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PISTONS -at- LAKERS - 11/28 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
Posted: 11/29 6:02 AM
Balanced Attack... The Lakers set a goal to get 30+ assists. They’ve had all too many moments of iso ball where the offense turns stagnant with no movement and they settle for tougher shots. Tonight, the Lakers dropped 32 assists with just 12 turnovers on their way to the win against the Pistons.
Sharing the ball still meant our scorers were putting the ball in the hoop. Our trio of stars led the way and THT added double digits off the bench, as well.
Vogel leaned into the centerless lineups for the second units tonight, resting Dwight. But it was the starters in the second half that ran off a 16-0 stretch of ball in the third quarter to take some control in the game.
Teams know they can make it a close game with the Lakers as we aren’t running anyone off the court yet this season. That’s our current identity. The Pistons made their push in that fourth quarter, but didn’t have quite enough talent to get over the top. The Lakers held on to the 110-106 win.
LeBron -- -- Isaiah Stewart and LeBron was little more than a subplot coming out of this one. Nothing happening between the two tonight. He had 15 points on 5-8 shooting in the first half. The three ball was looking good as he was stepping into threes trailing the break or on kickouts versus the iso, step-back threes. I would have liked to see him more aggressive attacking in the centerless lineup. He’s still in pain, though. He took a shot to his side and said he felt it in the groin some. Not good and certainly something to keep an eye on. He hit 4 threes tonight in 9 attempts, but I think only one or two of those were the iso step-back threes. The iso ball tonight was much less in this one as a team. The Stats: He scored 33 points on 12-20 shooting (4-9 from three, 5-8 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 37 minutes. He was a +14.
Davis -- -- A lot of complaints about his perimeter shooting coming out of the last one. I’m sure he heard it. It’s been awful and one of those key areas we need to pick up. For a night it looked better going 2-2 from three and also swishing a step-back wing jumper to beat the shotclock buzzer. “Long season, I’m going to continue to shoot the ball from three,” he said, mentioning the shot was going for him tonight. He had 13 points on 5-9 shooting in the first half, but went 5-6 in the second half. Defensively, we saw another block on Cunningham on a three-point attempt (clearly not learning from the last time they played) He had another block behind one of his defenders, just waiting patiently for the shot to go up before swatting it. I’m still not thrilled with the sense of urgency from him at times. Whether we have a big lead or just on an individual play where he gets knocked down or bumped or hit in the head. Everything stops or gets too comfortable for him and that usually leads to a bad possession or defensive stand for us. The Stats: He scored 24 points on 10-15 shooting (2-2 from three, 2-3 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 38 minutes. He was a +4.
Westbrook -- -- His aggressiveness picked up a little earlier in this one, starting in the latter parts of the second quarter instead of waiting for the third quarter. He finished the half with 14 points on 5-8 shooting and 2 assists in the half. He’d get 11 points and 7 of his assists in that second half. I liked seeing him attack on the catch when we were in a 5-out format. No time for the help to load up. Really hope we see more of that. When we went centerless, he was very aggressive at getting to the rim and helped force a timeout before we sat him (Vogel didn’t bring AD in out of that so just LBJ on the floor and our lead was trimmed while Russ sat). Vogel mentioned afterward that the centerless unit gives Russ more space to attack. That’s obvious, but it’s good to hear that we are playing with purpose in those from the coaching staff to player. He kept the turnovers down (it sure seems like he has at least one or two of his turnovers in the first couple of possession of every game). He kept the wild/poor quality shots to a minimum. The Stats: He scored 25 points on 10-16 shooting (1-3 from three, 4-8 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 9 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +4.
Bradley -- -- Again, a minimal 6 minutes in the first half and the offense sputtered a bit in the first few minutes of the game. They had a better third and then Vogel brought Bradley back to close briefly for Ellington after he got burned on a drive. But once he missed another open three (no legs in his shots at all), Vogel sat him. AB’s three shooting is looking like shots will barely make it to the rim right now. We don’t have a closing unit and Vogel is in search mode to find one. The Stats: He didn’t score 0-5 shooting (0-4 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 foul in 18 minutes. He was a +1.
Jordan -- -- Long run in that third quarter as we finally saw that starting unit get some traction. They were getting stops on one end and executing on the other. They pulled him after 9+ minutes. The team took advantage of his size, finding him for longs or on drive and dishes. Best play of the night was the find by AD from the elbow. AD looked like he was going to turnaround and shoot the jumper, Jordan cut baseline and AD shot-passed the lob to Jordan for the dunk. They’ve got to find more pet plays like this so we don’t have those scoreless stretches where we could be making some gains as the defense holds. Loved seeing Stewart trying to muscle DJ under the hoop and bouncing off him before throwing up a brick. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 4-4 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +8.
Anthony -- -- Couldn’t hit a shot tonight. Good to see the minutes reduced to a more reasonable number for him. Our centerless lineups were reasonable. “This is part of our evolution,” Vogel said. Had he hit a shot this might have been a more comfortable win. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-7 shooting (0-4 from three) to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 20 minutes. He was a +3.
Horton-Tucker -- -- He picked up three fouls in the first half and had his minutes shortened a little. First few seconds after entering in the third and he picked up his fourth on a reach. Then the Pistons attacked him to end our 16-0 run. Decent enough all-around game. He had some nice passing sequences, including an ATO set up for him to find LeBron for the layup. He’d sink one three tonight, making the D pay for doubling LeBron. Got to hit those. Defensively, he had a great play going vertical and then blocking the shot to force a jumpball (which we won). Shortly later, he also skied for a defensive board (one of 8 boards), and he’d push that coast to coast for a layup. He showed some really good footwork scoring a layup on a step through after stopping on a dime to lose his man. Also, had a nice jab step into a jumper at the top of the key. Good to see all our guys with the big paychecks scoring tonight. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-10 shooting (1-4 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 4 assists, 1 block and 5 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a -3.
Reaves -- -- He came in with 14 seconds left in the first quarter and then ran with the centerless lineup to start the second. A little rusty as he struggled to hold onto the ball (unforced dribble error losing it into the backcourt, and then another unforced fumble out of bounds as he tried to gather the ball on a breakaway layup). Good to see him get minutes. He had a couple nice feeds to LeBron, but not a lot of minutes tonight. We need him back in the thick of things again. The Stats: He didn’t shoot and had 1 assist, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 6 minutes. He was a +2.
Monk -- -- Not a big scoring night offensively, a mixed bag with the passing, as well. He had a couple nice finds to setup AD for a layup and another drive and kick to Wesbtrook. But he also had an awful, slow, cross-court pass against the zone that was easily picked off. In the final minute he had one of his better defensive sequences of the season, he closed out twice on rotations and blocked a jumper. Vogel challenged a foul on Monk with 16 seconds left as he was in on a block attempt on a drive. Hand part of the ball question for the officials. They said…nope. Some good effort on D, though, in that final minute. He had a dunk on the break for his hoop. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-5 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -2.
Ellington -- -- Things went south when we brought him in during those centerless minutes and sat Russ. We left him in there until he got beat off the dribble and we sat him for Bradley. Team low on the +/-, and really, not even close to anyone else. He’d score a layup on a sweet find from LeBRon on an ATO as he cut behind the D off an elbow screen. He also hit a three on a post kickout from Melo who drew a double team. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 foul in 15 minutes. He was a -11.
Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The Lakers starting unit finally saw some traction in that second half as they rattled off a 16-0 early in the third quarter. The last two seasons the team would get those kinds of runs because of their D. This season, that was their longest run. LeBron had the perimeter shot going, but they also worked it inside to get a couple of lob dunks for DJ. Some good moments in transition, as well, off their stops. It starts with that defense. LeBron mentioned they’ve won 6-9 of their last third quarters, so they are hyper aware of that.
Key Substitution: Centerless lineups to start the second and fourth quarter. In the fourth it was LeBron, Melo, THT, Monk and Westbrook. Russ was super aggressive at attacking the rim in that fourth quarter and forced a timeout after a layup with 9:19 left to go up 15. Defensively, they were switching quite a bit and needed to do a better job on the defensive glass. They’d rotate out Russ for Ellington, though, and not bring AD in. The Pistons started to rally. Then when LeBron sat, the rally continued until he returned.
Key Stats: The Laker trio scoring in first half: 42 points combined on 15-25 shooting. About twice the numbers of the last one in that first half. They would finish with a combined 82 points and 20 assists. That’s more like the numbers we want from our trio. Detroit struggled to turn Laker turnovers into points. Just 2 points off the Lakers 12 turnovers.
|The good thing to come out of tonight’s game is AD and Lebron performed like superstars. |
Would have been nice to get a blowout with the big 3 producing but baby steps…
|Teams know they can make it a close game with the Lakers as we aren’t running anyone off the court yet this season. That’s our current identity. The Pistons made their push in that fourth quarter, but didn’t have quite enough talent to get over the top. The Lakers held on to the 110-106 win.|
|Tough game. They won a game that people say they should win. Lottery team at home. Lose and they get roasted. Glad they took care of business.|
|Thanks, DB |
Small steps... I'll take it
|For 3 Qs, this team looked like a contender. Then in the 4th, they reminded us why they're likely going to be a play in team or maybe a 5th/6th seed.|
|For 3 Qs, this team looked like a contender. Then in the 4th, they reminded us why they're likely going to be a play in team or maybe a 5th/6th seed|
|I wonder if DB noticed the same as me. |
The big contrast in how they ran the offense and played slower to begin this game (and both halves) vs last few. There was a constant patience to get a paint touch before a shot was taken.
The early 3 ball offense is the worst, and then when they just swing the ball around the perimeter it's even worse.
The DAJ/AD/Bron lineups forced some paint touches, and we had a lot more set ups to AD at the mid-post area. This is where we want him touching the ball. Lebron also didn't settle for 3 point shots until late in the game. Westbrook always look to attack and get a paint touch.
There's a lot of talk about spacing, but I find Westbrook is able to get into the paint even with the DAJ/AD/Bron lineups. As long as you set him good screens. The key of the offense being more deliberate and slower and paint touch oriented, it allows the Lakers to set up on defense. When they set up on D with 2 bigs and a lot of size, they can do a lot of that D that Vogel wants. We saw it in this game. Then, when you do get the ball inside to AD/Bron. You force WB to learn to cut and move off the ball. By always going pace/space, you're never teaching WB to do what he needs to, cut.
The only time we slipped was in the 4th when we went back to soft pace/space ball. A lot of 3 point shooting, and speed, and then not getting back on D or having the right size to defend/board. The Pistons also ran some zone but we played soft lazy ball.
For 3 Qs, this team looked like a contender. Then in the 4th, they reminded us why they're likely going to be a play in team or maybe a 5th/6th seed. It is not just AD. I feel our team doesn't realize it's biggest strength is their ability to get paint touches two ways. Post ups of AD/Bron, and Westbrook/Bron dribble penetration. This season we've focused so much on maximizing the dribble penetration, that we totally forgot about the advantages of posting up and drawing defense in, so we have off the ball cutting.
And by posting up, I don't mean those typical right block post ups. I'm talking all kinds of touches with AD or Bron at different spots in the court INSIDE the 3 point line. We can have them at the mid-wing, mid-post, high post. There's a lot of areas they catch the ball (especially Bron) where they can be a threat to make a play at the rim, pull up for a high percentage jumper or pass to open teammates. There's actually some motion to our offense when we do this...
Unmoved until we see...something...different? Basically this season they have been the quintessential .500 team. It feels like every time we start thinking something good about to happen, they lay an egg the next game.
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