TWOLVES -at- LAKERS - 1/2/22 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2022 10:46 pm    Post subject: TWOLVES -at- LAKERS - 1/2/22 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Back to .500... It’s wasn’t pretty, but the Lakers pulled even again with their 19th win of the season.

From the start, the Lakers were getting killed on the offensive glass. They’d lose that battle 20-4 on the night. At halftime, Austin Reaves led the Lakers with 3 rebounds.

When they play small, they need a team effort. But their stars, who are also their best rebounders, weren’t bringing the effort they had in previous games. Combine some poor decisions and turnovers and they were losing the battle of possessions.

At halftime, Westbrook had 7 of the Lakers 12 turnovers. When he went to the bench in the third, the Lakers ran off a 10-0 stretch of ball, but still couldn’t get separation.

In the fourth, the defense, led by LeBron picked up. Offensively, they got key contribution from Melo and Bradley to spark the team, including a big 4-point play from Melo with 3 minutes left. They held on to win 108-103.

The effort for small ball wasn’t quite there tonight. Maybe it was the ease in which they dispatched their last opponent or that the TWolves were unable to play their stars. Or, perhaps, a little fatigue. In any event, they’ll take the W.


LeBron -- -- He couldn’t hit the 30+ scoring tonight, but we got some help putting the ball in the hoop from others. He’s been doing a lot of heavy lifting for the team. He looked a bit tired tonight. At one point he had his hands on his knees after a whistle. Still if you watched him on the glass, there was a lot of standing around. At halftime, he was yelling at Phil Handy about something and Handy was griping back at him. The Lakers had just given up yet another offensive board prior to that. His defense, however, picked up in that fourth quarter with some strips and steals. But there was still a possession where he didn’t get back on D at all while the other four Lakers were battling it out. You may need to run Dwight every so often to do some heavy lifting for him. The Stats: He scored 26 points on 7-15 shooting (3-9 from three, 9-12 from the line) to go with 7 boards, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 foul sin 39 minutes. He was a +9.

Westbrook -- -- Hard to understate how poor he was in this game, and he’s been playing some good ball of late. He was a turnover machine in the first half. First drive of the game, he got stuck in the air and threw it away. He had several miscues in transition, fumbling passes, throwing them away or getting picked. Out of a timeout in the second half after we were getting killed on the offensive glass, he had a double-dribble turnover. After he sat in the third, the Lakers went on a 10-0 run. First play he returned he got a shotclock violation that will go down as a team turnover. With a minute left, he tried to thread one to LeBron that was picked off while we were up 5. In the final seconds of the game, he didn’t get an inbounds pass in and had a 5-second violation, another team turnover. So his hands on 11 turnovers, at least, in this one. Now mix in some of the early offense chucks from perimeter and those are as good as turnovers, as well. Now also note how badly we were getting destroyed on the offensive glass and that Russ, usually one of our best rebounders, had just 3 boards. If this was a healthy T-Wolves team, we lose big with this kind of inefficiency. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 7-16 shooting (0-5 from three, 6-8 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 9 turnovers and 5 fouls in 33 minutes. He was a -2.

Monk -- -- His defense has improved enough that we slid him into the starting lineup and he’s been consistently killing it. Note, however, that when we were looking for stops late in the game, it was Bradley, Reaves and Johnson in there. Monk sidelined. But for the bulk of the game, Monk is giving you reasonable enough defense, which is allowing him big minutes. Consistent playing time turns into consistent touches and allows him to get into a rhythm. You need guys like him to space the floor for your stars. Leave him open, pay the price. Great job knocking down threes. We have a couple plays for him to cut where Lebron looks for him. More of that tonight, as well. And, of course, he and LeBron work those inverse screens to cause problems. If teams are trying to run drop coverage with their bigs when LeBron is the C, that’s trouble. Monk was wide open on a couple shots catching them in drop. Only starter tonight without a rebound. The Stats: He scored 22 points on 8-14 shooting (4-9 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 33 minutes. He was a +6.

Johnson -- -- He was maybe our only consistent threat on the offensive glass tonight. He tied up a man on one and then won the jumpball. He also pressured the rebounders on a missed Laker FT and we regained a possession off that. I don’t think he got credit for some of the effort there in the statline, but the crowd appreciated it. Throw in three steals along with that that and you don’t need the massive stats to make a decent impact. Those little hustle plays to regain possessions are big plays around superstars. Stuff we got from AC or Kuz the last few seasons. Offensively, he missed all three of his threes tonight. He looked more rushed than the previous games from three. The Stats: He scored 1 point on 0-3 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a -1.

Bradley -- -- Great fourth quarter with a couple of cuts baseline off ball for scores and then hitting a tough step-back jumper with over 2 minutes left to just beat the shotclock. The team has really improved at cutting from the baseline into the middle of the paint when the baseline doubles to LeBron come. Bradley really cuts well along that baseline and LeBRon found him on one of those in the fourth. When AD returns, I’m hoping the team helps him that way, as well. After LeBron found him on that play, Bradley had a cut baseline and Melo found him for the reverse next time down in the fourth to give the Lakers a 6-point lead. He also hustled back in transition to steal a pass after a Westbrook turnover with a minute left. Big play and a great fourth from him. Despite all that, I still kind of see Bradley as a temporary placeholder in the starting lineup. He gives us consistency, which this team has lacked. But once others start catching up on all the schemes and build trust, I see us moving him back to the bench. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 5-7 shooting (2-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 33 minutes. He was a +6.

Horton-Tucker -- -- A couple hoops tonight, which seems to be par for the course lately. Not great. He had a layup on a handoff. He swished a step-back wing jumper for his other score. One steal was slapping a ball loose. He is now 0 for 16 on threes as he’s putting together another lengthy streak of brickage from beyond the arc. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-7 shooting (0-2 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +10.

Anthony -- -- Big scoring fourth quarter from Melo. He had a huge And-1 three with 3 minutes left to give the Lakers a 5-point lead after his 4- point play. Prior to that he hit a three off a swing pass from Reaves and he also hit a jumper stepping in after a close out. In the first half, he had a nice read on the D fronting LeBron. He cut to the middle, took the pass and up-faked the high-low pass and scored a layup. It’s rare he passes to LeBron, he’s more the finisher, but that was a good read for a potential pass and a counter to the D we rarely see. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 5-10 shooting (3-7 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +11.

Reaves -- -- Loved watching his D tonight. He was in Beasley’s jersey on one play on that perimeter that forced an airball. He forced a couple other bricks challenging jumpers. He got run over stepping into a charge in the third quarter. Occasionally, he gives up a drive where you could see how more strength would keep him from giving up a drive as he gets muscled some. His only score was again one of those situations where the clock was low and he went to his bag, a quick first step to blow past his man for a layup. His only attempt of the game. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-1 shooting to go with 4 boards, 2 assists and no fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +0.

Ariza -- -- He swished a three on a swing pass for his only score. Just 12 minutes for Ariza tonight. At times, he and Melo are our only bigs out there as we are really committing to the centerless ball. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-2 shooting from three to go with 2 boards and 1 turnover in 12 minutes. He was a -10.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: Really probably just Melo sinking that And-1 three with 3 to go when the Lakers were up 1. That was the big shot. Melo had sank a couple other big buckets earlier in the quarter, so Vogel kept the hot hand out there.

Key Substitution: I like the defensive subs late in the game. We need stops and we saw Reaves, Bradley and Johnson all out there. Vogel definitely has trust with certain guys on both ends of the floor.

Key Stats: The 20-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Vogel could have gone to Dwight, but didn’t. It wasn’t so much as getting outsized as it was effort and some lack of cracking back by our guards. You need boxouts by our smaller guys and other sandwiching the bigger players to control the glass. That effort just wasn’t there.
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Shaber
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2022 10:55 pm    Post subject:

First!

Thanks, DB!
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slavavov
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2022 11:17 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB as always.

This was probably the worst game Russ has had as a Laker, and of course it's high-powered ammo for all his haters on this board and on social media.

I also don't like his response in the postgame presser where he said he's allowed to miss shots and have some turnovers. Technically he's right (to an extent), but the timing of that comment was just wrong.

Still, it was just one game. Everyone has a really bad game like this a few times a year. Knowing how the Russell Westbrook Experience is, for all we know he could have a great game with 4 or less turnovers on Tuesday.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2022 11:41 pm    Post subject:

Postgame, Vogel talked about needing to put two-way players around LeBrin and Davis, and said something about making roster adjustments to achieve that. He could have been talking about Rondo for Stanley, but you could apply that to additional moves too.
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dino
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:12 am    Post subject:

thanks db...hadn't seen the wolves prior to this game but they were impressive - length, hustle, hunger...

and johnson battled those guys hard...


Last edited by dino on Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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deal
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:15 am    Post subject:

This small ball effort will take a toll on LJ. He has has to protect the
rim, play his man, move the ball, score, etc. etc...

When the wheels fall off, we'll see the real impact.
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Last edited by deal on Mon Jan 03, 2022 5:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:33 am    Post subject:

Naz Reid highlights https://youtu.be/w_pvFSX5Bio
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 6:23 am    Post subject:

Great game by Russ. He made the undermanned Timberwolves a formidable team, but the Lakers overcame it and sealed the W.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 10:02 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

Stack wins where we can and make a run when AD comes back.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 10:41 am    Post subject:

We went a little into our error prone ways in this one. In particular Westbrook. Was very tough to watch him play this one. Just so many TOs.

Things that stood out:

Loved the energy of Stanley on a few plays. Real hustle stuff.
Reaves is Caruso 2.0 for us, he makes all these little plays that pay off. The charge he took? That was what we need.
Avery was pissed off, but he backed it up. He's been a quality role player for us.
Monk, he's been our 2nd most valuable player on offense.
Melo, how big were some of his shots?
Defense really picked up in that 4th Q. Pretty classic Vogel scheme. Close with the strongest defensive lineup.

We did do everything possible to give this one to the Wolves, with the lack of defensive rebounding and Westbrook's TO prone game.
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LakerSD
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:10 am    Post subject:

I don’t know if it’s just me, but Russ turnovers seem to be more frequent with the Lakers. I don’t have the exact average, but it just feels like he’s turning the ball over more than he did in OKC, HOU and WSH.

Could be just as he’s getting older, more mistakes trying to play fast or new teammates/scheme or a combination of both…

Btw if it was the punk ass wolves in AB’s situation, they would have probably gone for the meaningless layup at the end there, but I guess that’s why those clowns never win anything.
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