KINGS -at- LAKERS - 4/30 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:02 pm    Post subject: KINGS -at- LAKERS - 4/30 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Return of the King... The return, unfortunately, was spoiled by some very poor coaching.

The Lakers had an atrocious start to the ball game, featured by Andre Drummond missing layups and dunks off great setups by the two superstars around him. At once point, doubled up 30-15.

Late in the first quarter, they subbed in Gasol and went to a 5-out offense. The scoring picked up, the defense picked up and the Lakers regained the lead.

In the second half, they pulled out to a 10-point lead. But Vogel went back to running the non-shooting bigs in the lineup and the Lakers lost the lead, mostly while LeBron sat. No Gasol.

They doubled down by bringing back Drummond and playing him most of the stretch run as they fell back by 5. He finally brought in Kuzma for Drummond with 1:38 left. Too little, too late trying to go back to our mobile defensive lineups that space the floor.

They had a chance to tie the game with a timeout with 8 seconds left. LeBron missed a three out of that.

The Lakers never ran a McGee or Howard lineup to close a game last year. Either Vogel fell asleep or was running the experiment to prove a point. In any event, the Lakers gave another one away, 110-106 to the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers have lost 5 of their last 6. This was easily one of their worst losses of the season, and it was completely self-inflicted.

LeBron -- -- After 20 games out, the longest stretch of his career, LeBron is back. That time off, I’m hoping, will help make up for the short offseason after winning the ring. Not a lot of attacking from him where he could get to the rim. He hit a bit three late in the game to cut the lead to 2, but then airball one with 1:17 left. Then, he missed the three at the end going for the win. He had back-to-back turnovers late in the game that hurt. So not a great finish in the fourth. But having Drummond out there clogging the paint did not help at all. Definitely got to give him a break on everything. “I haven’t played a game in six weeks,” he said. He said he felt okay. His ankle was a little tight, he said. The team sputtered quite a bit with him off the floor once again. There will be an adjustment period. “We got to continue to get better. We’re working in two new pieces with Drummond and Ben and we’re also working in two new pieces that were already here in myself and AD,” LeBron said. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 6-12 shooting (!-5 from three, 3-5 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 5 turnovers and 1 foul in 32 minutes. He was a +5.

Davis -- -- This was really the first game where we saw him activated on the defensively end. We should have leaned into that more to close, but at least we saw that disruptiveness to his game. He had 5 blocked shots, including a key one in the final minute when we went to our small ball unit. He covers so much ground, you want him in the paint to be able to do that when teams get past our initial line of defense. Offensively, I’d much rather see him attacking than settling for jumpers when Gasol is on the floor. With Drummond, Davis can work that midrange game while Dre he can work the offensive boards. With Gasol, the defender isn’t under the hoop. Attack that. But I really don’t know where Vogel is going with Gasol’s usage. Good two-way minutes from AD tonight. He’s starting to look more like himself. Some nice big-to-big passing from AD to AD2. Of course, AD2 choked one of those. There was another sequence where Davis wanted the high-low. Drummond flashed to the ball to take the initial pass that they wanted him to get to, but then he just bricked a long floater instead of trying to give it to AD over the top. The Stats: He scored 22 points on 9-19 shooting (1-4 from three, 3-3 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 3 assists, 5 blocks, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 34 minutes. He was a -8.

Schröder -- -- I was expecting him to step back from carrying the offensive load, rest a bit and maybe focus more on D with LeBron’s return. He did a lot of heavy lifting while LBJ was out and really looked a bit fatigued in the last one. I think we saw some of that tonight. I think all of his scoring was in the first half, then that faded away in the second half. He did have some good setups, including one to AD for a dunk late. Too many turnovers, however, on the night. He also couldn’t hit a three. We sat LeBron early in first and third quarters and that’s going to be the key time for Dennis to run the game and start to impose himself. I don’t want to see us just dumping the ball into the post to Drummond or AD. We saw a bit of that. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-13 shooting (0-5 from three) to go with 6 boards, 7 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers and 2 foul sin 36 minutes. He was a -19.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He couldn’t knock down his three ball in this one. Some nice moments on the break. Defensively, also, he was in guys jerseys at times. There was one defensive stand where he busted the high screen play twice just fighting over the top, then challenged a big well on a switch to get a stop. Really good effort there on that end of the floor. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-8 shooting (0-5 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 assists, 3 steals, and no fouls in 31 minutes. He was a -11.

Drummond -- -- Looking for that chemistry with LeBron heading into this game. You could see problems early on with Drummond’s often suspect finishing ability. I’ve wondered whether Drummond’s finishing problems were a product of being a poor freethrow shooter early in his career. He’s often off balance and rushing things versus trying to get on balance and power up. He was atrocious trying to finish in the first half. That hurt the Lakers early as he missed dunks and layups. In the second half, he was able to finish, dunking off a big-to-big interior feed and on a lob from LeBron of a delayed cut in our stagger screen sequence. Where this really hurts, though, is in LeBron and Schröder’s ability to get to the rim with consistency because Drummond’s man is always in there. On the defensive side, his general laziness in his game (not boxing out, throwing a careless inbounds after getting scored on, not making a rotation), that was all painful. Watching AD having to chase around the perimeter or teams continually hunting Drummond. I feel like we’ve seen enough of this that there is just no excuse to playing him down the stretch. We want speed defensively. “Very encouraged about what those three are doing together,” Vogel said of AD, AD2 and LBJ. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 7-11 shooting (3-4 from the line) to go with 7 boards (4 offensive), 2 blocks, 2 turnovers and 5 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a -3.

Harrell -- -- We were trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole with Drummond and Trezz at the C against some teams. In the first half of this one, Vogel had a happy accident, so to speak, as he had to pull Trezz who was hit in the face. He brought in Gasol and we played our best ball because, really, that was the better fit in this matchup. In the second half, we didn’t go to that at all and coughed up our lead. Defensively, it’s the little things that hurt sometimes. Like not getting out on a shooter and giving up an unnecessary three when you just needed to position yourself better. Or when you are known as a hustle guy, getting beat down floor so your man can score a putback on the break after a teammate hustled to challenge the initial shot. Those little things add up. I love the offensive boards and energy on the putbacks. Loved seeing LeBron hit him rolling for the hoop, but I would have loved to see him sit this one out as we go with Gasol. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-4 shooting (3-6 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and no fouls in 14 minutes. He was a -11.

Gasol -- -- If it wasn’t for Trezz being slow to get up after taking a shot to the face, Gasol wouldn’t have played. I have no doubt. And I’d be lamenting why they didn’t play Gasol once again when our ball handlers really could use some floor spacing against some shot blockers. Our best stretches of ball on both ends of the floor were when Gasol was in the game in that first half. The defensive rotations were in sync. We moved their bigs out of the paint. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-2 shooting (1-1 from three) to go with 3 boards and no fouls in 8 minutes. He was a +12.

Kuzma -- -- More than anyone, his game really disappeared a bit with LeBron back. Some good ball movement by Kuz. He had a hot potato passing sequence with a couple touches in the same set and it led to an And-1 for AD. He also lobbed to AD on the break. Kuzma got his only score of the night when he was left alone and reversed. Defensively, he had 3 blocks. Looked like he had a legit block on Jones trying to dunk on him, too, but they called a foul. Great job challenging some shots. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-1 shooting to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -11.

Horton-Tucker -- -- He had 6 points on 3-3 shooting with 2 assists in the first half. He and Gasol were a +12. So, let’s not go back to that. When we have four shooters around THT, he can just go to work on iso. Gasol had his man at the FT line instead of hanging out near the restricted circle. Put Trezz/Drummond in there and it becomes much more complicated. The paint gets packed. It’s easier to force him to shoot jumpers. Schröder can play better with those traditional bigs since he can just pull up in that midrange for easy shots. Such a weird decision not to go back to those guys. It would not surprise me if Vogel is thinking about that as a new rotation option...playing THT just in the first half. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-3 shooting to go with 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 10 minutes. He was a +12.

Morris -- -- He missed another three, so what are we now 0-22? Sheesh. I like him better on the floor when he’s not playing with Trezz. AD/Morris or Gasol/Morris. That allows us to really get the floor spaced … even with his atrocious three shooting of late. He still has gravity. Once again, a menace on the offensive glass off a missed FT. He tipped it to Gasol who tipped it in just before the end of the first quarter. He scored his only bucket on a dunk curling from the corner to take a feed from LeBron. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (0-1 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and no fouls in 14 minutes. He was a +4.

McLemore -- -- Another guy whom I was really curious to see playing off LeBron. The shots should be easier. The passes, on time, on target. But it’s not just passing directly from LeBron, it’s the defense getting scrambled initially by LeBron and then the ball finding the next open man. Those are the shots that will find him with time and space to be effective. In the first half, he went 3-3 from three. His first one was initiated from a strong side post up of LeBron that got the ball moving. The next three, LeBron found him in the corner. So his first two makes, great looks. His third was a handoff from Schröder. He’d hit one in the second half off a swing pass from LeBron. There’s a lot of learning still for him. He had a key turnover late in the game. I’m really curious to see the inverted screen action. If we can get McLemore setting a screen for LeBron and popping out for threes, that will be a weapon. We run that a lot for Wes and Caruso. I want to see Ben in that action. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting from three to go with 2 boards, 3 turnovers and no fouls in 15 minutes. He was a +10.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Trezz got hit in the face 4 minutes after entering the game. He didn’t get up. After the Kings scored on the other end, Trezz left the floor and Gasol came in. We stuck with Gasol the rest of that half. Trezz was a -10 in his 4 minutes. Gasol, at one point, was a +17. The defense picked up big time with Gasol and LeBron out there. But on offense, the floor spacing just makes such a difference. Sooooo what do we do the second half? Sit Gasol, don’t run a 5-out offense for any extended amount of time. Don’t go with our small ball with AD at the C until we were behind with barely any time left. Just a poor, poor decision.

Key Substitution: See above. Remember when we used to sit McGee/Howard last year to close games? You lost to Luke Walton’s Kings with LeBron and AD. Impressive. Vogel must really not care about playoff position and is just trying to get these guys time on the court. “It’s going to be a little bit bumpy along the way,” he said.

Key Stats: Losing the fourth 32-18.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:13 pm    Post subject:

What a terrible game.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:19 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
Very disappointing game.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:23 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. That was a really disappointing performance. I don’t know if this team has enough time to develop chemistry and continuity as a unit honestly. I fully expect to be in the play-in game considering who we still have to play to finish the regular season.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:46 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB

I'm disgusted with this team after this loss. No excuses. I know it was LBJs first game back, but your lotto bound opponent was down its best player and another solid contributor (fox, Barnes). And you cant win?

The Jr High School level lapses on offense and consistently tossing passes to players not there. The horrible ball handling at times. And this defense - what the hell?

There is a huge issue on defense right now. It maybe existed pre-Mavs series, but ever since the Mavs series this team's D has been getting punked over and over and looked terrible with poor PnR defense, bad lob defense, and often allowing guys to scoot uncovered under the basket for easy layups. They are, at best, in a defensive slump.

I'm beyond pissed with Vogel / disgusted with his coaching. He keeps force feeding a Trez/ Kieff lineup as the "bigs" and they get eaten alive. He brings in Gasol with that second unit and life is what does he do? The bumbling buffoon Vogel elects to sit the guy who helped him and go back to the Kieff/Trez combo that's been getting worked for about 2 weeks.

What we just saw tonight was incomprehensible to me, especially with their long stretches of poor play versus a bad, injured team.

For whatever reason, the team just has not adjusted to the same tactics teams are deploying (likely from scouting reports)...seeing game in, game out.

Just pissed right now. This team is not exhibiting the sense of urgency they need.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:44 pm    Post subject:

To me, it is clear we made some kind of a promise to Drummond to get him to sign with us and not Brooklyn, something like: "if you sign with us you are the starter and you will close games. we will not use you like Howard/McGee". I hope I am wrong, but I think this happened and now even when Gasol seems to be a better fit for us at times, we will not use him. We can't. If he shows up Drummond too much...
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 2:25 am    Post subject:

Wow did not expect to wake up to a loss. What a frustrating season
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:12 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB:(
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:57 am    Post subject:

Come on, WTF is going on
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:51 am    Post subject:

1. I have never seen a player miss more dunks or layups that Drummond. Ever. On any team. It is just ridiculous. We kept feeding the ball to Drum in the post and he kept missing.

2. Sloppy stupid turnovers. Not we tried to thread a needle pass and it got picked off but blatantly throwing the ball where the ref was instead of a player or throwing it directly to the other team.

3. You knew Damion Jones was going to come out with energy and take it to the hole because the Lakers did not sign him. He is a one trick pony (human pogo stick) who struggles against bigger players yet you run Harrell against him. WTF?

4. Before the injuries, either Lebron or Dennis were on the court directing the offense. Got to have one of them on the court, especially since Caruso is out. Yet here we go, no Lebron, no Dennis, no Caruso and we can't get into our sets, we can't stop turning the ball over.

5. As the announcers said, our best hope is to avoid the play in. We are not going to catch Denver. I really don't want the Clippers in the first round but at least there would be no travel for the first series to give players a chance to practice and work out the kinks.
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject:

This one is on Vogel. Crazy how our record is WORSE % wise with AD coming back then we were with LBJ/AD out.
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 12:25 pm    Post subject:

Maybe he’s tired, playing hurt or both but Dennis imo had one of his worst defensive games.

He wasn’t doing his job on that end. It happens, but he struggled big time despite that one highlight steal.

KCP I thought did a great job of not letting Hield get in rhythm.
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