NUGGETS -at- LAKERS - 5/3 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:25 pm    Post subject: NUGGETS -at- LAKERS - 5/3 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

The Wolf... Got a problem, you need a guy to clean things up. Marc Gasol referred to himself as “Mr. Wolf” -- the Harvey Keitel character in Pulp Fiction, who played the role of the cleaner. And right now, I’m picturing him hosing the blood off LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

He lost his starting job and was pushed out of the rotation. In the last game, Kyle Kuzma mentioned needing to play him more after the Lakers loss. (Fans have been mentioning it for weeks.)

The problem in tonight’s game was Andre Drummond’s foul trouble and difficulty defending Jokic on iso. Drummond got into early foul trouble. No, Vogel didn’t go to him right away (it took until a couple minutes left in the first half). But when Drummond sat midway through the third, that’s when the game changed.

“We like the duo of Drummond and Marc matching up on Joker,” Vogel said. This allowed them to stay in single coverage in the post. When there were screens, we generally switched (this helped the Drummond lineups, especially).

It was in the fourth quarter that Gasol and fellow deep bench partner, Wes Matthews, sparked the Lakers. Gasol found Wes with a full-court outlet for a layup. Marc would then hit a three with the D sagging back. Wes would sink a three in transition next time down and the Lakers were up 13 with 9:30 left.

“To have those guys back in there set a great tone for us,” Vogel said. The second unit would keep the Nuggets at arms length all quarter.

All it took was one turnover from THT, picking up his dribble and throwing it away for a dunk the other way. With 4:39 left up 10, Vogel went to his starters. Three minutes later, he was calling a timeout up just 2 to bring back Gasol and THT.

The final few possessions in this one: Anthony Davis, who had missed several attempts in a row, hit a runner with 40 seconds left to go up by 4.

The refs gave Jokic a gift. Gasol took a foul to give with 38 seconds left. Jokic clearly took a dribble after the foul and the refs still gave him FTs. That cut it 2.

After a timeout, with the clock low on offense, THT attacked. He got turned around and just threw up a circus attempt that wasn’t close. Gasol pressured Jokic on the offensive glass. THT got it back and scored the reverse.

Up 4 on the defensive end, the Nuggets were looking for a three. AD closed out to the shooter rotating from under the hoop out to the wing and blocked the three. He got the ball back and dribbled out the clock to take the win.

The sense of urgency was with the team tonight with no LeBron and no Schröder. Their best stretch of ball in previous games was with Gasol. It was again, tonight. He was a +17 in 17 minutes in the 93-89 win.

“You felt that urgency as a whole, as a team,” Gasol said.


Davis -- -- There are a couple things that are hurting the team more than others lately. To me, one of the biggies is AD not playing with energy, not imposing himself on either end like he does. That last play of the game, the ground he covered to go from under the hoop out to the three line to block that shot is the guy we need. Our defense’s biggest advantage is having a guy that size flying around. It came to play on that one. Early on, he had 16 points on 7-12 shooting in the first half. His size and speed against Gordon caused some problems. Credit Gordon for catching up to block a couple shots on AD, but any kind of low position or any space for AD to go to work is an advantage. AD sank a three in the second half, a deep one on a pick and pop, but he got his legs into it. Nice to see the effort on the second night of the back-to-back. He’s got to keep pushing it. After the game, he was yelling at the crowd and giving me flashbacks to that game winning three against these Nuggets. I love seeing him like that. The Nuggets? Probably having some PTSD. The Stats: He scored 25 points on 9-19 shoothing (1-2 from three, 6-7 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 33 minutes. He was a +3.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He had 9 points in the first half, sinking a couple of threes and getting to the line for points. He’d hit just one FT in the second half. I still wanted him to be out there a little sooner than he was in that fourth quarter. We gave McLemore some extra look against the Nuggets, but I think KCP probably sat a bit too long before coming back in. (He’d airmail a cross-court pass into the stands as our starters were imploding). The Stats: He scored 10 points on 2-8 shooting (2-6 from three, 4-6 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a -5.

Drummond -- -- A bit to unpack in this one. First, schematically on D we did a lot of switching tonight. More than we have for a long time. All those lob dunks to rollers, all the scrambling on D that was getting abused with Drummond late to react on those deeper rotations -- that was now off the table. If you give that extra help to Jokic, he will consistently abuse it. He’s deadly against the doubles and it gets others involved. This really helped Drummond to simplify his D. It’s something I mentioned a while back on one of those games were our rotations were getting picked apart (might have been against Dallas). Remember this when we go back to that type of D. Drummond is really slow at making that third and fourth read on defensive rotations. So that helped the D a bit tonight even when Drummond was on the floor because we weren’t scrambling. Early on, he and Jokic got fouls on each other, but there was a key no call in this one in the first quarter. Davis had an obvious foul on Jokic (lots of contact in the restricted area, Jokic not going vertical, that’s an instant foul every time on a play like that). But the refs didn’t call that second foul just a few minutes into the first. Jokic immediately realized he had better try to go to work against Drummond to get that second foul on him instead. He went at him in the post several times. Drummond played conservative D and Jokic scored with relative ease. Eventually, the second foul on Drummond was called (on a switch) and he had to sit for Trezz. It was a small thing, the blown call, but that really changed the complexion of the game early on as Jokic was at his most effective scoring-wise. Drummond would pick up a series of quick fouls in the second quarter, including his fourth with 2 minutes left with a small going down on a screen (probably set up to get just that). He’d get his fifth foul 6 minutes into the second half and had to sit. He never really got a chance to go at Jokic early in the second half. But all that did was just allow us to play Gasol. I really didn’t want to bring him back in late in the fourth. Go with AD to give Gasol a rest. Nope, brought back in that starting unit and Drummond wasn’t giving us anything. No rebounds in this game. Someone mentioned that was the first time since his rookie season, I think. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-5 shooting (0-1 from the line) to go with 1 assist, 2 steals, 3 turnovers and 4 foul sin 22 minutes. He was a -11.

Kuzma -- -- He’s been fairly open with the press a couple of times. First was when Drummond took Gasol’s job. Kuz said Drummond needed to learn to play winning ball. Doing the little things right. (I agree.) After the Raptors game, Kuz said we need to play Gasol more. Glad we did tonight. Quiet offensive game from Kuz. He sank a couple threes for his points. His defense was strong, though. He seemed to keep Porter in check. The team didn’t give up a lot of open looks from three to him and that paid off. His team D and individual D has been more consistent than others lately. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-4 shooting from three to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 1 turnover and no fouls in 31 minutes. He was a -3.

Caruso -- -- Team high +7 in the first half. But a really bad start to the second half with 3 turnovers on passes in the first 3 minutes. He also had a bad double off his man to leave him open under the hoop for a score. The Lakers found themselves in a hole. After the Laker timeout, we found AC for a three. He then attacked next time down and drew FTs off the high screen. He’d get another score rejecting a screen and attacking the paint as Drummond sealed Jokic and he scored a layup. During that stretch, he also knocked a couple of near offensive boards away from Jokic with some superb hustle to win those 50-50 balls. The Lakers pulled momentum back from the Nuggets. We were up 5 by the time AC sat in that third. Strong outing during that stretch to recover from that slow start to the half. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting (2-5 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 28 minutes. He was a +4.

Harrell -- -- He matched up against McGee in the second quarter. This is where you go with Gasol to pull McGee out on the perimeter and not get easy scores in the paint. We didn’t do that early on. We did manage to do it during the third quarter and Gasol sank a couple of threes off it. But McGee had 8 of his 10 points when Trezz was on the court. Vogel didn’t pull a Doc Rivers in the playoffs. We did not go back to Trezz in the second half. We went big. I do need to highlight a nice play by Trezz in that first half. He ripped an offensive board from McGee from behind and then powered up an And-1 layup. That was nice. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting (1-1 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 10 minutes. He was a -2.

Gasol -- -- Player of the game. He said he’d try to do as best as possible in his current role. “I think we have to start thinking more as a team,” he said. Adding, “The team’s success is everyone’s success.” He came in for Drummond who picked up his fourth with 2 minutes left in the second quarter. Things looked good right away. He’d come back in for Drummond with 6 minutes left in the third when Dre picked up his fifth. With McGee sagging back in the paint to defend the rim, Gasol hit a couple of threes to help the Lakers take the lead in the third. In the fourth, he had the team rolling. He found Wes with that outlet. He’d sink another three. He’d handle his business against Jokic in the post. I get that Drummond can score some in the post or he can have an occasional block or lob finish. Those are fun plays, but Gasol is out there quarterbacking the defense, calling out rotations. Our scrambling defense and rotations are better. Yeah, he’s not going to erase a lot of shots at the rim, but players finish at a lower percentage around the rim with him in there. They score much higher than average with Drummond. Offensively, he’s pulling defenders out to him and if they don’t come out, making them pay. Watch where the defenders stand when Drummond or Trezz are on the floor and watch where they stand when Gasol is on the floor. Against big time rim defenders (guys like Gobert), Gasol is essential. It’s not sexy stuff for most people, but it makes a big difference. He makes guys around him better. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 3-4 shooting (3-4 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 2 assists, 1 block and 4 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a +17.

Horton-Tucker -- -- Tricky offensive execution for him when he had McGee sitting back in the paint while THT does not want to take a perimeter shot. He managed to flip in a tough layup of McGee to beat the shotclock. But what worked better for him, though, was drawing the D and then kicking to Gasol open for a corner three. With Jokic out there, he was attacking relentlessly. He’d get a layup and FTs off it. He’d hit a fade. Then he picked up his dribble and threw it away for a dunk. That got him benched. We then lost momentum. That last play where he attacked and threw up the prayer, not pretty. He got it back and scored what was the dagger. He just reminds me of young Manu so much. Wild, drive a coach crazy, but can cause an opponent so much trouble. I just keep picturing how much trouble THT will be with a consistent three ball. All offseason long, this is the only thing he needs to be working on -- every day until your fingers bleed. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-7 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 3 assists, 5 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +2.

Morris -- -- Oh, boy. He’d miss a couple more threes tonight -- 0-25 now, I think. Best play of his tonight was a kickout from the post to Wes for a three. He had to fight to get control of the ball first, but worked it out. Defensively, I love when he scrams a guard out of the mismatch against a big. It takes quick timing and good communication, but helps a lot. The Stats: He scored 1 points on 0-3 shooting (0-2 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 3 assists and no fouls in 15 minutes. He was a +1.

Matthews -- -- We’ve been looking bad on D, he’s going to give you a strong effort on that end, if nothing else. Offensively, I’m also curious about that first shot when it goes up tonight because he’s streaky. He didn’t miss tonight. He was quiet until that fourth quarter. After challenging a shot, he leaked out and Gasol put an outlet right in his lap for a reverse layup on the break. Shortly later, he sank another corner three in transition and that helped the Lakers push out to a 13-point lead. He’d stretch the lead to 14 with another three on a kickout from Morris. Important minutes. All that scoring in the fourth was huge. Good job staying ready. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-3 shooting (2-2 from three) to go with 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a +7.

McLemore -- -- He sank a corner three, but missed all the rest of the shots he took. Good job not having major breakdowns on D. Again, we simplified things tonight with switching quite a bit. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-7 shooting (1-5 from three) to go with 1 board and no fouls in 17 minutes. He was a +7

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Well, we could go with a few plays in the final minute. AD’s score, THT’s score, AD’s block for the win. That last one was probably the key moment. But since this is the coach’s section, let’s go back to the Coach’s challenge in the first half. We challenged a foul on AC under the hoop on Jokic. It was a clean defensive play and a bad call from a ref in a very bad position. We won that, but lost the jumpball to a foul on Drummond. So fast forward to 38 seconds left when we took a foul on Jokic. Jokic clearly took a dribble after that foul, yet they gave him FTs. No coach’s challenge that could have made a huge difference there as the lead was cut from 4 to 2.

Key Substitution: Well, clearly bring Gasol into this one. Credit Vogel, too, for sticking with him a long time in the second half. Thankfully, he went back to him with a couple minutes left to close.

Key Stats: Nuggets scoring 89 points. We made Jokic a scorer through our post defenders or on switches. That bogged their offense down in this one.
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:27 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

First!!

No better way to celebrate my 20,000th post!!

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:30 pm    Post subject:

Woot! Woot! Yay Winning!

Thanks DB

(and thanks for all the write-ups during the painful games... the last couple of games bummed me out so hard I couldn't even handle T&R... I don't know how you do it sometimes )
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:38 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. A much needed win.
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:56 pm    Post subject:

TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
Thanks DB!

First!!

No better way to celebrate my 20,000th post!!



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 10:58 pm    Post subject:

thank goodness the Lakers came to play with energy
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 11:10 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB

Shocking that in under 24 hours the team completely flipped defensively. Glad as heck they did.

I hope Gasol is not shoved back into the storage cabinet by Vog.

In any event, team played terrific D, got the W. Clippers will be a really difficult game, but I think as long as the team gives another great defensive effort (and limit the Clippers 3 ball), they will have a solid shot.
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 11:16 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

What a difference a game makes. Instead of a sure win turned into a loss, tonight we had a sure loss turned into a win!

Good to have an old-school AD sighting. Especially the signature block at the end.

Great to see Gasol even in limited minutes. He was definitely key in a closing role. It would be nice if Vogel could see the light on this. Either it's political, or it's trying to keep a secret strategy for the playoffs, or it's a nagging injury. But Gasol doesn't appear injured. It's no secret what Gasol brings to the table. So that leaves political promises/demands. Let it go.
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 11:19 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
TooMuchMajicBuss wrote:
Thanks DB!

First!!

No better way to celebrate my 20,000th post!!




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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 2:14 am    Post subject:

That block, man.

AD will go down as one of the greatest Lakers, just based on some of the plays he makes (A big GW 3 last year in the playoffs for example). I have never seen a guy like him in a Laker jersey. Unreal talent and plays he is capable of making.

I still hate his offense right now, but that is just his elite standards. He needs to just play 100% on D for now.
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roger_federer
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 2:32 am    Post subject:

No DS
Less Trez and Drum.
We beat the nuggets.
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 4:06 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB )
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 4:22 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

It's clear that we have to play Marc more.
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 4:48 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

Did not think I'd wake up to see a win. I'll have to watch the recording!
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 5:46 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
That block, man.

AD will go down as one of the greatest Lakers, just based on some of the plays he makes (A big GW 3 last year in the playoffs for example). I have never seen a guy like him in a Laker jersey. Unreal talent and plays he is capable of making.

I still hate his offense right now, but that is just his elite standards. He needs to just play 100% on D for now.


He did a very good job selling the offensive foul to wipe out MPJ three pointer, we got lucky big time there
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 6:17 am    Post subject:

I know things just don’t disappear but we make it so hard on ourselves with the turn overs.
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 7:01 am    Post subject:

Good game by most - obviously.

I did notice Kuzma wasn't crashing the O boards as much as earlier in the year. There were a couple of rebounds that went his way but he had already retreated so Denver got them.
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 7:22 am    Post subject:

That defense wins us a ring
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 2:59 pm    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
That block, man.

AD will go down as one of the greatest Lakers, just based on some of the plays he makes (A big GW 3 last year in the playoffs for example). I have never seen a guy like him in a Laker jersey. Unreal talent and plays he is capable of making.

I still hate his offense right now, but that is just his elite standards. He needs to just play 100% on D for now.


As someone who has been a huge AD supporter I was annoyed at the defensive effort on Sunday - this wasnt a physical or legs issue I was seeing. I think AD, on that end, would agree, and he took the challenge, got himself out of whatever was holding him back, and went at it, less than 24 hours later.

*That* AD is awesome. Glad he showed up
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 8:44 pm    Post subject:

Gasol -- -- Player of the game. He said he’d try to do as best as possible in his current role. “I think we have to start thinking more as a team,” he said. Adding, “The team’s success is everyone’s success.” He came in for Drummond who picked up his fourth with 2 minutes left in the second quarter. Things looked good right away..... he was a +17.

This is the Gasol we were looking for to start the season and its' early part. He's a big guy and I doubt if he was anywhere near the shape he's in now to start the season.

So, acclimating himself to new teammates, and getting in shape, and learning a new system etc., was the process we inevitably wanted to rush.

Question: would we have gone after Drummond if we had this version of Gasol earlier in this season?

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:06 am    Post subject:

LakerDYnasty72 wrote:
Gasol -- -- Player of the game. He said he’d try to do as best as possible in his current role. “I think we have to start thinking more as a team,” he said. Adding, “The team’s success is everyone’s success.” He came in for Drummond who picked up his fourth with 2 minutes left in the second quarter. Things looked good right away..... he was a +17.

This is the Gasol we were looking for to start the season and its' early part. He's a big guy and I doubt if he was anywhere near the shape he's in now to start the season.

So, acclimating himself to new teammates, and getting in shape, and learning a new system etc., was the process we inevitably wanted to rush.

Question: would we have gone after Drummond if we had this version of Gasol earlier in this season?

Thanks DB!


Yes, the Howard role would still have been missing, Gasol's and Drummond's strong-suits don't overlap, and we didn't have to give up anything to get Drummond.
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 11:07 am    Post subject:

LakerDYnasty72 wrote:
Gasol -- -- Player of the game. He said he’d try to do as best as possible in his current role. “I think we have to start thinking more as a team,” he said. Adding, “The team’s success is everyone’s success.” He came in for Drummond who picked up his fourth with 2 minutes left in the second quarter. Things looked good right away..... he was a +17.

This is the Gasol we were looking for to start the season and its' early part. He's a big guy and I doubt if he was anywhere near the shape he's in now to start the season.

So, acclimating himself to new teammates, and getting in shape, and learning a new system etc., was the process we inevitably wanted to rush.

Question: would we have gone after Drummond if we had this version of Gasol earlier in this season?

Thanks DB!


I guess you also have to factor in AD/LeBron out and us needing bodies in general. But from a tactical standpoint, the redundancy isn't really Gasol/Drummond ... but Drummond/Trezz.

But if we're comparing Gasol, I think Drummond was intriguing. Could he do some of the things you got from Dwight? Could he play big, give you some anchoring and post scoring? Could Vogel turn him into a better defender? One way for teams to hurt us was by putting a small on Gasol and keeping their anchor big on AD. With Drummond you have to honor his size and defend appropriately. Drummond also opens up the lob threat. He's not a great one, but it's not a wrinkle you can throw in your offense with Gasol, and I think guys like LeBron, KCP, Kuz will all take advantage of that. It's just not in the playbook options for Marc. So there are some nuances there.

Marc is super underrated by fans. They want the flashy stuff. But having a guy who distorts the floor because bigs have to come out to defend shot/pass causes so many problems for defenses. Having a guy who is vocal/smart on D as your QB is huge. You really don't have to make a big stat impact in either of those things to have a massive impact on the game. But when he's not in the game, you can see the floor spacing change on both ends of the floor.

I am really, really curious to see how Vogel manages games in the playoffs. I think he's trying to get guys reps with certain platoons so he can have some confidence in different lineups. It drives me a bit crazy when Gasol is an obvious solution to an obvious problem, but Vogel is often thinking big picture and process. Kills me, though.
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 11:15 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
LakerDYnasty72 wrote:
Gasol -- -- Player of the game. He said he’d try to do as best as possible in his current role. “I think we have to start thinking more as a team,” he said. Adding, “The team’s success is everyone’s success.” He came in for Drummond who picked up his fourth with 2 minutes left in the second quarter. Things looked good right away..... he was a +17.

This is the Gasol we were looking for to start the season and its' early part. He's a big guy and I doubt if he was anywhere near the shape he's in now to start the season.

So, acclimating himself to new teammates, and getting in shape, and learning a new system etc., was the process we inevitably wanted to rush.

Question: would we have gone after Drummond if we had this version of Gasol earlier in this season?

Thanks DB!


I guess you also have to factor in AD/LeBron out and us needing bodies in general. But from a tactical standpoint, the redundancy isn't really Gasol/Drummond ... but Drummond/Trezz.

But if we're comparing Gasol, I think Drummond was intriguing. Could he do some of the things you got from Dwight? Could he play big, give you some anchoring and post scoring? Could Vogel turn him into a better defender? One way for teams to hurt us was by putting a small on Gasol and keeping their anchor big on AD. With Drummond you have to honor his size and defend appropriately. Drummond also opens up the lob threat. He's not a great one, but it's not a wrinkle you can throw in your offense with Gasol, and I think guys like LeBron, KCP, Kuz will all take advantage of that. It's just not in the playbook options for Marc. So there are some nuances there.

Marc is super underrated by fans. They want the flashy stuff. But having a guy who distorts the floor because bigs have to come out to defend shot/pass causes so many problems for defenses. Having a guy who is vocal/smart on D as your QB is huge. You really don't have to make a big stat impact in either of those things to have a massive impact on the game. But when he's not in the game, you can see the floor spacing change on both ends of the floor.

I am really, really curious to see how Vogel manages games in the playoffs. I think he's trying to get guys reps with certain platoons so he can have some confidence in different lineups. It drives me a bit crazy when Gasol is an obvious solution to an obvious problem, but Vogel is often thinking big picture and process. Kills me, though.


I agree he's thinking big picture, which is great. He did a lot of this last season too. However, I think now is the time to halt the big picture vision and get some Ws. Resting LeBron for the rest of the RS is big picture already IMO. Coaching to solve obvious problems with obvious solutions will be the best foot forward I believe.
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