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

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:54 pm    Post subject: SUNS -at- LAKERS - 10/10 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Preseason Struggles... Another game without the full trio of stars, another loss. This time, Westbrook and AD got some in-game reps together while LeBron sat. Injuries also sidelined THT and Monk.

The Lakers fell back by 10 with a sluggish 18-point first quarter. Despite Melo hitting some threes, they still didn’t gain ground as CP3 picked the Laker D apart from the midrange. Vogel finally dialed in a combo that had the trio of Howard, AD and Bazemore on the floor. They got after it on D, turning stops into transition scores. They took the lead with a 14-0 run.

It was a lone stretch of that Laker D we’ve come to know the last couple of years, but it was all too brief.

In the third, the Lakers started coughing the ball up possession after possession and fell back big. It was a trash game midway through the third as the Lakers eventually fell, 123-94. I have a hard time seeing this team beat the Suns when they match up early in the season. They just don’t have their chemistry/continuity yet.


Davis -- -- The defense in that second quarter turned the game into the Lakers favor. He picked up a lot of FTs, but the highlight was a stretch out lob dunk on the break with Bazemore. He was a beast in that second quarter. If we can get full games of that during the regular season, we’re going to be able to get out in transition with a lot more consistency. The perimeter game is still missing. He hit a three, but also airballed another. I’d just like to see the midrange shots go down with some consistency. We talk about him being a stretch big, but he actually needs to prove it with some consistency. Hopefully, the shot picks up sooner rather than later. The Stats: He scored 19 points on 5-12 shooting (1-3 from three, 8-11 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 28 minutes. He was a -13.

Westbrook -- -- Oof, Part Two. He’s still feeling things out and at least he looked slightly more like himself. But the turnovers. He had 9 tonight. Occasionally, in this one he looked a little ticked and would step on the gas and try to impose himself on the game. We want to get him to playing with that speed and strength but also with purpose at the same time. There just wasn’t a lot of purpose in this one. You could see the Suns going under screens quite a bit to disrupt things against Westbrook. His midrange pull-up game was awful, especially trying to hit that bank shot from the left side that he’s generally decent at. There’s only a couple games left to develop chemistry. I don’t think we’re going into the season with any kind of groove. They just haven’t been on the floor enough together. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-12 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 2 boards, 5 assist, 1 steal, 9 turnovers and 2 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a -14.

Bazemore -- -- A lot of preseason talk has been about Bazemore being key to the Lakers defense. After losing KCP and Caruso, the team needed to find a guard who can cause problems. Bazemore helped throttle up the perimeter D tonight, jumping passing lanes, trapping with Dwight and hustling for loose balls. That’s the kind of stuff AC gave you nightly in addition to smart/timely rotations. Four steals for Bazemore tonight. With that effort and disruptive bigs in AD/Howard behind him, the Lakers hit their stride for a stretch in the second quarter. In the third, he sank a corner three on an AD kickout. He then stripped a big to save a basket on the other end and hit another three on a kickout again on the next trip down. He and THT are really going to be important to our defense this season. Hopefully, THT can get his team D reads down along with that three ball. “Really excited about what he’s been doing for us,” Vogel said. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-7 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 4 boards, 2 assists, 4 steals, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 25 minutes. He was a -14.

Ellington -- -- When we went on our run in that second quarter, Ellington was on the court. He had Dwight/AD/Bazemore/Westbrook around him. That shores things up defensively for him compared to running with Melo/Monk combos. So good to see we had a moment of thriving defensively while he was on the court. He had a quick trigger early, but couldn’t connect with consistency tonight. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-5 shooting from three to go with 4 boards, 2 assists and 1 foul in 22 minutes. He was a -8

Jordan -- -- He had a couple moments defensively early, blocking a shot in transition and disrupting another. But the Suns know how to pick apart bigs who aren’t terribly and mobile and sit back in drop coverage. DJ didn’t have much defensive presence after that. He was a -22 in his 15 minutes, while Dwight was a +3 in his 12. Huge gap between the two. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-2 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 1 block, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 16 minutes. He was a -22.

Howard -- -- We played him a long stint in the first half. That was some of our best ball of the game and preseason. He just elevates the intensity and plays big. Really, he’s been one of the few bright spots of the preseason. The stats don’t tell a lot but our size, especially when he and AD were on the court together, was really felt on D. He’s comfortable in Vogel’s defensive schemes. We just don’t have enough others that are. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting to go with 3 boards, 1 block and 2 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a +3.

Nunn -- -- Really quiet night. By far his poorest game of the preseason. He only scored a couple of freethrows. He tweaked an ankle in the fourth quarter. But he was MIA for most of the night before that. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 0-3 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 turnover and no fouls in 17 minutes. He was a -12.

Anthony -- -- It just makes such a difference when he’s hitting threes. That backup PF perimeter shooting that we lacked last season with Kieff was very much missed. Good to see some of it again tonight. And he had some moments defensively with a nice strip steal on a switch and a good defensive board during that stretch. The Lakers were still soft, but we’re missing LeBron who will tighten the screws on a lot of issues. Just good to see one of our bigs actually stretching the floor. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 6-12 shooting (5-7 from three) to go with 4 boards, 1 block, 4 turnovers and 3 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a -16.

Rondo -- -- He was part of the wheels coming off in the third with back-to-back turnovers. Vets just playing too loose. Vogel mentioned that about vets in the postgame. The casual nature of this one just made for some ugly moments. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-2 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 3 turnovers and no fouls in 13 minutes. He was a -13.

Reaves -- -- The injuries might give him a little more playing time than planned. Defensively, he got switched onto CP3 a few times. He actually got a good challenge in on one midrange, but it’s hard to defend when bigs are in drop coverage and you are fighting screens. Late in the game, he sank a couple of threes. He also had a nice layup attacking a close out. He found Queen for a lob dunk in early offense, as well. Quality minutes for him as we had him in the mix early on in this one versus just garbage time. Only guy of the prospects to see that. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 18 minutes. He was a -11.

Brown -- -- I like his aggressiveness. He’s trying to make the most of his minutes and managed 8 points by getting up 7 attempts in a quarter-worth of action. I would like to see him bring a little more of that aggressiveness on the defense end, but he’s always finding a way to contribute something. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-7 shooting (1-4 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 steals, 1 turnover and no fouls in 12 minutes. He was a -5.

Queen -- -- He flies around the court at times. He had a lob dunk off a great pass from Reaves beyond the three line. He also had a putback finish crashing the glass. He hit a pull up on the baseline for his other hoop. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-6 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 3 boards (2 offensive), 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a -5.

Ayayi -- -- He’s been a ghost. Guess he’s got his Halloween costume picked out. I’m not even sure he’ll do reasonably in the G-League right now. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-1 shooting in 8 minutes. He was a -6.

McClung -- -- Do we really have to hear about the highlight reels he has every time he enters a game? I’m pretty sure it’s happened every game, probably twice in some. He swished a wing three on a handoff right after entering. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-1 from three) to go with 1 board in 4 minutes. He was a -4.

Oliver -- -- He scored an And-1 layup off a nice drive and dish from Reaves, setting the table for him. He missed both threes he took. We were knee-deep into garbage time, so I can’t tell you how he got his 4 assists. It did not stick out to me. He did cost Reaves an assist blowing an easy layup, I can tell you that. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-5 shooting (0-2 from three, 1-3 from the line) to go with 1 board, 4 assists, 1 steal and 3 fouls in 12 minutes. He was a -5.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Third quarter Vogel called a timeout with 3:14 left and sat Westbrook and AD. The team had just rattled off a series of turnovers and fell back by 15. They just don’t look close to winning games yet. They hit their 20th turnover a minute later and still had 14 minutes left in the game. The Suns finished the quarter with an 18-3 run.

Key Substitution: Getting the trio of Dwight, AD and Bazemore on the floor in the second quarter. Our D had been pretty soft prior to that. CP3 was working the high screens into easy midrange looks. Once our mobility and length picked up, the Lakers had their first real stretch of defense this preseason.

Key Stats: Turnovers. We had 23 turnovers, Russ had 9.
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Startrout
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:34 pm    Post subject:

Bazemore is looking good. I wish he had some help on D in the backcourt. I’m not sure what this team is going to do with Baze and Dwight go out (I don’t think AD and Lebron are enough). We’ve really sucked on defense so far this pre-season overall. Fingers crossed we flip a switch at some point.
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Laker4lifer4real
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 10:48 pm    Post subject:

Westbrook has flashed his flaws and not much of his skills
so far. There are gonna be nights when we beg Vogel to put THT or Rondo in.
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 11:32 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB. Missed this one - appreciate your T&R's! Hope you have a better game to write about soon - season is approaching.

Hope we find first gear soon. Grinding pretty bad right now.
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governator
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 4:48 am    Post subject:

Dwight-AD front line looked Uber athletic, spry and covered a lot of ground. Didn’t see that last yr with Drummond
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:40 am    Post subject:

I like the effort from some guys (Bazemore, Dwight, AD, Melo) but am concerned about three point shooting from others (Ellington, Westbrook, Nunn) which was supposed to be a strength this year. Turnovers are horrible right now. Passes to no one going out of bounds is inexcusable. The coaches and vets need to get all over this.
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