HORNETS -at- LAKERS - 11/8 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:50 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Wolf - Good call on the team defense. It’s been steadily improving. We’ve been leaning more on defensive players but even our non-defensive guys are getting on the same page with a little more frequency. This game I felt like the team could get stops if they needed to. Previous games we were pretty far from that feeling.

They did an excellent job not letting the Hornets get middle with any regularity. Melo has had some LeBronish back line rotations. Reaves and Bradley are tagteaming the point of attack. Even having Westbrook improve shot selection is helping the team have less issues on D because some of those shots early on we were getting killed on in transition.

We are still a middling team but the improvements on D are some welcome progress.
"Middling" is better than "Hopeless" on D!
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SunshineMan89
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:51 pm    Post subject:

I'm going to choose to take some positives from this game - even though we have a bunch of limited defenders getting extended run out of necessity right now, I thought everyone gave good defensive effort last night. The Rondo/Monk/Ellington mishmash could've been a disaster, but guys rotated well and largely avoided straight-line penetration.

Dwight was awesome defensively, switching on to tough perimeter players and staying in front of them while also compensating for some of the weaknesses of our other defenders. AD was similarly a force on the defensive end, while Reaves also had a sneakily strong defensive game. We're never going to be a good defensive team with our current personnel (i.e., sans LBJ/Ariza/THT/Nunn), but one thing guys can/should always be able to control is the effort level, and that was there.

Oh, and Melo turning into Kyle Korver has been nice.

On the negative side, Russ's halfcourt offense is still a trainwreck. I thought it was a modest positive that he's been seemingly trying to minimize some of his worst impulses on awful pull-up jumpers - he only took a few today - and he's done a good job finding our big men for lobs. But he just can't shoot at all, and opposing defenses are pretty comfortable ignoring him completely outside the paint. If he takes a jumper, that's a win for them. He's massively turnover-prone, and there were several possessions where while he didn't literally turn it over, he pounded the rock for twenty seconds and then dumped it off for someone else to take a contested jumper up against the clock. The fourth quarter was brutal. Spacing is an issue - we're not doing him any favors by having all three of him/AD/DAJ on the floor at the same time - but some of these issues existed even when he was surrounded by shooters.

We need to find some kind of solution to the DAJ problem - right now, he's so immobile that if the opposing offense reverses the ball or really has any kind of movement, they can pretty much get an open three whenever they want it. We can maybe handle that if he's only on the floor to match up with a non-shooting center and we play drop coverage, but even then we'd probably rather just go five out ourselves and punish the other team. I don't know that we have many alternatives right now - we barely have enough bodies to populate our frontcourt as-is - but if/when we get healthy I think we need to go in a different direction there.

Lastly, while I'm generally pro-Vogel and think he's been dealt a very tough hand this year, there were some fairly weird decisions today. Why were Reaves/Bradley out there to space the floor instead of Ellington/Monk for a potentially game-deciding offensive possession? Why didn't we draw up a play for that possession? AD launching a contested jumper was more or less the worst outcome, and we had zero motion - just Westbrook pounding the rock into a set defense. Didn't make a ton of sense.
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ThePageDude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:19 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Yeah, I think the coaches even told him several games back to try to slow down on his finishes just a bit to regain control.

If we are on the same page and doing this intelligently, he should be collapsing the D and allowing for our bigs to clean up his misses anyway (see anytime Bazemore chokes a layup, lol).


Seriously, I can't recall when I saw a worse triple double in all my time of watching basketball.

As for slowing down, he was "slow" as heck in the half court when he got picked on 2 consecutive possessions 30 feet from the basket - or was it 3? or 4? I lost count ... I know, I know, y'all mean slow down on his finishing, I just can't help but vent.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:25 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
Wolf - Good call on the team defense. It’s been steadily improving. We’ve been leaning more on defensive players but even our non-defensive guys are getting on the same page with a little more frequency. This game I felt like the team could get stops if they needed to. Previous games we were pretty far from that feeling.

They did an excellent job not letting the Hornets get middle with any regularity. Melo has had some LeBronish back line rotations. Reaves and Bradley are tagteaming the point of attack. Even having Westbrook improve shot selection is helping the team have less issues on D because some of those shots early on we were getting killed on in transition.

We are still a middling team but the improvements on D are some welcome progress.


Getting Melo to play some D is really a testament to Vogel's work.
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DrDent
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:44 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB.

Just smh at how much cap space is taken up by an infuriating player to watch.
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