GRIZZLIES -at- LAKERS - 2/21 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:14 pm    Post subject: GRIZZLIES -at- LAKERS - 2/21 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Back On Court...Finally... The Grizzlies have been on a run lately. Tonlight, they kind of ran right into a brick wall attacking the paint against the Lakers.

As much as they tried chopping away at those big Laker trees, they didn’t fall. The Lakers came up with 14 blocked shots (7 by AD alone) as they held the line defensively on their way to the 117-105 win.

The game never felt like it was in doubt. The Lakers built up a big 25-point lead by the third quarter. The Grizzlies chipped that down to 4 early in the fourth, and then Vogel unleashed his secret weapon in Alex Caruso and order was restored.

When the Lakers flexed its muscle, energy and focus, the Grizzlies just didn’t stand much of a chance. I would not mind this as a first round opponent if the standings stayed this way. It’s just not a good matchup for Memphis as LeBron can get whatever he wants. The Grizzlies have to go through layers of bigs to get to the rim. And, of course, we have AD and AC.


LeBron -- -- With AD out early, LeBron helped keep the team afloat with a 17-point first half on just 5-8 shooting in the first half. Very nice efficiency. He sank all six of his FTs attempts in the half and would finish 11-12 for the night...love seeing that (just wish he could have more nights where it looks that automatic). He did a good job bullying his way to buckets or FTs. His drive left wasn’t looking great at times as he missed a few of those he probably finishes if he was going the other way, but the Grizzlies couldn’t really contain him when he decided he wanted to get the ball near the rim. I didn’t look this up, but the Lakers are 17-0 when he scores 30+. That’s one of those stats to maybe keep an eye on in the playoffs. The Stats: He scored 32 points on 10-17 shooting (1-4 from three, 11-12 from the line) to go with 3 boards, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 1 turnover and no fouls in 36 minutes. He was a +6.

Davis -- -- He took a knee to the calf a minute into the game and had to check out and go into the locker room. That threw off the Laker rotations as AD didn’t return until 8 minutes left in the second quarter. Bruised calf. He got his first points with 2:50 left in the first half and would finish with 4 in the first half. His one field goal was a highlight reel play. He showed off those guard skills attacking past a man with an up-fake from the corner, then splitting a couple more defenders with an And-1 scoop layup. In the second half, he get to the line more (missed a few) and sink a couple of threes. That last three with 29 seconds left got him over that 25-point mark. It had been 18 years since we’ve had someone (Shaq) go 25+ and 10+ in five straight games. Despite the slow start with the injury, AD was able to pull it off tonight dropping 24 of his 28 points in that second half. He’d end up just 3 blocks short of a triple-double. He just impressive around the rim. One play it seemed like he was able to keep a hand on his man while simultaneously blocking the guard with the other and controlling it. Impressive. The Stats: He scored 28 points on 8-17 shooting (2-4 from three, 10-15 from the line) to go with 13 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 7 blocks, 4 turnovers and 2 fouls in 31 minutes. He was a +11.

Green -- -- One of those games where his D was what you want to look at. He had 3 steals and 2 blocks (including a nice one from behind on Ja’s drive). Good hands at times causing issues. He was a +26 in 26 minutes. You could see the scoring pick up a bit by the Grizzlies when we went to our first substitutions and sat him. Late in the game, we had AC, KCP and Green out there while LeBron/Rondo sat. I’d like to see more of this, especially if we can go to some set plays with this unit. You’ve good shooters, good D and just guys who make big plays. The Stats: He scored 3 points on 1-3 shooting to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 1 foul in 26 minutes. He was a +26.

McGee -- -- He picked up 3 fouls in the first 6 minutes. It was a good first 6 minutes. He was challenging shots and hustling to set the tone. I don’t have problems with that since he was really imposing himself. It was just a difficult situation since AD was already out. McGee picked up two more fouls to start the second half after just 3 minutes and sat...on the scorer’s table for a minute, frustrated. That kind of night for him. He nearly had a coast-to-coast highlight play in this one, pushing the ball up court and attacking the rim at high speed. He couldn’t finish it (AD did on the follow...what’s with our bigs beating everyone down court, by the way?) The Stats: He scored 2 points on 1-2 shooting to go with 5 boards, 1 block, 1 turnover and 5 fouls in 14 minutes. He was a +5.

Bradley -- -- Liked his game tonight. Really strong getting into the midrange or paint for short ones. No hesitation on the threes. He’s just looking so confident out there. We start games and halves trying to get him the ball and get him going. It’s consistently our M.O. and has been working out well lately. Bradley scored all 14 of his points in the first three quarters. Some nice D at times, forcing his men into bricks on drives or even picking guys on the perimeter to ignite a break. He’d end up with 3 steals and a block. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 6-10 shooting (2-4 from three) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in 29 minutes. He was a +2.

Caldwell-Pope -- -- Killed me...killed me with the fumble job on the break in the fourth. AD had just gone behind the back on the dribble and then threaded a sweet bounce pass to him between defenders for a sure score. He took his eyes off it and fumbled the ball out of bounds. Painful. He’s avoided those kinds of plays lately and won back the fan base a long time ago. But, man, that was going to be in AD’s highlight reel for the season and he choked that one away. Some good moments on the break tonight despite that. I just wanted that one. He did have another highlight play where he lobbed to AD as he was falling on the attack, that one at least worked out. Some high arching shots tonight from KCP. Everything just seemed a bit more rainbow-ish than usual, even his FTs. He picked up a weak backcourt charge call early in the fourth and then a tech for complaining on it. Vogel picked up a tech shortly later defending a no call on LeBron. It seemed like the Lakers started to get serious after that...but that was probably because AC came in. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-12 shooting (1-6 from three, 3-5 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4 turnovers and 4 fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +1.

Kuzma -- -- Best play of his night was an extra pass from the corner to AD for an And-1 under the hoop late in the game. He wasn’t hitting anything, but that was an open look in the corner he passed up for a better one for AD. Nice to see. Early in the game, AD went out early, so Kuzma was in at PF after about a minute into this one. He scored a few buckets early, but then went cold missing a ton of shots and even both his FTs in the first half. He was just 3-11 in the first half. He just wasn’t hitting shots he’s usually reasonable at. He was getting the ball with some movement to the hoop. He had good looks a threes. He was just off the mark. Defensive rebounding could have been much better, especially in the second half when we were giving up some second chances. I’ll be curious to see what happens if we get Morris. It looks like the plan is to play Kuzma more at the three. We’ve looked a lot better with length on the floor, so let’s see how that goes. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 4-13 shooting (0-4 from three, 0-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 3 assists and 5 fouls in 23 minutes. He was a +9.

Caruso -- -- Best play of the night. He walked around a man a the FT line and then dunked down a missed freethrow with both hands. Bench just went nuts. Sleep on Caruso at your own risk. He was a +15 in 14 minutes in the first half. We again ran some minutes without either LeBron/Rondo on the court and AC running things. The team has looked decent in these stretches, including a key stretch in the fourth. Hopefully, we get more reps in. But I do love the chemistry when LeBron/AC are on the court. That’s just two smart players and AC’s hustle makes things happen. The two teamed up on the break. Once with AD drive, drawing and dishing to LeBron trailing for the dunk. The other with LeBron slowing things up while AC filled the lane on the secondary break for the layup. Vogel acknowledged how well they play together, mentioning their net rating and trying to make sure they get minutes together. It drives me nuts when he doesn’t get in there early in low energy stretches in games. He just does so many little winning plays. There was a great screen on a set sequence where he puts a body on AD’s man as AD comes out of the corner. LeBron fired the ball to AD and he had an easy dunk. Or there was another defensive play where he threatened the passing lane and helped force the Grizzlies to throw the ball out of bounds. Just little things that don’t show in any stats, but producing those +23 numbers in 23 minutes. Can’t wait to see him in the playoffs. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-5 shooting (1-2 from three, 2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 foul in 23 minutes. He was a +23.

Howard -- -- In midway through the first quarter for McGee who had 3 fouls. Dwight would pick up 3 himself over the next 7 minutes. Some good work on the offensive glass, but he needs to be careful about those fouls when we are down two bigs. We had to tap Dudley in that first half at C. I’m glad he didn’t do anything crazy in the dunk contest. We need him to stay healthy for the long haul. The Stats: He scored 4 points on 2-3 shooting (0-2 from the line) to go with 5 boards (3 offensive), 1 block, 1 turnover and 4 fouls in 16 minutes. He was a -18.

Rondo -- -- He was a +4 in the first half, sinking a three and scoring a layup off his patented behind-the-back fake. Nothing spectacular with the passing/playmaking, but he was bringing the ball up to lighten the load on LBJ. Second half, first play he tosses a turnover on a lazy post entry. Combine that with some awful defense and his second half minutes were a -11. I’m hopeful that we’re using him now to help with the heavy lifting of the regular season for LeBron, and maybe AC in a way, since he’s never played on a team making a deep playoff run. Come playoff time, the minutes get reeled in. But who knows? The Stats: He scored 5 points on 2-4 shooting (1-2 from three, 0-2 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 5 assists, 1 turnover and no fouls in 16 minutes. He was a -7.

Dudley -- -- Down AD, McGee, Howard...it was time to break out Dudley at the C spot. He played just a couple of minutes as AD finally came back out from the locker room and checked in. The Stats: He had no stats in 2 minutes. He was a +2.

Vogel -- -- Key Moment: You could say when the Lakers pushed out to that early 25-point lead in the second half, they let up. That could be a key moment. Or you could look at when the lead got down to 4 points with 9 minutes left in the game. That’s when we brought in AC for the first time in the second half. Things changed then.

Key Substitution: Vogel is driving me a little bit crazy lately with some of his substitutions. Consistently, however, it has been the usage of Caruso. It’s painfully obvious at times when the team needs him. They were flat tonight in the third quarter. There was no spark, no hustle. You don’t have to wait until the fourth quarter to bring him in to give the team some much needed energy. But he waited. And by that time a once 25-point lead was down to just 4. I do love how much of the post game lately has been questions about Caruso and his impact. If Vogel wants to keep the minutes down in order to save AC for a long season, I get that. But I do think exceptions should be made for when the team gets into lazy mode.

Key Stats: Let’s start with the Grizzlies three shooting. They made 5-16. Just 16 attempts for the entire game. They want to get into the paint, that just plays to our advantage. The Lakers had 14 blocks defending that paint well. Shout out also to the poor job at the line tonight. We know one thing that didn’t happen during the break. No one worked on their freethrows, except maybe LeBron. The two teams combined for some awful freethrow shooting. The Lakers shot a poor 26-40 (65%). Meanwhile, the Grizzlies made sure we didn’t pay for that by going a horrid 16-31 (51.6%).
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:24 pm    Post subject:

First! Thanks, DB.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:44 pm    Post subject:

Caruso needs more minutes, for sure. He is a smart player who works hard and makes things happen. Plays good team defense too.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:29 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB! We need to do a better job with rebounding, TO's, and free throws to beat the elite teams.
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deal
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:43 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:00 am    Post subject:

Thanks DB!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:08 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB! I though we were in for a snooze-fest when they went up 25, but sure enough our boys let them back in it, again. Was very impressed with the 1st half D, though.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:53 am    Post subject:

I’m watching the 2nd half (fell asleep last night) and I just saw the CARUSHOW play. And he didn’t get T’d for hanging on the rim! Sleep on The Accountant at your own risk!

Thanks DB
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject:

Seemed like the Lakers were just toying with the Grizz. Got whatever shot they wanted, got to the FT line often. I hope they are our 1st round opponent.

LBJ and AD still had the All Star glow. Really enjoy watching how smartly AC plays, both individually and within the team concept. I try to explain to my non-Lakers fan why he's so effective. It's not that he does things spectacularly or flashy (although he does occasionally), he just plays hard and smart.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:18 am    Post subject:

30 games over .500. Wow.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:49 am    Post subject:

Keep up the good work DB! Your work and Cachooka's has been godsend to many fans over the years. Sad to know Cachooka will be away indefinitely.
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