Three Things That Worked For Us; Three Things That Worked For Them

Kurt —  November 18, 2009

nba basketballrockets@lakers

Kwame A. sent in this breakdown from the Piston’s game.

A couple things from last-night’s game against the Pistons:

Worked For Us: Odom/Bynum two-man game. This has been developing nicely over the course of this short season. When the Laker guards bring the ball up the court the first pass triggers a cut to the corner. This sets up Lamar and Bynum on the weak-side for some two-man action. Against the Pistons, this action led to an easy bucket for Drew in the 1st quarter. Odom received the ball, Bynum set the screen, both Piston defenders swarmed towards LO and as LO went up to shoot Bynum rolled to the hoop and got a chippie.

Worked For Them: Aimless Driving.
Its bad when the triangle breaks down. It leads to imbalance on the court, and that could lead to a turnover or worse, a turnover that leads to an easy hoop. We had two such instances that stood out last night. Lamar at the top of the key driving into the heart of the defense with Bynum and Kobe already in the paint, and Kobe getting stuck baseline in the air, with nobody to pass to. The Nuggets did a good job disrupting the Lakers sets, so did the Mavs. No other teams have forced the Lakers out of their offense. The problems occur when the Lakers break their offense. Aimless driving needs to be eliminated.

Worked For Us: Aggressively Trapping the Screen and Roll. Will Bynum, Stuckey and Gordon are all very dangerous off the screen and roll, and nobody needs to remind Laker fans about the Lakers perennial (see since the 90s) problem with this basic basketball play. Two times last night the Lakers aggressively trapped the ball handler coming off the on-ball screen. Once the guard was Jordan, once the guard was Kobe. Both times Bynum was the big. Bynum was having a lot of problems when he gives the guard space, but when he closed down hard and the guard fought through, the aggressive trap disrupted the play or caused a turnover.

Worked For Them: Basic Give and Go.
With KWAME BROWN no less!!! Austin Daye (Tay Prince’s long-lost right-handed younger twin) and Brown ran their own two-man game on the weak-side. Daye entered the ball into Brown, Daye used a rub-read cut and received the ball on the give-and-go for the easy two points. The Laker weak-side defense was absent on the play. Weak-side d not reacting also allowed Gordon to drive to the hoop for a easy dunk.

Worked For Us: All 5 Touch the Rock. The best play of the game probably came out the dual-post action we have been seeing with Kobe and Drew occupying the low blocks. Fish entered to Kobe on the weak-side. Kobe was doubled, so he kicked back out to Fish, who swung it to Ron-Ron. Artest, ever the deferring passer, whipped to LO in the strong-side corner. LO found Drew for the easy bucket. This dual post-action also led to Kobe giving Drew a direct lob for a jam as well.

Worked For Them: Creating the Mismatch. Ron and Kobe were running through (for the most part) a series of staggered picks all night long. One sequence that worked well was when the Pistons had Chuck V. set the second stagger pick for Gordon on the wing. Gordon receives the ball and immediately an on-ball screen from the other Detroit big is set so the Lakers have to switch. All this action sets Gordon up at the top of key with space to attack Ron. (The Lakers adjusted to this later in the game and began to surround the ball-handler when he attacked the hoop.)

Kwame A.

29 responses to Three Things That Worked For Us; Three Things That Worked For Them

  1. Nice post Kwame. I have to say that although we got the w today it is palpable how tentative our players seem in the offense. I felt like even kobe was second guessing himself. Farmar also, although playing well, was always a second off. I wonder how much of this is attributable to Pau’s absence or Lamars increased role in general. Or – is it Rons slower reaction times to offensive rotations which has caused everyone to feel the effects.

    Their Bynum definitley doesn’t measure to our Bynum… That’s fo sho.

  2. matuldi klinsmann November 18, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Give the ball to Kobe and let him work,from post or wings,let him be him.

  3. What was the difference between Kobe’s game this time around and the one against Houston?

  4. hey if theres one thing stone hands brown can do well its give up the ball..

  5. Kobi need to be given the chance to continue to be Unpredictable basket ball player. It’s his gift from God.

  6. 3- Kobe took care of the ball vs detroit opposed to the last two games where his handles were far from his normal caliber of talent. Also, kobe was taking a diverse selection of shots this game unlike his high post game he’s been trying to squeeze juiceless this early season. Other than that, his confidense level and energy just seemed to be more apparent along w/ the rest of the team this game.

  7. Other than the 4th quarter I was happy with the way we played. Kobe said it best in his post interview when he said the bench is missing its key piece (Lamar Odom).

    On another note, I’ve commented on this before but I really feel that Kobe is being too aggressive to start off games. The past 2 seasons he would let everyone else get involved to start the game off, then begin to be aggressive toward the end of the 1st quarter. He needs to go back to doing this. With him so aggressively posting up on every play to start it is hurting Odom, Artest and even Bynum to some degree get into a rythm because there isn’t enough room to operate down low.

  8. It was nice to see LO and Drew clicking. Last year, Pau and LO worked off each other really well constantly getting high percentage looks.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Pau and Bynum click. You know it’ll happen, but how long will it take and how many reps? Pau is such a high IQ guy, I’m hoping him sitting and watching, he can figure out where he’d work best with Bynum. Pau can float up to the high post just like LO can. Their passing skills are comparable. Pau’s mid range is much more dangerous than LO’s, you’d hope that means the D has to be more honest, opening up the floor even more.

  9. More Bynum & Bryant on the post. It works, it reallllly works.

  10. Rudy – Part of Kobe’s agressive play to start games this season may also have something to do with the team’s 2nd best player being out. I know his post-game development and overall competitiveness will be named as the reasons, but Pau-lessness is a big factor, too. I don’t think Artest, LO or Bynum are really suffering, either. Artest is still finding his way (an issue regardless of who is doing what), LO is our 6th man so his role will be different when Pau returns anyway, and Bynum is still averaging a double double & looking strong. IMHO, Kobe is doing what a leader needs to do…lead.

  11. It was a little annoying to see Kobe have to come back in the 4th, but a win is a win. They are 11 games into the season and I am not expecting perfection at this point. I was glad to see some hustle on the floor last night by the Lakers.

    I think Kobe may have figured out that his post game works best when he is mixing it up with some outside shots, and a little driving to the hoop. It keeps the defense guessing.

    It would be nice to see the big Spaniard back for the Bulls game. But I won’t hold my breath. All in all, I will take this W.

  12. That was a fun game to watch as a fan.

  13. I think PJ has practically given up on Sasha, and I’m with him, I just don’t like his game any longer. when he does come in he’s more or less just going through the motions, like he’s so uncomfortable out there, thinking too much, his one strength was shooting, and that’s shot now too, again for the same reason, thinking too much.
    Shannon is so much better for the team taking minutes from Sasha. I love the hustle Brown brings on D, and he’s hitting his outside shot much better now, and it goes without saying, his dunks ignite the crowd and the team!
    I actually think Farmar is coming around too, and would like to see him get more minutes, so it looks like it is becoming more clear for PJ who the guard rotations will be, and if it means parking Sasha, I’m more than fine with that.

  14. I don’t think it necessarily is about giving up on Sasha so much as Farmar and Brown playing so much better than he does. Those two have grown and have noticeably improved their game, and if nothing else their hard work deserves a reward, but in the end, the ones playing better will get more minutes. If Sasha through mysterious miraculous methods suddenly became a defensive force the way Ariza was, and begins making all his shots again, I’m sure he’d get his minutes back, and more. But until that happens, those minutes belong to Brown and Farmar.

  15. Is it true that Pau may be back in the lineup by Thursday ?

  16. It was reported that Pau is expected to play Thursday but Pau said it depended on how he felt after Wednesday’s practice.

    On another note. I think Sasha’s minutes being cut is because they are playing Farmer more in an attempt to showcase him more so that his trade value increases. I see Farmer and Adam Morrison (expiring contract) being dealt before the trade deadline, hopefully for a sure shot 3-point threat.

  17. Pau and LO’s passing skills are comparable — except Pau doesn’t make the passing mistakes LO does. Pau makes more passes, with fewer mistakes, than any other Laker.

  18. That interview with Fisher someone shared yesterday is fantastic, really a must-read. I was thinking about it when I read Kwame’s 2nd to last bullet point – according to Fish, it’s that proper spacing that’s been missing.

    Love what Fisher said about the team’s play. Even if they were undefeated playing this way, he’s right in that they could execute the offense so much better. I’m glad these things are cropping up now with plenty of time to address them. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be that much more disciplined.

    I also found it interesting that Fish said the other starters are hurting Artest’s learning curve by not executing the offense properly.

  19. Not sure if anybody mentioned this before, but I am happy to see Bynum average 40 minutes a game without looking like he is dying out there.

    Fatigue was always a concern with him, but the man-child is looking good.

    I hope he can maintain a 16/11 average when Pau comes back.

    His D on most plays looks good too, even if he doesn’t get the block shot.

    Unfortunately he still gets lost once in awhile and is out of position on guard break downs.

  20. I think I’d agree with Rudy’s explanation about Farmar’s minutes – if you’re going to base playing time on who has performed the best, it’s not all that clear why Farmar is the first guard off the bench (he of the .351 FG % this year).

    For all of his faults, Sasha has actually been our best 3 point shooter, hitting exactly 50% of his attempts. Now I think his defense is highly overrated and has been for awhile (as Bill Walton used to say, never mistake effort for achievement), but his 3 point shooting – when in rhythm, which I know is a big caveat for him – is there.

  21. Rudy, isn’t the “pure shot 3 point shooter” you want to trade for, supposed to be Sasha? if anyone needs to be dealt it’s him, but who would take him? that’s a big fat zero, same as his scoring. nada zip, zero takers for a shooter who can’t shoot and costs $5M per year for 2 more years! ouch.
    I’m thinking Jordan could becoming the quick PG our team needs, and he needs the playing time to grow into that, and that’s what’s happening now. (I did notice last night that one time Farmar was having a great run, and during a TO, he was subbed out, and at first I’m like “why?”, then it dawned on me that PJ wants Jordan to be able to turn it on and off as the coaches need, part of the lessons from PJ)
    Shannon is just getting time because as Mimsy says, he flat out deserves it. he’s hitting the 3 with consistency, playing great D, gets steals from pressure in the back court and creates a slam opportunity. Plus he never quits when he’s out there.
    watch Sasha when he’s out there, he does this “quick dash” brings it up the floor, plays only on the perimeter, passes it usually in the same direction it was going, unless he feels he has enough room to jack up a shot, and that’s all he does. he is not good on D any longer either, seems like he was a 1 note player, other teams adjusted (and the refs) to his style of play, (pesky and overacting) but he hasn’t adjusted to their adjustments, so now he’s just plain ineffective.

  22. obviously sasha has not been playing well. But I think alot of the time the minutes the bench receives are due to match ups and what phil thinks works best. Last night the 3 guard lineup of kobe, shanWOW, and farmer (or fisher). worked well and matched up with Detriot.

  23. I think it’s been a couple of factors for Brown getting minutes and playing in the SG spot. Obviously him playing well is a big part. But we all noticed in pre-season that Farmar and Brown seemed to work well together and were anxious to see how that would do in the regular season. I’m sure the coaches saw the same thing and so far it’s been more good than bad.

    Another reason I think is if Brown’s shot is falling consistently, then he’s a much better option than Sasha. He brings so many other things to the table, defense, etc. But setting aside all that, when he’s playing SG in the tri, Brown’s weaknesses are minimized. He’s not asked to create his own shot. I still distrust his handles when driving. But he’s shown flashes of being a good spot up shooter. He’s strong and quick enough to handle most SG’s. And again, you can’t overstate the chemistry that he and Farmar seem to be developing. The two of them are also up tempo players that can ball hawk and hopefully get some easy scores by changing the pace like last year early season bench mob.

    The danger of course is what happened in last night’s game. They can fall into the trap of running and jacking up undisciplined shots.

    My hope for Brown is he takes the same curve as Trevor did. He’s been in the system less than a year and I agree with the notion that most fans have backup QB syndrome with him right now. That said, if Phil continues to encourage him to take the shot and be comfortable, while getting the offense down, why can’t he develop like Trevor did? Slowly developing a consistent shot like Trevor did last year during the regular season. Then dependable during the playoffs. Applying the athleticism as a ball hawk to change tempo. Brown still has a lot of holes but it seems like the SG spot would actually fit him better right now if the shot is there sufficiently. This of course assumes Farmar continues to build on his positive showing.

  24. I found the Fish interview intriguing. I think it is easy for many of us to see when things are working and when they are not. For those of us without proper coaching, it’s difficult for us to see the why and we often just resort to plugging in the uber-talented members of the NBA who, whether a play is run well or not, will make a play. Put Kobe back in, when we get Pau back, when LO gets back to leading the bench- those are all just ways of saying, I don;t know what is going wrong, I just know these guys can transcend proper execution. So, with the clue that Fish’s interview provides us, can anybody with good X’s and O’s understanding sort of run us through what aspects of the spacing are out of synch?

    I was impressed with Fish’s insight on how one can shorten the learning curve for new players by repeating proper execution and I guess the issue I least comprehend is, how does a team that has essentially been together for 3 years and 2 deep playoff runs, lose the timing and/or sense of where they are supposed to be on a given play? The fact that it happens, it’s really no wonder so few teams run the Triple Post, I just would like more insight into what makes it so difficult to not only learn but then to retain.

  25. Phil has 10 rings and we don’t, so I for one am not going to question his strategies. If he needs to tinker with things in the fall to be sure he has a firm understanding of the team come June, so be it.

    Remember this time last year Vlad was starting, Luke was buried for no apparent reason, and Ariza was a spark off the bench. That had all changed when things mattered most, in part because Phil got to test things out on the floor over the course of the season.

    That said, I haven’t liked the way the bench has been used so far this year. Too many mass substitutions and changes from game to game. But I take comfort in remebering that leading the standing in November isn’t the end goal.

    Pau’s absence, and now Luke, certainly hasn’t helped foster any continuity either. These things will pass.

    I’ve not given up on Sasha just yet, though the hope isn’t buring too bright at this point. He had a nice few minutes against the Hornets a few nights ago but hasn’t produced as well since. I agree with those who noted his minutes have fallen as Farmar and Shannon have played well. Jordan looked like the old Jordan last night. Let’s see more of that.

  26. When Jackson was asked if he was concerned Gasol was being gun-shy, he jumped in and said, “That he’s a hypochondriac and might be a baby and won’t come out and play? Is that what you’re trying to say with that question?”

    ‘Nuff said.

  27. Anybody who watched Pau on CSI- after he gets into the car accident does he check his nose for blood? HUGE missed opportunity if they didn’t

  28. P. Ami,

    The reason that so few teams run the triple post is that it is an experienced-based offense as opposed to a play-driven offense. It relies on players knowing when and whom to pass to. Colleges don’t run it because players get cycled through too quickly, which means that virtually no rookies are accustomed to it at all when they enter the NBA. That being said, it is possible that even with a veteran cast of players, we aren’t playing it well because there is a lot of newness to our game so far this season. Kobe is playing more of a post role, which takes getting used to for the players around him. Bynum is trying to live up to the ginormous contract he was given, so more of the offense is going into him than it had last year. Finally (and most importantly), Pau is not in the offense. He is so skilled at making the proper pass and making our offense flow. Given all of these reasons, it should not be terribly surprising that the offense isn’t smooth as silk yet. We’ll get there.