LAKERS -at- SUNS - 10/6 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:22 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- SUNS - 10/6 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Waiting for Russ and LBJ... “I wish they were further along than they were tonight. A little disappointed in that,” Vogel said of his team after the 117-105 loss to the Suns.

With all the roster turnover, getting guys on the same page is going to be a process. Once again, we sat our two primary playmakers in LeBron and Westbrook. The Suns sat Booker, and off we went.

The offense clunked along, making things up along the way. Defensive rotations were missed. Small Laker lineups were exposed. There was little cohesiveness and continuity, but we can see some intention on getting three shooters open offensively. Certain players are also taking advantage of transition opportunities. Defensively, we were switching at times in the paint with our bigs, but have continually looked and played small.

Hopefully, we see a glimpse of the full lineups soon.


Davis -- -- “I liked that he wanted to play a little bit in the third quarter,” Vogel said. Time for his other superstars to join him to put more pressure on the rim. We started him at the C spot tonight, which is what you would like to see against Ayton, pulling him from the paint. AD’s shot is still warming up. He banked in his only make from three. He also missed half his FT attempts. I’m not worried about AD getting bumps and bruises from matching up with Cs. I’m more worried about the plays where he’s on the move at high speed and getting bumped or knocked off balance. Defensively, we need more size out there than these super small lineups. But if/when we do go super small, guys really have to do a better job helping AD out on the defensive glass. We’re doing a lot of late/deep switching in the paint. After a few plays seeing that, CP3 started to pick it apart by getting the ball over our bigs and help defenders. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 5-14 shooting (1-3 from three, 3-6 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and no fouls in 25 minutes. He was a -10.

Anthony -- -- Defending Crowder as a starter. That’s the perfect kind of match up for him. Crowder is going to just setup behind the line. Melo can manage that and avoid being picked on to some extent. Offensively, we started the game making him the trigger man on the pass to hit AD for a layup. Once his lone assist was accomplished, the shot was going up. I like seeing him with a mismatch in the post. It’s usually very efficient in those situations. We should see more of that when he and Westbrook are on the floor together and force switches. When we don’t set up the mismatch there were some ugly forces at times. We’re still playing small out there. When he wasn’t in the game, Vogel was forced to running guards at the PF spot. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-10 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a -4.

Horton-Tucker -- -- He went 2-4 from three, sinking a pull-up three off the dribble on one. The other was a jab-step three on iso. Love to see it. If he can keep that up and fix the team D issues that are holding him back from behind a plus defender, we will need it by the playoffs. In the first game, he had some issues not passing and finding open men. In this one, he was very sloppy trying to find guys and led the team with 5 turnovers. He threw a lob away, threw a pass into his big’s feet and nearly turned the ball over on one play, but went to the floor to recover and then from the ground found DJ for a dunk. He had a couple finishes in the paint, one a reverse, the other a nice drive splitting defenders and finishing high over the helping big. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 3-7 shooting (2-4 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a -1.

Nunn -- -- The three ball was off the mark, but he hit a couple midrange shots. He also got to the rim for a couple of layups (including a nice one off a change pace and direction). His two assists weren’t in the halfcourt, but in transition (found Bazemore on both). I’m looking forward to seeing our half court playmakers out there and opening up the offense. Nunn can playmake a little, but not like a PG. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 5-12 shooting (1-5 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 27 minutes. He was a -15.

Ellington -- -- Just want to see him around our primary playmakers. We’re definitely seeing some intentional screens from the top of the arc for our shooters in early offense. I mentioned that with Ellington last game and we saw some similar actions for Monk and Bazemore today. Ellington’s one make from three was in transition from the left corner, wide open. His other make was a pull-up from the elbow off the probe, which showed that he’s not just a catch-and-shoot guy, but can also counter the closeouts and get into space off the dribble if the play requires it. Defensively, like Monk, we really have to be careful about having multiple poor defenders on the floor at once. You need guys that are going to erase mistakes. Other poor defenders just amplify the problems. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-5 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 6 boards, 1 assist and 2 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -11.

Monk -- -- The offense was great, but defensively, man, so many mistakes and a general lack of situational awareness. It’s early, so he certainly can/will improve, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before from him, either. Should we be optimistic? He’s young, he’s got vets. We’ll see. Rondo was on him for another missed box out that allowed his man to regain a possession. The vets are going to be on top of him. He was a -19 in his 22 minutes. Some of the lineups were awful, but he had guys pointing at him for miscues even in those crap lineups. Offensively, he sank 3-4 from three in the first half. He’d make 1-3 in the second half. We don’t even have our good playmakers out there collapsing the D. A couple of nice drives in this one coming off the screens and getting the big men off balance. He gets that hesi or rock back dribble going where a big thinks he’s going to pull up from the midrange and once they start to commit to a challenge, he’s got them in trouble for the drive. We saw some of the poor decision making he’s prone to have in that half with some bad passes. He finished with a bench-high 4 turnovers. He found DJ with a bounce pass for a score and AD for a lob, both off the two-man action. He also hit Brown trailing for a three for his other assist. Plenty to like about his scoring, but he’s got to really focus on the other end of the floor. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 7-11 shooting (4-7 from three) to go with 1 board, 3 assists, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a -19.

Bazemore -- -- Again, with LBJ/Ariza out we went small, so Bazemore got some PF minutes. With Ariza out now for extended time, we probably see Baze playing SF primarily once the season gets here. I blame a good chunk of that team-low -21 on that small ball, Baze at PF stuff. You saw that hurt us early in the second quarter. Can’t blame Baze too much but we gave up three offensive boards on one stand with the super small ball. He also got shoved badly on one with no call on one and was ticked. We’re asking for trouble with those lineups, but also really need a lot more help from our guards cracking back. It’s been a mess regardless in both games. I would be interested to seeing how our rebounding fares in these small units when Russ is the PG. Not much going on offensively in this one. He did a good job changing ends for some easy transition scores with Nunn in the second half. I’d say he needs to watch the help/gambling types of plays, but when he came up empty it seemed like his man missed some open looks. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-4 shooting (0-2 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a -21.

Jordan -- -- If the opponent doesn’t have a floor spacing big, DJ in drop coverage has looked reasonable defensively. He’s also done a pretty good job on the defensive glass, despite our issues. Some setups by our guards tonight. Monk found him for a layup, THT hit him for a dunk, Reaves attacked and shoveled one to him for another finish. I’m picturing DJ with Russ causing problems for the D. The more penetration/plalymaking we have, the more we activate our big man finishers. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-3 shooting to go with 7 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a -9.

Rondo -- -- He scooped in a layup on an attack on his first touch. In the second half, he got his second bucket after spinning away form the pressure and arriving for a layup. He led the team with 5 assists and helps us get into playing with some pace. With this team if we can get the opponent on their heels in early offense, there are enough shooters that we can make teams pay with the three ball. Rondo found Monk for one of those tonight. Leadership-wise, he was in Monk and Reaves ears on some plays (Reaves he wanted a slip screen off a pin-in; Monk is was to box his damn man out). The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-2 shooting to go with 1 board, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 18 minutes. He was a -15.

Reaves -- -- Point forward role for Reaves. I really like guys fringe NBA prospects who play with a feel for the game. They can carve out a role for themselves. The game does not look like it’s speeding him up. Maybe it is, but he’s playing with poise, reading the floor, handling and making decisions. Scoring-wise tonight, he was able to get to the line (5-5) with some frequency (ballsy layup against McGee earning a couple FTs). He hit a three off a handoff and scored an And-1 in the middle of the paint off the dribble. He also set up his bigs. A baseline drive where he shoveled a pass to DJ for one and a nice opposite corner read to hit Oliver for a three. Defensively, he was still disruptive with a couple of steals. He did have one stunt from wing to nail that cost him a three, but we seem to be doing that aggressively as a team in these first two games. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 2-6 shooting (1-4 from three, 5-5 from the line) to go with 1 board, 3 assists, 2 steal and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a +2.

Brown -- -- He’s balling in his minutes. It was garbage time, but he was a +19 in 8 minutes. He sank a three, drove for a layup, had a putback and attacked off the line to earn FTs. Really hoping he gets that other two-way, or with Ariza out, maybe that last roster spot. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-3 shooting (1-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist and 2 fouls in 8 minutes. He was a +19.

Ayayi -- -- He may have gotten the message to be a little more aggressive, but went 0-5. He did help force the Suns into a couple of turnovers. So a slight pulse more than usual. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-5 shooting (0-2 from three) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a +11.

Oliver -- -- He played a little PF and C tonight in the final quarter. He sank a corner three when Reaves found him. Missed another three. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-2 shooting from three to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and no fouls in 6 minutes. He was a +13.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Suns got separation when we went super small to start the second quarter and gave up second chances. Nothing I’m worried about considering all the resting we are doing right now of key rebounders.

Key Substitution: The starters were AD, Melo, THT, Ellington, Nunn. Very likely that’s one of our second units. Later in the second quarter, we ran a trio of Melo, Ellington and Monk on the floor all at once. The defense was about as awful as you’d expect. That felt like one of those lineups to purposely tank on defense so you can get on guys. In the second half we started an AD, Bazemore, Ellington, Nunn, Rondo lineup. A lot of minutes at the PF for Baze in this game and our defensive glass felt it.

Key Stats: The Lakers were outrebounded 12-4 on the offensive glass. No Lakers had more than 1 offensive board.


Last edited by DancingBarry on Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:41 pm    Post subject:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:22 am    Post subject:

Hard to evaluate this team without at least Lebron or Westbrook (nevermind both) being in the game. We all know the engine of this team will be LBJ or Westbrook.

Like some of the action we are already seeing with Melo and Monk. Shows that talent is talent. We did not have those weapons last year. Melo is in Kuz role, only he can take advantage of those situations in a way Kuz consistently could not. Monk is just a smooth shooter and scorer, you can tell as soon as he catches the ball that he can make something happen. We have never really had this kind of scoring threat off the bench. He is like Lou Williams in that way, if you know what I mean. Just a big threat to score, but you will not get much defense from him. Melo, as we saw, he is not only a smooth catch and shoot 3 ball threat, he can post up and slow the game down and iso on a mismatch. This is something we wanted Kuz to be able to do (create on mismatches) but he never really consistently was able to.

Frank has a few options. He could sacrifice defense and give Monk/Melo run around AD/Westbrook/Bron. That is probably one of the most potent offenses in the NBA. It would allow Frank to focus on defense. However not sure that is what he will do. I think he has to evaluate the 2 bigs lineup with Westbrook/Bron. The reason why I encourage playing suspect defenders around the big 3 is that you're likely to have more defensive support with them, than vs the 2nd unit. The 2nd unit has less talent and defense.

Can't judge this team without Bron, and definitely can not judge this team without Bron and Westbrook. Definitely did not look good as a whole, but these lineups are not going to be the same when Bron/Westbrook are playing. We're going to have a much shorter, tighter rotation and more talent to set up AD.

AD is still working his game rhythm in. You can tell, some of these guys are not conditioned yet to play a full game.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:08 am    Post subject:

Just based on individual assessments on 2 games. I think the lineup most ready to win games and start right now (today if season began) would be

Dwight, AD, Bron, Ellington, Westbrook.

There's a physicality Dwight brings, and the way he can move his feet on D and boards, it's just very effective. Can finish inside as well on offense, sets good screens. Ellington is the most potent catch and shoot 3 point guy with some defensive ability. Monk is the most talented and capable, but his defense is not there. When Dwight takes rest or gets into foul trouble, you use DeAndre.

On the 2nd unit, I think we probably have to go with AD as our main 5, and slide some quality shooters like Melo, Baze, Monk around him and 1 elite star guard (Bron/Westbrook or sometimes Rondo).

Basically in the RS, game plan could be Dwight/AD/Bron/Ellington/Westbrook as 1st unit, 2nd unit be AD/Melo/Baze/Monk/Westbrook OR Lebron. That's how you manage the AD minutes (36 or so). The 12 minutes you don't have AD, you could probably go with lineups that have Westbrook/Lebron. The beauty of this team is that you can have 2 stars in the game at all times. Just like how over the last 2 years Vogel has had a lot of success building his lineups around having 1 star out there at all times, he can now build that same model around having 2 stars out there at all times.

So those 12 minutes AD doesn't play, Vogel needs to find the right mix for Westbrook/James. The only time we shouldn't have at least 2 stars out there is when it's a blow out, or a game of not much importance or garbage time.

That's why, hard for me to evaluate this team without Bron/Westbrook.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:18 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Good to see your T&R on each of these players. Monk is still fairly young; I like to think a season under Vogel, with vets like Rondo/LBJ/WB in hie ear will help him improve his court awareness, instill some knowledge of team defense basics, and help him with technique on the defensive end. I'm not expecting him to be a good defender, but if he can at least become adequate by late season that would help with lineups.

I like seeing that some of our fringe players, Reaves, Brown in particular, are showing up at these games. If Ariza has to sit out games late season, maybe there's hope one of them can become a passable role player by that time.

Wolf - I like your lineup breakdown for regular season, considering who's likely to get playing time this season barring surprises. We have scorers. We might still have defensive issues but a little physicality, a couple more players over 6'4", and 2 more superstars in the mix than we had so far would go a long ways.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:35 am    Post subject:

not too worry about result of the game but

is Melo lights out/looking lights out as advertised?

do THT have an avg 3pt shot now?

do Baze/Nunn/Monk look like they can replace KCP/AC defense?

AD did look disinterested tho but healthy looking
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:04 am    Post subject:

One of the things I’ve taken from the first 2 preseason games is Vogel better have a counter to his twin tower look and be flexible enough to change defensive strategy.

Dwight is good for 15 min max and DJ is going to hurt the team anytime he is on the court…so Vogel better find a way because Pelinka got him his twin tower base again…his job is on the line this season.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:41 am    Post subject:

LakerSD wrote:
One of the things I’ve taken from the first 2 preseason games is Vogel better have a counter to his twin tower look and be flexible enough to change defensive strategy.

Dwight is good for 15 min max and DJ is going to hurt the team anytime he is on the court…so Vogel better find a way because Pelinka got him his twin tower base again…his job is on the line this season.

Defense is one of the strengths of Vogel, even last year WITHOUT the twin tower model, the Lakers were the #1 rated team on D. That's with Trez playing a lot, and Gasol (not a big shotblocking threat) as well as ADs injuries (and pretty average defensive season for his standards).

I personally think the defense being touted for the twin tower model is baloney. It may be big on the surface, but in reality, the best lineups for D are when your bigs can rim protect AND go out on the perimeter and you have the option to switch on man D. That is what we get with AD at the 5, and Vogel knows this.

What I think is the main reason for a preference to have an additional big guy out there for 15 minutes a game is that it gives us the look of more intimidation. Teams do not start games attacking the rim, in fact they shoot 3s on us. They play perimeter on us hoping that our lack of speed will do us in on defensive switches. On offense, again, it seems it gives us some physical screen setting and some rebounds inside that we do not get when AD is at the 5 (and a smaller 4 than AD). It allows us to play more bully ball on teams, and beat teams up a bit. Then, when AD moves to 5, we space the floor out and speed up the offense a lot. Teams within a game have to adjust.

I think too much is made about this, because even in the Suns series until AD was healthy, we were up 2-1. The Lakers did not lose that series (or any series that I know of in the AD era) because AD started at 4. IIRC AD had minutes at the 5 in the Suns series.

I think the Lakers gain a physical and competitive advantage if they have TWO starting level lineups. One with AD at the 5. One with AD at the 4 with a physical big like Dwight at the 5. Those were our 2 main go to lineups in the playoffs that won a ring. Even with Drummond, he was quite good at getting rebounds. He just doesn't bring the physicality that Dwight does. What you want with the Lakers is to have that identity of a team that will play smash mouth basketball like Vogel likes. That was lost last year. When you bring in guys like Dwight, maybe DAJ will do this too, suddenly teams do not think you're soft. When your Centers are shooting 3s all game long and not rim protecting physically (GAsol) you give the impression you are soft. With Gasol/Trez combo, we were both soft, and lacking that physicality that Vogel teams tend to possess. I want to see that return. It is an asset or tool to have, to throw at teams.

I mean having that physical inside game on both ends PLUS having AD at the 5 with floor spacing/speed is not mutually exclusive. All our titles with Kobe/Gasol came with the similar (that era) set up. Bynum/Gasol brought the physicality. Twin tower model. Gasol/Odom brought the perimeter game, defensive speed (that was appropriate for that era). I think we have that same set up in LA right now with regards to having AD at the 5 sometimes, and them at the 4 other times. I think Bron can play the "Odom" role if you know what I mean, and Dwight can play the "Bynum" role. Totally different ways and level of players (Bron is a GOAT candidate) but the premise is the same, IMO. Two different set ups for Gasol, and the same here for AD. Only AD is even more dominant in the playoffs than Gasol was (Based on the 3 games he played in Suns series, and the playoffs last year).
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 11:36 am    Post subject:

[quote="wolfpaclaker"]
Quote:
What I think is the main reason for a preference to have an additional big guy out there for 15 minutes a game is that it gives us the look of more intimidation. Teams do not start games attacking the rim, in fact they shoot 3s on us. They play perimeter on us hoping that our lack of speed will do us in on defensive switches. On offense, again, it seems it gives us some physical screen setting and some rebounds inside that we do not get when AD is at the 5 (and a smaller 4 than AD). It allows us to play more bully ball on teams, and beat teams up a bit. Then, when AD moves to 5, we space the floor out and speed up the offense a lot. Teams within a game have to adjust.


This could be the it, Wolf.

At the end of the day, I personally see DJ out of the rotation by DEC/JAN.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:41 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
LakerSD wrote:
One of the things I’ve taken from the first 2 preseason games is Vogel better have a counter to his twin tower look and be flexible enough to change defensive strategy.

Dwight is good for 15 min max and DJ is going to hurt the team anytime he is on the court…so Vogel better find a way because Pelinka got him his twin tower base again…his job is on the line this season.
Defense is one of the strengths of Vogel, even last year WITHOUT the twin tower model, the Lakers were the #1 rated team on D. That's with Trez playing a lot, and Gasol (not a big shotblocking threat) as well as ADs injuries (and pretty average defensive season for his standards).

I personally think the defense being touted for the twin tower model is baloney. It may be big on the surface, but in reality, the best lineups for D are when your bigs can rim protect AND go out on the perimeter and you have the option to switch on man D. That is what we get with AD at the 5, and Vogel knows this.

What I think is the main reason for a preference to have an additional big guy out there for 15 minutes a game is that it gives us the look of more intimidation. Teams do not start games attacking the rim, in fact they shoot 3s on us. They play perimeter on us hoping that our lack of speed will do us in on defensive switches. On offense, again, it seems it gives us some physical screen setting and some rebounds inside that we do not get when AD is at the 5 (and a smaller 4 than AD). It allows us to play more bully ball on teams, and beat teams up a bit. Then, when AD moves to 5, we space the floor out and speed up the offense a lot. Teams within a game have to adjust.

I think too much is made about this, because even in the Suns series until AD was healthy, we were up 2-1. The Lakers did not lose that series (or any series that I know of in the AD era) because AD started at 4. IIRC AD had minutes at the 5 in the Suns series.

I think the Lakers gain a physical and competitive advantage if they have TWO starting level lineups. One with AD at the 5. One with AD at the 4 with a physical big like Dwight at the 5. Those were our 2 main go to lineups in the playoffs that won a ring. Even with Drummond, he was quite good at getting rebounds. He just doesn't bring the physicality that Dwight does. What you want with the Lakers is to have that identity of a team that will play smash mouth basketball like Vogel likes. That was lost last year. When you bring in guys like Dwight, maybe DAJ will do this too, suddenly teams do not think you're soft. When your Centers are shooting 3s all game long and not rim protecting physically (GAsol) you give the impression you are soft. With Gasol/Trez combo, we were both soft, and lacking that physicality that Vogel teams tend to possess. I want to see that return. It is an asset or tool to have, to throw at teams.

I mean having that physical inside game on both ends PLUS having AD at the 5 with floor spacing/speed is not mutually exclusive. All our titles with Kobe/Gasol came with the similar (that era) set up. Bynum/Gasol brought the physicality. Twin tower model. Gasol/Odom brought the perimeter game, defensive speed (that was appropriate for that era). I think we have that same set up in LA right now with regards to having AD at the 5 sometimes, and them at the 4 other times. I think Bron can play the "Odom" role if you know what I mean, and Dwight can play the "Bynum" role. Totally different ways and level of players (Bron is a GOAT candidate) but the premise is the same, IMO. Two different set ups for Gasol, and the same here for AD. Only AD is even more dominant in the playoffs than Gasol was (Based on the 3 games he played in Suns series, and the playoffs last year).
You aren exactly right and "On Point."

DJ allows Vogel to maintain a physical presence at the rim if Dwight or AD get into foul trouble.

One can selectively switched to limit exposing Dwight/DJ on the perimeter in Vogel's defensive schemes

Having Dwight/AD/DJ will allow our permiter defenders be more aggressive and eliminate when our opponents beat THT/Nunn/Monk/Basemore/Ellington on their respective coverages

Lakers strategy is to wear down our opponents' shooters resulting in their shots falling short at the end of games
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:05 pm    Post subject:

Out late tonight, I'll have the Warriors write up tomorrow.
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