SUNS -at- LAKERS - 5/30 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 2:45 pm    Post subject: SUNS -at- LAKERS - 5/30 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Injury Trouble... The injuries in the last game were front and center for the Lakers in this one.

The Lakers pushed the lead to as big as 11 in the first half, but sputtered with the injured AD in the first half unable to hold down the fort while LeBron sat. Near the end of the half, he tried to drive and strained his groin. As they trailed by 4 at the half, AD slowly walked to the locker room in pain.

AD didn’t come out for the second half and we went to Kuzma instead. This was trouble.

The energy was flat to come out the gates in the second half, and the Lakers fell back further. Missing two of their core four players, the sense of urgency wasn’t there and the team was drifting rudderless.

The series could have very well been on the line in that third quarter. If you can get a win, you go up 3-1. If you lose, it’s tied, no home court advantage and no time for AD/KCP to possibly recover. The Lakers fell back by 14 and Vogel called a timeout.

“The balls got to move a little faster,” Gasol said of that third quarter.

LeBron didn’t get a bucket until 2 minutes left with the Lakers down big. They would only score 15 points in third quarter.

The Lakers would cut that lead to 7 behind LeBron and Gasol in the fourth quarter. With a chance to trim it to 4, Gasol had his pass stolen trying to hit an open shooter (had that gone and a Schröder missed layup next time down, they could have actually trimmed it to 2). On that missed layup, LeBron didn’t get back, Schröder was late and we gave up an open three to trail by 10 with 1:23 left. The Lakers fell 100-92.

On to game five. It will be loud in Phoenix. The Lakers will likely not have AD, and he’s key to their closing lineup.

One thing the Lakers have practiced quite a bit this season is playing without AD. Let’s see if that pays off.


LeBron -- -- He was able to get out on the break multiple times in the first half, including finishing an off-the-backboard dunk and spinning around a defender for a layup. The passing was also strong. He had one where he went behind his back while in air for a bounce pass right in the pocket to McLemore for a three. He’d have 11 points on 5-10 shooting in just 16 minutes. Without AD on the court in the second half, the team struggled to switch gears. LeBron didn’t get a bucket until about 2 minutes remaining and then sat. The team was out of whack and only managed 15 points on 3-15 shooting with 6 turnovers. That was the ball game and could very well be the series depending on AD’s ability to go. He picked up the intensity in the fourth and the Lakers outplayed the Suns that quarter, but that’s the level he’s going to have to go all game in the next one. Before the next one, they should just show him a video of Crowder jawing or taking that grab foul on him late in this one. Defensively, LeBron’s mobility isn’t there against some of the smaller players. They were able to get past him with some frequency. He didn’t hustle back after Schröder missed a late layup and that odd-man advantage gave up the digger three. If he can get this team past the Suns without AD that would be some feat. The Stats: He scored 25 points on 10-21 shooting (1-7 from three, 4-7 from the line) to go with 12 boards, 6 assists, 1 steal, 6 turnovers and 1 foul in 38 minutes. He was a +6.

Davis -- -- All eyes on that knee of his. He played through it in the last game, but would it have any impact today? In the first half he was not aggressive and coaching didn’t help him. Out of three ATOs he shot two threes and a very long two and missed all of them. This is back to the AD we saw in the first game where he was deep on the perimeter and a non-factor. But what extent was that injury related? He had 6 points on 2-9 shooting (0-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) in the first half. He was just 1-2 from the rim in the half. On that second attempt to finish at the rim, he attacked from the corner and went down in pain, grabbing his left leg. He slowly walked to the locker room and frustrated in the tunnel. Not sure if the hurt knee resulted in the groin injury, but that’s the way things can work sometimes. The Lakers aren’t going anywhere without AD. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-9 shooting (0-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 19 minutes. He was a -8.

Schröder -- -- Bad time for Schroders to have a dud. Man, that could have cut it to 5 in the fourth was the dagger sequence. Just wasn’t going for Dennis today. If we play him more with Gasol in the next one, hopefully, he can get back to drawing fouls and getting layups. No freethrows in this game for Dennis. That hurt bigtime. I’m not sure what Vogel is thinking when we have stretches where LBJ is sitting and so is Dennis. It happened a couple times in this one. We sat him during a three-player swap in the first quarter, then brought him back in for Wes at the end of the first to help run the offense. We had another rotation with both out in the fourth. He’d score 5 points on 2-7 shooting in the first half, making a three and a short floater. He tried to pick up the defensive intensity in that third quarter, but the team as a whole did not. He’d hit another three for his other bucket. That layup miss and maybe five more makes from the FT line could have changed the outcome. Got to bring it, Dennis. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-13 shooting (2-6 from three) to go with 4 boards, 3 assists, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a -8.

Drummond -- -- No offensive boards in this game. We missed those extra possessions. He’s really got to step it up in the next one. We definitely need more guard penetration. We had Schröder set him up once for a dunk. Kuz on a set play hit him for a lob. Let’s see if LeBron switches gears more in the next one and uses Drummond more on screens to try to collapse the D and open up shooters. It’s not a great play option for the Lakers, though, as we aren’t efficient on those sequences. Maybe that changes, though, with LeBron looking a little better. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-3 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 19 minutes. He was a -9.

Matthews -- -- With KCP out with that injury, Vogel slid Wes into the starting lineup. He hit his first attempt from three to start a game, so we instantly got some three shooting early on. He’d hit another one from the corner in the first half. We had some good moments defensively early on. Booker got going later when we gave him an open three as AC made a bad decision. Hopefully, KCP can get back with the extra time off. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-5 shooting to go with 2 boards, 1 assist and 3 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a -15.

Harrell -- -- Down a big and down big, he got the start in the fourth quarter. We sat him not too long later for Gasol. Drummond wasn’t playing a great game and we didn’t see him in that fourth as Vogel went to his bench bigs. The Stats: He didn’t shoot and had 2 boards and no fouls in 5 minutes. He was a +2.

Gasol -- -- Good stretch of two-way ball in the first quarter when LeBron sat. It was a 5:30 stretch without LeBron and the Lakers were only a -1. Gasol got a couple stops in the paint, hit a three and tipped in a missed Kuzma drive at the first quarter buzzer. When we went to the non-LeBron minutes in the second quarter, we didn’t use Gasol and that unit coughed up the lead as AD was pushed to the perimeter more, which played into how passive he was going anyway. I believe the play we brought Gasol back in for that second quarter he set a pin-in flare screen to free up AC in the corner on the weakside for a three. Small things like that, make a big difference. In the fourth, he cut the lead to 11 with a three with 5:36 left. He’d hit LeBron on a high-low sequence to cut it to 10. He’d cut it to 8 with a big corner three. Then a very rare turnover. Down 7, he was hesitating on a swing pass to an open man and the pass was stolen. Had he got that to him and he hit the three, we’re down just 4. That hurt the comeback attempt. Defensively, the toughest plays for him are when CP3 snakes off the high screens. He just can’t close on those when CP3 pulls the ball out to the midrange. If we play Gasol more in the next one, those are the plays to watch. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-6 shooting (3-5 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 8 boards (4 offensive), 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 1 turnover and 2 foul sin 23 minutes. He was a +1.

Kuzma -- -- He had 5 points on 2-5 shooting and 2 assists in the first half, sinking a three and scoring on iso over a big. We ran an ATO for him to attack off a high screen and lob to Drummond. Nice play. With AD out in the second half, he got the start. He’s going to have to switch gears going forward like he does when AD doesn’t play, but it may take some warming up. He found out 30 seconds before the second half that AD couldn't go. Fill that void is asking a lot, but guys have to step up. We got him the ball a bit to get some touches in that second half. He’d attack for a couple layups and some FTs. Hopefully, that helps him get off to a better start in the next game. Hoping that shot starts to fall. He’s looking a little more comfortable. "We have to play in space, play with pace, get downhill and just get the ball popping. We'll be alright," Kuzma said. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-11 shooting (1-5 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a -13.

Caruso -- -- He tried to be aggressive in the second half to help, but it resulted in a few turnovers and misses. We missed KCP’s energy on Booker. But AC didn’t give his usual impact until that fourth. Then we saw him with a block on Booker and some more disruption. Scoring wise, he’d hit a three off a pin-in screen and kickout. He’d hit a three out of a timeout off a Spain sequence late in the fourth. Second time he’s done that. He’d score on another drive. He needs to go into superhero mode defensively in the next one. We just need him to find a balance on his aggressiveness offensively. Not try to over do it like he did in that third with the turnovers. Play smart, aggressive enough on O and get after it on the other end. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 3-8 shooting (2-6 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 turnovers and 3 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +8.

Morris -- -- Back up PF with AD out in the second half. He was aggressive and drew FTs on a couple of drives. That’s kind of what we missed from AD. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 0-2 shooting (3-4 from th eline) to go with 1 board in 8 minutes. He was a -2.

McLemore -- -- With KCP out, there are more open minutes for the next man up. McLemore saw a chunk of time. He sank his first three on a great feed from LeBron. He’d then sink a tougher twisting one. Decent minutes. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-3 shooting from three to go with 2 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a -2.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Late in the first half, AD trying to get to the rim for only his second shot from close range. He went down with the injury. Vogel has his work cut out for him. They are going to have claw, scratch and fight for everything.

Key Substitution: Kuz for AD to start the second half. Just not what you ever wanted to see. Great job by Gasol in that fourth off the bench, but no AD out there is tough to deal with in a playoff series.

Key Stats: That AD-less third quarter. The team scored 15 points. Went 0-7 from three. Shot just 19% for the quarter. And had 6 turnovers. Game was lost right there.

Coach’s Challenge: A Crowder three where he kicked out and it was called on Kuz early in the second half. That was not successful.


Last edited by DancingBarry on Sun May 30, 2021 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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angrypuppy
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 2:46 pm    Post subject:

First. Thanks DB.
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angrypuppy
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 2:55 pm    Post subject:

It's not looking good, to say the least. I didn't see anything definitive on AD's groin injury, but perhaps he was moving awkwardly to compensate for that sprained knee. Either way, the groin injury may have a greater impact on this series than that knee sprain as those long groin muscle fibers take time to heal.
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Klone_dd
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 3:53 pm    Post subject:

AD looked sluggish from the start. 1/3 of his shots from 3. But really the whole team was sleepwalking and settling. 40 of 81 shots from 3.

Something about these early games.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 3:54 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB

Tough pill to swallow. Been one of those years where team just has not caught many breaks. To add to that, as I posted before the play-in, the teams habit of coughing up the ball with multiple unforced turnovers sermingly almost every game has not gone away. Heck, who knows what that score is today when down by 7 if kuz had not dribbled the ball off his foot to the suns, or we had a lazy pass tossed out of bounds? Etc etc

Im going to assume AD will not be available game 5 and likely for a bit thereafter. That makes things more difficult but not impossible. After ADs injury earlier in the year Vog had figured out how to play LBJ and DS and they were as I recall 7-2 when they played (before DS first covid protocol absence). This will require DS being more aggressive. Dre will also need to play more disciplined.

Many will write this team off now. I think LBJ and DS can carry as long as vog spaces their minutes such that at least 1 always on the floor.

Bracing myself for the worst with this frustrating loss and injury, but hoping for the best.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 6:07 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Great write up.

Injuries are going to force Vogel to make some changes. He needs to start Morris at the 4 and Gasol at the 5 to give Lebron room to get into the paint.

Lakers need more energy. Vogel needs to work Trez into the game somehow.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 7:15 pm    Post subject:

I am feeling this will be the beginning of the end for this team without a healthy Davis.

If that is the case, this team needs some serious rebuilding. Need to get a guy or two that can actually hit a shot.

Kuz, KCP, Kieff, Matthews, Caruso, Schroder, etc - all really suck at shooting the basketball from distance…

I don’t want to see all these guys back. Need some real shooters
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dont_be_a_wuss
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 8:08 pm    Post subject:

God that was such a huge freaking loss. I honestly don’t see how a team can come back from a loss like that. Anthony Davis going down made the game 10x more important. We win this game and AD gets to rest for a week while LeBron finishes them off. Now Phoenix has some momentum, Paul is healing up, they don’t fear the Lakers, Davis is out* and they’re going home for game 5 where they will have a loud home crowd. It’s too much for this team to overcome.

And TWENTY 3-point attempts in the first half? Why does this team always start launching threes when they finally get a little momentum going. We were up 37-27 and then they started launching threes.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 8:11 pm    Post subject:

This game was lost in Game 3 when they decided to get cute and careless with the ball and give the Suns life. Instead of going for the jugular, theyre out there being friendly and playing football pre-game like this is Summer League. KB has his arms folded with a look of disdain on his face at these dudes. Pathetic. Not my Lakers. They don't deserve to advance right now
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J.C. Smith
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 9:27 pm    Post subject:

angrypuppy wrote:
It's not looking good, to say the least. I didn't see anything definitive on AD's groin injury, but perhaps he was moving awkwardly to compensate for that sprained knee. Either way, the groin injury may have a greater impact on this series than that knee sprain as those long groin muscle fibers take time to heal.


That groin has been bothering him since shortly after he came back. He had back to back games where he held it before the playoffs began. I think he's been nursing it for a while and reaggravated it, possibly compensating for his knee.
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deal
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 9:55 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. lakers aren’t going anywhere playing hot & cold...
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 1:02 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

"When we went to the non-LeBron minutes in the second quarter, we didn’t use Gasol and that unit coughed up the lead as AD was pushed to the perimeter more, which played into how passive he was going anyway."

Completely agree with this, I have the feeling we should be playing Gasol whenever Lebron sits.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 1:16 am    Post subject:

2nd leading scorer behind Bron. Marc Gasol.
Nuff said
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 4:57 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB.

Cursed season from the start. I hate injuries.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 6:01 am    Post subject:

We fell inlove with the 3. Totally fell for the Suns adjustments. They were packing it in, and we just took the first open 3. Very lazy offense in that 1st half. I hope we watch the video on that today and see how we can be more patient and make Suns rotate a little, then open up the paint again for an attack. We took so many early 3s yesterday it was crazy. That is what teams want us doing, taking the early open 3s as if we are the Nets or Warriors.

Liked the way we closed the game, with spacing and Bron running the offense and much more patience in our offense. If AD does not play game 5, that is the formula.

We need to get Gasol, Kieff and Caruso out there, as they will not TO the ball as much, and make solid plays and be patient. If KCP is available, that is huge, as we saw he is the best Booker defender on the team.

I hope we rest AD game 5 to make him as aggressive and physically dominant as he could be (realistically) for game 6, which will be an elimination game for one of the teams.

A lot of doom and gloom. but the series is still 2-2. Suns are probably favored t win game 5, but I like our defensive effort and ability to make games close all season even though we are under manned.

Like I was saying, with Dennis. Once the teams begin to collapse on his drives, his impact is gone. That was my worry. He completely got phased out once the teams begin to help on him. We need to set him screens, so he can get some mismatches going and use more patience. In general, I would run the offense though Bron now. The season is on the line in many ways, and I would trust Bron and then Gasol a lot.

Drummond, unless playing very well, should not play more than the first 6 min of each half. Rest of the half, needs to be Gasol, save for maybe a 3 min run for Trez. I would give Trez a 3 min run to maybe spark something with AD out.
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 6:54 am    Post subject:

AD was most likely favoring his left knee. If so that could be the reason he strained his groin. I don't think he'll be back in this round. It's next for man up.

Kuz has to start taking the wide open shots he's been passing up. You can't missum if you don't takeum.

KCP has to come back to give us a chance to get out of the first round.

Max has to do what he was brought here to do, make 3 pointers.

Drum has to play big in the post.

Trez has to be Trez, beast under the rim.

Marc can be Marc.

If all these things happen we can get out of the first round. Without AD how much further we'll go is subjective
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 8:49 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB.
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 10:02 am    Post subject:

Just as the Clippers saw a game that will show their character, Lakers are facing a similar challenge

If DS wants to show that he is an elite PG, he will be doing his “Playoff Rondo” impression on defense and offense

If Drummond wants to show that he can be an elite 5 for a serious playoff contending team, he will do his impression of Dennis Rodman and get 15+ boards

If Kuz wants to show that he has the ability to be a dependable offensive threat, he will get 15 to 20 points in Game 5 - interesting that he couldn’t get that at home with our fans urging him on

If Harrell wants to be an invaluable asset to teams only interested in winning rings, he should be able to neutralize and capitalize on his opportunities playing opposite Crowder and out hustling Ayton

Monte and CP3 are (properly) disrespecting the players mentioned above because they have not shown the consistent ability to produce

How will the above-listed players react?

Which players will Vogel trust?
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 1:38 pm    Post subject:

A Mad Chinaman wrote:

Quote:
Just as the Clippers saw a game that will show their character, Lakers are facing a similar challenge


I'm thinking the Curse of Donald Sterling will rear its beautiful head and the Sail Boat Boys will go down.
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