Anatomy of a Turnover

Kurt —  November 12, 2007

The Lakers had 18 turnovers against the Timberwolves Friday night, emblematic of the way 17.7% of the team’s possessions end in a turnover (20th in the league). How did they happen? Often because the Lakers made a bad decision in transition, sometimes because the extra pass in the lane went array. Here is a breakdown of each one:

1) 1st quarter, 9:12, 6-6.
Fisher brings the ball up after a Jefferson make and at half court tries to thread a pass through to Turiaf who sprinted down and is in the paint, except that Jefferson hustled back and makes the steal, then takes it back up himself (but misses the shot because Chris Mihm never made it down court). Bad decision by Fisher.

2) 1st quarter, 8:15, 11-8 Minnesota. Fisher pushes the ball up quickly after a Gomes make (he was hot early). Things open up a little so he decides to drive the lane straight away, but when Jefferson collapses Fisher tries to make the fancy back pass to Turiaf that fails. The first two are on Fish.

3) 1st Quarter 7:54, 13-8 Minnesota.
Fisher gets the ball in bounds after a make, looks up and tries the three-quarter court pass to a hustling Ronny, but it is over his head and out of bounds. Fisher is not Kevin Love (and has the first three).

4) 1st Quarter, 5:03, 20-15 Minnesota. Kobe grabs the rebound on a miss and pushes it up himself on the left wing. Both Bynum and Turiaf are out high and look like they will set an early pick near the top of the key, but both see each other so both vacate the space just as Kobe looks for the screen. That leaves Kobe driving into the teeth of the defense and Theo Ratliff was there to force Kobe to try a wild pass to Bynum. Which failed. (But Turiaf didn’t give up, knocked the ball away from Marco Jaric, makes a pass to Kobe who passes to Bynum for the dunk.)

5) 1st Quarter, 1:10, 27-26 Lakers. Farmar pushes the ball up and makes a skip pass to Kobe, who starts to drive and when the defense collapses kicks out to Walton, who head fakes the charging defender and drives the land then kicks it out to the top of the key to Kobe, who drives the lane and gets stuffed by Jefferson. Kobe wanted the foul, and maybe it was, but good play by Jefferson as well.

6) 1st Quarter, :30, 30-28 Lakers. Jaric misses a three, Walton grabs the rebound and quickly hits Farmar out at half court on the left sideline, who has Jaric running with him and Turiaf filling the middle of the lane with Jefferson two strides behind him. Farmar has the right idea trying to wrap a pass around Jaric to the cutting Turiaf, but Jaric’s length knocks it away.

7) 2nd Quarter, 10:20 33-30 Minnesota. The Lakers settle in and run a nice offensive set that ends with Radmanovic getting a decent look three from the top of the arc — it misses but Walton gets great position under the basket and grabs the rebound, bringing it out on the left wing. Radmanovic runs to set a downscreen for Bynum in the paint near the basket but his defender is a full step behind, so Walton shoots him a pass — one Radman doesn’t expect. When he does see it he actually recoils from the ball. Bynum is right there too but didn’t react fast enough, and the ball sails through the court and out of bounds.

8) 2nd Quarter, 9:05, 36-33 Minnesota. The Lakers run the offense and get the ball into the paint to cutting Bynum, who tries a jump hook over the veteran Theo Ratlif that misses, but he stays with it and taps the rebound out to Luke Walton near the free throw line. He tries to feed the ball back inside quickly to Bynum, who is doing is best to seal off Ratlif but fails as the defender comes around him to make the steal. Not a great choice by Walton.

9) 2nd Quarter, 6:47, 37-36 Lakers. The Lakers are on the break after Bynum blocks a shot, with Odom bringing the ball up the right wing. Defenders start to slide to him just after half court so he skips it over to Walton on the left side, who tries the quick bounce pass back to Odom going to the hoop but it gets knocked away (and becomes an easy bucket for the T-Wolves at the other end). This was just a one off night for Walton all around.

10) 2nd Quarter, 4:49, 44-40 Lakers. The Lakers are off and running after a Turiaf steal, Fish drives the lane and draws the defenders then makes a bounce pass to Bynum, but Ratlif rotates quickly, then Bynum chooses to do the right thing and throws it back out top to set up the offense. (At least this error isn’t in transition.) With 14 on the clock Kobe gets the ball on the wing beyond the three-point arc, draws in his defender with a headfake then drives around him into the lane. Ratlif rotates, Bynum makes the cut to the hole but Kobe’s wrap-around pass to Bynum just harmlessly bounces out of bounds.

11) 3rd Quarter, 7:15, 66-54 Lakers.
Not coincidentally, it takes the Lakers almost five minutes into the second half to commit a turnover, and they go on a big run. The streak ends when Kobe gets an outlet from Mihm and brings it up the right side, decides to use a crossover to shake Buckner and just loses control and it goes out of bounds.

12) 3rd Quarter, 5:45, 70-56 Lakers. Bynum outlets to Fisher who pushes it up the middle of the court and at the free throw line tries an off-the-dribble “Steve Nash special” to Turiaf running the baseline, but it hits Turiaf on the foot and goes four rows deep. Alexi Lalas sees this and offers Turiaf a three-year, $10 million deal.

13) 3rd Quarter, 2:54, 76-65 Lakers.
Early in the clock Kobe ends up with the ball at the top of the key, while down low Bynum flashes through the lane with pretty good position, so Kobe tries to reward him with a lob pass but it was too high and poorly timed.

14) 3rd Quarter, 2:02, 78-67 Lakers. Odom has the ball on the right wing extended and passes out to Kobe at the top of the arc, who quickly passes to Luke on the left wing. While the play shifts cross court the defenders go with it but Odom floats on the back side then cuts to the basket for a back-door ally-oop from Walton, but Odom can’t quite catch it, and it falls to Jefferson.

15) 4th Quarter, 9:52, 87-73 Lakers.
Kobe comes off a high screen from Bynum on the wing and passes to Farmar who is cutting baseline, but Farmar dribbles it on the end line for a turnover.

16) 4th Quarter, 5:47, 92-84 Lakers. With 15 on the shot clock Kobe gets the ball out at the top of the key with Gerald Green on him and decides to go at the youngster, spinning around him into the lane and drawing the help defender, who comes off Mihm. So, Kobe tries a close-quarters bounce pass to Mihm but it’s at his feet and skips out of bounds.

17) 4th Quarter, 3:33, 96-89 Lakers. With 17 on the clock Odom has the ball at the top of the key while Walton fights for position deep in the lane against Buckner, and while he gets the pass from Odom he also picks up the offensive foul.

18) 4th Quarter, 2:50, 96-89 Lakers.
Fisher comes off a high screen from Mihm where both defenders try to trap Fish but he gets around them long enough to see Walton free along the baseline cutting under the basket and he hits him with a great pass. Since Mihm’s man went with Fish, Mihm rolled to the basket and Walton sees him and throws it to Mihm for what should be an easy dunk but Mihm had borrowed Kwame’s hands for the night and fumbled it out of bounds.