RAPTORS -vs- LAKERS - 8/1 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

 
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:11 pm    Post subject: RAPTORS -vs- LAKERS - 8/1 - Thoughts and :-(( Ratings

Raptor Streak Continues... The Lakers had a problem early in the game. It’s one that the better teams will try to take advantage of. Pack the paint against the Lakers, take away dribble penetration, push AD to the perimeter and let the Lakers try to beat you with the three ball. Combine that with a lackluster energy level and the Lakers quickly fell back 13-0.

Once they removed JaVale McGee from the equation, the floor opened up a little more. In the second half, they sat McGee pretty quickly. But the perimeter shooting problems persisted (looking at you, especially, Danny Green). They went 5 minutes without a field goal early in the second half and fell behind again by 13.

The bench reeled them in again to trail by just 2 heading into the fourth. All that hard work to battle back from those deficits was a lost cause when the second unit floundered during a stretch midway through the fourth while LeBron sat. Turnovers and defensive miscues allowed the Raptors to gain another 10-point lead, and that buried the Lakers for good as they fell 107-92.

Kyle Lowry and the Raptors always seem to have the Lakers number. The Lakers fell for the 11th straight time against the Raptors and Lowry went off for big numbers again (33 points this time).

In the grand scheme of things, this game doesn’t mean much. The Lakers were able to work in some of their newer players with some reps against a good team, so they will benefit from that. It placed importance on getting their perimeter shooting on track, but that’s nothing new.


LeBron -- -- Just 5 assists with 4 turnovers in this one. The offense never got any kind of flow to it. When guys can’t hit shots, everything gets out of balance. The Lakers weren’t a superb three shooting team, but hopefully they get their legs under them, get some transition buckets and can get the confidence going. Right now, only Kuzma seems like a confident three shooter and we need more guys surrounding LeBron to join him. I wouldn’t have minded seeing LeBron working out of the post a little more to help us at least get some penetration and action at the rim when we struggle. We’ve done that earlier in the season. Defensively, the effort and impact from LeBron in the last couple games has been impressive. He was again pressuring and staying in front of guys as they tried to work against him. He also had a track down block. The Lakers started the season with some hyper intensive focus on D and LeBron was leading the charge. He’s doing that again right now. Hopefully, we can get it back on track on both ends to where we were. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 7-15 shooting (2-5 from three, 4-7 from the line) to go with 10 boards, 5 assists, 1 block, 4 turnovers and 1 foul in 35 minutes. He was a -20.

Davis -- -- He had just 1 point on 0-3 shooting in the first half. The Raptors packed the paint or aggressively doubled him. We got him the ball for a short floater to start the second half. But then couldn’t continue to integrate him into the offense for the next several minutes. He got more aggressive once the bench came in and there was more room to work. He got to the line again and again to close the third quarter. We’ve got to reconsider the starters against some of these better/smarter defensive teams. Teams push AD out to the perimeter, sag off McGee if he’s setting screens and things just get bogged down. Of course, the problems are compounded when they can double and not pay the price with an open shooter. “We didn’t shoot well at all tonight...if we made a few shots, they’d have definitely changed their game plan,” he said. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 2-7 shooting (1-3 from three, 9-9 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks and 3 fouls in 35 minutes. He was a -17.

Green -- -- Awful first half. He missed wide open three after wide open three, going 0-5 (0-4 from three). You have to make teams pay. Just a little. He also missed both his freethrows. He missed a couple more wide open threes in the second half and practically checked himself out. He was pretty much useless out there against his former team. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-7 shooting (0-6 from three, 0-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks and 1 foul in 20 minutes. He was a -11.

McGee -- -- They are going to have trouble playing him and AD together against teams that pack the paint. The Lakers clanked away from the perimeter early on as the Raptors took away the drive. McGee would get the Lakers first score tonight, but we were down 13-0 by that time. In the second half, the Lakers were torched again while he was out there. We just got off the blocks too slowly with that unit. I couldn’t wait for him and Green to sit in this one. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 block, 2 turnovers and 4 fouls in 10 minutes. He was a -10.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Well, you can’t blame him entirely for his -27 in 30 minutes. The +/- for most of the starters was just awful in this one. When we left off before Covid hit, KCP was looking automatic on those open threes. He’s not there right now. We got a handful of games for him to get that back. Hopefully, it comes. Our starting guards were 1-10 from three for 5 points in their combined 50 minutes. That’s pretty awful. We need our shooters to get their legs back and knocking them down. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-7 shooting (1-4 from three, 0-1 from the line) to go with 1 board, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 30 minutes. He was a -27.

Kuzma -- -- He led the team with 9 points on 3-6 shooting in the first half. You just wanted him on the floor as much as possible. He was the only consistent perimeter threat and, again, he had some excellent moments defensively. He’s looking pretty tremendous on this end of the floor. He’s just moving his hips and feet better (less happy feet). I’m at a point in the last couple games that I want guys trying to challenge him. That’s the feeling you want. When you know your guy has taken it to the next level. Keep it up! He finished with 16 points, draining three threes. I’d like to see a little more poise when he’s got the ball and the clock is around 8 seconds or so. But he’s fitting in much better around his stars. “It’s game two of having four months off,” Kuzma said of the shooting. The Stats: He scored 16 points on 5-13 shooting (3-7 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go through 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover and 5 fouls in 28 minutes. He was a -5.

Caruso -- -- He led the LAkers with a +11 in the first half with 7 points, 2 steals and 2 assists. He was in on more than those two steals as far as disrupting the Raptors on D. We were down by 8 before he came in with 5 minutes left in the second half. I like seeing that trio of AD, Kuzma and AC out there sooner. AC had some big mistakes midway through the fourth, though. He and AD teamed up for a couple of turnovers on bad passes and they also blew coverage on a high screen to give up an And-1 layup. He also didn’t stay on some perimeter shooters during that stretch. That had the Lakers on their heels while LeBron was trying to get a breather. We rely on him to make good decisions when LBJ is out of the game and that didn’t quite happen. That stretched messed up a pretty good game. The playoffs are going to put some pressure on him. He just needs to avoid some of the mental miscues we saw and hopefully, he’ll be good to go. The Stats: He scored 11 points on 3-6 shooting (1-3 from three, 4-4 from the line) to go with 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and 4 turnovers in 24 minutes. He was a +2.

Howard -- -- A few moments of muscling in layups under the hoop after grabbing the ball in crowds. A nice shotblock, as well, to help AC. The Lakers had 12 blocks tonight. Good to see this aspect of their game starting to come back to life for them. He’s not quite imposing himself yet like he had been on the overall game. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-2 shooting (1-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards (2 offensive), 1 block, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 17 minutes. He was a -1.

Waiters -- -- He had a couple of scores on layups in early offense. He also found a couple of shooters (Kuz and AD) for threes. Getting reps for him against great defensive teams like the Raptors or Clippers is something you can’t replicate in practice. So good to see him clock some consistent time and find his way. When our starting guards are as ineffective as they were, we’ve got to be able to build that trust that he will be able to step in and contribute at a high level. So these are important stretches. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-11 shooting (2-6 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +8.

Smith -- -- He didn’t play in the first half, but we threw him in the mix in the third looking for some perimeter shooting. Unfortunately, he didn’t deliver any of that. He missed his only attempt in the third, also turnover the ball over. Defensive was a mixed back. He knocked a ball loose that led to a dunk for AC, but he also got burned for a three. The Stats: He didn’t score on 0-1 shooting from three to go with 1 board, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 8 minutes. He was a -5.

Morris -- -- Vogel said prior to the game that he wanted to get both Smith and Morris more minutes. Obviously, Morris’s length can be useful against those mobile, lengthy players like Siakim. So he got some good run. This and his shooting are why he fills a need. The Lakers can play 5-out and still have enough length on D. His shot wasn’t there (0-5 from three) but he had some moments with a putback score and a nice off-ball cut to take a pass for a layup. Defensively, he was active, knocking a ball loose or also stripping a ball to ignite the break. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 3-10 shooting (0-5 from three) to go with 2 boards, 2 steals, 1 block and 1 foul in 10 minutes. He was a +10

Cook -- -- Garbage time action. You could make a case for bringing him in earlier with how badly everyone was shooting. The Stats: He played a minute and had 1 assist, 1 board and was a +1. The Action:

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: When LeBron sat for a breather midway through the fourth, the usually reliable bench fell apart. Turnovers on one end and miscues defensively on the other and they paid the price. It was anyone’s game at that point, but the Raptors pulled away with it then.

Key Substitution: When LeBron sat things fell apart, but let’s think about the issues earlier in the game. This would have been a good one for Kuzma or Morris to start (even if it was the second half). I’m not sure what the plan is for how many minutes they want to give Morris, but he didn’t play the second half after a solid +10. He fit well out there even if the shot wasn’t falling from distance. Kuzma played 28 minutes and with how he’s playing, you want to see another 7 or 8 minutes on the floor. Either way, both those guys give you that combination of spacing to go 5 out and length defensively that would fit well against the Raptors.

Key Stat: The Lakers suffered their worst shooting night of the season, going for 35.4% and making just 10-40 from three.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:43 pm    Post subject:

We looked unmotivated and flat. I found myself wondering whether this squad misses the live crowd more than expected. Players can feed off of negative vibes from a road crowd. Tonight, it looked like no one wanted to be there.
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:26 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

No thanks, Green, KCP,, et. al.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:00 pm    Post subject:

Davis at the 5, roll with Davis/Morris/Bron/Green/Waiters..make it happen Vogel! We need Morris to regain his detroit percentages
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:13 pm    Post subject:

I think the Lakers know they’re going to win the West, so these games are not really important. We came out flat with a casual feel, while the Raptor’s were all business. Later our competitive juices got flowing and we made a game of it. But in the end we just weren’t focused or up for another big game so soon after the big win against the Clips. I think the playoffs is all we care about at this point so we’ll probably we may have more games like tonight (probably with less LeBron & AD).
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RI Laker
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:10 am    Post subject:

Flat and totally expected TBH. The only motivation was to beat a team that beat us.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:12 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Not worried about this loss. However, we need to get some people going from three. I'd like to see more of Morris, Smith and a few different rotations get minutes to see who can get into a groove and help us.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:35 am    Post subject: Kuzma at 2

Kuzma at 2. He is our best 3 shooter now.

Waiters at 1. He is our best ball handler now.

Pull McGee fast and plug in Morris quickly if they don’t get a lead early

Waiters
Kuzma
Bron
AD
McGee

Waiters
Kuzma
Bron
Morris
AD

Death Unit
Waiters
Caruso
Kuzma
Bron
AD
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LakerSD
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:28 am    Post subject:

RI Laker wrote:
Flat and totally expected TBH. The only motivation was to beat a team that beat us.


It felt like a letdown type game after so much focus and energy was put into the Clippers game.

Win or lose though, the shooting has to be better.
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DancingBarry
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:40 am    Post subject:

Yeah, energy was def off in those first few minutes. We were only a couple possessions into the game and I told my son we were going to trail 15-0. Went to 13-0, lol. Ugly start. Not sure how much crowd will play into things like that but both teams have to deal with that. We are going to have trouble with this lineup until we micromanage some early play calling.
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