LAKERS -at- PACERS - 5/15 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 12:27 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- PACERS - 5/15 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

A Full Roster Available... The gang is back together for a final two games before the playoffs begin.

The Lakers don’t control their fate on whether they will compete in the play-in games, but they did what they could with a 122-115 win over the Pacers.

While it had more intensity than a scrimmage game, it never really felt in doubt. There were positives as the starters worked on a little bit of chemistry offensively. And negatives as that fell a little flat late in the game.

Defensively, the Lakers played some relatively soft D all game long. What you want to see is the Lakers flying around on D, forcing turnovers and getting out in transition to dominate an opponent on the break. That didn’t happen with frequency.

Ideally, at this stage of the season, everyone knows their role and the team is hitting its stride. This felt more like a slow warmup jog.


LeBron -- -- How much bounce would he have in his step? How sharply could he change directions? Those were the questions as we got a second look at LeBron post-ankle sprain. He had 11 points on 5-9 shooting with 5 assists in the first half. The real question was how he looked in that second half, however, and if that ankle tightened up. We saw him shooting jumpers but coming down on his left foot only early in the half. When he came back in for his final shift, he didn’t look great. He didn’t rotate on D on one play, he threw a lazy pass that was nearly picked off, then coughed up a turnover. He got blocked on a drive. Then missed a long fade and a long jumper on the same offensive stand. The offense just came screeching to a halt. He’d right the ship with a bit three with 2:40 left and then a little fade. He’d then get a putback. Still, clunky close to the game with no flow. This is why we need to play some games and not rest guys right now. They’ve got to get minutes together and get back into a groove. Overall, I didn’t see anything particularly amazing from LeBron that gave you the sense he was past the injury. But LeBron at 80%-90% or whatever he may be is still really damn good. “A tiny bit of soreness,” LeBron said, but he expected it. He said he felt much better than his previous game and had no setbacks. “I didn’t know how the ankle would respond with the early start,” he said. The Stats: He scored 24 points on 11-22 shooting (1-4 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 8 assists, 4 turnovers and 2 fouls in 28 minutes. He was +7.

Davis -- -- He had 17 points in the first quarter. He didn’t really kick into gear with the starters. As soon as LeBron, AD poured in 15 of those 17 as they ran a lot of offense through him. On a couple of plays they put him in the middle of the paint with the floor spread. He hit a jumper and blew past his man for a layup on that wrinkle in the offense. If you were worried about anything related to his health, early on he showed the full range of dunks, drives and jumpers. A lot of activity. He’d finish the first half with 22 points on 7-11 shooting and 8 boards. He’d only score a few buckets in the second half. This was more of a one-two punch game with AD/LBJ vs. a game where their combined chemistry overwhelmed opponents. A lot of two-man action was run with Drummond to try to pull the center out and use AD to space the floor. No AD small ball in this one as he ran with either Drummond or Trezz quite a bit. The Stats: He scored 28 points on 9-18 shooting (1-4 from three, 9-10 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 36 minutes. He was a +9.

Schröder -- -- Before he had to sit out, I thought he was looking tired from having to shoulder so much of the load. He’s had a good rest now for the playoff run. It looked like he didn’t have his legs under him early as his jumpers were coming up way short. A couple turnovers in the first half, too, just losing his handle or making a bad post entry pass, which he sometimes has issues with (he’d finish with 3 turnovers and 4 assists). We sort of staggered his rotations with LeBron to give some ball handling, but not really. A lot of time with both of those two off the floor. That could just be Vogel was giving those squads a little more minutes together. Dennis seemed like he was feeling things out stil early on. He got into some of his bag with a change of pace in early offense for FTs and scoring off a handoff like he does once a game. No real midrange work from him like we see. He still looked like he needed to shake cobwebs off. The current starters have had almost no time together. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 3-9 shooting (2-6 from three, 6-6 from the line) to go with 1 board, 4 assists, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 27 minutes. He was a +1.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- He got going in the third where he scored 10 of his 13 points. He hit a couple of threes, one that started on an AD double team strong side. He’d have a hammer dunk off a steal, then hit a step-back jumper. Late in the game, he missed a wide open three with just over a minute left. That third quarter burst was one of our better stretches of ball. He led the team with a +15. The Stats: He scored 13 points on 5-8 shooting (3-6 from three) to go with 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a +15.

Drummond -- -- The number one thing I’m looking at is how he meshes with LeBron. What is the chemistry like? Previously, we saw LeBron unable to get penetration in the paint because it was packed. But LeBron was still recovering from his injury, so that may have played some role. We also saw issues with Drummond handling Lebron passes. No issues with the hands early on, but he’d fumble one away in the third. Floor spacing-wise, LeBron picked his spots with Drummond there. They had a lob on the two-man game early (perfectly placed pass). One way to clear the paint, we saw Drummond seal his man and push him all the way out of bounds and LeBron just attacked for the easy And-1 with the extra space. When we run the pick and roll with AD, Drummond will be in the dunker spot. How teams defend this will determine what LeBron does with the ball. This is what we missed with LeBron sidelined -- that decision making. Late in the half, we had AD rolling down the middle of the paint of this action. This drew Drummond’s man and led to an easy dunk for AD2 off the extra pass from AD off that. The Pacers give up the most second chance points in the league, so AD2 needed to impose himself on the offensive glass. He had 4 of those in his 15-rebound effort. Defensively, some good challenges early to disrupt shots in the paint. “We still could a lot more time to find cohesiveness, but I thought there were a lot of positives,” Vogel said of the chemistry with the team. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting (3-5 from the line) to go with 15 boards (4 offensive), 2 blocks, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 29 minutes. He was a +10.

Harrell -- -- The Pacers ran a bit small and have issues with second-chance points, so Trezz got some good run today. He had a dunk off a THT drive and dish. After one of his offensive boards, he got the ball back down low, bumped his man off and dunked over him. He’d get a layup off the two-man game with Schröder (those two need to reignite that chemistry). A couple of turnovers not handling passes, which is rare. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-6 shooting (3-4 from the line) to go with 9 boards (2 offensive), 2 turnovers and 3 fouls in 19 minutes. He was a -3.

Kuzma -- -- The guy who I think will suffer the most with the full roster is Kuz. I had no notes on him in the first half as he essentially disappeared. In the second half, he fell asleep once on D to give up a score while on the floor with the stars. With our big guns sitting early in the fourth, he got a little more aggressive, hitting a floater and then sinking a three to force a timeout. He’d telegraph a lazy one-handed pass shortly out of that timeout for a turnover. Got to stay engaged and remember to do the little things that work well around the stars -- hit the defensive boards or get out on the break. Make cuts, the extra pass, get those corner crashes on the offensive glass. All of that is how he played well around the stars. Seemed like he lost himself a bit in the transition back to this role with the full roster. Again, not easy going from the very different roles we had in the past few games of point guard and scorer. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-4 shooting (1-2 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 2 turnovers and no fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -4.

Horton-Tucker -- -- First sub off the bench for Schröder midway through the first quarter. Probably AC’s substitution. No idea what the THT rotation will be. He fit right in with the big guns back and had no turnovers. We gave him some long run probably as a result. He’d sink a couple of threes on some very good looks. Love seeing that three ball falling lately. He had a really nice drive, blowing past his man in transition, then scooping a reverse around the help defender -- one of those plays where you see the confidence and the skill level that make you think he’s got a bright future. This was more of that combo guard role where we didn’t depend on him to be a playmaking point. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 3-5 shooting (2-2 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 1 block and 2 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a +6.

Matthews -- -- Much quieter day than the last two as this one wasn’t on the line in the final seconds. He chased LaVert around a bit along with KCP and others defensively. He scored off of a foul at the three line. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 0-1 shooting from three (3-3 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist and 1 foul in 12 minutes. He was a -4.

McLemore -- -- Not sure what the rotation will be with McLemore and our full lineup. We had no AC today and missed AC’s toughness defensively off the bench. But I think we like Ben’s shooting, regardless. THT kind of had those AC minutes. McLemore struggled a bit, not great shot selection. If he’s not hitting, he does serve a role of just floor spacer, but you worry about the other end of the floor. He did have a rare charge he drew on a rotation in the second half. McLemore was a -5 in the first half. He’d sink a wing three in the fourth for his only points. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-4 shooting from three to go with 1 assist and 1 foul in 13 minutes. He was a -2.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: After the substitution below where things went sideways late in the game, LeBron would finally get going late with a three and a couple other buckets to halt the momentum and secure the win.

Key Substitution: With 6 minutes left to go and up 11, Vogel made a wholesale change, bringing back in AD, Drummond and LeBron. The offense quickly went stagnant as LeBron sucked the air out of the ball. Defensively, he looked cold, as well. The lead was trimmed down to 5 before another timeout came and the Pacers scored out of that to cut it to 3. The Lakers lost momentum.

Coach’s challenge: The Lakers had possibly two FTs on what looked like a clean play on AD. No FTs on the challenge with 2:51 left. But Lakers still had the ball.

Key Stats: The Lakers lost the break 28-19. They lost the points in the paint battle 60-50. But they hit a couple more threes, going 11-29 (38%).
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DrDent
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 12:43 pm    Post subject:

First!
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 12:45 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Great writeup.

4 in a row, lets go for 5, and hopefully avoid the play-in.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 1:36 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Great game from AD. He's ready for the playoffs. LeBron looks good, too.
Drummond is quietly doing what he's asked (grabbing boards).

Some funky bench lineups with no Gasol, Morris or Caruso available.
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akgolf
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 1:44 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB )
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A Mad Chinaman
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 2:55 pm    Post subject:

Chances look better today for the Lakers to get 6th playoff spot and play Denver (who will be playing Portland)
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PenG_
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 5:29 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! So happy to see Lebron back and showing some elevation.

Boy, I bet we can count on one hand the number of games that haven't involved a scoring drought.
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deal
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 6:16 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB !!!
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 6:42 pm    Post subject:

deal wrote:
Thanks DB !!!


I missed the game (early meeting), so thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 7:06 pm    Post subject:

PenG_ wrote:
Thanks DB! So happy to see Lebron back and showing some elevation.

Boy, I bet we can count on one hand the number of games that haven't involved a scoring drought.



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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 9:36 pm    Post subject:

Will the Gasol and Harrell combination be effective during the playoffs
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/nba/news/why-lakers-have-been-using-marc-gasol-and-montrezl-harrell-together-on-court-and-why-they-wont-in-playoffs/amp/
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 9:38 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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