any real nuance. He’s not going to be great trying to iso, which is what was happening a lot tonight. I’m not going to read a lot into it as a result. But you could see he was a little better when it was just low-usage, catch and either shoot, go or move the ball types of situations. The more complete roster with our playmakers and stars will put him in those sequences. Kuzma does need to find out where he can be a star in his role...and that’s not something that was easy for him last year. It may be even harder this season. Freethrows looked stiff. Some good ball movement by Kuz. A lot of purpose in that part of his game. He was thinking pass quite a bit tonight (perhaps with LeBron sitting). Most of his scoring (12) was in the fourth tonight. A bit of a garbage time push, but good to see him start to get it going as the game went along. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 5-16 shooting (2-6 from three, 6-9 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 5 assists, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 38 minutes. He was a +14.

Matthews -- -- He got the Kawhi assignment and that’s where we are going to find him in most of these Clipper games. He’ll do a lot of heavy lifting for LeBron defensively this season as he’s able to handle stronger players that Green or KCP struggled with. He missed both his threes, but did hit a jumper off an inbounds and scored a layup off a nice jump pass from Kuz to set him up. He’ll give the Lakers some better moments attacking off the three line than Danny Green did. You can already see that in this first one where he was able to draw some FTs. Kawhi was 1-3 in 14 minutes for 3 points. Clippers getting dribble penetration with consistency against the Lakers will be a challenge it seems. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-5 shooting (0-2 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 23 minutes. He was -9.

Horton-Tucker -- -- The Lakers slid him into the starting lineup in an uber-small unit. Defensively, that matched him up briefly against George while Matthews got Kawhi. It’s hard to judge how one does in a game like this on the defensive end. Guys aren’t maybe playing at full speed. But what I did like was he was rotating and recovering well for steals or even blocking Zubac from behind on a dunk. He’s disruptive and playing the right way on that end. Offensively, he had a lot of ball handling opportunities. He’s got a bit of shake and herky-jerky action off that dribble. He’ll stop on a dime or change directions and lose defenders with frequency. It was just a matter of finishing those off with more consistency. He does not look like a guy who is as young as he is. He’s definitely looking like our third string ball handler (LeBron, Schröder, then THT). He will get minutes when one of LBJ or Schröder aren’t playing. He said he felt like he started off slow (pretty inefficient first half). That wing span was apparent on a lot of his finish attempts, challenging shots and getting into passing lanes, but also on the defensive boards where he pulled down 9. Nearly a 20-10 night for the kid. Obviously, he won’t have that many attempts and opportunities but you can see why they want to get him minutes this season. Is this team really 10 deep? A couple of plays to call out. In the first half, he drove the paint, stopped on a dime and scored an And-1 as the defender flew by. That’s something we saw in the G-League. The other play I liked in the second half was his other And-1 where he put his defender in jail, kept him there, then scored the And-1 layup on the help. We’re going to see a lot of those types of plays from him. A lot of attacking tonight. “He didn’t even finish well tonight at the rim,” Vogel said afterward. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 6-17 shooting (1-4 from three, 6-6 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +6.

Caruso -- -- His first touch was a swished wing three. Hope that’s many to come this season. He took a bump to the hip after slipping and had to have a little work done in the first half. Then didn’t return in the second half but they said it wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Defensively, he had a steal on Zu under the hoop and forced George into a travel. But not a lot of minutes to make an impact tonight. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 10 minutes. He was a -1.

Cook -- -- His deal isn’t guaranteed so I’m not sure if he’s going to hang on with the team. It may be we wait for someone to be released and then we waive Cook at some point. A lot of minutes tonight and he was kind of thrown in the mix after not being able to get a lot of minutes with the team yet. He short poorly, making just one three on a nice drive and kick from Kuz. Defensively is always where you have the problem, but he had a couple of steals and also forced his man into a turnover on the perimeter. Some rare positive moments there, but he was rotating and putting himself into good position. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-11 (1-6 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 foul in 28 minutes. He was a +7.

Cacok -- -- Guys were looking for him on the lobs. Both THT and Kuz set him up. A lot of minutes. It’s possible we bring him up for stretches when we want to sit Gasol or AD, so you may see a little more of him. Some good hustle and battling but nothing super notable tonight. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-7 shooting to go with 6 boards, 2 steals and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +5.

Antetokounmpo -- -- He kind of forced some things early on and then disappeared into the mix as the game went along. He scored getting fouled in transition on a drive. The Stats: He scored 1 point on 0-1 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a +5.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The Lakers second and third units holding down the fort while the Clippers ran their starters for a big chunk of the first half.

Key Substitution: I just want to call out the Harrell, Cacok, Kostas, Kuzma, THT lineup that was out there in the fourth. Wow.

Key Stat: 35.7%. That’s what both teams shot from the floor. The Clippers had 25 turnovers, the Lakers had 17. Ugly. But I do think the Clippers failed to address the PG spot this offseason and that’s going to be a problem. Ibaka will space the floor some and give them some open lanes, but teams might live with that to just continually prevent penetration.
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:57 pm    Post subject:

First!

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:17 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Fun start. I did not expect a win, but happy to get it. Pre-season is sloppy, but it almost seems like the character of the Clips since the beginning of last year is, "We'll turn it on when it matters." They seemed incredibly sloppy and disinterested.

I'm glad our newbies performed so well. Everyone seemed motivated and energetic.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:05 am    Post subject:

DB,

Thank you!

It seems like only yesterday you were writing about the FOUR HORSEMEN and now you are right back at it!

No rest for the champions!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 1:49 am    Post subject:

DB - did you take a break - LOLOLOLOL!

With a deep team, competition during practice will keep everybody sharp - a good thing

As had been mentioned many times, Rob did a GREAT JOB preparing for this season by getting a much deeper roster that will allow LBJ and AD (along with Gasol) to not have to play heavy minutes - at least in the beginning of the season (though they will - according to NBA rules - play in the nationally televised games such as Christmas and Martin Luther King Day)

With Kennard and PatBev playing PG, will the Clippers get by Mavs/Trailblazers/Jazz/Warriors/Nuggets/Suns to play the Lakers??

Will losing Grant and Plumlee weaken the Nuggets' bench?

Sidebar: Let's HOPE that all the players will be mindful of the strict COVID19 protocols that will continue to showcase the NBA as the best league

Though it is interesting that professional sporting events (being played by millionaires to multi-millionaires on teams owned by billionaires) at different cities are held while the country and the world are going through the worst pandemic in a century with countires throughout the world in lockdown

Our entire country is under a lockdown - except for sporting events, protesters and religious services - lol!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:25 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

UNLEASH THT!!!!!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:17 am    Post subject:

What a great site!

What a great write-up!

I missed the game but not this.

Yep, you da man.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:24 am    Post subject:

Very nice review. DB is already in mid-season form.

With KL and PG both being a +13 in 14 minutes of playing time, it is really hard to say that the Lakers' bench (Kuzma, THT, etc.) matched up well with the Clippers starters--there is really no expectation that they would. On the other hand, the Lakers bench outplayed the Clippers bench. If the Lakers' bench consistently outplays the opponents' bench, this season is going to be a lot of fun.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:24 am    Post subject:

Quote:
If opponents want to go big, fine. If they want to go small, fine. If they want to play fast, be my guest. If they want to try to slow it into a half court game, sure let’s do it. No matter what opponents do, they are going to face a big wrecking ball with the Lakers.

Let’s tear the league down.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:45 am    Post subject:

My man DB. I can not believe we had a preseason game already. I was busy with the kids and did not have the time to get through this game. I will maybe have a look later, but I only saw a few moments in each Q.

My notes:

1) Can not really analyze this team without AD-Bron. Without the engine that makes it all go and all our schemes, game management, this is hard to say.

2) We can sort of figure out the skillset strengths and weaknesses of the support players in this one.

What stood out

- Harrell has great energy, he is active. He is like Caruso, at the 4-5. But he is small. We should be careful relying on him as a 5, or without another big guy out there with him.

- Schroder is not a PG, as much as he is a scoring combo guard. We all know this, but it was quite evident in the minutes I saw, he is more of someone that wants to spot up, drive, look to create something than he is a floor general. This floor general role may come, eventualy, but interesting challenge for Rob-Frank. Come playoffs, we rely heavily on that floor general role when Bron sits. Wonder if we can maybe rely on Marc Gasol in those moments. We need a high IQ player that can run the offense, and I wonder if Marc Gasol could be that guy when Lebron sits. Frank will need to figure that out.

- Kuz looked like he was missing everything when I saw him play (the minutes I saw he missed all 7 of his shots lol). He was posting up, and we were running a few different sets from last year.

- Wesley like Kuz was posting up, and I think this is going to be change from the Bradley-Green lineups. Because both have size matchups at the 3-2, I would not be surprised if we saw them run more post ups for these guys so they could give opposing teams different looks. Wesley in particular is an old school 2 guard, in that he has been taught how to battle inside and be physical. He has some nice moves.

One thing that definitely is true. A 2nd unit of Harell, Kuz, Wesley, Schroder - if that is a lineup that will play together. Already, I saw 4 guys that can create and make shots in a way that last years unit could not. This game seemed like a 2nd unit management game, and to get guys some game rhythm. This is nothing like how we would play when AD-Bron are at full speed.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:51 am    Post subject:

Something for the playoffs to consider:

Marc starts (situationally) at the 5, takes a seat around 6 min mark. Then comes back in when Bron sits. This allows the offense to be run around Dennis the menace, and Marc Gasol up high with a lot of cutting and wing spot shooters around them. This is the sort of playoff offense I can see maintain. Wonder if we consider this.

I actually think Kieff may be one of our best options at starting next to AD in the playoffs, so that we can utilize Marc Gasol off the bench. Or even starting Trez, with AD. I do think Gasol's IQ and passing will be vital when Lebron sits.

Curious if Frank sees this at all.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:53 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. THT will take a step this season, and Cacok will be on deck. I really have hopes for these kids and they will be keys to our future (play vs pay) when $ becomes very tight.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:49 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB !!! Looks like all the rest of the team got good burn with
some key pieces sitting. I think these guys needed to see each other
on the same side of the court; KCP, AD, LBJ & Marc are kinda old dogs
will get it from observation and later play time....

NO injuries is a plus, in preseason...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:42 am    Post subject:

Quote:
If opponents want to go big, fine. If they want to go small, fine. If they want to play fast, be my guest. If they want to try to slow it into a half court game, sure let’s do it. No matter what opponents do, they are going to face a big wrecking ball with the Lakers.

Let’s tear the league down.


YESSSSSSSS 💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:03 pm    Post subject:

A real enjoyable game to watch. I looked at who the other guys started and thought they'll try to set the tone early. I thought they'd try to be extra aggressive on defense and offense.

It didn't matter because, for the most part, we stayed with them stride for stride until we won against the reserves. It bodes extremely well to have this type of performance in the very first game together for most of them. I'm really looking forward to the development of the Schroder/Trez combo.

DB, we appreciate you my man, thank you!
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