Monthly Archive for February, 2014

LAL 126, Kings 122: 2/28 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s home contest against Sacramento with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Bazemore, Johnson and Gasol
Kings: Thomas, McLemore, Gay, Williams and Thompson


Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers


Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers

Nick Young Gettin’ Buckets

Swaggy P. and former Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas went head-to-head in a shooting contest on a Fisher Price basketball hoop.

The two matched each other bucket for bucket.

Who won? You be the judge.

Lakers Better With Small Line Ups

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles LakersThe Lakers have struggled through an injury-riddled season during which 212 games have been missed to players, led by Kobe Bryant’s 52 and 46 from Steve Nash, eliminating any real chance of competing in a loaded West in which the current No. 8 seed is nine games over .500.

With a 19-39 record, not many of the statistics look very good for L.A., but a look at the team’s 10 most commonly used line ups reveals a point that coach Mike D’Antoni’s been making all season: the Lakers have been considerably better when they go small.

“Going small” in the NBA essentially means using a “stretch four” instead of a power forward, the former of which for the Lakers has been either Shawne Williams, Ryan Kelly or (with the current line up) Wesley Johnson.

Here’s the plus/minus for those 10 most-used groups, adjusted per 100 possessions, with offensive and defensive ratings included:

Lineup: Marshall/Blake/Johnson/Williams/Kaman (SMALL)
Minutes: 53
OffRtg: 106.4
DefRtg: 100.3
NetRtg: +6.2*
*This group outscored opponents by 6.2 points per 100 possessions.

Lineup: Farmar/Meeks/Henry/Johnson/Hill (SMALL)
Minutes: 49
OffRtg: 112.8
DefRtg: 110.4
NetRtg: +2.4

Lineup: Marshall/Meeks/Young/Kelly/Gasol (SMALL)
Minutes: 69
OffRtg: 121.7
DefRtg: 120.4
NetRtg: +1.3

Lineup: Marshall/Meeks/Johnson/Kelly/Gasol (SMALL)
Minutes: 119
OffRtg: 102.3
DefRtg: 101.4
NetRtg: +0.9

Lineup: Nash/Blake/Young/Gasol/Kaman (BIG)
Minutes: 44
OffRtg: 92.7
DefRtg: 93.4
NetRtg: -0.6

Lineup: Blake/Meeks/Johnson/Hill/Gasol (BIG)
Minutes: 152
OffRtg: 100.4
DefRtg: 107.6
NetRtg: -7.3

Lineup: Marshall/Meeks/Bazemore/Johnson/Gasol (SMALL)
Minutes: 57
OffRtg: 90.3
DefRtg: 100.7
NetRtg: -10.5

Lineup: Marshall/Meeks/Johnson/Hill/Gasol (BIG)
Minutes: 56
OffRtg: 83.5
DefRtg: 104.9
NetRtg: -21.4

Lineup: Bryant/Meeks/Johnson/Hill/Gasol (BIG)
Minutes: 50
OffRtg: 84.1
DefRtg: 117.0
NetRtg: -32.9

Lineup: Marshall/Meeks/Johnson/Gasol/Sacre (BIG)
Minutes: 51
OffRtg: 91.8
DefRtg: 130.1
NetRtg: -38.2

Before L.A.’s game at Memphis, D’Antoni explained why he thinks the smaller line ups have been more effective:

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles LakersQ: On small vs. big line ups:
D’Antoni: We want a certain type of basketball, and we’re trying to establish that and we’re trying to put everything into it. It’s clear our that the numbers say when you spread the floor and move the ball and get up and down the floor, we have a lot better chance to win. That’s what we’re going to do. We can adjust during the game. For example, if David West was killing Wesley (Johnson) (on Tuesday night), then something’s going to happen. Wesley has to come out or we have to go big orwhatever. But Wesley played well and that did not hurt us last night. It gave us a chance to spread the floor, score at a good rate and stay in the game.When Wesley got in foul trouble and Ryan (Kelly) got in foul trouble and we went big, it all caved in cause they’re a better, bigger team than we are. You have to play a little different. If you’re over manned a little bit and you try to match up, it’s not going to work out.

Q: On what playing big does for the rest of the team if he were to start two bigs vs. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol instead of Pau Gasol with a stretch four (Johnson):
D’Antoni: Well, what will happen is our floor will be closed down and offensively we’re not going to be as good. You’re not going to stop Zach Randolph that much. He’s going to get his numbers. Marc Gasol is going to be good, and they’ll beat you. Plus we want to establish our identity. This is how we’re going to play and we’re going to get better at it and we’re going to push the ball and we’re going to evaluate talent and get better at it. It’s frustrating some players and I understand that obviously if you lose playing one way, let’s play the other way. So you can get killed the other way. We’re going by numbers, we’re going by feel, we want to establish an identity and we don’t want to be all over the board every night changing something up and matching up to other teams and then just grasping the straws.

Q: On how Johnson approaches defending (bigger guys):
D’Antoni: I thought Wesley played really well (at Indiana). He needs to keep doing that and being assertive and being quick and then we’ll see. If we can’t do that, we’ll have to get bigger and try to limit them as much as we can.

Henry Scores 15 Points in D-Fenders Debut

ts_140227xavier_ds670Xavier Henry, who was assigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Thursday, recorded 15 points, three rebounds and four steals in 23 minutes. The D-Fenders, however, lost to the Texas Legends 121-103.

Henry had been sidelined nearly two months because of a bone bruise and an abnormality of the lateral meniscus. He suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Lakers-Sixers game on Dec. 29 at STAPLES Center four minutes into the contest.

The Kansas product had his knee drained of fluid and received a cortisone shot on Feb. 12. He was evaluated during the Lakers-Celtics game on Feb. 21 and was cleared to practice, just not 5-on-5 contact. He had been working out with the team and with the training staff, but this was his first game action since first injuring the knee.

The Lakers host the Sacramento Kings on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT, while the D-Fenders face the Texas Legends again on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Lakers-Grizzlies Postgame Numbers

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis GrizzliesWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 108-103 loss at Memphis:

Percentage of field goals made by Memphis in the second half. L.A. cut what was once a 22-point deficit midway through the third to nine points heading to the fourth. The Lakers were within five down the stretch, but timely shots and free throws from the Grizzlies held off the late rally.

Second-chance points for Memphis, a byproduct of 13 offensive rebounds. The Grizzlies big men – Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Kosta Koufos – combined for 24 total boards, including 10 on the offensive glass.

Three-pointers for the Lakers out of 32 attempts, a 53.6 percent mark. In the second half, L.A. was 10 for 16, including 7 for 11 in the final quarter. Jordan Farmar and Wesley Johnson drilled four apiece, Kent Bazemore, Jodie Meeks and MarShon Brooks made two and Ryan Kelly one.

Blocks for Johnson despite giving up six inches and 50 pounds guarding Gasol. He also finished with 18 points and five boards, and opened the floor up on the offensive end making 7 of his 14 shots (4 of 8 on three’s).

Points for Kendall Marshall, his second straight start he was held scoreless. Marshall dished out eight assists, but since Bazemore and Brooks have suited up, the North Carolina product has yet to crack double-digit points or dimes.

LAL 103, Grizzlies 108: 2/26 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Memphis with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Bazemore, Johnson and Gasol
Grizzlies: Conley, Lee, Prince, Randolph and Gasol


Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies

Los Angeles Lakers v Memphis Grizzlies

Lakers-Pacers Postgame Numbers

Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana PacersWe broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 118-98 loss at Indiana:

Rebounds for Indiana, including 21 on the offensive end. The Pacers, who owned a size advantage at every starting position, held a plus-20 edge on the glass and a plus-11 in second-chance points. Six different players grabbed at least six boards for the home team, including four of five starters.

Third-quarter points for Indiana (12 of 24 field goals) compared to just 16 for the Lakers (6 of 18 field goals, seven turnovers). As such, the Pacers turned a three-point halftime lead into a 21-point margin going into the fourth quarter. “They turned up their intensity,” Kent Bazemore said. “They are the best defensive team in the NBA and they made it tough for us and we couldn’t bounce back.”

Points for Bazemore, a new career high. He also added four boards, three assists and three steals, and showed his ability to get to the rim (eight free-throw attempts). In three games with the Lakers, the Old Dominion product is averaging 18.3 points, 2.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals on 45.2 percent field goals.

Blocked shots for the Lakers, including seven in the second quarter. The interior defense in the second frame allowed L.A. to keep the game close (three-point halftime deficit). Pau Gasol registered four swats, while Chris Kaman and Ryan Kelly had two apiece off the pine.

Minutes for Nick Young, who is expected to miss the two games on the road trip because of knee soreness. Young returned vs. Brooklyn on Sunday after a six-game absence with a displaced fracture of the patella/bone bruise and scored 10 points in 20 minutes off the bench.

LAL 98, Pacers 118: 2/25 Running Diary

Below is a running diary of L.A.’s road contest at Indiana with comments drawn from Mike Trudell’s @LakersReporter Twitter account, to ensure you’re covered from start to finish:

Lakers: Marshall, Meeks, Bazemore, Johnson and Gasol
Pacers: Hill, Stephenson, George, West and Hibbert 


Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers

Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers

Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers

Young Out for Road Trip

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles LakersInjury ReportGuard Nick Young, who returned to the floor Sunday against the Nets after missing the previous six games, is not expected to play on the team’s mid-west back-to-back trip that beings tonight in Indianapolis.

Road Trippin’ with the Lakers

The Lakers left L.A. in the morning for a two-game road trip, starting Tuesday at Indiana.

Kendall Marshall gave us a little glimpse from his perspective on the plane.

Noted: Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks and Wesley Johnson seem ready.