Saturday, November 24, 2012

Notes: Los Angeles Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies [11/23/12]

I decided to do away with the feed, and start a new series. Where I will break down the good and the bad for both teams in a specific game.

Memphis Grizzlies 106 - Los Angeles Lakers 98

The Good:

Grizzlies: Mike Conley and Marc Gasol tore the Lakers apart, the two man game they played was beautiful and executed to perfection. Marc Gasol is the ideal complimentary big man, on pick and rolls, he can pop out for an easy 15 to 18 footer or roll hard for the lay in. His passing ability benefits Conley, they ran simple give and go plays, where Marc stood at the top of the key and always found the cutting point guard. 

The defense was active in most stretches, they gambled a lot by over helping on Dwight Howard, which did make the indecisive center to rush his shots. In the fourth quarter, he finally capitalized on the help and found the open shooters (the Lakers got 3 three pointers in a row, which counted for the 3 assists he had in total).

Lakers: Not too much. The team did hit 12 three pointers to keep themselves in the game. Antawn Jamison (16 points) came back to life, giving the bench some needed scoring. Kobe Bryant did Kobe Bryant things in late game, knocked down tough jumpers, got to the free throw line and finished with 30 points.

Besides Dwight Howard's presence that made the Memphis bigs hesitate before making their move, there was absolutely nothing good about the Lakers defense.

The Bad:

Both teams gave up a lot of points on turnovers. Memphis' 17 paved way for 24 points and LA's 18 for 29.

Grizzlies: This game went away from the post too early. Obviously Dwight Howard played in to that equation, but when Zach Randolph had Antawn Jamison in position there is no reason to not get the ball to him. I thought Marc Gasol was too willing to pass early, he should have went to work more.

The gambling on defense might not have been necessary, Grizzlies are a pretty solid individual defensive team, they were fortunate that the Lakers didn't use it to their advantage until the fourth.

Lakers: The Los Angeles Lakers features one of the best front courts in the NBA, yet the team only scored 24 points in the paint, compared to the 40 by their opponents. It amazes me, how this is a problem. They have refused over and over again to go to the post, Dwight (7 points) had only 7 shot attempts in the 39 minutes he played. What is even more amazing was that in one possession, Darius Morris decided against re-posting their star center and instead take Conley on the baseline to put up a miserable attempt. Howard is at fault too, I know he may not be 100 percent recovered from the back injury, but if he settles for one more lay up or short hook, Laker fans better be ready for disappointment. He has to dunk the ball, he can't shoot free throws, so why not get the damn basket. At this point, I am starting to agree with Shaq, which either means I am spiraling towards insanity or you are not playing like you are suppose to.

About Pau Gasol, well this sums it quite nicely:

Like I said earlier, Kobe Bryant did Kobe Bryant things, and it was not exactly a good thing. He shot 7 for 23 from the field, and he basically decided to play hero ball in the fourth. I just don't think he trusts his teammates, he kept jacking the first shot available against Tony Allen's tough defense and complained for fouls on the shots he missed.

So far, the Mike D'Antoni pace offense is not there, not the speed nor the pick and roll game. I am certain I did not see a single successful pick and roll, where the screener finished with the basket, hopefully Steve Nash will fix it (His return have not even been determined, as a matter of fact, he can't even jog yet).

Their defense is incredibly terrible. I don't think the guys standing in the perimeter, in front of their assignment can actually move. It is a good thing they have Dwight Howard though.

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