HORNETS -at- LAKERS - 11/8 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:31 pm    Post subject: HORNETS -at- LAKERS - 11/8 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Staples Buzzing... With the Hornets in town, this was a winnable game despite the Lakers recent injuries. It wouldn’t come easy.

The Lakers squandered a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. After Rondo’s ejection (which brought Wesbtrook back on the floor), the Lakers would start to lose momentum. They gave up a 5-point possession with 3 technicals and foul that cut the lead down to 4.

With Westbrook back on the floor and turning the ball over seemingly every other possession, the Hornets eventually tied it up. The Lakers had 23.7 to try to win the game. They ran clock down, gave to AD at the three line to iso and airballed. Really poor play call.

The Lakers kept their heads up and battled in overtime as AD scored 6 of his 32 points in OT. Carmelo Anthony also sank one of his seven threes on his way to 29 off the bench.

Melo is at home at Staples. He’s feeding off the crowd energy, and the crowd is feeding off his shooting. Staples is buzzing whenever he gets the ball. It’s one of the few things going right for the Lakers so far this season. They needed his firepower tonight to take the 126-123 win.


Davis -- -- He threw up at the end of the third quarter and was a bit nauseous in his postgame interview. Really slow start in the first quarter for AD, not getting his motor going. He had 12 points on 5-11 shooting in the first half, 10 of which came in the second quarter. He got into the paint on some low position for some easy ones, which was nice to see during that second quarter. Unfortunately, for AD he had to run OT in this game feeling ill still. Some really good sequences with Rondo in this game. AD would set a screen for a shooter and we’d get the switch or the D off balance, then he’d roll to the hoop and Rondo would throw it over the top for the lob. Bad play call to end regulation where he airballed a three. Why are we not getting him the ball closer? In OT, however, he had a few moments, hitting a freethrow jumper and a big baseline turnover. He battled on the glass and got a block on a three at the end of the game -- one of 5 blocks on the night. Big numbers from a guy feeling under the weather. We needed that with as poorly as Westbrook was playing. The Stats: He scored 32 points on 13-25 shooting (0-3 form three, 6-8 from the line) to go with 12 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals, 5 blocks, 4 turnovers and 4 fouls in 44 minutes. He was a -1.

Westbrook -- -- It’s just awful at times, I mean impossibly bad. I expect some of this, but it’s an elevated level of basketball madness at times right now. Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, I barely trusted that he’d dribble the ball on the perimeter without coughing it up. He flirted again with a quadruple-double with those turnovers. Just 6 points in the first half (missed a point-blank dunk), but he had 9 assists. Some good work finding his bigs for lobs. He set up DJ for three dunks. He got middle and lobbed to AD for a dunk. He found his three shooters on some perimeter kickbacks and also hit Bradley cutting from the corner for a score. In the second half, he was getting outplayed by Rondo. The difference between the two on the night -- Westbrook -17, Rondo +20. We’re missing LeBron badly right now. I will say at least Westbrook has been cutting down on the poor shot selection. He’s been consistently avoiding certain pull-ups or threes in transition. Credit to him there. The Stats: He scored 17 points on 5-15 shooting (0-2 from three, 7-10 from the line) to go with 12 boards, 14 assists, 7 turnovers and 3 fouls in 41 minutes. He was a -17.

Bazemore -- -- Just a flatter game than usual. That got him sidelined as he couldn’t hit anything offensively (including another choked layup -- what is going on there? The D wasn’t that great, so he found himself riding the pine tonight. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-4 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 2 boards and no fouls in 14 minutes. He was a -12.

Bradley -- -- He sank a couple corner threes in this one and also had a layup cutting off Russ. But this was one of those offense-defense games, where we wanted his D, but we couldn’t get the chemistry flowing when he was on the court. Loved seeing us go with some defensive subs late in the game to get two key stops. That’s no small thing. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-8 shooting (2-5 from three) to go with 1 board and 3 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a -21.

Jordan -- -- With the shortage of bodies, we ran him at C to start the halves. He had a good first stint where we played even. He finished a couple of lobs from Russ. Ran the floor well and Russ found him for another dunk. We came out slow to start the second half and Vogel went to the small lineup. This is one of those teams where if we had LeBron, DJ probably wouldn’t have played. I will say there does appear to be some offensive chemistry with Westbrook. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-4 shooting (2-2 from the line) to go with 8 boards and 1 foul in 11 minutes. He was a -9.

Anthony -- -- It’s damn fun watching him at Staples and the relationship the fans have built with him. He feeds off it. The fans feed off it. There was a three in the in the second half where Monk found him in transition. The crowd was roaring even before he shot it. Hitting 2 of every 3 attempts from three is pretty much automatic. He drained 7-10 from behind the arc. He had 12 points off the bench in the first half, hitting two threes, a midrange and drawing FTs. And then was smoking in the second half. He hit a midrange off an ANd screen. He hit a three in transition when Rondo found him. He hit a wing three AD attacked and kicked. He drained another with a man right on him. Then the big one in transition. Money. In OT, he hit another three on an AD kickout in transition. That one seemed to swipe momentum back. Some really good defensive stands, as well. On one possession, we saw him rotating on one side of the court on help D, then rotating back to cut off baseline to help on the other to deny another drive. Love that. He also had a strip of Bridges under the hoop to save a dunk. And he got a good challenge in on the final shot attempt of the game. The Stats: He scored 29 points on 9-13 shooting (7-10 from three, 4-5 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 fouls in 37 minutes. He was a +13.

Howard -- -- Some excellent minutes from Dwight that helped spark the team. There was a sequence in the second half where he switched onto Rozier with about 9 minutes left, forced him to pass on iso D. He then switched and helped force a turnover. That led to a big Melo three in transition. One of the highlight sequences of the game. I love when we have chaos going defensively. We get those sequences with Dwight on the floor, not with DJ. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 1-2 shooting (2-6 from the line) to go with 9 boards (3 offensive), 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a +3.

Reaves -- -- Strong first half from Reaves even though the stats don’t show it. He was credited with 1 steal, but here’s what he did defensively: Deflected two passes, one forced a turnover. He pressured defenders into three offensive fouls (one charge, two push offs). Challenged a perimeter shot and forced his man into throwing it away instead of getting blocked. Boxed out on help D on a mismatch to prevent a score. He stripped the ball off a man, but Monk was called for a foul, so that didn’t count. On the negative side, he fouled a three shooter on a challenge in the corner. But some seriously disruptive defense out there. Offensively, he finished a layup on the break (switching hands in air for a reverse), hit a pull-up after losing a man by stopping on a dime and was hit in the head in transition for FTs (he might have been trying to hammer that one (would have brought the house down). Just a great first half. Late in the game, we had a busted offense sequence and he gave him the ball in the corner with 4 seconds left. He attacked, spun and hit a huge jumper with 2 minutes left. Such a poised play. He had another situation where he was forced to create on iso and collapsed the D to kick to Ellington for a three. Only thing missing was knocking down a big three with 30 seconds left. His legs just weren’t there for him on that one. How do you like seeing Vogel go to him and Bradley with under a minute left to get stops. This is a freaking rookie … and he’s the guy we are trusting (rightly so). I just don’t know that I’ve seen a rookie understand a team defensive scheme and help rotations as well as he has this early into a season. Guys just don’t come into the league and read offenses and anticipate what’s going to happen as quickly as he does. The game is too fast for them on that end. They are usually two steps behind instead of a step or two ahead. (Is there an All Defense rookie team? He’s got to be on it.) The Stats: He scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting (0-3 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 1 assist, 1 steal and 5 fouls in 27 minutes. He was a +3.

Monk -- -- Some big moments in this one. To end the third quarter, Melo took a pass at midcourt and falling out of bounds tried to throw it off a Hornet. He missed but the ball went to Monk at midcourt, who turned, fired and swished at the buzzer. In the fourth, he was the guy who found Melo with the hit ahead for that big three. We started him in OT, but Rozier was able to attack him a little too easily, so we sat him in the final minute for more defensive minded players. Monk did get a layup in OT on a baseline cut where Russ found him. Side note: Reaves loves hitting Monk for tough threes against the clock. Seems to happen at least once a game. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 4-8 shooting (2-4 from three) to go with 1 assists, 1 steal and 1 foul in 17 minutes. He was a +15.

Ellington -- -- Better minutes from Ellington. He was able to knock down a couple of threes. I’m really not sure why we didn’t sub him in for that final play of regulation to space the floor. Brain cramp from the coaches again. We looked to space the floor in OT more. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-3 shooting from three (2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards and 1 foul in 24 minutes. He was a +21.

Rondo -- -- Wow, he was ejected for a flagrant-2 with the Lakers up 8 with 10:55 left. He hit Rozier from behind in the head coming down on a challenge. I think he thought the ball was coming back over Rozier’s head and it didn’t. After three quarters, he was a +21 in 11 minutes. Westbrook was a -14 in his 25 minutes. This was a huge moment in the game. Looked like a flagrant-1. I don’t think the intention there was for a malicious foul, but that cut the legs out of a Playoff Rondo run that was going off in this game. Look, he’s been horrible this season, but credit in this one. He was orchestrating the offense well and finding AD on some nice lob sequences. Defensively, he actually had some moments, including a strip on a LaMelo drive and also getting a steal to set up AD on the break. I’m kind of curious how this would have played out had Rondo not been tossed. Westbrook was awful and Rondo was outplaying him. But, alas, no controversy for Vogel to navigate. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-3 shooting (0-1 from three) to go with 1 board, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 12 minutes. He was a +20.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: The Hornets tied the game up with 23.7 seconds left. Laker ball. Timeout. You need to sub out Bradley and Reaves here for Ellington and Monk to get shooters in to spread the floor more. We kept Reaves and Bradley in. We gave the ball to AD to iso and he airballed a three with 1.3 left what a horrible look and horrible play. That’s just going to put Vogel in the crosshairs more. Really awful possession. The basketball gods did not approve. Good thing they won. But he did make the offense-defense sub late. See the next item.

Key Substitution: With 49 seconds left in OT, he went back to Reaves and Bradley up 3. They got the stop. With 11.7 left the Hornets got the ball back again down 3. Once again, they got a stop on the final play as AD got a block on the perimeter and we had to go into scramble mode once the Hornets recovered that. Guys hustled and the basketball gods approved..

Key Stats: Hornets had 10 offensive boards in the first half. Just 4 the rest of the game. The Laker three shooting tonight was where we need it -- 13-32 (40.6%). That’s with AD/Westbrook chipping in with 0-5 from three. Got to open up that floor for them so they aren’t out there chucking..


Last edited by DancingBarry on Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:33 pm    Post subject:

A win!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:48 pm    Post subject:

DB I just wanted to say I really appreciate your write-ups of each game and your analysis of each player's performance!

I like and agree with your analysis of Westbrook tonight. I'm sick of people on this board acting like Westbrook is total garbage. Some of it is garbage, but some of it is treasure. As you said, we're missing LeBron right now.

Westbrook plays SO much better when LeBron's in the lineup, and LeBron can take the ball out of Westbrook's hands when he starts hurting us.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:04 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Good to see the Lakers pulled this one out. I missed this one - really appreciate your T&R.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:22 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB. All these games in our friendly digs are going to bite us down the road.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:13 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB
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deal
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:28 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB; our young team needs to understand how to close games....





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 5:57 am    Post subject:

According to RAPTOR, Russ is currently worth -6 pts per 100 possessions relative to the average NBA player, good for 234th in the league.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:38 am    Post subject:

The Lakers defense seems to be actually improving. From going to playing literally no defense, we are playing some defense, and even starting to resemble a good defensive team in some spurts. Yesterday we had AD challenging shots like he is capable, and a lot of those 2nd and 3rd rotations that Vogel teams do. We're seeing energy even from Monk, of all players. I don't know if it can be kept consistent, but aside from Westbrook, I thought every player had an above average defensive effort yesterday. The execution still needs time. The D rating has creeped very close to the top 10, it sits at #11 right now in the league, so we're currently ranked the 11th best defensive team per 100 possessions. That's probably something that Frank should get some credit for, considering many of our better defenders are out. Bron has played half the games. THT/Ariza/Nunn missed all the games. That's four 2-way guys who I think are all part of the rotation. THT was supposed to be a key piece.

On offense it's a whole other story. Westbrook's added so much pace. we're #1 in the pace. But it's not really effective as for every good paint penetration or pace he accomplishes, he makes so many poor decisions/TOs that we end up playing rather ineffecient basketball. 17th in the NBA in O rating. We need Bron's IQ and playmaking like crazy.

That Rondo sequence. Where he basically got this team to play well on both ends. That was what I think a real leader does. That is what I think Bron is for this team as well. What we have to do with defer to Bron/Rondo for the decisions and leadership and utilize Westbrook's elite speed and paint penetration skills. How do we find that balance with RW though? Right now we're just playing off him way too much. He's at nearly 30% usage rate, and you probably want him lower than that. I also would like to see RW's minutes closer to 28 than 35 when we have Bron, Nunn, THT. There's enough creating there would those 3, and Rondo too, so that's 4 shot creators from the perimeter.

We need Russ to shift more into SG mode than PG mode. A lot of this is exposed because we don't have Bron half the games, and we don't have Nunn/THT either. Rondo just had about 2 good games so far. Once we get more reliable higher IQ ballhandling, our offense will be a lot better.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:19 am    Post subject:

Good stuff DB!
I finally saw some heart and hustle defense in the heat of the battle last night. The team played with a sense of urgency in the crunch.
The Lakers need to bring that type of energy and effort on a more consistent basis.
GO LAKERS!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:29 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
The Lakers defense seems to be actually improving. From going to playing literally no defense, we are playing some defense, and even starting to resemble a good defensive team in some spurts. Yesterday we had AD challenging shots like he is capable, and a lot of those 2nd and 3rd rotations that Vogel teams do. We're seeing energy even from Monk, of all players. I don't know if it can be kept consistent, but aside from Westbrook, I thought every player had an above average defensive effort yesterday. The execution still needs time. The D rating has creeped very close to the top 10, it sits at #11 right now in the league, so we're currently ranked the 11th best defensive team per 100 possessions. That's probably something that Frank should get some credit for, considering many of our better defenders are out. Bron has played half the games. THT/Ariza/Nunn missed all the games. That's four 2-way guys who I think are all part of the rotation. THT was supposed to be a key piece.

On offense it's a whole other story. Westbrook's added so much pace. we're #1 in the pace. But it's not really effective as for every good paint penetration or pace he accomplishes, he makes so many poor decisions/TOs that we end up playing rather ineffecient basketball. 17th in the NBA in O rating. We need Bron's IQ and playmaking like crazy.

That Rondo sequence. Where he basically got this team to play well on both ends. That was what I think a real leader does. That is what I think Bron is for this team as well. What we have to do with defer to Bron/Rondo for the decisions and leadership and utilize Westbrook's elite speed and paint penetration skills. How do we find that balance with RW though? Right now we're just playing off him way too much. He's at nearly 30% usage rate, and you probably want him lower than that. I also would like to see RW's minutes closer to 28 than 35 when we have Bron, Nunn, THT. There's enough creating there would those 3, and Rondo too, so that's 4 shot creators from the perimeter.

We need Russ to shift more into SG mode than PG mode. A lot of this is exposed because we don't have Bron half the games, and we don't have Nunn/THT either. Rondo just had about 2 good games so far. Once we get more reliable higher IQ ballhandling, our offense will be a lot better.
On Point

Given the pace Westbrook creates, maybe he need energy players that be effective outlets at places where he knows where they are at
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:31 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB.

WB in the 4th - and I am a huge supporter of the trade. I hope I don't have to look up recipes for crow.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:33 am    Post subject:

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.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:52 am    Post subject:

Russ just freaks himself out in pressure moments. CHILL OUT AND SLOW DOWN DUDE!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:55 am    Post subject:

I fell asleep during the OT

Yay Winning!

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:57 am    Post subject:

Last night's game showed just how much this team needs LBJ. We don't have a closer. This game should not have gone to OT.

I don't know what's up with Westbrook. He played like a House of Pancakes chef turning pancakes. 5 TO in the 4th quarter alone.

Melo kept us in it. He needs to be in the closing unit. He's hot now but how long will it last?

Reaves needs more burn. He brings Caruso energy.

The defense is picking up. Health is our bane.

I'm still not in panic mode. We're 6-5 11 games in. I'll wait until we're healthy before I pass judgment. Let's see where we are at game 20.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:42 am    Post subject:

I cringed with every possession at the end of the game when the ball was in Westbrook's hand. I was sitting watching the game with my two teenage son's who hate "Westbrook" - Of course, I am more of a die hard Lakers fan for over 40 years now so I have to root for the team....all of them...

Westbrook needs to slow the hell down!!!
His layups are terrible
His shot selection is terrible
Passing in traffic is terrible

He needs to slow the hell down.....

I can't stand this guy already but I want to give him some time. He is going to cost us multiple games just being a "bull in a china shop" (I know, this isn't the right thing to say these days but it's the "old" dated saying that really applies to Russell).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 9:58 am    Post subject:

anth2000 wrote:
I cringed with every possession at the end of the game when the ball was in Westbrook's hand. I was sitting watching the game with my two teenage son's who hate "Westbrook" - Of course, I am more of a die hard Lakers fan for over 40 years now so I have to root for the team....all of them...

Westbrook needs to slow the hell down!!!
His layups are terrible
His shot selection is terrible
Passing in traffic is terrible

He needs to slow the hell down.....

I can't stand this guy already but I want to give him some time. He is going to cost us multiple games just being a "bull in a china shop" (I know, this isn't the right thing to say these days but it's the "old" dated saying that really applies to Russell).



There's a lot that goes into such a trainwreck. I'm sure everyone knows what you mean by slow down. I also get worried, though, when he slows it down. The defense loads up, we're predictable and that causes problems, too. This is why we really need LeBron there.

I think you can also see some of the purpose the team has in moving the ball side to side when we have both WB/LBJ out there. We get the help reacting a little later, the D can't load up as easily, guys can't sag off WB quite as much. So at some point, we're going to need to play faster in the half court (and with purpose) to make this work.

It's possible that later in the season when we have things clicking a little more that the speed becomes an asset. I want more quick-strike kind of plays where we aren't ball dominant and pounding the dribble. Use that speed/power intelligently.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:11 am    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
anth2000 wrote:
I cringed with every possession at the end of the game when the ball was in Westbrook's hand. I was sitting watching the game with my two teenage son's who hate "Westbrook" - Of course, I am more of a die hard Lakers fan for over 40 years now so I have to root for the team....all of them...

Westbrook needs to slow the hell down!!!
His layups are terrible
His shot selection is terrible
Passing in traffic is terrible

He needs to slow the hell down.....

I can't stand this guy already but I want to give him some time. He is going to cost us multiple games just being a "bull in a china shop" (I know, this isn't the right thing to say these days but it's the "old" dated saying that really applies to Russell).



There's a lot that goes into such a trainwreck. I'm sure everyone knows what you mean by slow down. I also get worried, though, when he slows it down. The defense loads up, we're predictable and that causes problems, too. This is why we really need LeBron there.

I think you can also see some of the purpose the team has in moving the ball side to side when we have both WB/LBJ out there. We get the help reacting a little later, the D can't load up as easily, guys can't sag off WB quite as much. So at some point, we're going to need to play faster in the half court (and with purpose) to make this work.

It's possible that later in the season when we have things clicking a little more that the speed becomes an asset. I want more quick-strike kind of plays where we aren't ball dominant and pounding the dribble. Use that speed/power intelligently.


Totally...spot on..
I love WB's explosiveness when he focuses on finishing. I think he has terrible finishing skills. Like he needs to practice making layups, shots....he is so erratic at times and the easiest of layups or dunks, he misses by a mile or more....
So, I don't mean slow down like slow, and move slow....I mean, play more methodically, less out of control....

I know it takes time...
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:27 am    Post subject:

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).
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:53 am    Post subject:

As usual, a great analysis, DB.

My wife and I were at this game, and it was a thriller, although a bit distressing at times. It's a bit discouraging to think that if Monk hadn't hit that half-court desperation three at the end of the third, we would have lost in regulation.

The flagrant 2 on Rondo was ridiculous, and I immediately knew we might be in trouble, as the team had done so much better with him in the game.

Then, in OT, I knew immediately that our D was going to suffer, and was calling for Vogel to put Reaves and Bradley back in, and I guess he heard me from 90 feet away.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:53 am    Post subject:


anth2000 wrote:


Quote:
I cringed with every possession at the end of the game when the ball was in Westbrook's hand. I was sitting watching the game with my two teenage son's who hate "Westbrook" - Of course, I am more of a die hard Lakers fan for over 40 years now so I have to root for the team....all of them...


I felt the same way. I don't know what's happened to his decision making and ball handling. They've gone whack.
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WeAreWorthy
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:15 am    Post subject:

The thing Brodie needs to understand and learn (but never will) is... Like all explosive players with good touch, you need to relax your upper body once you're airborn.

He's like.. tense all the time, and I would say fumbling the ball, missing layups and jumpers is (partly) because he's only got this one mode.. explosive but tense.
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Startrout
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:16 pm    Post subject:

Reaves was balling out there. Great effort from the rookie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an undrafted rookie playing major/important minutes with such a talent heavy team.

Our end game plays are horrible. We’d be better off just giving the ball to Melo and letting him try create something.
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jodeke
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:34 pm    Post subject:

Reaves got some important minutes in crunch time. He handled them well for a rookie. Hillbilly should be moved up in the rotation.
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