Why we lose
Posted December 20, 2008 - 08:21 PM
1. Kobe takes 20+ FGA- I'm bringing this up because I remember ESPN mentioning it. The Lakers are 7-5 when Kobe attempts 20+ FG's. He's shot 43% in those games compared to 46% overall on the regular season. He averages 30.8ppg in losses. Now there is two ways to look at this. 1. The team is doing bad and Kobe is looking to carry them or 2. The ball is in Kobe's hands too much and it's much easier to defend the Lakers when the ball isn't moving. Personally I think it's varied depending on the game. However in the beginning of the season we had great ball movement, lots of guys were getting into double digits consistently. So whatever the reason is for this trend, it needs to change. The ball needs to get moving again and more guys have to get involved in the scoring.
2. We don't involve Pau/Bynum enough- Pau averages 11.4 FGA attempts per game in losses compared to 12.4 FGA in wins. Bynum averages 6.2 FGA compared to 9.9 FGA in wins. Although much more than stats we've just seen that this duo hasn't been dominating like many of us expected them to on both ends of the floor. We have two legit 7 footers who are both viable offensive options. They should work good together with Pau having a great midrange game and Bynum always improving on the low post. I expected it to be a "pick your poison" when trying to guard Pau and Bynum, and it hasn't lived up to that yet. I think they need to mesh, something needs to happen, but offensively they need to dominate more.
3. Expecting to turn it on in the 4th- In our five losses, we've been down to start the 4th 4/5 times. I feel we have a sense of entitlement against lesser teams that we should win based on pure talent. Even when we get down to these teams early, we coast to the 4th quarter and expect to come back and win it in the 4th. Well obviously that isn't the case. I couldn't find the stat to see how many times we've comeback from being down at the end of the third, but maybe someone can help me out with that. But it's obvious that we haven't been a great 4th quarter team when we're down (or up against Indiana). The sense that this team thinks they can win with superior offense and just by being the better team on paper needs to end right now. The Fab 4 Lakers looked great on paper as well but didn't get a title. They need to go out every night and prove they are the best team.
4. Bench play- The bench averages 43.5ppg, 19.3rpg, 10.7apg, 6.0spg, 2.2bpg on the season. In losses, they have averaged 26.6ppg, 13.8rpg, 6.0apg, 4.0spg, 1.2bpg. When our bench struggles, our team struggles. In the beginning of the season the bench did a great job of increasing the lead, and left it up to our starters to gain a little lead, and maintain a lead after the bench came off the floor. Since then, the bench has not done a good job maintaining a lead. This is what the stats say. Now for my opinion, it's obviously because of our defense and ball movement. Steals and blocks are down in losses. The bench gets out and runs off of turnovers, so when they aren't playing defense they don't get easy buckets. If they don't rebound, they don't get easy buckets.
Recently they just haven't managed the game very well either. I feel they got used to running and gunning, but now they are doing it the wrong way. They have to realize they were getting out in transition as a result of good defense and rebounding. Now they are just trying to run because that's the reputation they earned, and are slacking on the defensive end. If their transition game is off, just run the halfcourt offense. If the other team is going on a run, slow it down and make sure you're getting good shots or play defense to get easy opportunities on offense. They haven't been doing this for awhile, and it needs to change.
5. Defense- 106ppg given up in losses, compared to 95.5ppg in wins. 42.6% FG against in wins, 46.2% FG against in losses. 8.2 3PMpg in losses as well. In all of our losses we've given up at least 2 quarters of 25+ points, including one quarter giving up 30+ points. I remember back in 05 and 06 playing PHX in the 1st round of the playoffs, Phil said the Lakers could only give PHX one quarter of 30+ points if they wanted to have a chance to win. Well with improved expectations and not always playing against an offense of PHX's caliber, I think they can only give one quarter of 25+ points to have a chance to win. That hasn't been the case in losses, and needs to change.
Our defensive schemes don't make sense all of the time. With two 7 footers clogging up the middle I don't always understand why we send in extra defenders to the paint when someone gets the ball in the lane. Against Phoenix I remeber Shawn Marion was posting up against Gasol and he got double teamed and there were 4 Lakers in the lane. Is that necessary? Pau may not be an elite defender but I'd let Marion try and post him up anytime he wants. That leaves too many other people open and when it gets kicked out our rotations are slow, we don't communicate and it usually ends up with an easy shot for the other team.
We also don't communicate enough on defense. The pick and roll defense is the perfect example. The pick and roll doesn't only involve the defenders of the screener and the ballhandler, it has to be a team effort. Everyone needs to keep an eye on their own man, but be ready to help, help the helper, help the helper of the helper, basically know how to rotate. Rotation takes IQ as well as communication and we haven't shown either on a consistent basis. It's gotta start with the guys down low who have a good view of what's going on around the perimeter, but everyone needs to talk. If a defender can't see who is behind in terms of his teammates, teammates gotta let him know where he has help, what's coming, so and so is cutting, etc. It is a new defensive scheme, but the Lakers were playing it really well the beginning of the season. It may take some more time for everyone to get used to making rotations, and communicating, but something needs to happen because our defense isn't going to get us very far.
Overall we need to give more effort on the defensive end, everyone. The bigs need to be responsible for clogging the lane a lot more than they are, and we can't double the post every time it gets the ball. The ball needs to move more. The bench needs to manage the game better than they are. We've got a long way to go to prove we are ready to take the championship from the Leprachauns, and hopefully this team will get on track and start playing up to expectations.
Posted December 21, 2008 - 04:04 AM
gambling for steals
too much perimeter shots
Lamar (and the rest of the bench) missing in action for ages
going under screens
unclutch at the FT line
Luke Walton starting
constant doubling on the paint
Edited by Avtomat Kalashnikov, December 21, 2008 - 04:05 AM.
Posted December 21, 2008 - 04:36 AM
With that sense of Urgency!!!!
The Game is Chess, not Checkers!!!!!
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