ROCKETS -at- LAKERS - 10/31 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:36 pm    Post subject: ROCKETS -at- LAKERS - 10/31 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Signs of Life on D... The Lakers defense this season has looked more like some of the zombies trick or treating tonight. It’s only the Rockets, but they saw signs of life tonight.

The Lakers went small, bringing DJ off the bench and the Lakers led 27-15 after the first quarter. Sliding Bradley into the starting lineup, the Laker contained the Rockets early. As the half went along, they kept the Rockets to 30% shooting and took a 54-35 lead at the half.

The Rockets cut the lead down to 14 after a couple of minutes into the third and with some of the poor third quarters we’ve had, Vogel called a timeout.

The Lakers rallied out of that and extended the lead back up (led as much as 28 points in this one).

Burt did you think there would be no Halloween scare for the Lakers tonight?

In the fourth quarter as the intensity began to fade, the Lakers gave up a 15-0 run midway through the quarter and the Rockets were within striking distance.

After a few timeouts, they picked back up the scoring (Westbrook with a couple of nice drives) and kept the Rockets on their hip the rest of the way. Melo once again led the team in scoring off the bench, but showed some signs of life himself on defense with 4 blocks and 2 steals.

The Lakers held the Rockets to just 54 points after three quarters (24 Rocket turnovers after three quarters) before taking the 95-85 win.


LeBron -- -- He had a sensational run down of an outlet and then he reverse jammed with both hands. Just showing that athleticism is still very much there. There was a play at the end of the half that we’re seeing a lot more of that really isn’t great for the NBA product. The refs have been trying to call continuation much tighter and took away a highlight reel play from LeBron as he was grabbed, didn’t dribble but threw it up and in over his head for what should have been an And-1. Those are the kind of highlight plays the game is losing a little tot much of with how we call continuation now (a bad call even with the way they call it...but previous years there would have been no question). LeBron was settling for some threes late in the game and that helped allow the Rockets get back into it. Defensively, it looked like he really wanted to lock in on this one and it showed with 4 steals. He got down lower in the crouch which showed how engaged he was. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 8-19 shooting (0-6 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 8 assists, 4 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers and no fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +7.

Davis -- -- Quiet first half and he was a little bit turnover prone with 3 of the Lakers 7 turnovers. He struggled a bit with his post game, missing easy jumphooks and short ones around the rim. That would later result in an overpass and one of those turnovers instead of taking the jumphook. Not a great night. He got popped in the face late in the game while the Rockets were on a run and pulled himself out of the game briefly. Not thrilled about the intensity there or in this game in general. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 7-17 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 13 boards (6 offensive), 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a +6.

Westbrook -- -- He led the team with a +17 in the first half, which says something about our non-LeBron minutes tonight. We were able to hold down the fort and extend leads. The shot selection in that half was pretty good. He did hit the side of the board on a chuck trying to hit a bank. But he also knocked down a couple of corner three on catch and shoot opportunities. Much prefer the catch and shoot over the early offense pull-ups. He had 12 points on 5-10 shooting in the half. Late in the game when the team’s effort and focus fell off, Russ stepped up his intensity a bit on offense to get to the rim for some key scores. This is one of the things we hoped he’d bring -- intensity. Because it wasn’t there in the fourth from LeBron and AD. But Russ kept the foot on the gas. He led the team with the +25. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 9-22 shooting (2=4 from three, 0-1 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 9 assists, 1 steals, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +25.

Bazemore -- -- He talked himself out of a dunk on a the break after making a great steal on man D on the perimeter and didn’t go full throttle on the attack. As a result, he completely choked the reverse layup with the D closing. Filling out that KCP roll with one of those occasional head scratchers we would see once a month from Kenny. Overall, though, three steels and he sank a couple of early threes as well as a pull-up midrange off a screen. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-7 shooting (2-3 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a +4.

Bradley -- -- In AB’s previous stint here with the Lakers, Vogel praised Bradley for setting the tone on D. The Rockets aren’t a good team, but we definitely set the tone early in this one. Such good defense at times. There was a play where he recovered over the top of the screen to deny the drive, used his hand to reach in the process to slow the man down, knocked the ball loose and ignited a break. The offensive player should have the advantage there, but he quickly turned the tables. We saw a lot more recovering over the top of screens in this one instead of getting stuck and in trouble. Not a good offensive outing, but it didn’t matter. Hold teams to 85 and it’s all good. From last-second waiver pick up to starting lineup. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-5 shooting (0-4 from three) to go with 3 boards, 3 asteals, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a -5.

Jordan -- -- He moved into the backup C role with Dwight not playing in this one. He got a couple of blocks in the first minute of his shift to close the first quarter. Several lob dunks tonight, including a couple reverse ones. We call his number on some set sequences and usually good things result. He’s just too big if he’s got space at the rim. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-4 shooting to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks and 4 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a +3.

Anthony -- -- Some great D tonight, but let’s start on the O first. Collapse off him and pay the price. He picked up where he left off in the last one, sinking a couple threes on his first two touches. He’d knock down 3-4 from three in the first quarter. He’d finish the half as the game’s leading scorer with 14 points on 5-9 showing (4-6 from three). He’s got that quick trigger that if you can just get him the ball set up on those wings, it looks automatic at Staples right now. Billy Mac is getting a bit too excited every time it touches Melo’s hands, but he has reason to. Defensively, some good rotations in the first half, a couple of strips/blocks and a couple of traps to force ball handlers on their heels. He was a +12. In the second half, he had one play on that end where he was mismatched against a big but strip-blocked him and then let the crowd know. He had another excellent rotation behind Reaves on one where Reaves iced, but AD wasn’t there, Melo rotated over and got the block under the rim. Looked really good at that end of the floor tonight with how disruptive those hands were. The stats show it -- 4 blocks, 2 steals. Yes, please. We need to let him hear it when he’s getting stops like that. Vogel said forget about the stats on D, Melo was in the right spot on his rotations. The Stats: He scored 23 points on 8-14 shooting (5-8 from three, 2-4 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 2 steals, 4 blocks and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +7.

Reaves -- -- He was a +8 in his first half minutes despite a couple of turnovers. Vogel actually called Reaves number out of a timeout to try to get him on track a little. He attacked to his strong hand from the left wing, took contact at the rim, hung and scored the layup. Nice work by the coach to try to instill a little confidence in him. He struggled a bit in this one. Although, I will give him some credit defensively for always hustling and rotating. Too often his teammates didn’t have his back as he rotated to help his man. We saw that with LeBron, I mentioned it below with Monk, AD didn’t position himself properly on one.. We need guys making that extra effort, but there wasn’t a lot of that helping Reaves (Melo had a good one to help him). The Stats: He had 2 points on 1-2 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 2 boards, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 20 minutes. He was a +5.

Monk -- -- Late in the third, we saw Reaves recover on help to Monk’s man, but Monk just stood there while Reaves then had to recover back to his own man to try to challenge. Vogel wasn’t happy about that and yelled something at the D. If you want minutes you’ve got to play on a string on D and have your teammates’ backs when they have yours. The shot wasn’t there for him tonight. He did take a few tough ones, but just wasn’t on the mark even on the easy ones. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-6 shooting (0-4 from three) to go with 2 boards and no fouls in 19 minutes. He was a -2.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The fading attention and focus hit the Lakers in the third quarter, but they rallied back. In the fourth, it settled in for a stretch midway through the quarter. The Rockets rattled off a 13-0 run with AD/Melo/LeBron/Bradley and Reaves/Monk on the floor. Vogel called a timeout. The lead stretched to 15-0 when AD got popped in the nose and sat with 5:44. Vogel called another timeout with the lead down to 11 with 4 minutes left. The team got some closing push from Westbrook and was able to keep the Rockets at arms distance.

Key Substitution: Essentially getting that closing lineup into the starting lineup tonight. Moving DJ to the bench for Bradley in the starters is something we’ve been hoping for. “Just something we wanted to look at from a starting group,” Vogel said. He said there was huge growth on the defensive side of the ball, “Not because of the lineup, but because of the work.” (Probably a bit of both, to be honest.)

Key Stats: Lakers won the turnover battle in the first half 14-7. The Rockets cough it up a bit, but the Lakers just keeping that at 7 allows their defense more opportunity to set up and get stops. They’d win that stat tonight 27-14. The Lakers would lead as much as 28 points. Best stat of the night: Rockets scored just 85 points even with a 31-point fourth quarter. Let’s get a few more of those.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 9:38 pm    Post subject:

People complaining about DJ not being playable but Monk is slowly capturing that title, DJ at least gives us valuable minutes with rim portection and lobs.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:15 pm    Post subject:

Vogel finally splitting minutes with lbj and RW keeping either one on at all times. If they’re on at the same time they need another shooter in the lineup and go small.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:23 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Excellent writeup. Glad to see us above .500!

It looks like I wasn't just seeing things on Carmelo's defense. He actually did play both ends of the court. Making good rotations!? Melo?? Surprised is an understatement. If he keeps this level of 2 way effort up that would be very helpful considering the makeup of our roster. It's way early, too early to count on it, but he's got my attention.

Nice defensive effort overall, although it's hard to tell because the Rockets are terrible, but I like the focus. Eventually good defense leads to more opportunities on offense.

Good to see a win. Keep it up Lakers!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:55 pm    Post subject:

Inspector Gadget wrote:
People complaining about DJ not being playable but Monk is slowly capturing that title, DJ at least gives us valuable minutes with rim portection and lobs.


"People" are right. DJ sucks. He should only play when Howard is injured....like tonight
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 11:10 pm    Post subject:

1995Lakers wrote:
Inspector Gadget wrote:
People complaining about DJ not being playable but Monk is slowly capturing that title, DJ at least gives us valuable minutes with rim portection and lobs.


"People" are right. DJ sucks. He should only play when Howard is injured....like tonight


I might be blind but I have seen with my own eye test that he still plays good defense in the paint and can be a good pick and roll partner with Westbrook and LeBron, I wouldn’t call him useless, Monk on another hand is likely gonna have to deal with PT once the injured players comeback.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:18 am    Post subject:

If you look at DBs last game recap, was alluding to the lineups that have 4 2-ways at all times. And that Reaves, Bradley, Baze are staples for 2-way ball, as they established that already (before this game).

By changing the lineup, inserting Bradley, you now have multiple players who can stop penetration, stop the ball, move on rotations, love to play D. You can see how much Bradley actually likes defense, and you can see the infectiousness of it ala 2 years ago.

Yesterday we played a bad team. However OKC was also a bad team and we let them get anything they wanted in that 2nd half as the game evolved. Yesterday we played defense like Vogel teams play D. We kept closing the elbows as a team, and we made our rotations to the first pass exceptionally fast.

AD/Bron/Baze/Westbrook/Bradley (On D) is probably the best defensive lineup we can put for now around Westbrook as a starter. I think Frank even sees it. You have potential if Westbrook/James focus on D to have five 2-way guys.

You saw a little less offense, but we can live with that if the defense returns to being a superstar level.

Then, you saw Reaves come in, and we still tried to sustain lineups with multiple two way defenders. This is the key. Melo's D was solid, but again he didn't really have to face off against quicker smaller guards at the 3 point line. With Melo you can trust his D against big forwards. However against smalls, especially on rotations, I don't think you can trust his D. So again, you need to ensure the players around Melo are playing elite effort level D. Which we are starting to see. AD at the 5, Bron, Bradely or Reaves. All those guys flat out can defend. Melo is protected. And with less breakdowns on D, Melo can step up his own aggression on D.

This is the key for the suspect defenders to fit in. The Rondo, Melo, Westbrook types. They are all elite talent in what they do (Rondo - floor general, Melo - shoot/score, Westbrook - attack PG/driving speed). Frank will trust all 3 with minutes. Key is we don't put them all together out there and we find the right defensive role players around them.

Excited to see what Nunn, Ariza, THT, Ellington bring on O. In theory, some of those guys should be 2-way guys as well.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject:

How fast is our pace? seems like Bron/AD/WB takes around 20+ shots/game and Melo is 10+ (15+ when hot). when THT and Nunn comes back, they need to eat too
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:49 am    Post subject:

governator wrote:
How fast is our pace? seems like Bron/AD/WB takes around 20+ shots/game and Melo is 10+ (15+ when hot). when THT and Nunn comes back, they need to eat too

That's the purpose of the pace mentality. It was same with Team USA. When you have a very talented group of players, you want them to get their shots off. If they shoot like 4-6 a game, and they're used to at least 12, they won't really fit in. Guys like Baze, Bradley, etc. they're used to having just 4 shots some games, other 8. etc. Guys like WB, Melo, AD, Bron. They need those 10-15 shots a game.

By running this pace, we're allowing them to get those looks. That's why I understood the pace increase. What I was worried about was having to defend all those extra possessions as well. Which it seems at first we were having a very hard time doing. Now, in the last 2 games. Once we put some lineups that had defenders, the plan looks much better. Take away that 2nd half of OKC game, and this team has actually won 5 straight. Heading towards the right direction in a lot of areas.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:52 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
governator wrote:
How fast is our pace? seems like Bron/AD/WB takes around 20+ shots/game and Melo is 10+ (15+ when hot). when THT and Nunn comes back, they need to eat too

That's the purpose of the pace mentality. It was same with Team USA. When you have a very talented group of players, you want them to get their shots off. If they shoot like 4-6 a game, and they're used to at least 12, they won't really fit in. Guys like Baze, Bradley, etc. they're used to having just 4 shots some games, other 8. etc. Guys like WB, Melo, AD, Bron. They need those 10-15 shots a game.

By running this pace, we're allowing them to get those looks. That's why I understood the pace increase. What I was worried about was having to defend all those extra possessions as well. Which it seems at first we were having a very hard time doing. Now, in the last 2 games. Once we put some lineups that had defenders, the plan looks much better. Take away that 2nd half of OKC game, and this team has actually won 5 straight. Heading towards the right direction in a lot of areas.


Yea, these early home games against lottery teams are a perfect spring board into the season. I’m still waiting for that sustained blow out win where the trio sits out the 4th Q, hopefully next game
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 5:51 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:24 am    Post subject:

governator wrote:
wolfpaclaker wrote:
governator wrote:
How fast is our pace? seems like Bron/AD/WB takes around 20+ shots/game and Melo is 10+ (15+ when hot). when THT and Nunn comes back, they need to eat too
That's the purpose of the pace mentality. It was same with Team USA. When you have a very talented group of players, you want them to get their shots off. If they shoot like 4-6 a game, and they're used to at least 12, they won't really fit in. Guys like Baze, Bradley, etc. they're used to having just 4 shots some games, other 8. etc. Guys like WB, Melo, AD, Bron. They need those 10-15 shots a game.

By running this pace, we're allowing them to get those looks. That's why I understood the pace increase. What I was worried about was having to defend all those extra possessions as well. Which it seems at first we were having a very hard time doing. Now, in the last 2 games. Once we put some lineups that had defenders, the plan looks much better. Take away that 2nd half of OKC game, and this team has actually won 5 straight. Heading towards the right direction in a lot of areas.
Yea, these early home games against lottery teams are a perfect spring board into the season. I’m still waiting for that sustained blow out win where the trio sits out the 4th Q, hopefully next game
On Point Assrssmentd

People are forgetting that these games are really the team’s preseason

Last year, we didn’t have any rim protectors and there were complaints. This year we have rim protectors and we have complaints - lol

Vogel is seeking to find defensive schemes and the right players to execute these schemes to effectively use DJ/Dwight to protect the rim while not having them unnecessarily “left on an island” on the perimeter. Our Lakers have the mindset of overpowering our opponents, as oppose to “out-finesse” teams (ala Nets to Suns).

Rudy Gobert to Jonas Valanciunas to Jarrett Allen to Steven Adams to Josef Nurkic to Nerlens Noel to Richaun Holmes and few others have found systems that maximize their skill sets.

If Vogel can effectively implement defensive schemes that will funnel opponents (ala Popovich’s past teams) that allows them to focus on their strength of protecting the rim. Limit the ways they are switching that puts them on an island will help

Having Westbrook not commit careless and unforced TOs that puts our D in helpless scenarios would be good

Since Team D needs people who plays consistently with energy and being in the rights spots/rotations; maybe one can monitor stats on which players are playing with specific intentions mentioned above to see which players are committed to playing D

Good to see Vogel experimenting and tweaking schemes during our “preseason games” to take full advantage of our team’s depth and talent
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:59 am    Post subject:

3 point % was bad (29%) but the Rockets were worse (21.4%)

FT% as bad (61.5%) but the Rockets were worse (51.7%).

And the Lakers were out rebounded by a wide margin (55-43).

Points in the paint went to the Rockets 48 to 44.

But the Lakers still won due to defense. Rockets were not penetrating as much due to a concerted effort by Baze, AB, and Reaves. Melo's 4 blocks were huge.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:53 am    Post subject:

1995Lakers wrote:
Inspector Gadget wrote:
People complaining about DJ not being playable but Monk is slowly capturing that title, DJ at least gives us valuable minutes with rim portection and lobs.


"People" are right. DJ sucks. He should only play when Howard is injured....like tonight


The man is shooting 86% - EIGHTY SIX PERCENT - from the floor, getting 1.4 blocks and 5.3 rebounds in 14 minutes per night. He leads the team in ORtg, DRtg and PER.

Put down the Haterade.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:38 am    Post subject:

My biggest takeaway…Melo is finding a bit of a resurgence. We know he has become a good 3 point specialist over past couple of seasons, but look at him being active on defense.

He is feeding off the bright lights of playing at staples.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:40 pm    Post subject:

Dr. Laker wrote:
1995Lakers wrote:
Inspector Gadget wrote:
People complaining about DJ not being playable but Monk is slowly capturing that title, DJ at least gives us valuable minutes with rim portection and lobs.


"People" are right. DJ sucks. He should only play when Howard is injured....like tonight


The man is shooting 86% - EIGHTY SIX PERCENT - from the floor, getting 1.4 blocks and 5.3 rebounds in 14 minutes per night. He leads the team in ORtg, DRtg and PER.

Put down the Haterade.


He literally only dunks and puts back offensive rebounds, that is his entire offensive arsenal so yeah, when you're in a lineup with 3 hall of famers and you're the player the defense is least worried about by a large margin then you're going to get a lot of easy opportunities.

He hasn't been bad we're just clearly a MUCH superior team when he's not out there. Against legitimate bigs I get starting him since AD is adamant about it but outside of that they're basically playing with one arm behind there back to start games much like we did with McGee.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:43 pm    Post subject:

Dr. Laker wrote:
1995Lakers wrote:
Inspector Gadget wrote:
People complaining about DJ not being playable but Monk is slowly capturing that title, DJ at least gives us valuable minutes with rim portection and lobs.


"People" are right. DJ sucks. He should only play when Howard is injured....like tonight


The man is shooting 86% - EIGHTY SIX PERCENT - from the floor, getting 1.4 blocks and 5.3 rebounds in 14 minutes per night. He leads the team in ORtg, DRtg and PER.

Put down the Haterade.


Funny thing is if his minutes were doubled to around 20-22MPG he would easily be averaging close to a double double, I think him knowing that he might be playing very limited minutes or no minutes at all makes it tough for him, and despite all that he still goes out there like a pro and gives us his all.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:34 am    Post subject:

LakerSD wrote:
My biggest takeaway…Melo is finding a bit of a resurgence. We know he has become a good 3 point specialist over past couple of seasons, but look at him being active on defense.

He is feeding off the bright lights of playing at staples.


Melo had not had 4 blocks and 2 steals since his rookie season. Resurgence indeed!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:42 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
LakerSD wrote:
My biggest takeaway…Melo is finding a bit of a resurgence. We know he has become a good 3 point specialist over past couple of seasons, but look at him being active on defense.

He is feeding off the bright lights of playing at staples.


Melo had not had 4 blocks and 2 steals since his rookie season. Resurgence indeed!


I just like the engagement/communication on that end. That's really where he can help make up for (not cover) some of the weaknesses in his game on D. I guest that the skills may not be quite there like they used to, but you can still have moments of disruption by using your head and staying active.

Ultimately, if we are facing a really good guard, but that team has a poor passing C or PF on the short rolls, Melo can stand a chance on the floor come playoff time. Don't switch, try to trap the ball out of the guard's hands, make the C/PF he's covering be a playmaker as we scramble in our rotations and recover. That seems doable.
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