LAKERS -at- NUGGETS - 4-10-22 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:38 pm    Post subject: LAKERS -at- NUGGETS - 4-10-22 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Sweet Release… The trainwreck of the 2021-22 Laker season officially ended tonight in Denver.

A slow-paced first half turned into an exciting game in the second half. Early on, the continual trips to the line and official reviews (three flagrants in the half, another in the second half) really slowed the pace. The Lakers youth slogged their way through it to a 69-69 tie at the half. Rookie Austin Reaves had a double-double by halftime. Malik Monk had 17 points.

The Lakers fell back by 7 to start the second half, unable to get any stops. That Nugget lead continued to extend as the team gave up a couple 4-point plays. The Lakers would trail by as many as 14.

Malik Monk poured in multiple threes in the fourth on his way to a career-high 41 and helped reel the Nuggets in. Still the Lakers trailed by 9 with under a minute left. The young Lakers didn’t give up.

“They competed their tails off. Austin had a performance for the ages,” Vogel said.

Our new two-way contract, Mac McClung would score a 4-point play. Reaves would cut the lead to 2 with 16 seconds left on a big three. After the timeout, Reaves would come up with a sideline steal. Credit Vogel and the staff here, not taking fouls and forcing guys to inbounds the ball on the sideline where they instantly get trapped.

Reaves stripped the ball free, pushed it up court going behind his back twice before tying the game with a layup to send it to overtime.

In overtime, Reaves would carry the team to a win with another drive for a layup, a Kobe-like bump and fade from the midrange, and another big three. The Lakers would finish the season off with a 146-141 win.

Nice to end the season on a high note with their rookie going off. It was an awful ride this year outside of Reaves and his flashes of brilliance.

And with that, we are done. Time to regroup, retool and, hopefully, reclaim the contender status this team once had.


Reaves -- -- What a game. First career triple-double. He put the game into overtime in the final minute with a huge three, then a steal on the sideline that he pushed up court, going behind his back twice before scoring the game-tying layup. Then he continued to tear it up in OT to get the Lakers this W. Reaves was easily one of the best things to come out of this season and one of the few bright spots. The Lakers have him under contract for next year. I assume he’s not going anywhere as they need cheap contracts. He had his career-high in rebounds in the first half with 10, including 4 offensive. He just had a nose for the ball and was hustling like he does. He’d have a double-double by halftime and on a triple-double pace with 5 assists. He’d get the triple-double in regulation. (Four Laker rookies had triple-doubles as rookies - Magic, Baylor, West, Ball and now Reaves we were told.) Some nice setups to Gabriel and a sweet lob pass to Monk on set play. (Gabriel probably cost Reaves at least a couple of assists in this one, but Monk got him multiple). Great job by Reaves getting to the line in this game and knocking them down. He’s got the chops to be a good three-point shooter (and hit that big one with tonight to cut it to 2, then a huge one in OT and was tapped on another). Two key things for him to work on this offseason. First, the strength. He got bullied a bit on drives. The more he can hold his position, the more effective he will be. Second, the three shooting. He had some great games (and game winners) with the three ball, but was very inconsistent. He needs to get more respectable from there, especially on the wide open ones. He’s got the chops for it (check out that shooting from the line tonight). Even before it went to OT, a big statline tonight -- 24-15-10 in regulation. He was gassed a bit in OT, but after going away from him for a couple possessions, they put it back in his hands and he carried them to the W with several big scores. I love when guys try to challenge him on D. They put pressure and more often than not he beats it. (Happened a few times tonight and he beat the pressure for big scores…defenders get in over their head quickly when they do that.) He had the bench on their feet multiple times (and nearly had a poster on Green on one drive). They do the same by targeting him on D and he’s scrappy enough to cause all kinds of problems. Game ball again to the rookie. Amazing night. Undrafted, lol. The Stats: He scored 31 points on 7-17 shooting (3-5 from three, 14-14 from the line) to go with 16 boards (6 offensive), 10 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers and no fouls in 42 minutes. He was a+12.

Monk -- -- Career high to close out the season. He probably could have gone for 50 in this one, but we let some the G-League guys close this out. He led the Lakers in scoring with 17 points on 6-9 shooting, doing it inside and out. He splashed 3-6 from three. He had a sensational one-handed lob finish on a set play out of a timeout. He had to stretch out and get that one. In the second half, he attacked a closeout and hammered with both hands. He forced a timeout in the fourth with back-to-back threes as he passed the 30+ point mark with a lot of time left to go after his career high of 36. Hid hit another three shortly later and force another timeout. He’d tie his career high on a spin off a corner drive to finish with his left. Then pass it on a dunk when Reaves hit him next time down on a backcut. He’d sink 7 threes on his way to dropping 41 points. Defensively, I thought there was a healthy amount of improvement from Monk this season. He’ll always be small and vulnerable in that regard. Having a new coach and learning that defensive scheme could set him back. Even in this game, you’d see some missed rotations/reads. I’ll be curious to see what kind of offers he ends up with. Shoot, for all we know he ends up following Vogel somewhere. I’m sure there’s mutual interest in bringing him back since he and LeBron had some bread and butter two-man action to close games. That’s a big selling point to him. The Lakers really need to have their trades and core of their roster figured out prior to free agency. The Stats: He scored 41 points on 14-25 shooting (7-14 from three, 6-6 shooting) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a -5.

Horton-Tucker -- -- He twisted the left ankle early in the game and didn’t return. Good job drawing FTs while he was out there. All his scores were on drives. He had a nice split of a double team with a push dribble and finished around a third defender for one. He bullied his defender for an And-1 layup for another. We lost a lot of development time with the Westbrook experiment. The play-in game opportunities don’t help that either. He improved defensively this season as we’d expect with reps. More reps next season will continue that development, but if there’s a new coach, there may be a new system. Hopefully, his court vision improves, as well, as the game continues to slow down for him and he can anticipate better. We started the season talking about how he needed to work on his three shooting. That’s how we’ll end it. It’s key, of course, to opening up his game for his drive. But it’s also important for playing off ball-dominant guys like LeBron. He needs to get thousands of shots up. The Stats: He scored 10 points on 3-8 shooting (0-3 from three, 4-5 from the line) to go with 1 board, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 13 minutes. He was a -2.

Johnson -- -- With an uber small starting lineup, he was our starting PF, but later our backup C. That didn’t make for some great matchups as Cousins seemed to get the better of him with fouls at times (and some fine acting). Stanley was shaking his head at some of that as Cousins was having fun messing with him. He showed his mix of usual skills muscling guys in the paint and also a little range. He had a bad turnover in the middle of a Laker run late in the fourth. They were within 5 and he coughed it up for a score the other way. They recovered from that obviously, but is slowed them for a bit. We’ve got him under contract and I think he makes us a very switchy team with his size. Hopefully, that’s coveted, but with a new coach, who knows? The Stats: He scored 15 points on 5-9 shooting (1-4 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 8 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and 4 fouls in 46 minutes. He was a +4.

Gabriel -- -- A double-double for our starting C tonight. I know people want Dwight to return, but I do think we really need energy and floor spacing from our bigs. Gabriel can help with that, but somewhere we need to find some real size that fits well with LeBron. Gabriel can be that utility big you slot in for a couple shifts a game. Some nice moments in this one attacking Cousins and going to the spin move for scores. Some great effort on the offensive glass (he and Reaves combined for 11 offensive boards). You need guys around our stars that do the dirty work and bring effort on every play. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 6-13 shooting (0-1 from three, 2-5 from the line) to go with 10 boards (5 offensive), 3 assists, 2 blocks and 4 fouls in 38 minutes. He was a +14.

Augustin -- -- Quiet night from D.J. as he scored just 2 points on a couple of FTs. His best play of the night was a pass he threaded to Gabriel cutting weak to strong that had to go over a defender’s shoulder to get the bucket. The Stats: He scored 2 points on 0-4 shooting from three (2-2 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 15 minutes. He was a -5.

Ellington -- -- Some minutes for the vet in these final ones. He took a cheap shot in the second quarter, getting pushed in the back and then got his head hit on the leg of Gabriel. Campazzo got a flagrant-2 and was tossed for it. He got Reaves an assist on a three in the second half on a handoff. He’d finish the season shooting how we hoped he would, going 4-8 from behind the arc. A sneaky 18 points from him tonight amid the fireworks from the Laker youth. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 6-10 shooting (4-8 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 block and 2 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a -8.

Jones -- -- Quiet game from him, but he got to the line a ton. Again, showing that ability to draw fouls. His only field goal was a layup as he stepped around a defender in transition. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 1-3 shooting (0-1 from three, 7-8 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal and 4 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +6.

McClung -- -- This game doesn’t go to OT without that 4-point play by McClung with 51 seconds left. He started the second quarter (his second NBA game). Vogel game the G-League guys the opportunity to help close this game. He hit an And-1 three late in the fourth that cut the lead to 5 (three 4-point plays in this game). That was followed by the Reaves three and layup. So a 9-0 Laker run in the final 51 seconds. We were playing very small in this game, which led to some size mismatches defensively. That put Mac in some odd spots. I like this two-way signing. When he was signed to start the season, he looked like he needed a year in the G-League to adjust to NBA speed and learn how to orchestrate and offense better. He put in the work and elevated his game. Let’s see if he can elevate it some more. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-5 shooting (1-3 from three, 1-1 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 5 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +9.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: I guess when Woj tweeted out he was going to be fired as soon as tomorrow just moments after this one was over. A season not to remember. Health, roster turnover and Westbrook all made a mess of things. Vogel’s offensive issues as a coach were gas on the fire. He should have fought like hell to get AC back, but again that’s out of his control. If the Westbrook trade was the key moment to this season. The subsequent refusal to bring AC back by the front office was the second one. Vogel was a fall guy for the ill-conceived roster, but they did underachieve even with all those issues. I will always like Vogel as a coach. He got us a big rim. Easily one of the best we’ve had in a long time.

Key Substitution: Let’s go with Wolfpaclaker subbing in for DB often this season. Very much appreciated as this was a looooong and tough season to get through. Hope we have some more vets or rookies next season to help out!

Key Stats: The Lakers won just 12 road games this season. The championship season, prior to the bubble, the Lakers were the best road team in the NBA. They dominated. That was as sure a sign as a championship team as any. They’ve fallen off a ton after all the roster moves since.

Mrs. DB and Family -- -- Once again, thank you to the fam for putting up with all the Laker ball. I took back a little bit of time this season to spend with family and friends as it required a bit too much effort to push through this poor season. It was a grind. Probably the hardest season to cover. I’ve heard this from a lot of people covering this team. Though the Lakers season ended far shorter than we’d like, I’m looking forward to all the time off and putting it to good use with those near and dear. Much love to my Laker brothers and sisters on LG. Onward we go.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:41 pm    Post subject:

Nicely done DB. Appreciate your hanging in there during a tough year.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:50 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB and Wolfpaclaker for the write-ups, enjoy your off season.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:53 pm    Post subject:

MVP

MVP

MVP



Thanks for doing such a fantastic job in seriously the worst Laker season I've ever seen since I've been watching the team as a fan in my own right (not just going to games with my family) which would be since the late 80s.

Thanks to all the T&R contributors

Thanks to the crazy LG fam

Onto what will surely be a wild off-season.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:55 pm    Post subject:

https://twitter.com/wayneellington/status/1513394328185589761?s=21

Whoa lol
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DrDent
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 10:12 pm    Post subject:

Great summary DB, nice way to finish a tough season.

Well, the team kept LBJ's record alive...the worst number of losses any team he has been on was way back in the day when he entered the league, I believe they lost 49 games. I really thought they'd hit that 50. But they stayed at 49.

Just glad this season is over for the team. FO has *alot* of work for themselves. I hope they go back to the high IQ, 2 way player philosophy, with more length and athleticism for next season. And oh yes, I think a priority should be ensuring AD's minutes at C are limited to small stretches of games...so a solid defensive C, not on his last legs, would be nice. Myles Turner pipe dream?

Read about the Nurse rumors, would not mind him as HC. Hopefully the team can find someone willing to take on a $47M contract next year and get Russ off our hands. Saw an article the team may "consider" stretching Russ...good lord I hope not.

In any event, until the off season I guess!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 10:37 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB, great job covering a frustrating Lakers season! Thanks also to Wolfpaclaker for filling in! And thanks to all the posters contributing their own thoughts here!

I was asking myself the day before, Why am I still watching these meaningless games? The Lakers must be a bad habit or something. Thank you, young Laker players, for showing me why!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 10:45 pm    Post subject:

Big Thank You to DancingBarry for another season! Games are just not complete until I can come here to read your write-ups. And Thank You to Wolf for filling in when DB isn’t available as well as all your posts throughout the season!

So much anger and overreactions on this (and every other) Lakers forum. I relish the handful of posters, like yourselves, that focus more on basketball, instead of hate and endless negativity.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2022 11:02 pm    Post subject:

Thanks to Da Man - ***DB***

Kudos to Wolf Man!!

Laker media pundits have stated that the team (veterans) gave up on the team and/or not vested in this team because “it was just their job.”

Russ’ comments that he had “No Expectations” for this season and himself was revealing. His words prompted a quick and sharp rebuke from Magic and goes 180 degrees against the Black Mamba Mentality (surprising because of Westbrook’s stated embrace of Kobe’s obsession

AD’s goal for next season is to be physically ready and prepared for an injury-free season
LBJ’s goal for next season is to continue spending $1M per year to prepare his body

What is Westbrook’s goal for next season - take the $46M with no interest to improve his game to win a ring????
Will LBJ accept Russ’ agenda?

Posters have touted how hard Lue’s Clip teams have played with PG13/Kwahi out for extended length of time. Vogel has shown that with players committed to providing the required energy and focus (with talent equal or less than the Clips), they play just as hard

LBJ help AD become more efficient
With LBJ mostly having the ball, did he lose confidence in Russ
Maybe next season, we will see LBJ playing more in the post

Which HC has the cache with LBJ to coach him?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 1:33 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB for staying committed all season. The Lakers didn't show the heart of a champion, but you sure did.

It's refreshing to end our season with back-to-back wins and with the young players doing so well these last two games.

I feel like Sunday's game went against the script and the trend that the entire season was about. You'd think that it would've been a microcosm of our whole season, but it wasn't. Could it be an omen of better things to come next year?

Lakers need to do whatever it takes to keep Monk. A core of LeBron, AD, Monk, a healthy and back to form Nunn, Johnson, Gabriel and Reaves is one that can contend for the championship if a few more role players are added.
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danzag
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:01 am    Post subject:

Thanks for everything, DB!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:02 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB and Wolfpacker! You’re always appreciated. Enjoy the offseason.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:22 am    Post subject:

Tip my hat to you DB, what a tough season. Here’s to a better next season
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:25 am    Post subject:

Big salute to DB and thank you wolf!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:46 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:34 am    Post subject:

My season analysis on the team.

Lebron:


Individually, this looks like a great season from Lebron. But in reality, from my perspective he played with an agenda, right from the start. His leadership was off for the team right from the get go. Telling teammates they'll be the Bucs/Brady type of team that won the Bowl. Nah, this isn't football, nor is this team built the same way. With that mindset, Lebron came in to many games this year happy to play off teammates setting him up as a 3 point shooting threat. We saw a lot more perimeter Lebron, and by that I mean the guy that sits outside way outside and shoots long 3s. These are great when they go in, but it takes away from what was the biggest advantage on offense of the team's championship season. Our bread and butter that year was Lebron being our PG (Drive and dish, post up and dish, orchestrating the table/offense for AD to dominate etc). It's said that Lebron was the one pushing for Westbrook. While the blame lies with the FO/Pelinka, I can't overlook the individual gains Lebron had playing off the ball this season. Lebron is a marvel man in how good of shape he is in this late in his career and at this age. He had what it took to have a run this year. But his approach to the big 3 and being an off the ball guy to Westbrook/star PG was all off. Once he realized this, he tried to get Westbrook traded at deadline and that further killed our team chemistry.

Season grade: B- (May be harsh, but he didn't bring the right element to the team)

AD AD came into the season in shape and strong. Unfortunatley his jumpshot wasn't there. His effort was. He was focused this year and you could tell he wanted to win and try to make the big 3 thing work. He was willing to move to the 5 or 4. We had a number of games early on in the season where AD/Westbrook had opportunities to be the 2 stars and develop chemistry. While there were some moments, overall AD/Westbrook had far less chemistry than he ever has had with players like Lebron, Rondo or Jrue Holiday. Defensively, I thought AD did well when he was healthy. We were trending near a top 7 defense at one point in games AD had played. Then he gets injured. Never really got his feel back, and again injured second time. These injuries are not only a set back for AD, but the team, as it was newly constructed.

Season Grade: C

Westbrook

Worst move/trade in Lakers history. I remember when we first heard about WB last summer. This was one of the trades I didn't want to happen. Before I even knew/read what it would cost, I just didn't like the fit. He's a non shooting threat on a team that needs shooters/cutters/defenders around AD/Bron. They needed a Rondo replacement off the bench, but WB was never for that. When it did happen, I tried my best to support Russ. I can honestly say, there's never been a player I've despised more put on a Lakers jersey. There are just so many little things he did without care, interest of intention that hurt us. Individually he is still a capable scorer, especially when he has his short range jumper going. When he can pull up and hit that short range jumper, he's a threat. Teams are always ready to challenge him at the rim. So he's gettting a lot more shots altered and stopped at the rim now. What stood out to me for Westbrook? The careless mistakes and the poor defense. His attitude towards the Lakers fans and pressure. No class. Trash. I will never support Westbrook ever in the NBA. Kudos for staying healthy, and played a lot of games.

Season grade: F

Monk


Not surprised Monk has had a solid season with us. He had the game we knew would work with AD/Bron. 3 point shot, some ballhandling and ability to score at the rim. Nice off the ball dunking threat. All this was what we had from various role players in the last 2 years (KCP/Caruso/Kuz etc). Monk's main weakness was his IQ and defense. I would welcome him back on a MMLE level deal, but he has to keep working on his defense and we need to think strongly about starting him at 1 defensively with a big 2. When he's starting at 2/3 he tends to get overwhelmed defensively.

Season Grade: B+

Reaves

Hey how about that Dallas game? What about last night? There's been a number of games this year we can point to. He's had some rookie struggles, but he is a glue guy/key role player in the making. What he does well is pass the ball, be a triple threat. We didn't have enough guys like him on the team this year. Young, high motor, high IQ. He needs to keep working on his body to be NBA level and improve his defensive awareness. He has the size to be our 2. I'm not sure if this is the way we're going, but I can see us have some success running a lineup of Monk/Reaves/Bron/AD and a 5 that has ability to defend/finish plays at the rim. Lebron would need to shift his mindset from "Steph Curry" back to the guy he was 2 years ago. Love Reaves. Big question, can we keep him out of the WB or any trade talk? You ask me, GMs like three things on our roster. AD, the 2027 pick and Reaves.

Season Grade: A

Stanley

Low risk high reward signing. Nice pick up, and good we set him up for next year on contract. He has limitations, especially as a shooter. But he had some outstanding defensive games and some good games as a bully ball guy. I don't think he is a starting level player, but worth keeping for an off the bench role next year. When you need some physicality. And keep working with him on his spot shooting spots on the floor.

Season Grade: B

THT

Some of this can be put on Westbrook, and having to share the ball with WB/Bron. But I just didn't like THT's approach to this season. He's supposed to have been challenged to improve defensively. I saw little commitment from him. 3 point shot? Same thing. He's someone that wants to be a go to guy in the offense and bought his own hype. I can see him eventually become a finished product, but this season was a work in progress and at 10M he was a negative asset. Our 3 biggest negative assets this year were Westbrook (MLE level play for 43M), AD (20M level play based on injuries getting 35M) and THT (Vet min/rookie K level play at 10M). If you instead have Caruso/KCP/Kuz/Trez instead of THT/Westbrook, even if AD is injuired, you're able to secure a playoff spot right now. THT did have some big games, and perhaps he can put it together if we move on from Westbrook.

Season Grade: D

Dwight:

He's certainly not the same Dwight of 2 years ago, but I thought he was servicable. A lot of confusion on whether you can play Dwight with Westbrook or not. In theory WB is a willing feeder to Dwight/bigs but that's when there is actually a situation like that available. Most of the time the team just sags off Westbrook/Dwight. Allegedly, Rambis was big on starting the Cs, and it was an issue of conflict between the coaches and Rambo apparently, but Rambis lives in the 80s. He wanted to start Porzingis at the 3 as a coach. He's really not for this NBA. Back to Dwight, he's good for 10-15 min role, sometimes more based on match up. We needed a starting 5 that could provide some spacing with the big 3, which the FO failed to give the coaching staff.

Season Grade: C+

Gabriel:

I really liked Gabriel. He reminds me a little of Trez. Very active on the glass on offense and can get some scores off the ball as a roller. Not sure if he can make it in the NBA, but worthwhile to bring him into camp next year and see where he's at.

Season Grade: Short season for him but I'll give him a B.

Melo

Melo had some huge games for us, especially early in the season. But his nature defined the team in many ways. Everytime you would want some energy, some intensity from the team, you'd see a shot of Melo on the floor laughing or having a smirk. We needed some hungry active role players and Melo was here to party, be a teamamte of Lebron and have fun. He is a great shooter/scorer, all timer. But Melo is not what we needed on defense. He was often hunted. A great example of what Pelinka did wrong this year. With an already aging star loaded team, he went with an older former star who also was low motor, volume shooting and not a defensive player that moved his feet. Big contrast to that say of what Kieff was.

Season Grade: C. Did well as a shooter but was a liability on defense, that was often hunted (F on D, B on offense).

Bradley

I think Avery was decent this year. He often gave the effort on defense we were looking for but didn't have the support of teammates. You would often see him glare over to other teammates looking for some help/communication. On offense there are some limitations with Bradley. We also would have been better off starting him at 1, but this would mean no Westbrook. At 2, we were a little undersized. I appreciate his effort. Decent season, IMO.

Season grade: B

Ellington/DAJ/Rondo/(Insert vet min guys like Ariza)

Cooked or useless.

Nunn

Weren't we promised we would get something this season by him? Seems to be a lot of empty promised and unrealistic expectations. Even with Nunn, he's a smaller guard paired with Westbrook. We really needed some size next to Westbrook and some defensive presence. Even if Nunn was healthy, I don't see the fit for the team around Westbrook.

Season Grade: F

Coach Vogel:

You felt right from preseason Vogel had his work cut out for him. Probably this team needed a stronger personality, more authorative and someone that would allow them to coast at times, but still get on them. Frank seemed to behind the curve right from the get go. It was a huge challenge with Westbrook, the changes and then the attitude of players like Bron, Westbrook, Melo. Definitely you would have liked to have seen Frank give the big lineups some more time and make a plan and stick with it. Hard to do with injuries, but even when he had the big 3, he would keep changing whether AD is at the 4 or 5. I think Frank knew what he needed to win. He wanted AD at the 4, Westbrook to defend and play team ball, and that to have a defensive anchor at the 5. He needed a KCP level 2 to give him that defensive 3nD play. He never got it. So when he couldn't find that, he kept trying a number of things. There were some lineup issues as well. We didn't seem to call enough good after time out plays either.

Season grade: C

Anyway, I want to give Frank some special props for what he did for the Lakers. As a Laker fan I've seen some great championship runs and with any run you need some elite defense. Boston game 7. Boston series. Both ones the one we lost where KG/Perk/Rondo running Thibs schemes were elite defensively. Or the series we won. Some of the best defense you'll see. Well, that 19-20 title team also had that defensive abilty. Some of the lockdown abilty we had with Dwight/AD/Bron/KCP/Caruso. Or when we went smaller in some match ups with AD/Bron/Kuz/KCP/Caruso. Don't forget Danny Green. We had some of the best defensive shut down and dominant sequences I have seen Laker teams ever play. I thought Frank's schemes were fantastic in the 2020 playoffs. Unfortunatley those schemes just weren't for this group of guys and it certainly seems Lebron doesn't have as much interest in playing that style anymore.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 5:34 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB for powering through this forgettable travesty of a season. You da man.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:05 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
My season analysis on the team.

Lebron:


Individually, this looks like a great season from Lebron. But in reality, from my perspective he played with an agenda, right from the start. His leadership was off for the team right from the get go. Telling teammates they'll be the Bucs/Brady type of team that won the Bowl. Nah, this isn't football, nor is this team built the same way. With that mindset, Lebron came in to many games this year happy to play off teammates setting him up as a 3 point shooting threat. We saw a lot more perimeter Lebron, and by that I mean the guy that sits outside way outside and shoots long 3s. These are great when they go in, but it takes away from what was the biggest advantage on offense of the team's championship season. Our bread and butter that year was Lebron being our PG (Drive and dish, post up and dish, orchestrating the table/offense for AD to dominate etc). It's said that Lebron was the one pushing for Westbrook. While the blame lies with the FO/Pelinka, I can't overlook the individual gains Lebron had playing off the ball this season. Lebron is a marvel man in how good of shape he is in this late in his career and at this age. He had what it took to have a run this year. But his approach to the big 3 and being an off the ball guy to Westbrook/star PG was all off. Once he realized this, he tried to get Westbrook traded at deadline and that further killed our team chemistry.

Season grade: B- (May be harsh, but he didn't bring the right element to the team)

AD AD came into the season in shape and strong. Unfortunatley his jumpshot wasn't there. His effort was. He was focused this year and you could tell he wanted to win and try to make the big 3 thing work. He was willing to move to the 5 or 4. We had a number of games early on in the season where AD/Westbrook had opportunities to be the 2 stars and develop chemistry. While there were some moments, overall AD/Westbrook had far less chemistry than he ever has had with players like Lebron, Rondo or Jrue Holiday. Defensively, I thought AD did well when he was healthy. We were trending near a top 7 defense at one point in games AD had played. Then he gets injured. Never really got his feel back, and again injured second time. These injuries are not only a set back for AD, but the team, as it was newly constructed.

Season Grade: C

Westbrook

Worst move/trade in Lakers history. I remember when we first heard about WB last summer. This was one of the trades I didn't want to happen. Before I even knew/read what it would cost, I just didn't like the fit. He's a non shooting threat on a team that needs shooters/cutters/defenders around AD/Bron. They needed a Rondo replacement off the bench, but WB was never for that. When it did happen, I tried my best to support Russ. I can honestly say, there's never been a player I've despised more put on a Lakers jersey. There are just so many little things he did without care, interest of intention that hurt us. Individually he is still a capable scorer, especially when he has his short range jumper going. When he can pull up and hit that short range jumper, he's a threat. Teams are always ready to challenge him at the rim. So he's gettting a lot more shots altered and stopped at the rim now. What stood out to me for Westbrook? The careless mistakes and the poor defense. His attitude towards the Lakers fans and pressure. No class. Trash. I will never support Westbrook ever in the NBA. Kudos for staying healthy, and played a lot of games.

Season grade: F

Monk


Not surprised Monk has had a solid season with us. He had the game we knew would work with AD/Bron. 3 point shot, some ballhandling and ability to score at the rim. Nice off the ball dunking threat. All this was what we had from various role players in the last 2 years (KCP/Caruso/Kuz etc). Monk's main weakness was his IQ and defense. I would welcome him back on a MMLE level deal, but he has to keep working on his defense and we need to think strongly about starting him at 1 defensively with a big 2. When he's starting at 2/3 he tends to get overwhelmed defensively.

Season Grade: B+

Reaves

Hey how about that Dallas game? What about last night? There's been a number of games this year we can point to. He's had some rookie struggles, but he is a glue guy/key role player in the making. What he does well is pass the ball, be a triple threat. We didn't have enough guys like him on the team this year. Young, high motor, high IQ. He needs to keep working on his body to be NBA level and improve his defensive awareness. He has the size to be our 2. I'm not sure if this is the way we're going, but I can see us have some success running a lineup of Monk/Reaves/Bron/AD and a 5 that has ability to defend/finish plays at the rim. Lebron would need to shift his mindset from "Steph Curry" back to the guy he was 2 years ago. Love Reaves. Big question, can we keep him out of the WB or any trade talk? You ask me, GMs like three things on our roster. AD, the 2027 pick and Reaves.

Season Grade: A

Stanley

Low risk high reward signing. Nice pick up, and good we set him up for next year on contract. He has limitations, especially as a shooter. But he had some outstanding defensive games and some good games as a bully ball guy. I don't think he is a starting level player, but worth keeping for an off the bench role next year. When you need some physicality. And keep working with him on his spot shooting spots on the floor.

Season Grade: B

THT

Some of this can be put on Westbrook, and having to share the ball with WB/Bron. But I just didn't like THT's approach to this season. He's supposed to have been challenged to improve defensively. I saw little commitment from him. 3 point shot? Same thing. He's someone that wants to be a go to guy in the offense and bought his own hype. I can see him eventually become a finished product, but this season was a work in progress and at 10M he was a negative asset. Our 3 biggest negative assets this year were Westbrook (MLE level play for 43M), AD (20M level play based on injuries getting 35M) and THT (Vet min/rookie K level play at 10M). If you instead have Caruso/KCP/Kuz/Trez instead of THT/Westbrook, even if AD is injuired, you're able to secure a playoff spot right now. THT did have some big games, and perhaps he can put it together if we move on from Westbrook.

Season Grade: D

Dwight:

He's certainly not the same Dwight of 2 years ago, but I thought he was servicable. A lot of confusion on whether you can play Dwight with Westbrook or not. In theory WB is a willing feeder to Dwight/bigs but that's when there is actually a situation like that available. Most of the time the team just sags off Westbrook/Dwight. Allegedly, Rambis was big on starting the Cs, and it was an issue of conflict between the coaches and Rambo apparently, but Rambis lives in the 80s. He wanted to start Porzingis at the 3 as a coach. He's really not for this NBA. Back to Dwight, he's good for 10-15 min role, sometimes more based on match up. We needed a starting 5 that could provide some spacing with the big 3, which the FO failed to give the coaching staff.

Season Grade: C+

Gabriel:

I really liked Gabriel. He reminds me a little of Trez. Very active on the glass on offense and can get some scores off the ball as a roller. Not sure if he can make it in the NBA, but worthwhile to bring him into camp next year and see where he's at.

Season Grade: Short season for him but I'll give him a B.

Melo

Melo had some huge games for us, especially early in the season. But his nature defined the team in many ways. Everytime you would want some energy, some intensity from the team, you'd see a shot of Melo on the floor laughing or having a smirk. We needed some hungry active role players and Melo was here to party, be a teamamte of Lebron and have fun. He is a great shooter/scorer, all timer. But Melo is not what we needed on defense. He was often hunted. A great example of what Pelinka did wrong this year. With an already aging star loaded team, he went with an older former star who also was low motor, volume shooting and not a defensive player that moved his feet. Big contrast to that say of what Kieff was.

Season Grade: C. Did well as a shooter but was a liability on defense, that was often hunted (F on D, B on offense).

Bradley

I think Avery was decent this year. He often gave the effort on defense we were looking for but didn't have the support of teammates. You would often see him glare over to other teammates looking for some help/communication. On offense there are some limitations with Bradley. We also would have been better off starting him at 1, but this would mean no Westbrook. At 2, we were a little undersized. I appreciate his effort. Decent season, IMO.

Season grade: B

Ellington/DAJ/Rondo/(Insert vet min guys like Ariza)

Cooked or useless.

Nunn

Weren't we promised we would get something this season by him? Seems to be a lot of empty promised and unrealistic expectations. Even with Nunn, he's a smaller guard paired with Westbrook. We really needed some size next to Westbrook and some defensive presence. Even if Nunn was healthy, I don't see the fit for the team around Westbrook.

Season Grade: F

Coach Vogel:

You felt right from preseason Vogel had his work cut out for him. Probably this team needed a stronger personality, more authorative and someone that would allow them to coast at times, but still get on them. Frank seemed to behind the curve right from the get go. It was a huge challenge with Westbrook, the changes and then the attitude of players like Bron, Westbrook, Melo. Definitely you would have liked to have seen Frank give the big lineups some more time and make a plan and stick with it. Hard to do with injuries, but even when he had the big 3, he would keep changing whether AD is at the 4 or 5. I think Frank knew what he needed to win. He wanted AD at the 4, Westbrook to defend and play team ball, and that to have a defensive anchor at the 5. He needed a KCP level 2 to give him that defensive 3nD play. He never got it. So when he couldn't find that, he kept trying a number of things. There were some lineup issues as well. We didn't seem to call enough good after time out plays either.

Season grade: C

Anyway, I want to give Frank some special props for what he did for the Lakers. As a Laker fan I've seen some great championship runs and with any run you need some elite defense. Boston game 7. Boston series. Both ones the one we lost where KG/Perk/Rondo running Thibs schemes were elite defensively. Or the series we won. Some of the best defense you'll see. Well, that 19-20 title team also had that defensive abilty. Some of the lockdown abilty we had with Dwight/AD/Bron/KCP/Caruso. Or when we went smaller in some match ups with AD/Bron/Kuz/KCP/Caruso. Don't forget Danny Green. We had some of the best defensive shut down and dominant sequences I have seen Laker teams ever play. I thought Frank's schemes were fantastic in the 2020 playoffs. Unfortunatley those schemes just weren't for this group of guys and it certainly seems Lebron doesn't have as much interest in playing that style anymore.


Nicely done. I agree with your grades (depressing as they are).
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:22 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
My season analysis on the team.

Lebron:


Individually, this looks like a great season from Lebron. But in reality, from my perspective he played with an agenda, right from the start. His leadership was off for the team right from the get go. Telling teammates they'll be the Bucs/Brady type of team that won the Bowl. Nah, this isn't football, nor is this team built the same way. With that mindset, Lebron came in to many games this year happy to play off teammates setting him up as a 3 point shooting threat. We saw a lot more perimeter Lebron, and by that I mean the guy that sits outside way outside and shoots long 3s. These are great when they go in, but it takes away from what was the biggest advantage on offense of the team's championship season. Our bread and butter that year was Lebron being our PG (Drive and dish, post up and dish, orchestrating the table/offense for AD to dominate etc). It's said that Lebron was the one pushing for Westbrook. While the blame lies with the FO/Pelinka, I can't overlook the individual gains Lebron had playing off the ball this season. Lebron is a marvel man in how good of shape he is in this late in his career and at this age. He had what it took to have a run this year. But his approach to the big 3 and being an off the ball guy to Westbrook/star PG was all off. Once he realized this, he tried to get Westbrook traded at deadline and that further killed our team chemistry.

Season grade: B- (May be harsh, but he didn't bring the right element to the team)

AD AD came into the season in shape and strong. Unfortunatley his jumpshot wasn't there. His effort was. He was focused this year and you could tell he wanted to win and try to make the big 3 thing work. He was willing to move to the 5 or 4. We had a number of games early on in the season where AD/Westbrook had opportunities to be the 2 stars and develop chemistry. While there were some moments, overall AD/Westbrook had far less chemistry than he ever has had with players like Lebron, Rondo or Jrue Holiday. Defensively, I thought AD did well when he was healthy. We were trending near a top 7 defense at one point in games AD had played. Then he gets injured. Never really got his feel back, and again injured second time. These injuries are not only a set back for AD, but the team, as it was newly constructed.

Season Grade: C

Westbrook

Worst move/trade in Lakers history. I remember when we first heard about WB last summer. This was one of the trades I didn't want to happen. Before I even knew/read what it would cost, I just didn't like the fit. He's a non shooting threat on a team that needs shooters/cutters/defenders around AD/Bron. They needed a Rondo replacement off the bench, but WB was never for that. When it did happen, I tried my best to support Russ. I can honestly say, there's never been a player I've despised more put on a Lakers jersey. There are just so many little things he did without care, interest of intention that hurt us. Individually he is still a capable scorer, especially when he has his short range jumper going. When he can pull up and hit that short range jumper, he's a threat. Teams are always ready to challenge him at the rim. So he's gettting a lot more shots altered and stopped at the rim now. What stood out to me for Westbrook? The careless mistakes and the poor defense. His attitude towards the Lakers fans and pressure. No class. Trash. I will never support Westbrook ever in the NBA. Kudos for staying healthy, and played a lot of games.

Season grade: F

Monk


Not surprised Monk has had a solid season with us. He had the game we knew would work with AD/Bron. 3 point shot, some ballhandling and ability to score at the rim. Nice off the ball dunking threat. All this was what we had from various role players in the last 2 years (KCP/Caruso/Kuz etc). Monk's main weakness was his IQ and defense. I would welcome him back on a MMLE level deal, but he has to keep working on his defense and we need to think strongly about starting him at 1 defensively with a big 2. When he's starting at 2/3 he tends to get overwhelmed defensively.

Season Grade: B+

Reaves

Hey how about that Dallas game? What about last night? There's been a number of games this year we can point to. He's had some rookie struggles, but he is a glue guy/key role player in the making. What he does well is pass the ball, be a triple threat. We didn't have enough guys like him on the team this year. Young, high motor, high IQ. He needs to keep working on his body to be NBA level and improve his defensive awareness. He has the size to be our 2. I'm not sure if this is the way we're going, but I can see us have some success running a lineup of Monk/Reaves/Bron/AD and a 5 that has ability to defend/finish plays at the rim. Lebron would need to shift his mindset from "Steph Curry" back to the guy he was 2 years ago. Love Reaves. Big question, can we keep him out of the WB or any trade talk? You ask me, GMs like three things on our roster. AD, the 2027 pick and Reaves.

Season Grade: A

Stanley

Low risk high reward signing. Nice pick up, and good we set him up for next year on contract. He has limitations, especially as a shooter. But he had some outstanding defensive games and some good games as a bully ball guy. I don't think he is a starting level player, but worth keeping for an off the bench role next year. When you need some physicality. And keep working with him on his spot shooting spots on the floor.

Season Grade: B

THT

Some of this can be put on Westbrook, and having to share the ball with WB/Bron. But I just didn't like THT's approach to this season. He's supposed to have been challenged to improve defensively. I saw little commitment from him. 3 point shot? Same thing. He's someone that wants to be a go to guy in the offense and bought his own hype. I can see him eventually become a finished product, but this season was a work in progress and at 10M he was a negative asset. Our 3 biggest negative assets this year were Westbrook (MLE level play for 43M), AD (20M level play based on injuries getting 35M) and THT (Vet min/rookie K level play at 10M). If you instead have Caruso/KCP/Kuz/Trez instead of THT/Westbrook, even if AD is injuired, you're able to secure a playoff spot right now. THT did have some big games, and perhaps he can put it together if we move on from Westbrook.

Season Grade: D

Dwight:

He's certainly not the same Dwight of 2 years ago, but I thought he was servicable. A lot of confusion on whether you can play Dwight with Westbrook or not. In theory WB is a willing feeder to Dwight/bigs but that's when there is actually a situation like that available. Most of the time the team just sags off Westbrook/Dwight. Allegedly, Rambis was big on starting the Cs, and it was an issue of conflict between the coaches and Rambo apparently, but Rambis lives in the 80s. He wanted to start Porzingis at the 3 as a coach. He's really not for this NBA. Back to Dwight, he's good for 10-15 min role, sometimes more based on match up. We needed a starting 5 that could provide some spacing with the big 3, which the FO failed to give the coaching staff.

Season Grade: C+

Gabriel:

I really liked Gabriel. He reminds me a little of Trez. Very active on the glass on offense and can get some scores off the ball as a roller. Not sure if he can make it in the NBA, but worthwhile to bring him into camp next year and see where he's at.

Season Grade: Short season for him but I'll give him a B.

Melo

Melo had some huge games for us, especially early in the season. But his nature defined the team in many ways. Everytime you would want some energy, some intensity from the team, you'd see a shot of Melo on the floor laughing or having a smirk. We needed some hungry active role players and Melo was here to party, be a teamamte of Lebron and have fun. He is a great shooter/scorer, all timer. But Melo is not what we needed on defense. He was often hunted. A great example of what Pelinka did wrong this year. With an already aging star loaded team, he went with an older former star who also was low motor, volume shooting and not a defensive player that moved his feet. Big contrast to that say of what Kieff was.

Season Grade: C. Did well as a shooter but was a liability on defense, that was often hunted (F on D, B on offense).

Bradley

I think Avery was decent this year. He often gave the effort on defense we were looking for but didn't have the support of teammates. You would often see him glare over to other teammates looking for some help/communication. On offense there are some limitations with Bradley. We also would have been better off starting him at 1, but this would mean no Westbrook. At 2, we were a little undersized. I appreciate his effort. Decent season, IMO.

Season grade: B

Ellington/DAJ/Rondo/(Insert vet min guys like Ariza)

Cooked or useless.

Nunn

Weren't we promised we would get something this season by him? Seems to be a lot of empty promised and unrealistic expectations. Even with Nunn, he's a smaller guard paired with Westbrook. We really needed some size next to Westbrook and some defensive presence. Even if Nunn was healthy, I don't see the fit for the team around Westbrook.

Season Grade: F

Coach Vogel:

You felt right from preseason Vogel had his work cut out for him. Probably this team needed a stronger personality, more authorative and someone that would allow them to coast at times, but still get on them. Frank seemed to behind the curve right from the get go. It was a huge challenge with Westbrook, the changes and then the attitude of players like Bron, Westbrook, Melo. Definitely you would have liked to have seen Frank give the big lineups some more time and make a plan and stick with it. Hard to do with injuries, but even when he had the big 3, he would keep changing whether AD is at the 4 or 5. I think Frank knew what he needed to win. He wanted AD at the 4, Westbrook to defend and play team ball, and that to have a defensive anchor at the 5. He needed a KCP level 2 to give him that defensive 3nD play. He never got it. So when he couldn't find that, he kept trying a number of things. There were some lineup issues as well. We didn't seem to call enough good after time out plays either.

Season grade: C

Anyway, I want to give Frank some special props for what he did for the Lakers. As a Laker fan I've seen some great championship runs and with any run you need some elite defense. Boston game 7. Boston series. Both ones the one we lost where KG/Perk/Rondo running Thibs schemes were elite defensively. Or the series we won. Some of the best defense you'll see. Well, that 19-20 title team also had that defensive abilty. Some of the lockdown abilty we had with Dwight/AD/Bron/KCP/Caruso. Or when we went smaller in some match ups with AD/Bron/Kuz/KCP/Caruso. Don't forget Danny Green. We had some of the best defensive shut down and dominant sequences I have seen Laker teams ever play. I thought Frank's schemes were fantastic in the 2020 playoffs. Unfortunatley those schemes just weren't for this group of guys and it certainly seems Lebron doesn't have as much interest in playing that style anymore.


I agree with everything you said and your grades.

Thanks for your work this season, Wolf!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:25 am    Post subject:

Crazy. Brons first year here = lottery

This year = lottery

Thanks db.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:43 am    Post subject:

First of all - DB THANK YOU once again for this T&R thread and all the work you do, and this thank you extends to your family as well!

It's great to see what the Lakers can do when they put players on the court who hustle, scrap and play like winning really matters to them.

DB this reminds me of why I appreciate your insights so much, this is so spot on regarding the Lakers this season, Vogel, and our front office:

Quote:
A season not to remember. Health, roster turnover and Westbrook all made a mess of things. Vogel’s offensive issues as a coach were gas on the fire. He should have fought like hell to get AC back, but again that’s out of his control. If the Westbrook trade was the key moment to this season. The subsequent refusal to bring AC back by the front office was the second one. Vogel was a fall guy for the ill-conceived roster, but they did underachieve even with all those issues. I will always like Vogel as a coach. He got us a big rim. Easily one of the best we’ve had in a long time.


I'm so glad this season is finally over, and I like to hope this is the last we'll see Westbrook in a Laker uniform.

I also hope this is NOT the last that we'll see Reaves, Stanley, or Gabriel in a Laker uni. I'd like to believe Nunn and Monk might come back too, it's possible we could have a decent guard rotation without WB putting his stamp on every game. If only we can get rid of him without further gutting the roster.

Anyhow, it was great to see a young squad that wanted this game come out and play real, actual, competitive basketball and get a win. Glad to see the last T&R is on a game that was worth it.

DB thanks again, enjoy the offseason, and here's hoping for a good summer!!!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:55 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
My season analysis on the team.

Lebron:


Individually, this looks like a great season from Lebron. But in reality, from my perspective he played with an agenda, right from the start. His leadership was off for the team right from the get go. Telling teammates they'll be the Bucs/Brady type of team that won the Bowl. Nah, this isn't football, nor is this team built the same way. With that mindset, Lebron came in to many games this year happy to play off teammates setting him up as a 3 point shooting threat. We saw a lot more perimeter Lebron, and by that I mean the guy that sits outside way outside and shoots long 3s. These are great when they go in, but it takes away from what was the biggest advantage on offense of the team's championship season. Our bread and butter that year was Lebron being our PG (Drive and dish, post up and dish, orchestrating the table/offense for AD to dominate etc). It's said that Lebron was the one pushing for Westbrook. While the blame lies with the FO/Pelinka, I can't overlook the individual gains Lebron had playing off the ball this season. Lebron is a marvel man in how good of shape he is in this late in his career and at this age. He had what it took to have a run this year. But his approach to the big 3 and being an off the ball guy to Westbrook/star PG was all off. Once he realized this, he tried to get Westbrook traded at deadline and that further killed our team chemistry.

Season grade: B- (May be harsh, but he didn't bring the right element to the team)

AD AD came into the season in shape and strong. Unfortunatley his jumpshot wasn't there. His effort was. He was focused this year and you could tell he wanted to win and try to make the big 3 thing work. He was willing to move to the 5 or 4. We had a number of games early on in the season where AD/Westbrook had opportunities to be the 2 stars and develop chemistry. While there were some moments, overall AD/Westbrook had far less chemistry than he ever has had with players like Lebron, Rondo or Jrue Holiday. Defensively, I thought AD did well when he was healthy. We were trending near a top 7 defense at one point in games AD had played. Then he gets injured. Never really got his feel back, and again injured second time. These injuries are not only a set back for AD, but the team, as it was newly constructed.

Season Grade: C

Westbrook

Worst move/trade in Lakers history. I remember when we first heard about WB last summer. This was one of the trades I didn't want to happen. Before I even knew/read what it would cost, I just didn't like the fit. He's a non shooting threat on a team that needs shooters/cutters/defenders around AD/Bron. They needed a Rondo replacement off the bench, but WB was never for that. When it did happen, I tried my best to support Russ. I can honestly say, there's never been a player I've despised more put on a Lakers jersey. There are just so many little things he did without care, interest of intention that hurt us. Individually he is still a capable scorer, especially when he has his short range jumper going. When he can pull up and hit that short range jumper, he's a threat. Teams are always ready to challenge him at the rim. So he's gettting a lot more shots altered and stopped at the rim now. What stood out to me for Westbrook? The careless mistakes and the poor defense. His attitude towards the Lakers fans and pressure. No class. Trash. I will never support Westbrook ever in the NBA. Kudos for staying healthy, and played a lot of games.

Season grade: F

Monk


Not surprised Monk has had a solid season with us. He had the game we knew would work with AD/Bron. 3 point shot, some ballhandling and ability to score at the rim. Nice off the ball dunking threat. All this was what we had from various role players in the last 2 years (KCP/Caruso/Kuz etc). Monk's main weakness was his IQ and defense. I would welcome him back on a MMLE level deal, but he has to keep working on his defense and we need to think strongly about starting him at 1 defensively with a big 2. When he's starting at 2/3 he tends to get overwhelmed defensively.

Season Grade: B+

Reaves

Hey how about that Dallas game? What about last night? There's been a number of games this year we can point to. He's had some rookie struggles, but he is a glue guy/key role player in the making. What he does well is pass the ball, be a triple threat. We didn't have enough guys like him on the team this year. Young, high motor, high IQ. He needs to keep working on his body to be NBA level and improve his defensive awareness. He has the size to be our 2. I'm not sure if this is the way we're going, but I can see us have some success running a lineup of Monk/Reaves/Bron/AD and a 5 that has ability to defend/finish plays at the rim. Lebron would need to shift his mindset from "Steph Curry" back to the guy he was 2 years ago. Love Reaves. Big question, can we keep him out of the WB or any trade talk? You ask me, GMs like three things on our roster. AD, the 2027 pick and Reaves.

Season Grade: A

Stanley

Low risk high reward signing. Nice pick up, and good we set him up for next year on contract. He has limitations, especially as a shooter. But he had some outstanding defensive games and some good games as a bully ball guy. I don't think he is a starting level player, but worth keeping for an off the bench role next year. When you need some physicality. And keep working with him on his spot shooting spots on the floor.

Season Grade: B

THT

Some of this can be put on Westbrook, and having to share the ball with WB/Bron. But I just didn't like THT's approach to this season. He's supposed to have been challenged to improve defensively. I saw little commitment from him. 3 point shot? Same thing. He's someone that wants to be a go to guy in the offense and bought his own hype. I can see him eventually become a finished product, but this season was a work in progress and at 10M he was a negative asset. Our 3 biggest negative assets this year were Westbrook (MLE level play for 43M), AD (20M level play based on injuries getting 35M) and THT (Vet min/rookie K level play at 10M). If you instead have Caruso/KCP/Kuz/Trez instead of THT/Westbrook, even if AD is injuired, you're able to secure a playoff spot right now. THT did have some big games, and perhaps he can put it together if we move on from Westbrook.

Season Grade: D

Dwight:

He's certainly not the same Dwight of 2 years ago, but I thought he was servicable. A lot of confusion on whether you can play Dwight with Westbrook or not. In theory WB is a willing feeder to Dwight/bigs but that's when there is actually a situation like that available. Most of the time the team just sags off Westbrook/Dwight. Allegedly, Rambis was big on starting the Cs, and it was an issue of conflict between the coaches and Rambo apparently, but Rambis lives in the 80s. He wanted to start Porzingis at the 3 as a coach. He's really not for this NBA. Back to Dwight, he's good for 10-15 min role, sometimes more based on match up. We needed a starting 5 that could provide some spacing with the big 3, which the FO failed to give the coaching staff.

Season Grade: C+

Gabriel:

I really liked Gabriel. He reminds me a little of Trez. Very active on the glass on offense and can get some scores off the ball as a roller. Not sure if he can make it in the NBA, but worthwhile to bring him into camp next year and see where he's at.

Season Grade: Short season for him but I'll give him a B.

Melo

Melo had some huge games for us, especially early in the season. But his nature defined the team in many ways. Everytime you would want some energy, some intensity from the team, you'd see a shot of Melo on the floor laughing or having a smirk. We needed some hungry active role players and Melo was here to party, be a teamamte of Lebron and have fun. He is a great shooter/scorer, all timer. But Melo is not what we needed on defense. He was often hunted. A great example of what Pelinka did wrong this year. With an already aging star loaded team, he went with an older former star who also was low motor, volume shooting and not a defensive player that moved his feet. Big contrast to that say of what Kieff was.

Season Grade: C. Did well as a shooter but was a liability on defense, that was often hunted (F on D, B on offense).

Bradley

I think Avery was decent this year. He often gave the effort on defense we were looking for but didn't have the support of teammates. You would often see him glare over to other teammates looking for some help/communication. On offense there are some limitations with Bradley. We also would have been better off starting him at 1, but this would mean no Westbrook. At 2, we were a little undersized. I appreciate his effort. Decent season, IMO.

Season grade: B

Ellington/DAJ/Rondo/(Insert vet min guys like Ariza)

Cooked or useless.

Nunn

Weren't we promised we would get something this season by him? Seems to be a lot of empty promised and unrealistic expectations. Even with Nunn, he's a smaller guard paired with Westbrook. We really needed some size next to Westbrook and some defensive presence. Even if Nunn was healthy, I don't see the fit for the team around Westbrook.

Season Grade: F

Coach Vogel:

You felt right from preseason Vogel had his work cut out for him. Probably this team needed a stronger personality, more authorative and someone that would allow them to coast at times, but still get on them. Frank seemed to behind the curve right from the get go. It was a huge challenge with Westbrook, the changes and then the attitude of players like Bron, Westbrook, Melo. Definitely you would have liked to have seen Frank give the big lineups some more time and make a plan and stick with it. Hard to do with injuries, but even when he had the big 3, he would keep changing whether AD is at the 4 or 5. I think Frank knew what he needed to win. He wanted AD at the 4, Westbrook to defend and play team ball, and that to have a defensive anchor at the 5. He needed a KCP level 2 to give him that defensive 3nD play. He never got it. So when he couldn't find that, he kept trying a number of things. There were some lineup issues as well. We didn't seem to call enough good after time out plays either.

Season grade: C

Anyway, I want to give Frank some special props for what he did for the Lakers. As a Laker fan I've seen some great championship runs and with any run you need some elite defense. Boston game 7. Boston series. Both ones the one we lost where KG/Perk/Rondo running Thibs schemes were elite defensively. Or the series we won. Some of the best defense you'll see. Well, that 19-20 title team also had that defensive abilty. Some of the lockdown abilty we had with Dwight/AD/Bron/KCP/Caruso. Or when we went smaller in some match ups with AD/Bron/Kuz/KCP/Caruso. Don't forget Danny Green. We had some of the best defensive shut down and dominant sequences I have seen Laker teams ever play. I thought Frank's schemes were fantastic in the 2020 playoffs. Unfortunatley those schemes just weren't for this group of guys and it certainly seems Lebron doesn't have as much interest in playing that style anymore.


I didn't want to be influenced by your grading system so I read your summaries and gave my own grade before reading yours. Only differed by one, and that was a small difference.


Definitely agree WP. You & DB were silver linings in this horrible, f'd-up season. Monk and Reaves were the others.

Thanks so much for your summaries. Thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:02 am    Post subject:

Wolfpaclaker - another big THANK YOU to you for your insights on this thread and throughout other threads this season.

Also - I read through your season grades and you hit the mark top to bottom, on each player.

Such a frustrating season, such a disappointment. But the good news is we now have a summer to do something about it. Here's hoping we see some good news this time around.

Thanks again!! -
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ChefLinda
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:26 am    Post subject:

Quote:
Mrs. DB and Family -- -- Once again, thank you to the fam for putting up with all the Laker ball. I took back a little bit of time this season to spend with family and friends as it required a bit too much effort to push through this poor season. It was a grind. Probably the hardest season to cover. I’ve heard this from a lot of people covering this team. Though the Lakers season ended far shorter than we’d like, I’m looking forward to all the time off and putting it to good use with those near and dear. Much love to my Laker brothers and sisters on LG. Onward we go.


Thanks for slogging through this frustrating season!
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ChefLinda
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:28 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
My season analysis on the team.

Season grade: C

Anyway, I want to give Frank some special props for what he did for the Lakers. As a Laker fan I've seen some great championship runs and with any run you need some elite defense. Boston game 7. Boston series. Both ones the one we lost where KG/Perk/Rondo running Thibs schemes were elite defensively. Or the series we won. Some of the best defense you'll see. Well, that 19-20 title team also had that defensive abilty. Some of the lockdown abilty we had with Dwight/AD/Bron/KCP/Caruso. Or when we went smaller in some match ups with AD/Bron/Kuz/KCP/Caruso. Don't forget Danny Green. We had some of the best defensive shut down and dominant sequences I have seen Laker teams ever play. I thought Frank's schemes were fantastic in the 2020 playoffs. Unfortunatley those schemes just weren't for this group of guys and it certainly seems Lebron doesn't have as much interest in playing that style anymore.


Thanks for having DB's back and for all the great analysis all season!
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