LAKERS -at- CAVS - 3-21-22 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 7:56 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- CAVS - 3-21-22 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Speed and Movement... The Lakers took the 131-120 road win over the Cavs tonight. The played with tempo, moved the ball and good things happened.

They trailed by as many as 12 early, but cut it to 35-28 at the end of the first quarter. Sparked by D.J. Augustin, who scored 11 in the quarter (and 20 for the night on 7-7 shooting), the Lakers offense got on track.

They turned the tables on the Cavs in the second quarter as LeBron and Russ were relentless at getting downhill. Late in the half, the Lakers rattled off a 9-0 run highlighted by Augustin’s fifth three of the half and a soaring, crowd pleasing LeBron dunk over Kevin Love. That had the Cavs arena buzzing. The Lakers led 67-62 at the half.

Down 1 heading into the fourth, the Lakers stepped on the gas. They got out on the break for scores, and in under 3 minutes, they had a 9-point lead and forced a timeout.

The ball was moving tonight. Players consistently cut off ball and were consistently rewarded for it as the team had 34 assists with just 8 turnovers. The Lakers pushed pace off rebounds and made baskets and had the Cavs on their heels.

The key is to carry that consistency from one game to the next.



LeBron -- -- After the game in which he destroyed Kevin Love on a dunk in the first half, he said, “I hope I’m still invited to the wedding,” adding he wished he could take those two points back. Love put him in a headlock between the halves. How could you do that to me? Was the gist of it. What was super enjoyable about this game was how much LeBron got downhill in this game. Off rebounds, made baskets, it didn’t matter. He’d get a running start into the offensive zone and the defense was in trouble. It didn’t just lead to LeBron scores, but threes for others as the D collapsed to help at times. He had 21 points on 9-14 shooting in the half. In that fourth, he helped ignite the start of that quarter with some scoring. Then, finished it strong with more dunks and a crazy fading, wing turnaround jumper with the clock low. Several shots fading across the lane tonight. Those looked automatic. He said Cleveland had a lot of length, so he went to that a little. But I don’t think the length bothered him at all with the speed he had going tonight. The Stats: He scored 38 points on 17-29 shooting (0-4 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 11 boards, 12 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers and no fouls in 41 minutes. He was a +9.

Westbrook -- -- Super strong night from Russ. He had 10 points on 3-6 shooting and 7 assists in the first half. Some nice feeds in transition as he had guys changing ends with him with speed tonight. He also hooked up on a couple passes over the top of the D to LeBron for scores. They have a little cross-screen play they run under the hoop where LeBron seals his man on the screen and Russ throws the entry pass from out on the perimeter for the easy layup. He had 11 assists with just 1 turnover. They are on the same page more. He knows which guys are going to roll off screens. He’s looking for cutters when he attacks. He is also cutting on occasion himself. He had a nice sequence where LeBron attacked, Russ cut, took the pass and quickly hit a cutting Gabriel for an And-1 layup. Russ would hit some midrange shots and knock down a couple of threes. Serviceable perimeter game -- that’s an improvement. He talked a lot about how the positioning on the floor has been better. It certainly has. I think we mentioned it a couple games back. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 7-14 shooting (2-6 from three, 4-7 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 11 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +23.

Reaves -- -- Such a strong game from Reaves. Again, look at the range of stats in the mix with the 11 points, 5 boards (4 offensive) and 6 assists. Hustle and multiple efforts all game long -- exactly what this team needs from more players. Back-to-back big plays with about 3 minutes to go in this one that were maybe the daggers. The first was a baseline drive and kick to Stanley for a three. The second was some sensational rotating on D, where he trapped Garland to get the ball out of his hands, helped on a cutter, closed out to the corner man, then rotated back to another cutter who couldn’t catch a pass. Reaves then hit LeBron off that on the break for a dunk. After that, he’d help force another turnover on another help and recovery on the other end. Earlier in that game, that big dunk from LeBron was off an offensive board by Reaves off a missed FT, he then hit LeBron cutting. Another assist from Reaves was off a corner attack where he got into the middle of the floor closing defenders and threw it to Gabriel cutting for a dunk (that pass led Gabriel perfectly and had little margin for error. Reaves kicked off the game with a couple of early scores, one changing ends for a reverse on the break. Another slipping a screen for a short jumper. He’d score a layup after crossing over a man on the baseline. He’d hit his only three, a set play on a SLOB inbounds. Love how aggressive he’s been lately. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting (1-1 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards (4 offensive), 6 assists, 1 block and 1 foul in 29 minutes. He was a -6.

Howard -- -- He got the start after sitting the last one. Cleveland has some size and we wanted to match up with some of our minutes. He’d score a couple of hoops, one off a drive and dish from Reaves. The other off a seal to start the second when LeBron found him. Good job grabbing boards during his short time out there. Some chemistry miscues out there with passes by him or others that kind of threw off our game some. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-3 shooting to go with 5 boards, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 12 minutes. He was a -13.

Gabriel -- -- Hey, back in the starting lineup and the Lakers get another win. He was very active, which is what we need from role players. He had a couple of steals in his 32 minutes. Steals tonight turned into transition scores. His size allowed us to play better defensively in the fourth. He didn’t hit a three, but did a good job cutting in off the three line to stay a threat. That led to a dunk off a Reaves pass, an And-1 layup off a Russ pass and a dunk cutting off a LeBron drive. We had 34 assists tonight because guys were moving. Some excellent work there making it all work. That will earn him some more minutes. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 4-10 shooting (0-4 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 2 steals and 3 fouls in 32 minutes. He was a +12.

Monk -- -- He’d miss his threes, but did a good job attacking for scores at the rim or on the break. He had a couple dunks on the break. Defensively, again, you just worry about his size in the mix. He did have a nice help D block on a jumper, coming from the side. The Stats: He 12 points on 5-10 shooting (0-4 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 3 assists, 1 block and 3 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a -4.

Johnson -- -- One stat that sticks out is his +15 off the bench. Superb fourth quarter from Stanley. Big plays on both ends. He imposed his energy on D and scored multiple times on the other end. One steal was off a sideline inbounds after a timeout and he took it for a layup. Those are gut punches to an opponent. He also hit a huge three on a kickout from Reaves. He’d also work well off attention LeBron drew. He popped into the middle of the lane among some zoning defenders for a score. He’d score a layup on a baseline cut that LeBron found him on. Excellent game fitting in well around his stars in this one. The Stats: He scored 23 points on 5-8 shooting (2-4 from three) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals and 2 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +15.

Anthony -- -- I really need to point out that Melo didn’t play in the fourth quarter. That’s a big deal, and I hope we see more of it. Teams save stuff, like hunting him, for the fourth quarter. It’s driven me crazy all season seeing us go to him for extended run in that fourth quarter. Credit having some Gabriel and Stanley out there in the mix. Love the minutes distribution and that particular part of his usage tonight. Please show me it again. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting (1-3 from three) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 14 minutes. He was a +6.

Augustin -- -- Dude did not miss tonight. Strong first quarter, helping get the Lakers off a long scoreless stretch. Right after entering, he hit back-to-back threes off LeBron feeds, sank another three off a swing pass, and then attacked for a layup. He’d finish with 11 points in the first quarter. In the second, he’d knock down another corner three off a BLOB inbounds, and then get a shooter’s bounce to fall on a three in transition. He’d hit five threes in five attempts in the first half on his way to 17 points. In the second half, he’d knock down another three from the corner on a swing pass to go perfect from the floor. He was in during the fourth quarter, but didn’t score. Still, they used his floor spacing well. There was one ATO where Monk and LeBron got into a two-man game and Augustin’s man couldn’t really leave him to help in time and we scored a layup. The seventh time in his long career he’s had 6 threes. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 7-7 shooting (6-6 from three) to go with 2 turnovers and 1 foul in 26 minutes. He was a +8.

Bradley -- -- He played a 5-minute shift in the second quarter and we didn’t go back thim. Glad. First off, you’ve got minutes for Reaves. Secondly, Augustin was on fire. Third, his defense was crap. The Stats: He didn’t score or shoot and had 2 fouls in 6 minutes. He was a +5.

Vogel -- :bwhip: -- Key Moment: A 12-2 run to open the fourth quarter and lead by 9. The Lakers kind of took control of the game again right then, and they won the quarter 35-23.

Key Substitution: Finally. I really liked not playing Melo in the fourth. I also liked seeing his minutes held to 14. Show me that again, please. That finally is taking away the major bullseye teams have been using to close on us.

Key Stats: Let’s go with the 34 assists and 8 turnovers. The cutting, ball movement, speed of the game, kept us away from that slow down, stagnant ball that lets the D load up on us.
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slavavov
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 8:06 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB as usual.

The way we played tonight, at least offensively, is how we need to play, and it was also what we thought this team would be this season.

We sped up the pace of the game and made the slow-it-down Cavs play at our pace, and when we didn't have anything, we had good ball and player movement. Gabriel and Johnson did a good job of flashing into the lane and cutting to the hoop in our halfcourt offense.

It was showtime tonight, and that's how we have to play as long as LeBron is still a Laker.


Last edited by slavavov on Mon Mar 21, 2022 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 8:09 pm    Post subject:

Thank you, DB.
Rain or shine.... you are on top of it with the recaps.
Appreciate ya.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 10:07 pm    Post subject:

To me it was the first win in along time that I thought we actually deserved the win, it wasn’t pure luck. The lineups and the way we played felt like we found something that works, that is repeatable. It felt like we were actually playing hard, with passion that we haven’t seen much of lately (at least not for a full game).
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:27 pm    Post subject:

The MPG distribution, as DB stated, was right on the money
Wenyen Gabriel - 31:47
LeBron James - 40:36
Dwight Howard - 11:40
Austin Reaves - 29:22
Russell Westbrook - 35:20
Malik Monk - 22:24
D.J. Augustin - 25:54
Carmelo Anthony - 13:57
Stanley Johnson - 23:04
Avery Bradley - 5:55

Westbrook was actually making his shots while limiting his TOs

Energy and Cutting was fun to watch

Rob's pickups from Reeves to Johnson to D.J. to Gabriel are providing what this team needs - youth, energy, compassion, commitment and focus

If/When Ad and KNunn gets on the court - could the Lakers make some damage in the playoffs
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governator
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 5:03 am    Post subject:

So... dare we say, this team just played 3 good games in a row?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 5:08 am    Post subject:

governator wrote:
So... dare we say, this team just played 3 good games in a row?

They’ve resembled a team that has 2 stars or 2 above the rest players. That’s the key. Westbrook in the 3 games has been positive in his approaches and been doing the things we all wished he would do consistently. Perhaps he has some confidence now. I don’t know.

Also, Frank has done a good job getting stuff out of guys like Gabriel, Reaves, Monk, Stanley. You can see our energy level just kick up on both ends.
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governator
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 5:27 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
governator wrote:
So... dare we say, this team just played 3 good games in a row?

They’ve resembled a team that has 2 stars or 2 above the rest players. That’s the key. Westbrook in the 3 games has been positive in his approaches and been doing the things we all wished he would do consistently. Perhaps he has some confidence now. I don’t know.

Also, Frank has done a good job getting stuff out of guys like Gabriel, Reaves, Monk, Stanley. You can see our energy level just kick up on both ends.


Hope, really hope that game tying 3 is the whatever Westbrook needed. If we can keep this up and have a healthy AD, this team would be watchable
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 5:55 am    Post subject:

Really impressed with Russ lately. Oh and for his career, Lebron is 17-1 against the Cavs
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 6:43 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB. This was actually a fun game.

The difference is clear between playing washed up vets or playing young, hungry guys (even if they aren't technically brilliant).
This team really need size, effort and intensity and that's exactly what AR, Gabriel and Stanley bring.

Stanley is 6'6.
Gabriel is 6'9.
Reaves is 6'5.

I will never understand what made Pelinka build this team filled with old guys. Ariza, Ellington, Bazemore, Bradley... They are dead weight on this roster.

Austin Reaves is a damn good basketball player. He just knows how to make the right play. Too bad he'll be gone soon, just like Caruso, so we can hunt "big names".

I'd keep DJ, Gabriel and Stanley next year. Good guys on cheap contracts that can actually produce on the court.

LeBron is ridiculous. I can't believe this guy is 37 years old.
Westbrook is playing well for what, 3 straight games? Hopefully he can carry this momentum.

With AD and Nunn (hopefully) coming back, I'm curious to see what Vogel's going to do.
We can't keep playing 12 or 13 players every game. Right now I'd bounce Bradley and THT out of the rotation.

LBJ
AD
RW
Reaves
Monk
Gabriel
Stanley
DJ
Nunn
Melo (less minutes)
Howard (less minutes)

Those are the players that can probably help us right now.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 10:47 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:

I will never understand what made Pelinka build this team filled with old guys. Ariza, Ellington, Bazemore, Bradley... They are dead weight on this roster.

No real tools but minimums to use after Nunn. The real mistake was not resigning Caruso. Even if you weren't going to keep him, that gave you more tools.

danzag wrote:

Austin Reaves is a damn good basketball player. He just knows how to make the right play. Too bad he'll be gone soon, just like Caruso, so we can hunt "big names".


I try to keep track in my notes of every positive and negative play. He stacks so many positive plays, like one after another after another in between his negative plays. It's unusual for a rookie that's for sure, but even just for any player, it's pretty impressive. On the negative side, it really just missing a few too many open threes, getting overpowered on occasion and not being as aggressive as he should be.

That last one, the aggression, will determine a lot for him in his career. He's afraid to make mistakes. That helps him stack those positive plays on top of each other, but it's limiting his ceiling. I'm hoping the aggression grows as he feels more trust from teammates/coaches. Which, I mean he's starting, now so he needs to know he's earning it and needs to keep adding more aggression.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 12:24 pm    Post subject:

DancingBarry wrote:
That last one, the aggression, will determine a lot for him in his career. He's afraid to make mistakes. That helps him stack those positive plays on top of each other, but it's limiting his ceiling. I'm hoping the aggression grows as he feels more trust from teammates/coaches. Which, I mean he's starting, now so he needs to know he's earning it and needs to keep adding more aggression.


I think he'll get better. He's just a rookie, it's crazy when you stop to think about it.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 4:38 pm    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
DancingBarry wrote:
That last one, the aggression, will determine a lot for him in his career. He's afraid to make mistakes. That helps him stack those positive plays on top of each other, but it's limiting his ceiling. I'm hoping the aggression grows as he feels more trust from teammates/coaches. Which, I mean he's starting, now so he needs to know he's earning it and needs to keep adding more aggression.
I think he'll get better. He's just a rookie, it's crazy when you stop to think about it.
Recent story talks about how all the "Old Guys" were yelling at Reeves and Malik that bonded them together

First Assignment - Stay on the Team
Second Assignment - Get Lebron's Trust

Mission Accomplishment - For Now

His "ceiling" will be seen once teams have scouted Reeves' tendencies and the counters he will developed.

Caruso's departure was HARD. One wonders if he was on this roster, would it have made much of a difference - though it would be improvement. We might have discovered Reeves/Johnson/Gabriel.

Having Westbrook "scared"/aware of only making good decisions, passes and shots have made him better. It would also make it easier to trade during the off-season.

Vogel's vision while getting players that suit his system seems to be getting results - albeit late. Would Lue done a much better job (don't think so), would Quinn Snyder (https://www.si.com/nba/lakers/news/lakers-former-la-assistant-rumored-as-potential-replacement-for-frank-vogel-ee21) done a much better job - don't think so, JKidd done a much better job - don't think so. Bringing in a new HC with a completely revamped roster for the 2022-2023 season would be a daunting task for any coach from Pop to Snyder to JKidd to anybody else

Rob would have been very foolish or very brave to go against LBJ/AD during the past off-season in getting Westbrook.

Maybe with Reeves/Johnson/Gabriel/Monk doing the needed “dirty work” to have this team successful (https://www.silverscreenandroll.com/platform/amp/2022/3/22/22990558/frank-vogel-lakers-show-more-killer-instinct-embrace-dirty-work-lebron-james-rebounding), maybe there could be good surprises ahead for this team
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 11:43 pm    Post subject:

I always love a win from this team, but our most glaring on-court problem still stands out: poor defense.

We gave up what? 93 points in the first three quarters? That's terrible. It's not easy for some to notice because of how well our offense was clicking, and the guys we had on the floor were giving a good effort. We still don't show a consistent ability to stop the other team from racking up a ton of points.

If we make it to the playoffs healthy, this is our Achilles heel to get booted, and with the personnel on the roster, I'm not sure much can be done outside of AD playing amazingly well as the defensive center with consistent help from Lebron at PF to at least protect the paint and grab more boards.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 5:28 am    Post subject:

joeblow wrote:
I always love a win from this team, but our most glaring on-court problem still stands out: poor defense.

We gave up what? 93 points in the first three quarters? That's terrible. It's not easy for some to notice because of how well our offense was clicking, and the guys we had on the floor were giving a good effort. We still don't show a consistent ability to stop the other team from racking up a ton of points.

If we make it to the playoffs healthy, this is our Achilles heel to get booted, and with the personnel on the roster, I'm not sure much can be done outside of AD playing amazingly well as the defensive center with consistent help from Lebron at PF to at least protect the paint and grab more boards.


We'll never be GOOD defensively with this roster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 6:24 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
joeblow wrote:
I always love a win from this team, but our most glaring on-court problem still stands out: poor defense.

We gave up what? 93 points in the first three quarters? That's terrible. It's not easy for some to notice because of how well our offense was clicking, and the guys we had on the floor were giving a good effort. We still don't show a consistent ability to stop the other team from racking up a ton of points.

If we make it to the playoffs healthy, this is our Achilles heel to get booted, and with the personnel on the roster, I'm not sure much can be done outside of AD playing amazingly well as the defensive center with consistent help from Lebron at PF to at least protect the paint and grab more boards.
We'll never be GOOD defensively with this roster
The hope is that the "Dirty Work" players (Reeves, Johnson, Gabriel & Monk) are hustling and learning Vogel's defensive schemes that allows them to be in the right positions - hence limiting the times opponents are getting obscene number of points per quarter.

Expecting LBJ putting up outrageous offensive numbers AND consistently playing defense at a high level would not be realistic with him playing at the 5 while going against the legitimate bigs (like Embiid and others)
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