MAGIC -at- LAKERS - 12/12 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:06 pm    Post subject: MAGIC -at- LAKERS - 12/12 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

The 23-0 Run... Yes, it’s the Magic, but stringing together a run like that against any team is impressive.

The Lakers held the Magic scoreless for more than 8 minutes in the third quarter as they took control of this game. It started with LeBron with a series of three-point plays. Then the defense kicked in. Dwight was disruptive with challenges and a steal. THT, who had 6 steals on the night, nailed some threes.

The team played defense on a string as they blew the game open with the 36-10 third quarter. The Magic finally got into double digit scoring with 9 seconds left in the third.

Of course, we’re a team you can come back on. The Lakers stop getting after it. Guys start going through the motions. The rotations that were there previously now are late or not there at all. Open looks and easy dunks.

Even though they gave up 32 points in the third, the Lakers still held the Magic to 42 for the entire half. And despite the cruise control finish, they took the 106-94 win.

“We’re starting to round second base,” LeBron said. “We’re continuing to get better and better every game.”


LeBron -- -- Dang, LeBron. That was kind of a throwback triple-double game tonight. Defensively, he was volleyball spiking shots on D, trying to send the ball into the stands on multiple rejections. He was all over those. Really led the team on both ends. Early on, the perimeter shot wasn’t falling. He led the team with 11 points in the first half, getting to the rim on the break and in early offense. All of his hoops in the first half were in the paint as he missed all three of the threes he attempted (one was poor shot selection, the other good looks on catch and shoots). He started the second half with back-to-back threes working off the Dwight screens, then would get an And-1 bank for 9 points in the first two minutes of the half. That got the team rolling. Liked seeing him not settle in the post in the first half when the perimeter shot wasn’t going. (He even had a sequence where it looked like he was going to post up, but spun off that into a drive and layup.) Second half, once he hit those threes, he then got into the post and swished a rainbow fade. He helped the Lakers to their best run of the season during that third. We started to put him in the post in the fourth. As he was causing problems, he started to draw help and the ball would find others. “Just starting the third quarter, I was in a defensive mindset,” he said. That whole team responded and followed. He said he felt rested. He slept from 12-8, then ate breakfast and went back to sleep for another 4 hours today. The Stats: He scored 30 points on 12-20 shooting (3-7 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 10 assists, 3 blocks, 6 turnovers and 2 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +14.

Westbrook -- -- Bron gave Russ credit for some of his reads on the backside of the defense. He had a couple of steals back-to-back after a Magic timeout and that got us on the break (LeBron dunking) and the crowd going in that third. It’s just encouraging to see guys play on a string for extended minutes. He came up limping at the end of the first half on a drive, but looked fine in the second half. In fact, probably played better. He had 8 points and 3 assists in the first half, sinking a baseline jumper and attacking the rim for other scores. A couple of Uggh Plays in that half. Uggh Play 1: He positioned himself to poorly space the floor, took a pass, then threw it right out of bounds as LeBron vacated the area because it was crowded. Uggh Play 2: He picked up his dribble baseline and then burned a timeout (and we got a shotclock violation out of that timeout). Second half, he had that explosive first step and was getting to the rim for easy finishes. The finishes are looking much easier for him. I think that’s just the spacing and Russ knowing where/when to pick his spots more. He was just going around guys or up-faking and gone. Really liked seeing him cut off LeBron’s post attack and LBJ found him for the score. But those easy layups down the stretch when LeBron might be a little winded make a big difference. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 9-18 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers and 2 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +3.

Horton-Tucker -- -- Defensively, we need him in the mix. He’s got that strong base, those long arms and is able to disrupt a lot with that alone. He’s got to pick up the team D reads but can only do that with reps. So we need to get him those reps. Tonight, he was causing the Magic all kinds of issues on D. To keep him on the floor, he also really needs to have the three ball fall. He had that stretch of games of 20+ attempts with only two makes, but has started to pick it up (tonight 3-6 from three). It’s especially important when it comes off those drive and kick sequences from LeBron or Westbrook. That’s how he was hitting his threes tonight. You’ve got to make teams pay for cheating off you. If you can’t then we have to go to less effective defenders in order to get shooting and open up spacing. Tonight, just a superb 2-way game from the youngster. A career high 6 steals. We’re also calling his number on some specific plays. We’ve got an ATO we’ve used a bit in the past few games where THT curls off a screen by Melo and we bounce it to him going to his strong hand for a layup. We called that a few times tonight with some success. He’s young and it’s hard to get these games consistently. But building in some set plays for him and knocking down shots you need to knock down built those habits of consistency. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 7-14 shooting (3-6 from three, 2-4 from the line) to go with 1 board, 3 assists, 6 steals, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a +14.

Bradley -- -- Our starting lineup had 12 steals and 6 blocks. Bradley had one of each. He’d knock down a couple of threes, including a kickout from THT on the break to force a timeout. His other three was a kickout to the corner from Russ. He also had some dribble penetration and missed, but Dwight cleaned up the penetration. “Avery set a great tone for us,” Vogel said. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-7 shooting (2-5 from three), 2 boards, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +12.

Howard -- -- He was a -10 in 13 first half minutes. AFter his first shift of the second half, he was a +12. He was a huge part of that big third quarter run. He was causing all kinds of problems for the Magic. Good hands on the perimeter, challenging shots on switches and rotations in the paint. A lot of disruption that helped the Lakers get out on the break. Again, when we’ve got guys flying around and our D is aggressive, that’s when Dwight is at his best defensively. When things went south in the fourth, we brought him back to close. Naturally, this would be AD time, but the defense was a bit less shaky then when he was sitting. He put some pressure on a dunk attempt that was missed and it led to a LeBron breakaway score with 3 minutes left that was much-needed. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting (1-2 from three) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks and 2 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +11.

Anthony -- -- He had 10 points in the first half, sinking a couple of threes, a midrange and fouled on a screen-roll when LBJ found him. He and LeBron manned that centerless lineup to a +8 and he finished the half with a +5. Second half, he sank a three, but the team had one of his funks when he was out there. Good to see us not close with him. We ran LBJ at the PF and Reaves at the SF. That may be Ariza minutes when he is finally activated. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 4-9 shooting (3-5 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals and 1 foul in 25 minutes. He was a -2.

Reaves -- -- Liked seeing him out there to close this game. The Lakers were struggling and Vogel went to guys he felt he could trust and Reaves was one of them. Our rotations were just breaking down and the Magic were getting easy scores. Reaves is one of our best at making those, so he got the minutes. He also just plays hard. So when others are sleep walking through the fourth, you get your hustle guys out there. He also sank a big three against the zone up 10 with 4 minutes to go in that stretch. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 1-4 shooting (1-2 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist and 1 foul in 25 minutes. He was a -2.

Monk -- -- He had a couple of really nice plays -- a lob to DJ on the break that kept the Lakers rolling late in that third quarter. He also attacked, spun and swished a lefty floater. Not a lot of impact in this one, but a couple of nice plays. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting (0-2 from three) to go with 3 boards, 3 assists and no fouls in 18 minutes. He was a +2.

Ellington -- -- Barely broke a sweat tonight. We ran an ATO for him coming off a down screen and into a catch and shoot for three. Not an easy shot with a man still on him, but for a technically sound shooter like him, he made it look easy. That was his only buck and just a few minutes. He missed a tech. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-1 shooting from three (0-1 from the line) to go with 3 boards and no fouls in 7 minutes. He was a +5.

Jordan -- -- He had a couple of blocks in his first half shift. He was a -1. So between Dwight and DJ, they were a -11 in the first half and the Lakers were a +8 in the centerless lineups. In the third, he came in on the tail end of that run. We kept it going for a stretch as he was helping get stops and then had that huge finish on the break on that lob from Monk. Hopefully, AD will be back soon. The DJ minutes have their moments, but as a collective it’s always sketchy. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-3 shooting to go with 6 boards, 3 blocks and 3 fouls in 10 minutes. He was a +3.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Clearly, the 23-0 run in the third quarter, holding an opponent scoreless for 8+ minutes. We hadn’t seen anything like that this season. This team has quietly been climbing up some of the team defensive stats lately. We did that without AD tonight. Last season, we saw stretches of games where we could do that while AD was out. It’s slow, but they’ve been making progress.

Key Substitution: Not really a sub, but Dwight filling in for AD tonight. That third quarter looked like Dwight from a couple years back. The team was playing on a string defensively. We’re stealing some rest for AD and were able to handle our business against a poor Magic team.

Key Stats: The Lakers dominated the break 20-2. They also kept another team under 100 again.
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Koalita
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:29 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Excellent write-up as always!

The third quarter.... wow... I feel this dominance in the 3rd is the switch mode our players think we have. More like this 3rd Q please!

Glad to see Reaves getting all this playing time <3
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:49 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB - onto the next one!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:12 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:38 pm    Post subject:

Good Win

Since Lebron says that the team is rounding second base, what does that mean?

With many are saying that we need AD playing ar All Star Level while imposing his will (he’s providing a good stat sheet but not consistent impactful performances/effectiveness/energy) and for AD to be the Leader that knows how to win (if he wants to be “The Face” of this team (he’s not there at this time), what tweaks need to be done

Maybe the team needs to recognize that LBJ is The Main Man/Leader alongside two uber-talented players (AD and Russ). Since AD is big fan and close friend of Kobe, hopefully he will learn quickly the Mamba Mentality it takes to get rings.

At this time (to start a team), would anybody pick AD over The Greek Freak, KD, Luka and/or The Joker? If not, then AD’s best role is to be “Robin.”

Our role players are role players dependent on our stars

Our energy guys (Reeves and THT) are there to maintain/bring the needed effort and consistency when players are tired while forcing the opposition to match their impact

Good Win if we are one step closer to finding what will make this team consistent
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 12:15 am    Post subject:

We've won 5 of our last 7 games, and our last 4 wins have been "easy" wins by double digits.

With LeBron finally getting healthy, maybe this team is slowly making progress. But we still have such a long way to go.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:16 am    Post subject:

Hate to be a Debbie downer, but the only reason our starting lineup worked the past 2 games is because THY and AB were making wide open 3s, I sure hope they can keep doing it
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:59 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

That 3rd quarter though
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 6:02 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!

That 3rd quarter was fun, goodness
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 10:00 am    Post subject:

The defense was what kept us in the game. We started off awful could not read the zone well. Westbrook was really bad, he was driving into 4 defenders in a zone. Was thinking wouldn't it be great to have AD from 2020 back who was money with that mid-range or jumper. Would kill the zone immediately.

Finally in the 2nd, we saw some changes (Mostly was benching WB and going to Bron at the 5) that led to some offense. We started to figure out the zone.

Then we really clamped in the 3rd on offense and defense. I tell you, a lot of people trash Vogel, but it's guys he values that win you ball games. Dwight was the guy I'm sure we would have signed (Over Trez) if he has his way. Dwight's a real factor. And then guys like Reaves, another player who brings so many little valuable attributes out there. THT, people hate on that kid, but he's got immense clay on defense. Vogel sees that. That's why those guys get PT. But you have to work with the talent your FO gives you. Considering our talent, I think Vogel is doing an excellent job of getting these guys to defend. You've never know players like Westbrook, Ellington, Monk, Melo etc to be on good defensive teams, yet right now we're seeing that and thsoe guys are staples in our 9 man rotation.

What I liked most about this game was our defensive communication. We're seeing even piss poor man defenders communicate and get the help defense, lead the ballhandler into a pass or situation where the next rotation is able to get there.

That said, our defense will require more help this year so long as we keep playing guys like Melo, Monk, DeAndre. I am hoping as the season winds out Vogel is even open to DNP Melo, as good as Melo is as a shooter. I am not taking anything away from him, but he is a situational guy when Ariza comes back, IMO. If Ariza is even able to give us 20 min a game, we don't want to be playing Melo too much. As good as his shooting is, the combination of when we have Melo, Ellington, Monk, is asking for a lot of defensive help and a lot of rotations, and we don't have the legs for it with those lineups. I am not a big fan of Monk's style of play either, as good as he has been. I don't think these dudes win you championships in the playofs. You need those players that will defend and make the off the ball play on offense. I would continue to invest in growing pains of playing Reaves and THT. If Ariza can give us 20 min a game, now suddenly you're rotation has defensive players. Ariza/THT at the 3. Bron/Ariza/AD at the 4. Dwight/AD at the 5. Bradley/Reaves at the 2. Look at that, 4 positions there and not one poor defender. That's how you will win a ring or even come close to contending, IMO.

This team has now moved into the top 10 of the defensive rankings (10th) which is about where I was hoping we would be to become a contender. Not saying we're there, but if we are a good defensive team, we will win a lot of games. The offense will come just with Bron's IQ, and the talent of Westbrook/AD. I also dare say I think the second unit is sometimes better off having some Rondo in there than WB, especially against a zone. WB is not particularly good at breaking down zones.

All of this, the key will be Bron's health. We can not afford another set back where Bron is out an extended time. We need to keep this momentum. Some sort of 30 game stretch in a row with Bron playing. After that, we can look at rest/injury layoffs. Got to get really into building something here, 5-2 the last 7 games, these next 23 games are gonna determine where we will end up in the standings, if a top 4 seed is at all possible or not.


Last edited by wolfpaclaker on Mon Dec 13, 2021 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 10:03 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
The defense was what kept us in the game. We started off awful could not read the zone well. Westbrook was really bad, he was driving into 4 defenders in a zone. Was thinking wouldn't it be great to have AD from 2020 back who was money with that mid-range or jumper. Would kill the zone immediately.

Finally in the 2nd, we saw some changes (Mostly was benching WB and going to Bron at the 5) that led to some offense. We started to figure out the zone.

Then we really clamped in the 3rd on offense and defense. I tell you, a lot of people trash Vogel, but it's guys he values that win you ball games. Dwight was the guy I'm sure we would have signed (Over Trez) if he has his way. Dwight's a real factor. And then guys like Reaves, another player who brings so many little valuable attributes out there.

What I liked most about this game was our defensive communication. We're seeing even piss poor man defenders communicate and get the help defense, lead the ballhandler into a pass or situation where the next rotation is able to get there.

That said, our defense will require more help this year so long as we keep playing guys like Melo, Monk, DeAndre. I am hoping as the season winds out Vogel is even open to DNP Melo, as good as Melo is as a shooter. I am not taking anything away from him, but he is a situational guy when Ariza comes back, IMO. If Ariza is even able to give us 20 min a game, we don't want to be playing Melo too much. As good as his shooting is, the combination of when we have Melo, Ellington, Monk, is asking for a lot of defensive help and a lot of rotations, and we don't have the legs for it with those lineups.

This team has now moved into the top 10 of the defensive rankings (10th) which is about where I was hoping we would be to become a contender. Not saying we're there, but if we are a good defensive team, we will win a lot of games. The offense will come just with Bron's IQ, and the talent of Westbrook/AD. I also dare say I think the second unit is sometimes better off having some Rondo in there than WB, especially against a zone. WB is not particularly good at breaking down zones.


Not having Nunn really hurts us. Rondo should have some minutes while Nunn is still injured.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 10:15 am    Post subject:

^

My hopes for Nunn are to be a lockdown guy/ball pressure guy at the 1. There was some talk he is a good defender in preseason. Don't know much of his game or the analytics on his D.

Looking at it from only a defensive POV

AD/Dwight @5
Bron/AD/Ariza @4
Ariza/THT @3
Bradley/Reaves@2
Westbrook/Nunn/Bradley @1

You're not going to let teams score easily with that lineup. Sure make fun of that lineup on offense, but when you have Bron, you have AD, and WB, offense will come. What we need are guys that will not ask for too much help on D so we can really clamp in on teams. We're seeing some of that now more regularly. But I still see a lot of defensive help needed when we run Melo/Ellington/Monk.

In the playoffs there will be a ton of chances to make small adjustments and play AD at the 5, Bron at the 5 etc. And get offense. You'll be able to get offense. Rondo is an IQ weapon for the playoffs against zones. What we need are those defensive players that will lockdown guys at the 4, 3, 2 etc.

THT and Reaves development this season, HUGE, imo. Unless Rob makes a trade. We have to develop someone to be that Caruso, KCP on D etc.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:02 am    Post subject:

Westbrook's strength is going to the rim. He loses the ball on occasion but most times he finishes. His jumper is a little better. I think he shoots it a little flat. If he put a some air under it, it may help. He has a great banker. His assists are also a great part of his game. This team is a mystery. They turn blowouts into nail biters. Do they lose focus, take their foot off the gas, tire, WHAT
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:36 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
Was thinking wouldn't it be great to have AD from 2020 back who was money with that mid-range or jumper. Would kill the zone immediately.

it's guys he values that win you ball games. Dwight was the guy I'm sure we would have signed (Over Trez) if he has his way. Dwight's a real factor. And then guys like Reaves, another player who brings so many little valuable attributes out there. THT, people hate on that kid, but he's got immense clay on defense. Vogel sees that.

You've never know players like Westbrook, Ellington, Monk, Melo etc to be on good defensive teams, yet right now we're seeing that and thsoe guys are staples in our 9 man rotation.

This team has now moved into the top 10 of the defensive rankings (10th)

The offense will come just with Bron's IQ, and the talent of Westbrook/AD. I also dare say I think the second unit is sometimes better off having some Rondo in there than WB, especially against a zone. WB is not particularly good at breaking down zones.

All of this, the key will be Bron's health.
On Point

Wow, didn't realize that the Lakers are 10th best defensive team - tied with Charlotte, Clippers and 76ers!!!
https://www.nba.com/stats/teams/defense/?sort=W&dir=-1

Despite AD's words that he is ready to be The Man for the Lakers (https://fadeawayworld.net/nba-media/anthony-davis-says-hes-ready-to-lead-the-lakers-i-have-the-capability-of-doing-so), this uber talented players is being outclassed by his competitors in simlar situations such as The Greek Freak, Luka and Joker. He is not playing at 2020 AD levels, at this time - though he has good stats but not consistent impactful production at critical times during crunch time

Dwight, Reeves and THT consistently bring great energy that frees up the other players to produce. With great Team D, it unleashes LBJ and WB on leak outs to fastbreak opportunities that will scare any and all teams.

With Lebron at the 5, (as shared during the post game show) it gets Lebron very involved in calling the coverages. His effectiveness with the same players that AD/DJ are playing with highlights what AD/DJ need to do when they are on the court. Understand DJ doesn't usually go far out of the paint, but he can set picks/screens, move from weak to strong/strong to weak and/or be involved in more P&Rs. AD needs to consistently bump up his energy to fully utilized his uber talents with being the leader that LBJ already is

With Vogel's goal is to find what player combinations work in various scenarios, one can see what lineups are working along with which lineups are diasterous - even with the team still having players that haven't yet played this season.

Upcoming games with the Warriors (Feb 12, March 5 and April 7 / https://seatgeek.com/warriors-lakers-tickets) will be interesting because both teams should have their full rosters playing. Klay and Wiseman will be back for the Warriors, along with the Lakers having had the needed time to bring a greater cohesvieness with their completely revamped roster (along with having Ariza and Nunn back).

On February 8th (https://seatgeek.com/lakers-bucks-tickets?oq=Lakers+Bucks+tickets), will The Greek Freak again outclass AD or will vengeance be a motivating factor for the Mamba Mentality to be seen.

Exciting Ride Ahead
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