Lakers vs. Pacers: Preview & Chat

Zephid —  November 28, 2010

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Records: Lakers 13-3, Pacers 707
Offensive ratings: Lakers 110.6, Pacers 100.2
Defensive ratings: Lakers 100.6, Pacers 96.6
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Pacers: Darren Collison, Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts, Roy Hibbert.
Injuries: Lakers: Andrew Bynum, Theo Ratliff
Pacers: Jeff Foster

The Lakers Coming in: As we’ve seen over the past couple weeks, when the Jazz get down by 19, they have you right where they want you. After easily their worst shooting night of the season, what better way to bounce back then against Indiana at home, considering the Pacers have never won at Staples Center. However, even after shooting 4-15 from three point range, the Lakers are still second best in 3pt % for the season at 42.4%. While the Lakers are still in the middle of the pack in defense efficiency (102.9), they are still league best in offensive efficiency (112.6). These numbers will probably balance out in the coming weeks when Andrew Bynum finally returns, but for now, the Lakers remain a team that wins using their offense.

The Pacers Coming in: The Pacers have been playing excellent ball coming in to today’s game, blowing out the other LA team, Cleveland, and the Nazgul, with two losses by a combined 8 points to OKC and Orlando. While Darren Collison hasn’t lit the world on fire, Roy Hibbert has emerged as a quality big man, averaging 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game. And while Hibbert’s foot speed is “questionable” at best (check out this utterly humiliating video showing how badly he gets burned by Brad frickin Miller), he has helped put Indiana in the top 10 in defensive efficiency (100.3), with a big gulf between them and the 11th ranked Lakers (102.9).

Blogs: Jared Wade at Eight Points, Nine Seconds, puts out quality Pacers-centric work in addition to his contributions to Hardwood Paroxysm and his other blog, the aforementioned Both Teams Played Hard.

Keys to game: When the Pacers get hot, they destroy (just ask Miami). Even though the Lakers shoot a much better percentage from three (42.4% to the Pacers 37%), the Pacers actually have slightly more 3PM per game (9.0 compared to the Lakers 8.9); it just takes them 3.5 extra attempts per game to do it. And while most of the damage comes from Danny Granger (2.7 3PM per game), Mike Dunleavy (1.9), James Posey (1.8), and Brandon Rush (1.1) are all highly capable distance bombers. And speaking of Danny Granger, he’s the f’ing man on this team. 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and capable of going off for 30+ on a given night, Granger can catch fire in a hurry and bury opposing teams. And despite my best attempts, Reed adamantly refuses to trade Granger to me in our FB&G Fantasy league (c’mon, who wouldn’t take Wilson Chandler, Tim Duncan, and Aaron Brooks for Granger?).

However, the Pacers do have a weakness, and that is slippery hands. 24.9% of their possessions end with a turnover, with 15.4 total giveaway’s per game. Granger and Collison are the usual culprits (since they handle the ball so much), but it really doesn’t help when your big men, Hibbert and backup Jeff Foster, are averaging 4.6 turnovers a game combined. The Lakers like to get their hands on balls (wow that sounds dirty), so if the Pacers are to have any chance, they are going to need to limit the mishandles.

The Pacers are also a relatively poor offensive rebounding team, ranking 25th in offensive rebound rate (23.7), but are monsters on the defensive glass, ranking 3rd (77.1). As we all know, the Lakers have a tendency to get worked on the defensive boards (69.5 DRR, good for 4th last), so as long as someone gets a body on Hibbert (3.4 OR per game) , the Lakers shouldn’t get crushed on the glass.

As usual, if the Lakers play their game, they should win comfortably. But if the threes start bombing and the Lakers stop running their offense, this could be a slugfest.

Where you can watch: Fox West at 6:30 p.m.

Zephid

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78 responses to Lakers vs. Pacers: Preview & Chat

  1. For Warren!

  2. I expect to see an inspired game from the Lakers tonight. The bench is going to be looking to make ammends and I think the whole team will be fired up from the Utah loss.

  3. Will be interested in the Hibbert vs. Gasol and Granger vs. Artest match ups tonight.

    Odom should destroy Mcroberts on both ends if given the chance.

    Finally this will be a good retest of our 3point defense after we failed against Phoenix. I’d expect to see a much better job of closing out and running them off the 3point line

  4. For those couple of us who were enamoured with Dorell Wright and wanting him on the Lakers here is a link. For the others look at what he did last night. Don’t get us wrong, we love our additions, we just hoped to get him too.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2010112716

  5. Dear Sasha,

    I know we have been hard on you this season. But please know….we remember

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sEggCmOGL4

    Thank you,
    FBAG

  6. Boy, that blake griffin guy is fun to watch

  7. Is anyone else worried? Lakers have lost to the Nuggets, Suns and Jazz which are all contenders in the Western Conference and are among the better teams that the Lakers have played against in the early season. Lakers have yet to play against Hornets, Spurs, the Mavericks, Celtics, Magic and other strong contenders. Their good record may be an illusion. Bring back the gritty defense.

  8. Zephid, you’re still calling Miami the Nazgul? They’re not nearly that scary, and not really evil…just goofy and pathetic. I prefer calling their big three Les Douches Trois, which is a no-no over at SS&R :D

  9. @7. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I believe the Los Angeles Lakers are fully capable of beating good teams.

  10. @9. totally agreed. but they aren’t bringing their A-game to the higher caliber teams at the moment. perhaps lulled into a sense of entitlement by playing the lower caliber teams.

  11. Does anyone know why Melo played only 2 mins?

  12. Caracter is just not ready to be playing NBA minutes.

  13. @11 Carmelo Anthony left Sunday’s game with an illness and will not return.

  14. @10. They’re always going to dominate Denver and Utah when they have both Bynum and Gasol in the lineup. And the Phoenix loss was a fluke.

  15. JH, No nobody (fans, commentators, writers, etc) else is worried. So either you’ve struck upon something that everyone else has missed or it’s not an issue.

    First quarter thoughts. I’m probably in danger of overreacting but it looked a little bit like sleep walking on D.

  16. Laker basket to lakers “you’re money is no good here”

  17. @ 12. much still hinges on bynum when it comes to our defense….offense is not an issue as we have seen from the first 16 games.

  18. i don’t have the stats but did the lakers play better when gasol was taking more shots. kobe has upped his shot attempts but it seems to be making the game more difficult for his team-mates.

  19. Its fun sometimes to just watch Barnes move off the ball. He’s always trying to reposition himself to be in a good spot for a pass or looking for a lane to cut to the basket.

    He can’t create his own shot, but on a team of guys who are such good passers he fits just right.

  20. @18. Kobe only goes into “hero mode” when the rest of the team is chucking up bricks, as in the Utah game a couple days ago. The rest of the time, he’s usually been shooting within the offense.

  21. Feels like a its Sunday evening I’d rather be at home with my family type of game. Also shooting struggles continue.

  22. The Lakers offense has gone missing as they’re settling for long jumpers and rarely getting anything going to the hoop (save for Barnes). I’d love to see them start to run more curls and cross screens to get some shots in the paint and with momentum going to the basket. If they continue to settle, I fear the misses may continue to pile up.

  23. Only following the game on nba.com… how come Ron Artest is 0-0 FG? did he leave because of an injury? Brown left his shooting touch at home… anyone care to summarize the first half?

  24. Bad shooting from Shannon? What’s the deal?

  25. #23. kswagger,
    Ron hasn’t attempted a FG but that’s mostly due to him moving the ball and not forcing shots. He seems fine, but Barnes has gotten more run and been more aggressive.

    Other notes in the half are that the Lakers aren’t doing themselves any favors by shooting long-ish jumpers and by not closing down the FT line on long rebounds and allowing the Pacers to get extra shots. The ball needs to go inside more but there needs to be more variety and not just straight post ups. There needs to be more cuts, curls, and off ball screens to get the defense moving and allow players to catch the ball on the move.

  26. Yeah LA is definitely taking a laid back approach to the game tonight it seems. I hope this doesnt come back and bite them in the rear.

  27. There’s some pretty poor looking shooting percentages right now. We often talk about hot shooting regressing to the mean – hopefully the Lakers will PROgress to the mean!

  28. Thanks Darius! The Lakers seem to be playing a typical late-November-Sunday-night game… Hope Phil wakes them up in time for the second half!

  29. Amazingly horrible foul called on Pau on that uncontested tip-in. He wasn’t even within five feet of Hibbert, who fell down after some contact with Artest.

    The Lakers are just sleepwalking through this game. Very little effort up to this point.

  30. Not watching the game, but switched over to ESPN to check the score to see us down 14 with the Lakers shooting 32% and Pau shooting 3/11 with Kobe shooting 6/15.

    Don’t think I’ll be bothering with the Slingbox tonight.

  31. Not the start I as hoping for in the 2nd half… they need the bench to spark something… anything to wake them up!

  32. If Sasha wasn’t such a chucker this would be a good time to get him some minutes. His brand of annoying, in your face defense would help

  33. So not the best basketball from the Lakers so far…

  34. Just for fun, I’d like to see a stat that tracks how often Kobe’s next shot after a made 3 is another 3pt FGA.

  35. This is atrocious. Kobe is now going into Mamba mode trying to shoot us back into the game. Not a good sign.

  36. HAHA Anyone want to complain about “mamba” mode now?

    To love Kobe is to accept Kobe

  37. I think only Kobe has found the sense of urgency to play… can’t blame the guy if he starts to try and carry the team

  38. I’m not complaining about Mamba mode, I’m saying it’s not a good sign that we need it to beat the Pacers at home.

  39. Whoah when the Lakers came out of that time out with 2:50 left they were a completely different team on defense. It was impressive to watch

  40. Thanks to Carmelo leaving the game early, my H2H for this weeks game result is set. Unless Kobe explodes for 60 points, that is. He already screwed with my 3pt made category…

    Anyway, Mamba mode needs support from the rest of the team, namely clamp-down mode… hope we see it in the 4th.

  41. Joel,

    Ya but its always going to be that way. I remember Kenny the Jett said that truly “great” teams learn to manage their energy and know when to turn it on against inferior teams. Now of course that not going to always work but I think its something to sort of accept. And I agree that it can be frustrating to watch

  42. I make that the 92nd back door layup the Pacers have scored tonight…

  43. I’d definitely prefer the energy conservation that comes from a big early lead than this hanging around 5-10 points down and needing a rush in the 2nd half to get the W.

    I don’t think you save your legs by playing flat. You save them by having a lead and not needing to play later in the game.

  44. @40. LOL…and we’re missing all our layups.

  45. Hibbert’s size and mobility has been troubling Pau all game long. Normally Pau is either too big/long or too agile for the guy guarding him, but not tonight. Same reason he struggling with Noah the other night.

    And of course, as I type this the Lakers double off a cutter for the umpteenth time. Awesome.

  46. Its a lot nicer when a couple shots go in.

  47. Pacers are showing why they’re 3rd best in defensive rebound rate; they force tough shots and really wall off the paint.

  48. Zephid, it also helps when you’re oversized at every position.

    Bynum can’t come back soon enough.

  49. Rebound the f-ing ball.

  50. Recurring theme here, but as we make this 4th quarter push, it’s the offensive boards that are absolutely killing us. That’s 3 trips in a row with an offensive rebound given up that led straight to a basket.

    Is it just against teams that shoot a lot of 3s and long jumpers that we struggle to control the boards against? Or just a general issue on the glass?

  51. 50

    Our bigs don’t like to box out and it’s killing us tonight. They keep being caught flatfooted trying to reach for rebounds.

  52. I don’t like how we lose in pairs…

  53. #51 – I had a bad feeling that was the case.

    And as I type that, the last potential OT forcing basket misses, and we’re 13-4. Some things for them to look at on the game tape for sure.

  54. Pau’s lack of hustle on the defensive end was horrendous tonight and it cost us.

  55. fitting way to lose on a defensive lapse, I’m not even sure why Gasol left Hibbert, I didn’t see a reason to double at all

    I remember towards the end of the Shaq era how much it sucked to waste a special game by him. Feel that way about Kobe now

  56. 54: Well he had 5 fouls, and played 45 minutes. Coming off a game where he played – that’s right – 45 minutes. 6 solid minutes of rest in two games..

    Drew needs to get back.

  57. Wow – that was an ugly game. While our road struggles will correct themselves, we can’t allow sub-par teams to win on our floor…

    Plus – why can’t we get a win against a team with a winning record? I know we only play the schedule in front of us, but man – we can’t drop these games to the lower level teams of the league.

    KB: way too many FG attempts.

    That long roadie in December is starting to worry me

  58. I thought Gasol looked absolutely inept and pathetic tonight. Granted, Hibbert is intimidating, with a body frame to back it, but I thought Gasol withered like the delicate flower he is.

    By the way, I’m not calling him soft. More along the lines of being frustrated by his lack of fierceness. Need Drew back, that’s for damn sure.

  59. I did not see the game and I am glad I didn’t. Are you kidding? 92 points against the Pacers? Ouch!

  60. OK seriously what is the deal with people and this not beating teams with winning records thing? Did the Bulls and Blazers get moved to the dleague or something?

    Additionally we have lost 4 games! Would you rather we lost to the Twolves or did you seriously expect the team to be undefeated?

    I really don’t understand this criticism at all. Its like people are looking for something to complain about. News flash good teams are harder to beat than bad teams.

  61. At this point “Bynum” is just a buzzword. Do people actually remember how they played with him on the team? They often play better without him, and that includes defense. Yes he brings “toughness” but he has a basketball IQ of a chipmunk. This team won 2 championships essentially without Bynum, they can do it again.

  62. Reign on Parades November 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Can’t even blame Gasol any more, dude keeps getting trotted out for some heavy heavy minutes. This might be a non-story but damn if I don’t agree with the agenda:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5861351

    Andrew Bynum has Shaq’s work ethic but unfortunately only half of Shaq’s talent at best. Keep healing on company time Drew, you’re definitely earning your 15 million dollar keep.

    Maybe I’m going too far but I just don’t think him playing through injury and contributing less than league average production in the playoffs a few times justifies him putting in work only every other off-season.

    I’ve been spoiled with Kobe but I’m honestly read to rank Bynum’s work ethic below Shaq’s.

  63. “While our road struggles will correct themselves”

    They have a 4-2 road record. It’s ok to be frustrated, but there’s no need to make it worse than it really is.

    As for beating teams with winning records, did anybody watch this team last season? They lost pretty much every “statement” or “tough” game they played. Seemed to work out pretty well at the end.

  64. “KB: way too many FG attempts.” Did you even watch the game?

    Sigh, time to call a night before I get too frustrated

  65. The Blazers are a .500 team, on a 3-game losing streak. I’ll give you the Bulls game, but my point is that the WC is much deeper than last year and while it’s early in the season, championship teams take care of business whether it’s Game 1 or Game 82 and especially at home.

  66. Well I missed most of the game except the last 6 min. My only conclusion is that the lakers desperately need Bynum back. The lakers interior defense has been routinely bad this year. Pau has had a few games of of multiple blocks but that’s it. The lakers haven’t been able to sustain early leads in their losses. Opposing centers have been playing extremely well over the past week or so starting with Darko in Minnesota. They way they were winning early in the season was a bit of fools gold. Shannon brown and the bench were just on fire from 3. Now the bench is cold and the lakers can’t score 100 points. The lakers have issues, but I doubt they’ll address them anytime soon. On to the next game.

  67. The Lakers four losses have been by 6,5, 6 and 3. They are going to lose games and some nights are just not your night. Lakers usually rebound well after a loss and normally do not play two straight bad games. Lets see how this team responds in Memphis and Houston.

    Things could be worse, they could have the Miami Heat problems

  68. @ TheLakeShow

    If it weren’t for him, we would’ve been blown out tonight. Kobe did not take too many shots considering how the rest of the team’s playing. I haven’t checked the boxscore, but I remember Joel saying at one point that Gasol was 5-15, and if you asked me, he played worse. Our offense was sputtering – and heck, even Shannon Brown wasn’t hitting tonight – so Kobe took it upon himself and almost brought us back in the second half.

  69. “championship teams take care of business whether it’s Game 1 or Game 82 and especially at home.”

    Man, the cliches are flowing tonight.

  70. I think I said this before, and say it again:

    Let’s not put pics of our guys struggling on the preview post. Pau especially seems to get jinxed by it.

    :o

    On a more serious note, I guess this sorta proves and disproves the value of Pau. He struggles, we struggle. Then again, he struggles when there shouldn’t be much reason to, unless his minutes are finally catching up to him.

  71. Things could be (somewhat) worse: we could be Miami Heat fans, for example.

    I love the Heat having a “players only” meeting to try to resolve their problems. That’s like a bunch of kindergardeners trying to teach themselves how to read and write.

  72. I did not see the game, the comments are interesting enough. So we lost to the Pacers, right? As I recall they were not a very good team last year, maybe they have improved somewhat, I guess more than we have, huh? Which is OK, as long as we end up in the NBA Finals, you know.

    “Complaining is good for you as long as you’re not complaining to the person you’re complaining about.” – Lynn Johnston

  73. For some reason there is something about Bynum that causes him to be undervalued, especially by some of the Lakers fans.

    He made HUGE contributions last year, especially during the Playoff run. Do you honestly think that the Lakers beat the
    Celtics last year without Bynum?

    Bynum’s return will help address a lot of the issues currently effecting the Lakers play, including front court stamina, rebounding, and interior defense.

    No, I have no idea if Andrew will be back and playing before New Years, but I certainly hope so. Pau seems gassed, Lamar is not comfortable as a “stay in the paint” player, and the rookies are not going to be able to get the job done.

    If the Lakers make 16-4 in their first 20, without Bynum, I will be thrilled.

  74. Waiting for Bynum ~ “Waiting for Godot”

    73 – Um, the reason he’s “undervalued” is because he’s hardly ever 100% and available for duty!

  75. @ knickers: at least a couple of those shot attempts were grenades at the last second of either the shot clock and/or the end of the game. If I were Kobe I would have done the same.

    There were soo many mental lapses throughout the course of this game that were atrocious, but were just simple basketball drills That could be explained by the lack of practice (I.e. boxing out, not totally ignoring your man on the block) that the team has had. Its annoying and frustrating and feels like a wasted loss, nonetheless. It felt like the last year’s Lakers all over again with their incessant pujits but really we couldn’t do much in the post either. That interior defense was a mess and a half compounded by the late second play by Hibbert.

  76. This game wasn’t as close as the box score. How many wide open 3s did posey or dunleavy get that just missed. Lazy game for all nonkobes– we should have lost to that mediocre team by 15.

  77. @3ThreeIII, he better be back way before New Years, or my FB&G fantasy team will not even make the Playoffs, I hope the same is not true with my beloved World Champion Lakers. Anybody want Bynum in a trade?