KNICKS -at- LAKERS - 5/11 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 10:52 pm    Post subject: KNICKS -at- LAKERS - 5/11 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

The Kid... Often, this sport comes down to the two-man game in crunch time.

That’s fine when you’ve got LeBron running things. Even Schröder working it. AC has looked good lately. Well, we lost AC for this one, so it came down to the kid.

And, wow, it was a rollercoaster.

The Knicks could run Randle/Rose and they did with a lot of success. We had THT/AD. In the fourth, we quickly got out of the THT business as things got dicey with turnovers late. After Wes Matthews sent the game into overtime with a putback score with 3 seconds left to tie things up, we went back to THT in overtime to run the show, and the kid came up big.

First, he sank a three off a great offensive board by Drummond and kickout to him. He’d later get a couple of freethrows and the team would go up 5.

The Lakers gave up back-to-back threes to that Rose and Randle duo to cough up the lead. Rose was wide open. Randle’s was a tougher one with AD challenging. Down 1 with 1:10, Lakers called a timeout. Out of that, THT got the ball poked loose from behind for a turnover. Knicks ball with a 1-point lead and they called a timeout.

The Lakers doubled Randle and forced a travel to get the ball back with 38.8. What would they run?

They’d go to THT/AD combo, and THT swished a big wing three to take a 2-point lead. On the other end, they’d get the Knicks scrambling on D and it was THT and Drummond forcing the Knicks into a horrible look from three to secure the win.

THT is essentially a rookie. We were living those rookie extremes as he was juggling on a high wire to pull off the 101-99 overtime win.

We had 10 points in OT. Talen had 8 of those. He assisted on the other.

Part of watching your kids grow up is giving them the freedom to succeed and fail. They’ve got to learn from their mistakes. It’s a bumpy ride sometimes, but like they said in the movie Parenthood, you’ve got to enjoy the rollercoaster.


Davis -- -- Double teamed from the start in this game. He had 12 points on 4-9 shooting and 3 assists in the first half, but multiple hockey assists that started off those double teams. We weren’t doing anything tricky to get open, some relocations, some cuts down the lane that would drag a defender with them to keep him off AD. A teammate also found him again on the high-low for a score when Randle tried to front him in the post. Again, when we had success, it was really simple stuff. We’re going to have to get better executing off ball in order to create clear passing options for him. What looks like him confused or panicked or when people start calling him soft is often because guys are swarming and teammates are just not moving or screening off ball to make obvious counter plays. He’s not being passive. We just do a really poor job at times countering doubles. And when you are our main point of attack, those doubles are going to come relentlessly like they did tonight. He tried to go early, spin away and shoot and do some other things, but his perimeter shot was not failing him. Came up short quite a bit. Oh, you want him to post up down low? Or get in the paint? Look at how they are playing him. Some fronting, with help zoning behind him. When he does get the ball he has to come out for it, then he faces defenders zoning behind the primary point of attack. Add in Drummond’s man roaming the paint and it can get trickier. A lot of this is on the coaches. We need to give those help defenders more to think about with screens and movement. We really need to run counters depending on where the doubles come from and just don’t way too much. Right now, we can make the simple passes and good things happen. When those aren’t available and we need to run some pin-in screens and things like that, they are just far too rare. Okay, enough on that. Let’s talk the defensive end. Randle is a tough cover with the three ball now falling. You have to respect that and respect the drive. In general in this game we almost always gave Randle to shoot versus driving. When AD ate that space up late in the game, Randle started have issues. AD was all over him to help force a shotclock violation in one of the key possessions of the game. Injury wise, I’m not sure what’s going on with AD. He had some bumps and bruises in this one and some groin pain. I would think if it was any kind of muscle issues versus a contusion or something that they’d keep him sidelined. We’ll see. Big minutes with the 5 extra we had to play tonight. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 8-23 shooting (0-1 from three, 4-5 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 43 minutes. He was a +7.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He sank a couple of threes in the first half. In the second half, he hit the side of the backboard on one. Then he had a chance to win the game in regulation with a corner three, wide open and he missed it. Occasionally, he’d end up on Julius on a rare switch as he had the Payton assignment. Julius just shot right over him for a three on one and a jumper on another sequence. He had a great trackdown block after a turnover. He coughed up the ball, but didn’t give up on the play and soared in from behind to swat it off the glass. Refs didn’t believe he got to it and called a goaltend, but we challenged and won. Some good passing tonight, some interior feeds or extra passes that led to better shots for others. You saw our lack of ballhandlers/playmakers on one play, though, where he probed, got caught in the air and threw it away. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-9 shooting (2-6 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 7 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 40 minutes. He was a +9.

Caruso -- -- The Lakers lost AC early in this one with the foot soreness. They’re playing it safe, for sure, but that left us another ball handler short and meant a lot more work for THT. Not much action early on offensively, but his usual feisty self on D. We could have used that a bit more as we had to instead lean on some THT/McLemore guard combos out there defensively, which can be an issue. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting and had 2 boards, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and no fouls in 7 minutes. He was a +3.

Matthews -- -- Huge putback layup with 3.1 seconds left to tie the game up. He never came down with the ball, grabbed it and put it in on his way down. Loved seeing the smaller guy in a crowd taking advantage of having Rose on him and abusing it. Just prior to that with 2:34 left, he also sank a big corner three to cut the lead to 2. Defensively, we switched him onto Rose to defend him in crunch time. That made a huge difference. The space Rose had tightened up. Again, it’s important to have your bigs on the same page, but you’ve also got someone who knows how to navigate and recover off screens. We took the Knicks out of some easy looks late and forced them into late clock situations. Winning plays tonight from Wes on both ends. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-7 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 6 boards (3 offensive), 1 assist, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +14.

Drummond -- -- If we are going to play two bigs, they need to play big. While Drummond struggled at times finishing like he does, he was definitely imposing his size on the boards. He pulled down 18, including 5 offensive. Everyone of those offensive boards just felt huge. This game was back and forth all night and we needed those extra possessions. One led to a Kuzma three, another to a jumphook, and, of course, a huge THT three to start the overtime. For him to be effective without high level guard play, he’s got to make his presence felt there. When he did score tonight, it was often off some kind of guard penetration or even AD on a drive and dish. Some good moments defensively. He had a nice close on Bullock’s drive to force a pass, then bounced back up to block Noel trying to dunk. A couple other good challenges. He generally didn’t give up a lot of space to guys when we’d switch. His aggressive help in OT helped force a shotclock violation and a brick on that final stand. The fact that we could put AD on Randle and keep Drummond away from two-man action probably also helped. Only one foul in this game, which has been a rarity. One of Drummond’s better games in a while. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 5-11 shooting (4-7 from the line) to go with 18 boards (5 offensive), 3 assists, 2 bocks, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 36 minutes. He was a +8.

Harrell -- -- Short night for Trezz. We ran a perfect play for him, though, with Gasol out there. I think it was to open the second quarter, we lined up in a horns set. THT curled around along the baseline to set a screen on Trezz’s man as he cut. The ball in Gasol’s hands at the elbow and he hit Trezz with the high-low for the layup. More of that, please. Trezz would score another And-1 jumper when his man reached in the post. Defensively, though, you saw Vogel take a timeout when Trezz sagged off a three shooter for no reason and gave up the three. He didn’t play in the second half. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting (1-1 from the line) to go with 1 board in 5 minutes. He was a +1.

Gasol -- -- A couple high-low feeds from Gasol in this one. One to AD who was fronted and we swung it to Gasol up top. Another to Trezz off a set play. Defensively, we had some trouble with Rose. He got some very friendly calls just running into Gasol on drives. Rose also got into some midrange space for scores, as well. The Stats: He didn’t score or shoot and had 3 boards, 4 assists and 1 foul in 17 minutes. He was a -8.

Kuzma -- -- “I never thought I’d play point guard in the NBA, but here we are,” Kuzma said. Two halves for Kuzma tonight. He led the team in scoring in the first half with 18 points on 7-10 shooting. He just got after in that second quarter with 16. He got his first bucket when his man went to go help on AD who didn’t even have the ball yet, we swung it to Kuz and he quickly attacked the closeout for the layup. He hit a three on a THT drive and dish. He turned the corner with a quick first step past Bullock and scored a layup. He then sank another three that started on an AD double, but was a bad pass that we recovered. He’d attack off the three line and score an And-1 layup over Julius. He drilled a three in early offense, just rising up quick. He’d then hit a circus fade on a drive left when he was expecting a whistle that didn’t come. Aggressive, decisive and effective. Before his flurry of scores, he was missing some reads on passes. The D was making him look a little uncomfortable with that and it’s possible he just switched gears into score mode. Didn’t matter. In the second half, he came in for THT who started at point. So Kuz was bringing the ball up and getting us into the offense, new role whether you like it or not. We even ran some Iverson cuts for him like we do for Schröder (these were really designed as a decoy). It’s just very, very tough to be that utility guy who needs to do something different for you all the time. He is getting better at it, but if you wanted that same high-octane scoring you saw in the first half, it just became harder. On his only three in the second half, he got the team into the offense and as the ball was cycling around, he then could switch back into his scoring role and he hit a three on a kicking. He’d get his other score on a slow Euro step around defenders for a layup. The Stats: He scored 23 points on 9-17 shooting (4-8 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a -11.

Horton-Tucker -- -- “The kid has confidence. He has heart,” AD said. This was his 70th game in the NBA it was said. He was very clean in the first half. He had 6 assists with 1 turnover in the first half. With no AC, he got the start in the second half. That’s kind of when the rollercoaster began. In the last two quarters and OT, he had 6 turnovers and 4 assists. Not the ratio you want. At times, the passing was a beat late. Right idea, but he hesitated, then threw the pass. At other times, it was just sloppy execution like running a two-man game and throwing it into Drummond’s shins or bouncing a pass out of bounds as Drummond had a man fronting him and sealed. Still, his penetration late in the game was big for the team. We were stuck in mud trying to run it through AD with no player movement around him. Getting north and south with THT got us going again. THT said afterward he was trying not to stay too high or too low after his ups and downs. That certainly paid off for him in OT where he scored 8 of the Lakers 10 and assisted on the other bucket. He’d sink a huge corner three off a Drummond kickout. He was too late on a jumper and we had a shotclock violation to erase that. He ran a two-man game with a big to set him up for a layup. He had an aggressive drive through defenders to earn FTs. Then, he’d sink the big three working the two-man action with AD. Really, the key on that was that we had just come out of a timeout previously and THT had the ball poked away from behind for a turnover. That didn’t get him down and he’d come back with that three next possession. Crazy night. Defensively, he matched up with Rose quite a bit early. This often isn’t just about staying with a man on iso, it’s navigating screens and trying to recover while the bigs help. Rose, however, was getting into that midrange area for short floaters and shots. Very tough to cover without some really good execution by everyone. We eventually switched THT off that matchup in favor of Wes and our D tightened up as a result. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 4-9 shooting (2-2 from three, 3-3 from the line) to go with 5 boards (2 offensive), 10 assists, 2 steals, 7 turnovers and 4 fouls in 34 minutes. He was a +2.

Morris -- -- He came in with 1:37 left in the third quarter after sitting out the first half and the last game. He missed a wide open corner three, then next possession missed a turnaround in the post. He’s 1-28 for three. Back to the bench he goes. We hoped he would space the floor for the team and I think that’s what Vogel was thinking in that sub (instead of going with Trezz). Didn’t work. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-2 shooting in 5 minutes. He was a -6.

McLemore -- -- He helped the Lakers in his second shift when we were struggling to score. He hit a pull-up from the top of the key. Then he got a kind bounce on a three straight away. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-7 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 2 boards, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a -9.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: So many in this one. The Lakers low point was probably KCP hitting the side of the board on a three, the Knicks would hit a three we were down 10 in the fourth. THT would help reel that in by getting some penetration that we worked for scores. Over 5 minutes, they’d put together a 14-4 run to reel the Knicks back in. There was a THT to Drummond to AD dunk sequence. Then an AD kick to Wes for three. And a THT-to-KCP-to Drummond dunk to tie things up. There were a lot of big plays, but just showing the fortitude to fight back in this was huge. Still, how about AD smothering Randle to force a shotlock violation with 12 seconds left to get a key stop? Then, we got into the Wes against Rose in the paint because they were sending zone help to AD? Putback to tie it up! Ahhh. Then so many over time plays. I’ll settle with that comeback stretch, though, as being key to the W tonight.

Key Substitution: How about just coming back with starters with THT, but putting Wes onto Rose late. That made things much improved over having THT trying to hold the line defensively against the vet guard. But even closing with Drummond turned out big. He came up with some huge plays like an offensive board that led to a THT three. Or even just showing high late on that final defensive stand.

Key Stats: We had a 14-5 advantage on the offensive glass. Drummond had 5 of those offensive ones, but also did a good job keeping the Knicks to one and out possessions. That helped counter the 20-10 advantage we gave the Knicks on turnovers. Hard to help turnovers with all our missing players, but owning the glass is something in our control.

Coach’s Challenge: Late in the third, KCP lost the ball and hustled back in transition to block a shot. The refs called it a goaltend, Lakers challenged and won. Two points saved. Great play by KCP, by the way. With 3:17 left to go the Knicks challenged a pass that went off AD (looked like they got AD’s arm, but you can’t review for a foul that wasn’t called). Knicks won that.
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DrDent
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 11:00 pm    Post subject:

First!
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"One thing I admire about Kuzma is his unwavering confidence. He truly has no idea that he’s not as good as he thinks." - Killer_Z
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 11:14 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB, another AAA summary.

Quote:
Part of watching your kids grow up is giving them the freedom to succeed and fail. They’ve got to learn from their mistakes. It’s a bumpy ride sometimes, but like they said in the movie Parenthood, you’ve got to enjoy the rollercoaster.


Agreed. Lots of folks get on this kid, IMO unfairly. Growing pains as he develops is expected. Kudos to him for mentally staying in it despite the issues - it's not like the Knicks D is easy.

Otherwise, really nice win for the team. So they went through that 5 game gauntllet vs Denver, Clips, Blazers, Suns, and Knicks...and went 3-2. Not too shabby.

Hoping the team keeps this up and builds momentum with a nice win streak, whether they initially end up in the playoffs, or play-in.
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 11:16 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB, that was a fun game. THT has nerve, gotta give him that. I'm glad he was up for that final shot after some of those misses! I like it.
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 12:26 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 12:40 am    Post subject:

D was back!

Da Kid is in Town, good and bad news but good at the end

Houston game seems the ideal time to have AD have a game off to let Gasol, Harrell and Morris have some run
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 4:31 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB )
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 4:46 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

As Kuz said after the game, THT have "big balls"
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 6:47 am    Post subject:

TNT loved this matchup for ratings. THT provided the TNT
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 11:28 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Thanks, DB!

As Kuz said after the game, THT have "big balls"


Vogel was like "He has big ... guts."
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JM
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 11:47 am    Post subject:

Gotta maybe give up on Dennis, Trez and, Drummond, maybe Caruso, next year.?
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