SPURS -at- LAKERS - 1-25-23 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

 
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:15 pm    Post subject: SPURS -at- LAKERS - 1-25-23 - Thoughts and :-)) Ratings

Reinforcements... Help has arrived.

Laker fans tuned in tonight to see AD’s return as well as the debut of Rui Hachimura. It was a choppy game on the second night of the back-to-back, but they improved as the game went along.

The Lakers gave up a 13-1 run early in the first quarter, turning the ball over and mixing in some lackluster effort. With AD coming off the bench (along with Hachimura), the Lakers made up some ground until Wesbrook gave an early flagrant foul in the post and a 4-point possession. They trailed 30-25 after the first.

AD’s size was evident on the defensive end. He anchored the D well and allowed the Lakers to get more one-and-out stops. The Lakers trailed 54-53 at the half.

Pat Bev gave the team some spark offensively in his first shift of the second half (he had scored the Lakers first 6 points of the game, as well). Now, in the third, he helped the team to a small 4-point lead midway through the third. But as soon as we subbed in Russ, we trailed by 4 on an 8-0 Spurs run, and Ham called a timeout.

It took a while, midway into the fourth before the Lakers took control. It was on a flurry of passes from Bron and threes from the Lakers. In the flash, they had a double digit lead and control of the game.

They take the 113-104 win against the Spurs. They’ve got a bit of work ahead of them to integrate everyone, but the team was able to hold the line while AD was out. Now, they need to make up some ground.


LeBron -- -- Near triple-double on the second night of the back-to-back. It took a while to get the train rolling, though. Really poor start in this one, particularly on defense. He either wasn’t getting back or if his man moved/relocated, Bron just stayed put and we gave up open threes. He’s one of the lowest activity defenders in the league and it was on display tonight. So glad to have AD back to help with that. Getting Reaves back and his hustle will help, as well. Offensively, just 10 points on 5-9 shooting from him in the first half. Some finishes at the rim and he found himself open for a couple of midrange scores. He had a transition drive where he bumped Poeltl several feet under the hoop before scoring a layup. In the second half, the real key was during our flurry of scores where we took the lead. He hit Rui for a three, then found Sschroder and Christie for threes. The faked a three and hit Bryant down the middle of the lane for a dunk. The passing triggered everything and we took control finally. The Stats: He scored 20 points on 8-20 shooting (1-6 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 9 boards, 11 assists, 6 turnovers and no fouls in 35 minutes. He was a +2.

Bryant -- -- So good to have AD back. Bryant’s interior D is bad. Not just bad, but, like among the worst in the league for his position. Tonight, it felt like maybe it was a hair better. With AD back, that should give him a little more of a green light to not worry about foul trouble and try to challenge more. It’s usually just automatic for players to score around him. Tonight, there were a couple more stops and shot alterations. Hopefully, we see a little more of that. Any stops are an improvement. Offensively, he had a couple dunks off Bron passes, including a big one during our flurry of scores in the fourth that helped take control of the game. I suspect he’s back to the bench in the next one as we can get a practice in and recalibrate around our returning/new guys. The Stats: He scored 8 points on 2-3 shooting (4-4 from the line) to go with 5 boards, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. He was a +1.

Schröder -- -- Defensively, superb game. Very active and exactly what we needed on the second night of the back-to-back. He had multiple steals (4) and a couple of great blocks. Somehow he blocked Poeltl in the post on iso D. Just a great defensive play. He also had a closeout in front of the Laker bench where he blocked a three and tried to save it back inbounds. The Spurs got it, attacked, but AD denied them again. One of the more inspiring defensive sequences we’ve seen in a long time. Dennis struggled a bit from three in this game. After he airballed a corner three, LeBron seemed to give him some words of encouragement during a deadball. The shortly later, Bron would find him and Dennis would sink the wing three, holding his pose. Bron was his biggest cheerleader on that shot. Loved it. Scrappy game. He and Bev helped pick up some of the slack for a tired Bron and a poor one from Russ. The Stats: He scored 9 points on 3-12 shooting (1-6 from three, 2-3 from the line) to go with 8 boards (3 offensive), 5 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 38 minutes. He was a +16.

Beverley -- -- He scored the Lakers first 6 points in this one on his way to 18 on the night. He’d drain 3-7 from three and show some crafty moves to score in the paint. He had a nice up and under on Poeltl in the paint. He caught the D sleeping with a change of directions in early offense to score a layup. Kind of gave us the Lonnie Walker output in this one. Productive throughout. The Stats: He scored 18 points on 6-12 shooting (3-7 from three, 3-4 from the line) to go with 2 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers and no fouls in 24 minutes. He was a -3.

Brown -- -- Good job hitting the defensive glass in this game. You saw him crashing back again and again and helping the team secure boards. It looked like a very purposeful effort from him there. He sank a couple of threes and had a steal hustling in transition. Good energy this one. The Stats: He scored 6 points on 2-4 shooting (2-3 from three) to go with 7 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 foul in 20 minutes. He was a +3.

Davis -- -- The shot altering tonight, just off the charts. They brought him off the bench so they can keep his minutes restriction, but also to see if he would be needed to finish the game. They probably also wanted to just keep the continuity of the starters as they have new faces to integrate. The arena was a bit uneasy at times. At the end of the third, he pushed out a rebound, threw up a long three and landing on the foot of a Spurs player, twisting his ankle -- a reckless closeout by the Spurs and three FTs for AD. Scary seeing that on his first game back, but apparently no injury there. Crypto was groaning, though. AD got up and hit his three FTs after spending a little time on the floor. I’d rather not throw him a lot of lobs or plays where he’s in the air for a while. Keep it simple and a little more grounded. He got undercut on a lob late in the game. But aside from those moments, his presence was massive. He blocked 4 shots and altered probably another 10. The crowd was into each one of those blocks and it energized the defense. It’s great to have that anchor defense back. Offensively, he buried a three and had a lot of scores in the paint, going to his bag of post moves. The rebounding on both ends was huge. We’re getting extra possessions and one-and-out stops. “It’s been a long five and half weeks,” he said. He mentioned he felt good afterward. Let’s go. The Stats: He scored 21 points on 7-15 shooting (1-3 from three, 6-7 from the line) to go with 12 boards (5 offensive), 1 assist, 1 steal, 4 blocks, 3 turnovers and 2 fouls in 26 minutes. He was a +9.

Hachimura -- -- He made his debut off the bench with AD at the 4:22 mark of the first quarter. He was tentative to start, even bobbling some passes, but warmed up as the game went along. He’s going to give the team a consistent midrange shot, some strong finishes and some decent three shooting. Two things they really need from him to grow/elevate his game are making his threes at a slightly higher level and taking his defensive game up a level. Defensively, he has not been an active/disruptive defender. With Bron as a low activity defender and Russ sometimes, he’ll need to elevate that part of his game. Playing alongside AD, Schröder and Beverley, these are guys who are very active and passionate about that end of the floor. Hopefully, that rubs off. Rui has the young legs and we need to see it on that end. He gave us some reasonable D tonight, a little slow-footed at first, but it felt like he warmed up. Just having his size to throw in at the wing or help secure boards more, will make a difference. Offensively, his first field goal was off his bread and butter. He moved in off the three line and hit a midrange pull-up. That’s kind of his goto action. He showed that three ball late, stepping into one in transition during a key stretch. He showed the post up midrange with a nice turnaround in the fourth. He displayed some of his ability to drive. He faced up, ripped through to attack baseline and was fouled on a dunk attempt that would have had the crowd roaring. Just a strong take and we’re going to see a lot of that. A little sample plate of his game tonight. Having another consistent scorer that guys can dump the ball to make something happen is going to help out a lot. Can’t wait to see the team get reps in their sets with him and the growth as the season goes along. It’s one game, but the +17 in 22 minutes led the team tonight. You shouldn’t be able to get this kind of a player/value with three second rounders. “He’s very versatile out there,” Bryant said. “I think he’s going to help this team dynamically.” Rui’s head is still spinning. He mentioned being in a Wizards uniform and now here. He looked at a few plays this morning. He said the coaches were in his ear and the staff has loaded him up with clips. The Stats: He scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting (1-3 from three, 3-6 from the line) to go with 6 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal and no fouls in 22 minutes. He was a +17.

Westbrook -- -- He picked up a flagrant-1 on in this game on Collins, kind of throwing him to the floor in the post. If you remember, he got his forehead split on a foul by Collins earlier in the season on a foul. A host of poor decisions by Russ, not even counting that one. He sprayed passes around the court for a variety of turnovers. Some of the shot selection (those early offense threes kill me) or drives into crowds with no game plan, made for some inefficient ball. Throw in some stagnant D and you’ve got problems. As a result, he had the team-low -9. He got a few buckets late as we spread the floor and had the game mostly wrapped up. I did like when he came in for his shift in the fourth as Bron sat and he got the ball to Hachimura in the post. I thought this was a little trust/experience he has playing with Rui, but apparently Ham called for it. In any event, good things came from it. He would have brought the house down if he was on the mark with a lob to Rui on the break, but again, he was off and a turnover resulted. Those two showed some good chemistry in DC. That should show up here, as well. The Stats: He scored 14 points on 7-15 shooting (0-3 from three) to go with 2 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls in 28 minutes. He was a -9.

Christie -- -- Good first shift. He was giving the team some defensive activity, challenging shots well, stripping his man in the paint and grabbing boards in a crowd. Ham rewarded him with some extra time early as a result. He sank a corner three during the key flurry in the fourth quarter. I’d really love to keep his minutes up somehow when we get our other guys healthy. He’s been growing month by month. The Stats: He scored 5 points on 1-2 shooting from three (2-2 from the line) to go with 4 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover and no fouls in 24 minutes. He was a +13.

Gabriel -- -- With AD back, he was out of the rotation. He came in for the final minute of garbage time. The Stats: He had 1 board in 1 minute. He was a +0.

Toscano-Anderson -- -- Came in for the last minute and dribble it out fo bounds. The Stats: He had 1 turnover in 1 minute. He was a +0.

Ham -- -- Key Moment: It happened quickly. They were going back and forth in the fourth. But the Lakers had about a minute of ball where they just blitzed the Spurs with a series of stops that turned into threes and transition opportunities. They took a 10-point lead in the blink of an eye and suddenly had the game in control. Bron was key in that. He was finding teammates right and left, including a great feed to Bryant for a dunk to cap it off.

Key Substitution: Let’s look at some of the lineups with two new bigs in the mix. In the first half, it was apparent that Gabriel/JTA were the odd men out. We switched Bryant/AD at the C spot with AD off the bench. The lineups varied from big: AD/Hachimura/LeBron/Christie/Russ to small: AD/Brown/Bev/Russ/Schröder. We’d then swap out Brown with Bron. When Reaves and Walker return, Christie’s minutes are probably gone (he was a strong +13 in 24 tonight). But who else? I suspect Bev, who killed it tonight, might see some DNPs, which will do his body some good. Brown, too, will likely see his minutes disappear quite a bit, although we need his size in the mix.

Key Stats: This game was closer than it should be because of 19 Laker turnovers and 17 offensive boards by the Spurs. The offensive board will start to become less of a thing as we ramp up ADs minutes and now have more size we can throw at teams. The second night of the back-to-back certainly hurt us in the effort plays with a few guys.
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Dr. Laker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:19 pm    Post subject:

First!

Thanks, DB!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:27 pm    Post subject:

Hope we never see the 3 guard lineups again especially with Troy brown at the 4 on top of that
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:31 pm    Post subject:

Glad to be back, and reading your post game analysis, DB! Had to take a bit of a sabbatical from the team, to keep my mental sanity, lol. With the team getting AD and other key players back...as well as the Rui acquisition...the play on the floor should be markedly better, once guys get properly assimilated.

Looking forward to the return of Reaves and Lonnie, soon. Wish the basketball gods would smite Ham every time he puts out those 3/4 guard lineups...

Curious to see where Wenyen and Christie get minutes, when we get all our players back. Their productivity deserves playing time.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:15 am    Post subject:

THX DB! Nice win LA!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:11 am    Post subject:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 4:50 am    Post subject:

Thanks, DB!

LETS GO LAKERS!!!!! AD ON THE WAY!!!!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:03 am    Post subject:

Lakers shoulda won this game by 20+ easily!
We can’t afford to lose close games & Ham has to sit Russ & his dumb decision making last 3 minutes of games! IMO, we aren’t a Chip team this year, so gotta keep those 1st rd picks & unfortunately Russ & regroup next year.

Giving up offensive rebounds is a problem & defensive close outs are horrible!
Gotta hustle & get them off the arc into AD.

To save AD & his health the Lakers won a chip with Mcgee & Dwight starting at center allowing AD to play PF & help off ball defense!

Rui can play off the bench & get 30 minutes, T.B. could keep starting maybe AD’s defense will help him, but D. Jones second time in LA uni is completely worthless. We gotta find minutes for Gabriel he brings energy & is playing well.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:25 am    Post subject:

Had to go to bed at the end of the 3rd. Glad we won this hideous display of basketball.

+17 debut for Rui...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 7:02 am    Post subject:

Rui is nice.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 7:36 am    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
Rui is nice.


And he was on a bad habit team so I expect him to develop his game with the heightened intensity of playing for PnG. I saw some highlights of Nunn and he looked good…amazing what the lesser lights and attention can do for a player.

As Kobe said: Not everyone is cut out to be a Laker.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:10 am    Post subject:

As LeBron has already said several times in his press conferences, you can’t just keep on changing lineups and expect production. We were inserting once again thank God, Anthony Davis and the new guy, but if people didn’t expect hiccups whenever we did that they were fooling themselves.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:16 am    Post subject:

Polarbear wrote:
As LeBron has already said several times in his press conferences, you can’t just keep on changing lineups and expect production. We were inserting once again thank God, Anthony Davis and the new guy, but if people didn’t expect hiccups whenever we did that they were fooling themselves.


Yeah that’s been an issue for multiple years now. Lack of continuity is going to hurt you because there isn’t enough practice time with all the games, load managing, CBA, etc.

Contrast the Lakers with a team like the Nuggets who look like a machine with their core 4 of AG/Porter/Murray/Jokic.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 10:30 am    Post subject:

LakerSD wrote:
Halflife wrote:
Rui is nice.


And he was on a bad habit team so I expect him to develop his game with the heightened intensity of playing for PnG. I saw some highlights of Nunn and he looked good…amazing what the lesser lights and attention can do for a player.

As Kobe said: Not everyone is cut out to be a Laker.

he's just big and athletic. Bron/Rui/AD is a huge trio. Start TB and AD-Rui can protect him defensively
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 6:48 pm    Post subject:

Thanks DB! Great to see AD back.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 10:47 pm    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
LakerSD wrote:
Halflife wrote:
Rui is nice.
And he was on a bad habit team so I expect him to develop his game with the heightened intensity of playing for PnG. I saw some highlights of Nunn and he looked good…amazing what the lesser lights and attention can do for a player.

As Kobe said: Not everyone is cut out to be a Laker.
he's just big and athletic. Bron/Rui/AD is a huge trio. Start TB and AD-Rui can protect him defensively
Kobe's assessment that not everybody is out out to be a Laker is a truism that has been seen many times. In LaLaLand, the mantel/Face/Leader of Da Bust is never just given - it has to be earned.

Wish Nunn the best. BI, Randle, DLo, Clarkson, Kuz and others have blossom after leaving the pressures/demands/requirements/scrutiny of being under the shadow of LBJ and Kobe

Shaq or Charles not knowing Rui is revealing. Baskerball junkies like KD and others know who Rui is and what he has done

Would Kuz accept being third fiddle to LBJ/AD - lol!!! Rui is a cross between Kwahi/Kuz with much to prove - hence hungry. He has seen how Bryant, Walker Jr., Gabriel, Reeves and Brown developed with a chance to be part of this wave of players (especially they are around the same ages, but just a few years younger than AD).
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