LAKERS -at- GRIZZLIES – 12-9-21 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:55 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- GRIZZLIES – 12-9-21 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Wolfpaclaker has us covered tonight with the recap:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
1st Quarter: Lakers start off real strong. A lot of paint oriented basketball. Strong defense. But do allow some open 3s that the Grizzlies just aren't making. Lebron playing very well. Then, to close the Qtr, Lakers miss 3 FTs out of 4 and let a few second chance chances lead to 3 pointer, poor close to the Qtr allowing a 8 point lead slip to 3. 29-25 Lakers after 1.

2nd Quarter: The Grizzlies were more active and especially off the glass making the Lakers pay. Winning the 50-50 battles. Lakers getting careless. Lakers not having the same motor with their defense. Lakers didn't get into their man D in this Q. A lot of "not locked in" man D. Not committed. Most of it was the talent. Melo, Monk, Ellington. Just not really trying very hard, low motor. Lakers getting turnover prone. The turnovers (lazy passes) just killed the Lakers in this quarter. Same ole bad habits - turnovers and no commitment defense kicks in. Horrendous stretch. Lakers finish the half down 53-59 (16 point swing, since the 9 point lead).

3rd Quarter: Frank inserts Dwight into the game, for THT. Moves AD to the 4. Seems to help us, we regain the lead at 72-70. AD plays a bit better, team gets more stops. Then benches come into play again, and Melo lineups hurt us again. Lakers down 78-85 after 3.

4th Quarter: Not much fight in the team. Westbrook ineffective, and Lebron not taking over. Bench play really hurting us on both ends. Lakers lose 95-108 to an under manned Grizzlies team. Bad loss.


First half +/-

+4 THT
+4 Avery
+1 AD
+1 Bron
-4 Monk
-7 Melo
-7 Ellington
-8 Howard
-14 Westbrook

Second half +/-

+9 Howard
+3 Bradley
+1 Bron
-2 Westbrook
-3 AD
-7 Ellington
-7 Melo
-12 Monk
-15 THT


Lakers went with the same starting lineup. 3rd Q, they subbed THT for Howard. Both starting lineups fared well, in terms of winning the battle against the other team. Our bench and the turnovers killed us in this one.

The starters: AD/Lebron/THT/Bradley/Westbrook

Lebron: Very good start. A lot of mid-post touches, and attacks off the dribble. Some great passes to the post sprinters in transition. Great defense on Jackson. Setting the tone on D. However some weak rushed passes, allowing the Grizzlies to feast on the turnovers. Five turnovers in the 1st half, just killed us. As good as a start he had, his TOs were just as hurtful to our flow in the 2nd Q. Later on he became more perimeter oriented. Finished with 1-6 three point shooting. Not happy about those 3 pointers. In a game where he's dominated and drawn doubles, why stand out and shoot 3s. It's mind boggling.


AD:
A lot of rim runs/post sprints. Did not like the early 3 pointer (and a miss). The paint is wide open when AD is at the 5 we move a lot off the ball into the paint. A little soft on some plays against Steven Adams under the basket. Not being aggressive against Adams to make him pay for being slower, but Adams was making AD pay for being not as physical. Second half moved to the 4, saw more active play. Was better matched up at the 4 in this one vs Adams at the 5 who was hurting him. Took 4 three pointers, and that's 3 more than I think he should be taking. Not a very effective game by AD.

Westbrook: Quiet start, but usually this is our design to have RW pick up the steam in the 3rd. Missed two FTs and gave momentum to the Grizzlies to close the 1st Qtr. 2nd Q early TO. Scores on a nice spin post move. Hits a catch and shoot 3. Hit another one later. Just never got going. As the game went out, really hurt us. Was probably the worst Laker out there today along with Melo.

THT: Really good flashing off the ball and some great looks early. Played composed. Thought he had a strong start to the game. Then we brought him off the bench in the second half and it was just ugly by all involved. Some nice playmaking and really good cuts to the basket, but it's hard to find what exactly is THT's role on the team.

Bradley: Avery was not a threat from outside, but early on we were estasblishing the paint and he did his part by moving off the ball. Played hard on D, and moved well on offense to get into the paint. I like Avery. I think it's a shame we don't have more guys like this around the big 3. We're making a good coach look very bad with the way we've formed some very bad habits. Avery is a guy who doesn't have those habits. While I don't know if he's a starter, he does do a lot of things right on both ends.

The bench:

Melo: Hit his first 3 off a Lebron kick out. Second time, he had a post move and scored in mid-range. A nice offense rebound and drew FTs. Melo was getting picked on defensively, though. The athletic Grizz forwards were really having their way. Melo was a liability on D throughout this one. You can trace our poor defense and his presence in each lineup.

Ellington: A nice sequence where he came off the ball and spot up for an open 3. Next time up he didn't get his footing and we overpassed. Another guy sort of like Melo. When his shots are falling there is value. But when he's not, he's a liabilty.

Monk: Hit a few good outside shots, but it seemed the defensive breakdowns began when Melo and Monk came into the game. Probably one of his weaker games as a Laker. Has been solid the last few games, but this was a real bad one. I'm most concerned about the defense. These guys don't commit. Monk is one of the guys off the bench that doesn't commit on D regularly.


Howard
: Small short first stint. Westbrook tried to get him the ball on a roll but he didn't get a good pass. Second half started and did very well. We should have played him more in this game.

Vogel: The Howard/Melo/Ellington/Monk/Westbrook lineup really struggled. Hopeing he didn't play them again in th 2nd half. Went to the Lebron at the 5 lineup after this lineup struggled, subbing out Howard for LBJ. Second half changed the starting lineup to Howard in for THT. Helped. Closing the quarters lineups killed us. Not just the turnovers. Frank has to see the issues here. I don't know the answers myself. I just know that we started off really well. Then suddenly stopped playing with the same purpose. Was it the lineups? But you got to play what you have. We don't have a good defensive team that's consistent at keeping the game simple on offense. This is who we are right now. A .500 team, maybe a .600 team with Lebron (8-6 with Bron).
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 9:02 pm    Post subject:

first
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 9:21 pm    Post subject:

I really, really don’t get why we didn’t play a Howard AD front court more often. AD was getting overpowered by Adams, so the minutes with Lebron at the 4 were still tough, and when Melo was with AD Melo was getting totally, completely, utterly, massively destroyed by all comers on defense. The only time we were matching the Grizz’s physicality was with AD and Howard. Howard battled Adams and AD took JJJ and we made a run to go from down 6 to up 5 or 6. Then Melo and Monk came in and it all fell apart.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:25 pm    Post subject:

Thanks Wolf [and for the posting of it DB]...

We're really running out of excuses...heck, out of excuses most likely. It's one thing when guys struggle because they are not use to playing with one another; it's a whole other thing when effort ebbs and flows like a casual stroll on a beach watching waves come in, and go out.

There will always be the fan part of me that says "but if they can just..." [aka hope]. But, trying to be objective, they are not very good. This team currently possesses the worst of both worlds - not good enough to challenge for a title; not bad enough (or with any picks anyway) to get any decent lotto pick.

Just a mediocre team bumping along. Bottomline: Any team, *any*, that comes to play hard and physical with this Laker team has a 50/50 shot to win. This Laker team is not tough, and frankly play like a bunch of cream puffs half the time.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 11:05 pm    Post subject:

** Casualness ** is the hallmark of this team

Words is out that they are a "front-running" team with "No Heart of a Champion"

AD had good stats, but few impactful plays. With Steven A saying that AD is the key to the Lakers' season

Few "hustle plays" that resulted in winning the 50/50 plays

Word is out, if you work hard throughout the game - the Lakers will fold and one will be able to win many games because they don't play hard and their ISO "plays" during crunch time will be very easy to attend
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 11:15 pm    Post subject:

A Mad Chinaman wrote:
** Casualness ** is the hallmark of this team

Words is out that they are a "front-running" team with "No Heart of a Champion"

AD had good stats, but few impactful plays. With Steven A saying that AD is the key to the Lakers' season

Few "hustle plays" that resulted in winning the 50/50 plays

Word is out, if you work hard throughout the game - the Lakers will fold and one will be able to win many games because they don't play hard and their ISO "plays" during crunch time will be very easy to attend


Mad...that hurts to hear. But it's also likely true.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:54 am    Post subject:

Scary game. Memphis locked down defensively and didn't give us many easy looks, completely taking Russ out of the game even when he played alongside Melo/Wayne/Monk. That unit has to score like crazy to stay afloat.

Memphis had so many wide open threes. We're a .500 team until proven otherwise.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:55 am    Post subject:

"The second quarter was where the energy of the game shifted," Laker coach Frank Vogel said. "Our turnovers went way up. We didn't rebound the basketball. We were slow to every loose ball."

He added that there was "too much casualness to our approach “


https://www.espn.com/nba/recap?gameId=401360204
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:41 am    Post subject:

I'm tired of this (bleep) (bleep).
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:49 am    Post subject:

Quote:
We're really running out of excuses...heck, out of excuses most likely. It's one thing when guys struggle because they are not use to playing with one another; it's a whole other thing when effort ebbs and flows like a casual stroll on a beach watching waves come in, and go out.

There was this famous football coach quote years ago. We are what the record says we are. I feel that's just. The Lakers are dangerous, but not consistent enough to be better than a .600 team. Even with Bron.

The stuff they had to deal with this year, they were dealing with that 2 years ago. The parts just fit a lot better and Bron/AD were playing at a different level. We don't have the legs defensively through 9 players (a full rotation) nor do we have AD/Bron at the same level as 2019. That's why I think we always have these setbacks.

The game began brilliantly. We were doing everything I want to see from the Lakers team. Really if it were coaching, we wouldn't show these signs. It was that AD/Bron/THT/Bradley/WB lineup. We were killing it. Then, Bron sits. Melo comes in. Another bench guy comes in. We start to play without some focus, with some casualness. With some lack of effort. The bleeding begins. When Bron comes back in, he doesn't stop the bleeding. He adds to it. He plays casual as well.

That's the issue with our team IMO. We don't have those impact players who defend and can fit in in offense (2-way guys) after the big 3. Sometimes we get it, like against Boston. However for every Boston game, the guys around the big 3 have nights like last night. I mean this is what happens when you lose guys like Caruso, KCP, Green, Dennis etc. We had a lot of 2-way guys. I don't get the hype for Monk. He's a talented scorer, but he's not 2-way. THT has flashes, but that's all it is.

The most dependable role players we have are Avery and Dwight. And there's no way Avery and Dwight should be starting at this stage of their careers. If Rob wants to save this team from being a 6th seed all season, he needs to make some moves soon. We're just seeing the same thing over and over, rinse and repeat. 1 good game, 1 bad game. 2 bad games, 2 good games. There's just no consistency in the role players. At least the year's past teams had consistency on defense. AD's not playing at a MVP level and will not. Neither will Bron. These guys are where they are and we need to respect that, by improving the cast of players around them.

In the end, this will likely fall on the coach's head, which is the saddest part for me. The team is not poorly coached although I do understand the concerns with Frank's lineups. It's a group of players that don't do enough on both ends on a consistent basis. For example yesterday we won both the starting lineup battles. But then, we lost the bench wars badly. Frank has literally tried every combination possible. It all leads back to the same thing. The team isn't that good. It's a dangerous team, with weapons galore, but not a collective unit that can be relied on to have a quality 9-10 man rotation.

We have 3 good to very good players and a lot of below average players around them. No coach is going to come in and make these guys into above average players.

For example, here is what we're working with

Dwight is a backup coming from Philly.
Avery got cut from the Warriors.
Monk was let go by Charlotte.
Ellington is an off the bench sniper from a bad Detroit team.
Melo was a bench guy from Portland. THT got paid on potential, but is a 2nd round pick with talent.
DAJ got cut and was not playable on the Nets.
Rondo was cut by the Grizz.

You see what I'm saying? This supporting cast does not have 1 single starting level talent on it. Many of these guys would not play on a contender. No coach is coming in and turning these guys into above average players. Frank's been dealt with a horrible hand. His best bet is to go to AD and Bron and tell them to carry the team like MVPs. Unless the big 3 play unbelievably well for a consistent long stretch, in particular Bron/AD, we're going to hover around .500-.600 all season. 41-45 win team, IMO.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:13 am    Post subject:

Thanks Wolf!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:28 am    Post subject:

The DS/KCP/Bron/AD/Gasol lineup was miles better than anything we’ll put on the floor this season
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:33 am    Post subject:

PenG_ wrote:
The DS/KCP/Bron/AD/Gasol lineup was miles better than anything we’ll put on the floor this season

So far, yes. Factor, Caruso and Kuz off the bench. Much better depth and defensive identity. Crazy how much of a set back from a roster standpoint the WB trade and letting Caruso has been. It's painfully obvious in our games, the lack of 2-way talent around AD/Bron is coming into play.

This is the regular season, though. Playoffs are a different animal. I'm not sure that team was good enough to win a title this year. Bron is declining, and AD is not the same AD. We needed a bigger 3rd weapon than Dennis. The trade may have cost us 10-12 RS wins, but if Rob makes some good moves around the big 3, we may be a better playoff team in the end.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:13 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
The trade may have cost us 10-12 RS wins, but if Rob makes some good moves around the big 3, we may be a better playoff team in the end.


I said before the season that I wasn't going to reach any firm conclusions about this team until January. I'm sticking with that.

However, if you are expecting "good moves around the big 3" to make us "a better playoff team in the end," you are probably going to be disappointed. We have no trade assets of note. At $10M/year, THT is not likely to be coveted by other teams. I'm sure that everyone will get excited about the buyout market, as usual, but a lot of people forget that our big pickups were Dion Waiters and Andre Drummond.

If you want hope, then it should come from (1) the fact that the big three have shown signs of progress as a unit, even if they laid an egg last night, and (2) Nunn and Ariza might plug some of the gaping holes in this roster. But don't be expecting some miraculous trade to save the season. It isn't truly impossible, but it is wildly unlikely.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:16 am    Post subject:

Last night looked like a young athletic team playing against an old unathletic team. And the season isn’t half over. This could very well be a .500 team.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:48 am    Post subject:

[quote="wolfpaclaker"]
Quote:

We have 3 good to very good players and a lot of below average players around them. No coach is going to come in and make these guys into above average players.

For example, here is what we're working with

Dwight is a backup coming from Philly.
Avery got cut from the Warriors.
Monk was let go by Charlotte.
Ellington is an off the bench sniper from a bad Detroit team.
Melo was a bench guy from Portland. THT got paid on potential, but is a 2nd round pick with talent.
DAJ got cut and was not playable on the Nets.
Rondo was cut by the Grizz.



I hear what you are saying but.....all of these guys were either actively recruited by or approved by LBR/AD/WB. News reports indicate Pelinka had deals lined up to sign DDR and trade for Buddy before LBJ/AD came in with the WB trade idea. IMO this roster gets laid at the feet of LBJ/AD.

Has anyone thought that LBJ is slacking off at times so Frank gets fired and his buddy Fizdale gets hired as coach? Too many times I see LBJ loafing as compared to the championship season.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 9:14 am    Post subject:

Stanley Johnson and Alfonso McKinnie were both picked up as emergency COVID relief players this week. I'd much rather have them - and Al-Farouq Aminu - on the team right now instead of Nunn, Baze, and Rondo.

At least then we'd have some defensive scrappers on the team that are taller than 6-5. These super-small 3-guard lineups are killing us on both ends of the floor.
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