ROCKETS -at- LAKERS - 11/21 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:18 pm    Post subject: ROCKETS -at- LAKERS - 11/21 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Fighting Through Our Defensive Issues... Two very different defensive games from the Lakers against this Rockets team. In the previous one, the Lakers locked down to hold the Rockets to 85. Not tonight.

The soft Laker perimeter defense to start this game allowed the Rockets to get good looks and find a comfort zone. Once Houston got rolling, the Lakers struggled to find the requisite effort to slow them.

As the Lakers defense regressed back to what we’ve seen from them most of this season, giving up 70 points in the first half to the Rockets, the Lakers seemed content to trade baskets until midway through the third quarter.

The defense locked in and held the Rockets to 8 points for the remaining 5 minutes of the third.

In the fourth, LeBron James spearheaded the attack as the Rockets defenders got picked high on screen and LeBron got running starts into the paint. That was trouble and he scored multiple layups as he got downhill again and again.

They pulled out to what looked like a comfortable lead and maybe it was too comfortable as the Rockets reeled them in.

A key sequence in this one. With 2:31 left in the game, Bazemore was fouled and hit a couple of FTs. A minute later, the refs said it was a mistake and that they were taking the two points off the board because the Rockets weren’t in the bonus. So the Lakers lost 2 points, but really lost a possession. Even if it was a foul, they would have had the ball back. Instead, it’s basically a free stop for the refs.

“Now we just lose the entire possession, which could have cost us the game,” AD said afterward.

And it did come down to the final possession as the Rockets made a couple of threes and we missed one of our FTs. This gave the Rockets a chance to tie or win the game. Thankfully, the Rockets missed a three, and the Lakers held onto the 119-117 win. Had that gone, that missing possession would have been the story.

“Very frustrated by that. The league has to look at that,” Vogel said.

Offensively in this game, we really saw the Lakers three stars stand out all in the same game. They scored a combined 84 points -- almost as much as the Rockets team in the last game.


LeBron -- -- In the fourth quarter, he just started getting downhill on the Rockets. Attacking their bigs and scoring bucket after bucket. As we combined that with some stops, we pulled out to a small lead finally after trailing all half. A lot of early offense attacks with the Rockets on their heels and our bigs setting high screens. When we get that frenzied pace going, we can get into a lot more of those looks. LeBron just kept going after it waiting for them to adjust and go under screens to wall him off. The Lakers really had a lot of bully ball tonight. He led the way. He had 16 points on 6-8 shooting in the first half as he hit a couple of threes and bullied his way to the front of the rim. He had a couple highlight dunks. One a lob from AD in the middle of the break in transition. The other a bully-ball drive in transition for a two-handed dunk. Just ate up the overpowered defender. We scored a ton of points in the paint, but I wouldn’t expect that from them everytime. Rockets just got run over by a tank. He had 20 points in the paint. The Stats: He scored 30 points on 13-21 shooting (2-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 10 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers and 3 fouls in 36 minutes. He was a +8.

Davis -- -- A couple of early fouls might have had his defense a little more conservative in the first half. He also tweaked an ankle, so that didn’t help matters. He got scored on with ease at the front of the rim near the end of that first half where both of those elements might have come to play. He struggled with the outside shot early, but worked in the paint for a few scores. He had 15 points on 6-11 shooting in the first half. “He had a lot of garbage points,” Vogel said. He also mentioned they are going to keep encouraging him to shoot the three (AD was 0-3 tonight). Hopefully, he dials that in, but if the midrange isn’t working for him, like tonight, those just seem like wasted possession most of the time right now. AD picked up his intensity down the stretch. We saw him get more physical in the paint on the offensive end for scores or getting a key foul fighting for the offensive board for FTs with 46 seconds left. He had 20 of his 27 points in the paint. The Stats: He scored 27 points on 11-18 shooting (0-3 from three, 5-8 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers and 2 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a -1.

Westbrook -- -- Some nice moments working his way to the front of the rim, overpowering defenders and generally being his explosive self. He also hit a couple of perimeter shots (a pull-up inside the elbow and his left wing bank twice). What stood out to me were moments when the ball is moving and we find Russ for quick explosive scores. It catches the D off balance when they are focusing on LeBron, Melo or AD and then all of a sudden you hit Westbrook curling off a screen in the paint and you’re suddenly toast. Teams worry about getting bullied by LeBron or AD and now you’ve Westbrook imposing himself. It’s tough to defend when we’re making fast decisions. Again, for the third straight game (I think), we’ve really seen Westbrook make a very cognizant effort not to settle for quick pull-up chucks in offense. We even saw him back it out of the paint in one sequence and look for something else. That might be the first time I’ve seen that all season...where it looked like he purposely decided to look for something better. The Stats: He scored 27 points on 10-21 shooting (0-4 from three, 7-8 from the line) to go with 9 boards (5 offensive), 7 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and 1 foul in 37 minutes. He was a -6.

Bazemore -- -- An up and down first half, he was the only Laker in the positive with a +2. He picked up 3 fouls in the first quarter and a tech on that last one. Meanwhile, he had a couple plays where he was fouled with no call. As a result, he was a little frustrated with the officiating. Some headscratchers again in this game. He picked up his fourth foul early in the third going over the back on the offensive glass. Why are you doing that with foul trouble? He also missed a couple layups on the break. But he did have a big score on a drive from the wing to his strong hand late in the game. And that foul for the phantom freethrows came after he got a steal. Some good plays in the first half: He swished a three on a handoff when the D went under. He pulled out an offensive board, then found AD for a dunk with a nice entry feed. He also dunked on the break off a LeBron feed. Strange game. The Stats: He scored 7 points on 3-7 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals and 5 boards in 27 minutes. He was a +2.

Bradley -- -- He found LeBron and AD in transition early on for a couple of scores, doing a good job pushing tempo. His only make in this one was smartly following Baze on the break to clean up his miss. He missed all his threes. His one turnover should probably be on DJ. Bradley threw him a lob and DJ wasn’t expecting it. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-6 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and no fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +2.

Anthony -- -- At home, he’s shot 68 percent from three -- two of every three he’s taken have been going down. He sank 2-4 in the first half and would finish 3-5 from three to lower his percentage at home with that 60% outing. Crazy. It doesn’t just seem automatic, it kind of is right now at home. I think he feels he can score on just about anyone covering him in iso. But sometimes he’ll get a smaller guy on him and that does also seem automatic. It’s probably not a coincidence, but every time Melo gets up for his first shift. Reaves is coming with him. We’re getting a good defender and some good team D and holding the line. The Stats: He scored 15 points on 6-9 shooting (3-5 from three) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist and 2 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +1.

Jordan -- -- Off the bench again with Dwight out. We found him for some lobs early. Late in the game Bradley airballed a three so badly that DJ also turned that into a lob dunk. Nice focus on that play. Defensively, he got caught flat footed and gave up a dunk to his man. There are stretches still where I just count the clock before AD enters the game. Just always feels dicey. Part of that, though, is we really need good perimeter D to chase guys around screens and we’re not always getting it. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-5 shooting to go with 9 boards (3 offensive), 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a +3.

Reaves -- -- Nothing in his statline is going to pop off the page, but he helped changed the tone defensively in the second half off the bench. In the third quarter when the Lakers were making a run, Reaves was causing all kinds of problems defensively. Whether it was rotations or point of attack, he was working hard and the D tightened up around that. I really can’t say enough about a rookie playing D like he is. He sparked the team back into the game when it could have gone either way at that point down 10. In the first half, he also had a nice block under the hoop in the first half that led to a score for Melo in transition on the other end. But chilling Jalen Green down for a stretch when others couldn’t is just not something we would have seen had it not been for our injuries. So there is a silver lining in some of those guys being out. Otherwise, Reaves would have likely been buried on the bench, but now he is building trust with the coach. Great to see. His only bucket tonight was off an ATO where he fought off some grabbing and cut to the hole for LeBron to find him for a layup. We got to get him to hammer some of these as the crowd will go nuts. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting (0-2 from three) to go with 2 boards, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +2.

Monk -- -- With 6.6 left, we brought him in for freethrows, he missed one of them to make it a 2-point game. Just too much bad in this one. He airballed a corner three. He had a wild drive that was essentially a turnover. He attacked and charged. Defensively, he got stuck on a screen and gave up a three while we are in drop coverage. You have to fight over the top of that and get pressure on the backside or DJ is just going to be standing there in no man’s land. On the plus side, he did have a nice lob to DJ on a SLOB sequence we’ve run before. The Stats: He scored 1 points on 0-3 shooting (0-1 from three, 1-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 13 minutes. He was a -1.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: A few of them, but going back to the third quarter when we rattled off an 8-0 run after Vogel called a timeout down 10. Vogel just had the team go zone for a possession and it was easily chewed up and spit out by the young Rockets for a layup. Vogel got the team re-focused. The Rockets would score just 8 points for the next 7 minutes. He had Reaves out there mixing things up and the tone of the game changed. A second key moment was those first 5 minutes of the fourth where LeBron took over and got downhill for multiple scores to build a lead.

Key Substitution: AD for DJ in the second half. DJ started the second half for AD, who was still in the locker room. With no Howard and if we had no AD for the second half, I’m not sure we pull this one off. Glad to see AD come back out and look like himself after an ankle twist in the first half.

Key Stats: Lakers won the points in the paint 78-60. The Lakers won the rebound battle 43-38. The Lakers had a 23-8 advantage on the break.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:47 pm    Post subject:

first!
My god, can you imagine MLB taking a home run away tonight in the World series?
How can the NBA expect to be taken seriously as a league if you just take points away, and expect the fans to NOT think it is a Tim Donaghey, Vegas/Mob/gambling situation?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:38 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Excellent summary again! Good to see a win. That game was looking awful for about 30 minutes, then some decent defense arrived. Followed by LeBron.

That call by the refs though.. glad the Lakers won. Hope that kind of call doesn't become a habit in the NBA.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:43 pm    Post subject:

I hope the NBA banishes the ref who made that BS call, if the Rockets had won we could have potentially seen riots because of some dumb moron.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:53 pm    Post subject:

eddiejonze wrote:
first!
My god, can you imagine MLB taking a home run away tonight in the World series?
How can the NBA expect to be taken seriously as a league if you just take points away, and expect the fans to NOT think it is a Tim Donaghey, Vegas/Mob/gambling situation?


Yeah, that was one of the shadiest things i've ever seen in the NBA. I'm sure people at the leagues office are thrilled to see the Lakers pull out the win otherwise this would have been a fairly big story and not a good look for them to say the least. Since we ultimately won it will just be an odd decision that will disappear quickly.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:53 am    Post subject:

hype wrote:
eddiejonze wrote:
first!
My god, can you imagine MLB taking a home run away tonight in the World series?
How can the NBA expect to be taken seriously as a league if you just take points away, and expect the fans to NOT think it is a Tim Donaghey, Vegas/Mob/gambling situation?
Yeah, that was one of the shadiest things i've ever seen in the NBA. I'm sure people at the leagues office are thrilled to see the Lakers pull out the win otherwise this would have been a fairly big story and not a good look for them to say the least. Since we ultimately won it will just be an odd decision that will disappear quickly.
Great that the NBA is trying to eliminate "non-basketball" actions.

I thought that once the game had continued, one cannot change the call. If so, why don't we change the score of other games

This action highlights LBJ's "continuation play" that was not - again.

Does anybody know the reasons behind these calls??????
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:02 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

The good, the bad and the ugly, all in one game. Rockets almost stole the game.

I've never seen anything like what the refs did last night. Bizarre
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:34 am    Post subject:

https://twitter.com/mcten/status/1455784185386323971?s=21

Full breakdown of the bad ref call. This is why I LOVE Russ:

Westbrook: "All I’m thinking is telling myself, ‘Don’t get distracted. Can’t change it. They made their decision. Move on to the next play.’ And figure out how to execute whatever play we got coming up."
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 4:40 am    Post subject:

All_Star_Laker wrote:
https://twitter.com/mcten/status/1455784185386323971?s=21

Full breakdown of the bad ref call. This is why I LOVE Russ:

Westbrook: "All I’m thinking is telling myself, ‘Don’t get distracted. Can’t change it. They made their decision. Move on to the next play.’ And figure out how to execute whatever play we got coming up."


Ironically now 'cant change it' is no longer true
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 5:06 am    Post subject:

Houston is the only team in the NBA that plays faster than us. Interesting to know that, because it felt that they were up to the task of playing at that speed yesterday.

As the things unfold, and evolve. You may begin to see teams unable to keep up the pace with the Lakers. Already we're starting to see the elements of how we can get pace two ways. One off a stop and immediate outlet. The second is Westbrook with an open paint. My god the altering of Westbrook and Bron with AD at the 5 and the 2nd unit guys. Was it a sight to see how amazing this team is at getting to the rim.

We just need one more potent shooter that can defend. Melo is one guy. Bradley, Baze, Reaves. They're all more impact on D than O. If we can get a 2/3 who can shoot and defend, we have that incredible closing lineup of AD/Melo/Bron/Westbrook + that 2-way guy. I look forward to seeing if THT, Ariza, Ellington or Nunn could be that guy with that unit.

DB's been asking who is that 5 man core group that closes. I think the way things are going right now we're seeing Frank trust AD/Bron/Westbrook with Baze/Bradley. However he is also trusting Melo big time in the 4th. If we can get an elite defender that can shoot the ball, playing Melo in those death situations is more possible.

As long as Melo keeps playing how he is, which is respectable D, and all-star level offense, then you have to consider finding that 5th guy around AD/Melo/Bron/Westbrook. Is it Baze, THT, Bradley etc.? Who is that 5th guy.Once we can establish that guy (or move via trade to get him), this team could be scary good.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:17 am    Post subject:

One thing I’ve noticed lately is the big 3 are starting to gel with their manipulation of defenses.

When Russ is attacking, AD is manipulating the paint area with nice designed pick plays and if the layup isn’t there Russ is finding AD for easy baskets when AD has great inside position.

The fastbreak is becoming a nightmare too. Russ and LBJ have had some high level no look connections.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:38 am    Post subject:

Russ quietly finding his own. Happy to see him playing well
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 6:50 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
Houston is the only team in the NBA that plays faster than us. Interesting to know that, because it felt that they were up to the task of playing at that speed yesterday.

I noticed this, actually. Everyone on our squad seemed to struggle more than usual getting back on defense. Wondered why this would the case - this would explain it

Thankfully it didn't matter a whole lot as Houston isn't nearly as experienced, and therefore polished (even if we're not that polished ourselves yet)
wolfpaclaker wrote:
As long as Melo keeps playing how he is, which is respectable D, and all-star level offense, then you have to consider finding that 5th guy around AD/Melo/Bron/Westbrook. Is it Baze, THT, Bradley etc.? Who is that 5th guy.Once we can establish that guy (or move via trade to get him), this team could be scary good.

Depending on if he's regressed this season or not... I still think it could be Ariza
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:25 am    Post subject:

FG% for both teams 52.7%

3PT % 38.1% for Houston 24% for LAL LOSS

FT% 41.7% for HOU 75% for LAL WIN!

Rebounds HOU 60 LAL 78 WIN!

Points in the paint HOU 60 LAL 78 WIN!

Turnovers HOU 25 LAL 17 WIN!

LAL currently 3rd in the Western Conference and 2nd in the Pacific Division!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:00 am    Post subject:

Is the League going to comment on the lost possession?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:33 am    Post subject:

those stops late in game were a lot more consistent the last couple years but a w is a w
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:54 am    Post subject:

eddiejonze wrote:
first!
My god, can you imagine MLB taking a home run away tonight in the World series?
How can the NBA expect to be taken seriously as a league if you just take points away, and expect the fans to NOT think it is a Tim Donaghey, Vegas/Mob/gambling situation?

nothing has changed. He cheated, never proven otherwise now they know to hide it better. Lakers were one of the teams they tried to hold back so its there.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 9:51 am    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:

LAL currently 3rd in the Western Conference and 2nd in the Pacific Division!


It's kinda hard to feel good about this when most of our schedule has been against creampuffs so far. Also, we lost one game against said creampuffs and we gave up a TON of points vs. the ones we won. Against the two strong playoff opponents? It wasn't even close.

We need to significantly improve our defense and rebounding ability, which points to making quality trades to help support our starters if possible.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:29 am    Post subject:

joeblow wrote:
Laker7 wrote:

LAL currently 3rd in the Western Conference and 2nd in the Pacific Division!


It's kinda hard to feel good about this when most of our schedule has been against creampuffs so far. Also, we lost one game against said creampuffs and we gave up a TON of points vs. the ones we won. Against the two strong playoff opponents? It wasn't even close.

We need to significantly improve our defense and rebounding ability, which points to making quality trades to help support our starters if possible.



Agreed. But the schedule is what the schedule is. Can't change it.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 12:33 pm    Post subject:

Thanks again DB!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:34 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
joeblow wrote:
Laker7 wrote:

LAL currently 3rd in the Western Conference and 2nd in the Pacific Division!


It's kinda hard to feel good about this when most of our schedule has been against creampuffs so far. Also, we lost one game against said creampuffs and we gave up a TON of points vs. the ones we won. Against the two strong playoff opponents? It wasn't even close.

We need to significantly improve our defense and rebounding ability, which points to making quality trades to help support our starters if possible.



Agreed. But the schedule is what the schedule is. Can't change it.


Yeah, makes sense we need to beat some legitimate teams which the Heat without question are to start the season and is coming up so that will be a good test just how much we have improved since the first two games of the season.

I feel great about the progress though regardless of who we're playing just watching how the big 3 (4?) have constantly been making adjustments to make the fit better while also having the timing and chemistry clearly on the rise as well.

We've seen some dominate defense stretches and also plenty of awful stretches as well but the potential is there and Vogel is finding out certain lineups we simply just cant put on the floor together. That will be key going forward, making sure we have cohesive units in at all times that aren't defensive liabilities as a collective.

There's plenty of top teams losing to mediocre/bad teams to start the year though. I'd say we have more reason then all of them considering the drastic changes of out roster especially bringing in another ball dominant guy which will simply take time. Offensively, we'll be fine imo but Vogel has his work cut out for him figuring the defense out but I believe we'll ultimately be solid.

I def. do not think we should be making any trades remotely soon unless some no brainer offer is on the table.. We should wait until guys get back and give everyone some time to play and figure each other out wayyyy before we start swapping pieces out. Then by the deadline and when the buy outs happen we'll have a real idea of what we need with probably much more players on the table to potentially choose from.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:05 pm    Post subject:

Laker7 wrote:
joeblow wrote:
Laker7 wrote:

LAL currently 3rd in the Western Conference and 2nd in the Pacific Division!
It's kinda hard to feel good about this when most of our schedule has been against creampuffs so far. Also, we lost one game against said creampuffs and we gave up a TON of points vs. the ones we won. Against the two strong playoff opponents? It wasn't even close.

We need to significantly improve our defense and rebounding ability, which points to making quality trades to help support our starters if possible.
Agreed. But the schedule is what the schedule is. Can't change it.
Schedule is the Schedule

We should remember that this roster has very few people from last year's squad, plus these games are our "preseason games" where Vogel is experimenting on what lineups work best for numerious scenarios.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:47 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB -

Sort of same story with this team's D, different night. No use me complaining today - will save it for the future.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:29 pm    Post subject:

Seems like Westbrook is fitting in well. His decision making and shot selection have gotten much better in just the last 2-3 games.

Our fastbreak was already great in the championship season, but Westbrook has given us that additional thrust and velocity in our transition game. That can mean the difference between getting 20 fastbreak points, which is good, and getting 30+ fastbreak points, which is Showtime territory and a nightmare for the other team as LakerSD said above.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:33 pm    Post subject:

NEXT GAME:
    Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder
    Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA | Thursday, Nov. 04, 2021 • 7:30 PM PT
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