Lakers Lose Again as They Get Dominated in Second Half by Mavericks

Rey Moralde —  December 29, 2016

Well, I had mentioned it in the preview. The Lakers have trouble playing consistently in all four quarters. In fact, this game was a tale of two halves. The Mavericks bulldozed them in the second half and went on to win, 101-89.

Los Angeles started off well enough. They had runs of 15-0 and 10-0 and looked ready to break the game open; L.A. led by 11 at one point. The Mavericks hung around, though, as they kept forcing the game to slow down every time they got the ball. The Lakers countered by trying to turn it into a track meet. They ran out on breaks and in the halfcourt, they passed the ball around. Nick Young made all four of his threes, D’Angelo Russell scored 13 in the first half, and the Lakers led by seven at the half.

Then good Laker ball stopped after halftime.

The offense stalled and we saw the same frustrating rock pounding and lack of movement. On the other side, the Mavericks picked them apart with high screen and rolls all night. I said that the Lakers had to communicate often on defense as they tend to get lost in switches, which leaves for open threes. And I also mentioned that Dallas shoots a lot of threes. The Mavs made them pay as they cashed in on 14 of their 31 shots behind the arc (Lakers only made seven). The Lakers have played like this all month but this seems to be the most glaring loss out of all of them.

Going iso for the Lakers really played into the hands of Dallas. Mavericks wanted to play it slow and it’s exactly what they got in the second half. Dallas made the most out of their possessions and they outscored Los Angeles, 31-13, in the third quarter. For a 5:19 stretch in that period, L.A. did not score. The Lakers would only go on to score 32 points overall in the second half.

Wesley Matthews led the Mavs in scoring with 20 points. Harrison Barnes wasn’t as great in this game but he still did damage when he got the ball on the block; he had 17 points. But I had mentioned the guards that didn’t play in their first meeting that could have big games. Devin Harris went for 14 points while Deron Williams had 11 dimes. Dwight Powell energized the Mavs with 14 points and Dorian Finney-Smith made some big shots on the way to 12 points. Andrew Bogut was on a minutes restriction (he played 22) but he was immense in stopping the Lakers from doing damage inside the paint. Dallas also outboarded the Lakers, 42-34. (By the way, Dirk Nowitzki was a late scratch due to an illness.)

As for the Lakers, Julius Randle led the squad with 18. Nick Young started off hot but didn’t really put up too many shots after the first quarter; he had 17 points. Russell only scored two points in the second half after going for 13 in the first half. Jordan Clarkson actually played decent with 15 points and Thomas Robinson seemingly was the only guy hustling with 8 points and 10 boards. They probably could’ve gotten more points if… oh, I don’t know… they moved a little bit?

As we’ve seen in a lot of games this month, the Laker players seemed to be content to just stand there and pretend like they’re lampshades. Yes, I know they’re young and inexperienced. Heck, they’re probably even overconfident after they went 10-10. It’s like they think they can rest on their laurels and win games. No, they won games because they all worked together and weren’t being lazy and careless on both ends of the floor. You can’t make a delicious dish without putting the work in the kitchen. You can’t get the woman or man of your dreams by just watching and not talking to her or him. And you can’t win a basketball game by being flat-footed. A lot of basketball is predicated on movement. But everyone knows that and the Lakers should know that.

Either way, that’s the last game for the Lakers in 2016 (2-14 in December! Ouch!). Hopefully, 2017 will be better for the Lakers (and for a lot of us; I understand a lot of people have lamented how bad 2016 was). So Happy New Year, people, and stay safe.


Rey Moralde

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27 responses to Lakers Lose Again as They Get Dominated in Second Half by Mavericks

  1. Happy New Year Rey and thanks for the recaps.

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  2. The Mavs are a very bad team and they had guys out, and we just lost to them by 12 at home. Good thing that Luke is everyone’s favorite (including mine), cause if Byron, MDA, or Mike Brown were running the team right now it would not be pretty.

    This is not Luke by the way – it is roster. And no it is not because it is a young roster.    It is simply a roster problem.   

    However I do not want drastic moves done during the year.   After the year – well – you know   :   )   And I think by that time – everyone will finally agree/

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  3. I agree, that backcourt needs to be broke up first off, lou, clarkson, young, and russell, someone except for russell has to go.
    Also 2 years in a row without a true center as the backup is ridiculous

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  4. 1st quarter russell, 4-6 shooting, 4 assist, 3 rebounds, 1 tov. In 9 minutes … why take him out?
    1st quarter nick young, 4-4 shooting from deep, in 10 minutes. …why take him out?
    1st quarter randle gets in foul trouble, why not replaced by robinson, instead of ingram.
    Luke walton is stuck in a mode of bench timetables

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  5. Loss aside this was a brutal game to watch in the 2nd half. The collapse started with a defense that was fully deserving of its league worst rating. Dallas is also the worst rebounding team in the NBA but they killed us on the boards. This should not happen.
    Reggie Miller (often unlistenable but had an interesting take on DAR) was v complimentary of Russell but said that he was too “cool” with his lazy passes and lack of intensity. Check.
    I know these kinds of losses come with rebuilding but the regression we’ve seen since an artificially strong start to the season has been precipitous. Hopefully we are in over correction territory now and a rebound is in store. Happy New Year Rey, Darius and all the FB&G; crew. To better times. U0001f389

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  6. The Clippers without CP3 lost to the lakers, the lousy lakers, yes the league is built on stars. I been saying this all year, the team play does not work in the NBA. We need to pick a player to be the star of the team, and then define the role of others around him. We can even pick 2.

    We must let Russell and Ingram go for it, build around them. All others play around them and all must defend or traded. Russell bringing the ball to run endless stupid handovers till the other team crowed Russell for the ball to end with Deng or Randle,

    We are neither building nor winning 

    Happy new year.

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  7. I would second this notion. Because basketball lacks a true quarterback, pecking order is essential in the NBA. The Lakers haven’t found it yet, which is why they’re not winning. 

    I personally think they have the personnel to be a winning team, but it’s not clear who the prime alpha is.

    Is it Russell? Is it Randle? Could it be Ingram? You could even (theoretically) have a veteran like Deng who sets the tone on both sides of the ball.

    I think that whoever sets the tone on defense will become the prime alpha. My money is on Randle or Deng.

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  8. Based
    upon our current winning percentage, we are on trend to win 27 games. 
    That number is probably right where most Lakers fans had the team after the
    hire of Luke and the drafting of Ingram.  Again, most Lakers fans at that
    point would have been happy to see how our young core performed and were
    thinking, ‘OK, let’s let the kids grow and in a few years we’ll be able to
    attract some really great free agent talent to help the kids take the next
    step.”  Most Lakers fans were thrilled to have something to be
    patient for.
    The
    problem we have here is that the FO chose not to be
    patient. Jim/Mitch saw a team that if the right pieces were put in
    place would challenge for 8th seed.  So patience went out the window and the
    team spent lavishly (and I call 36% of the current cap lavish) for
    Mosgov/Deng. 
    I’ve
    been critical of these signings from the get go and I will continue to be
    because: a) they not performing well b) the team is not winning at a higher
    percentage that would justify their expense c) their performance will only get
    worse as they age and we’ve got them under contract for three more
    years d) their contracts will expire after the second contracts for the
    kids begin to kick in — handcuffing the Lakers from pursuing younger free
    agents that may have been interested in a few years.
    This
    will mark the 4th straight year that Jim and Mitch have significantly over
    estimated the overall talent on the Lakers roster.  When your FO thinks
    you are 20 games better than your actual record — it’s a big problem. 
    Would signing Nene and keeping Bass have been ideal? No,, but we’d still be
    tracking for 27 wins and we wouldn’t have $130 million committed to players
    that are on pace to have career worst years in the first year of their four
    year deals. 
    I want
    to pull my hair out when posters interpret my angst as being impatient with the
    process.  I was OK with losing as long as we kept an avenue open to
    improve the team going forward (financial flexibility).  And we had a 2/3
    year window before 2nd contracts for the kids began to eat away at our cap
    space.  So instead of dating Nene/Bass and keeping that flexibility we got
    married to Mosgov/Deng.
    This is
    not a fan base being impatient problem.  This is an FO problem.

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  9. mattal

    I don’t know that the FO’s thinking was that Deng and Mozgov would push us into the playoffs necessarily or if the thinking was just to have some veteran presence that would compliment the growth of the younger players.  Either way, things have AHEM, NOT played out that way.    

    That said, I agree with everything else in your post.  I honestly had a wait and see approach with the signings.  I didn’t want to pre judge.  So I’ve waited and seen——now I’m sick to my stomach!!  The signings were borderline catastrophic with the limited production INFINITELY COMPOUNDED by the lengths and price tags on the two Veteran contracts.  I think the cap % represented by these guys will be a HUGE handicap going forward if not outright crippling.  

    I say bite hard and take on someone else’s LESS CRAPPY contracts and get out from under Deng if at all humanly possible at this point.  I don’t know if HUMANLY POSSIBLE is a strong enough statement…….to trade Deng would take a Miracle.  Unloading Mozgov would take less of an act of god but he/she would still have to be actively involved.  

    Married to Mozgov AND Deng and this ain’t even UTAH!?!!?!?!?!?!?!? SMH……..

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  10. mattal  Nice !   Yea – without regard to the record, the Mosgov and Deng signings were incredibly bad.   Having Young and Williams be featured guys is not great either. People are now realizing finally that they do not help ball movement and development of the youngsters.   And you are completely on target that the FO has been doing this for years (since Jerry Buss passed). 
    And you too get perturbed at being called impatient?  Actually that one does not bother me as much as when people say that their comment takes into account “context” than mine does not, or that their comment in more “nuanced” than mine.  Meaning they are smarter than us because they can see things we can’t.     Been hearing that for the last 4 years so I am not sure what they are seeing.
    However – optimists, pessimists, or realists,    anyone who is participating in a board like this, at this point,   and watching as many games as the FBGers do, is a loyal fan.  Non-loyal fans have moved on to other activities or other teams  (coincidently this would be GS or
    Cleveland).  They will resurface during our next run.
    Hope we get rewarded for our loyalty soon, but I am never abandoning the Lakers either way.

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  11. John Citizen
    Makes sense. As Walton’s idea of a starless, position-less team may look good on paper, but in reality, may not work in a world where personal dominance can, and usually does, make the difference between winning or losing.
    For people wondering what happened to D’Angelo’s swag, he is being told to blend his ego into the team, which seems to cause difficulty when and if he should unleash it.
    When he tries to use his offensive talents, he’s usually cold and a seemingly, apprehensive.
    Now he may or may not have the talent or mindset to be the dominant one, but unless we free him, we won’t know.
    Randle however, due to his position and personality doesn’t suffer from the same problems. His weaknesses are using his mind in combination with his brawn. I’m not sure however, since he lacks an offensive dominant game, it he will ever suffice as a focal point.
    Ingram is still on Rookie grace, where pressure is taboo; yet he has shown a defensive prowess, and I still have hope that his shot will eventually iron itself out. 
    So if there are two players who can lead this team as a one-two punch, it’s probably D’Angelo and Ingram.

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  12. Interesting Kupchak interview with Mark Medina:
    Excerpt: After seeing the Lakers “maybe exceed expectations a little bit” by posting a .500 record through the first 20 games, the Lakers have since lost 14 of 16 games en route to a 12-24 mark. Still, Kupchak sounded mindful of a few things. The Lakers’ starting backcourt of D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young missed a combined 20 games with overlapping injuries. The Lakers then took their longest trip of the season that ended with a 1-6 record through 12 days.
    “It’s just a matter of finding our mojo again and taking advantage of a more friendly schedule going forward,” Kupchak said. “I wish our record was a little bit better. But I love our young group. It’s going to be fun to watch them grow and develop.”
    Full article –
    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kupchak-739856-lakers-year.html

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  13. I was okay with the Mosgov signing, It was clear we needed a real center. The Deng signing made absolutely no sense though especially since everyone deeply immersed in the NBA knew that Deng was ineffective as a 3 and was at this point of his career a (smallball) 4 which is basically the last thing the roster needed. It was a disastrous signing, that really handicapped the Lakers freedom the next 4 years.
    I like Kupchak, I think he’s pretty good at drafting (especially out of the lottery) but if he really does have broad GM powers then he’s gonna have to start answering for some of these signings and how it’s obvious that the pieces don’t fit.

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  14. Speaking of Jim Buss, here is another timely article from Anthony Irwin:
    “Why the Lakers should let Jim Buss and the front office see their vision through.”http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2016/12/30/14123112/la-lakers-jim-buss-future-deadline-mitch-kupchak

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  15. KevTheBold   Make sure you read the comments section of this one as well   ; )

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  16. Archon

    I would say that the Mozgov signing is much more palatable than the Deng deal and Mozgov has done decent against some other big 5s. Not that I would say I’m impressed in any way really though.  Deng’s deal just makes Mozgov’s LOOK at little better perhaps…….. 

    Deng at the reported pre Laker signing price he was working on with Washington–reportedly $20 Mil less over 4 years–would put him at $13 Mil per season which is still on the higher side considering his age/production but that number would not have been as ludicrous as $18 Mil per year. 

    With low production from Deng in his first season, and the imminent progressive diminishing returns over the life of his deal its simply money very poorly spent.  

    The FO badly misjudged the team needs and Luke’s preferences when they made some of these moves.  Was it due to Luke being with GS so deep into the playoffs and his maybe not having much direct input??  

    There is no excuse regardless.  The Front Office is supposed to provide the players not depend on their rookie coach to formulate the Roster and FA pursuit strategy.   I will say that without knowing how the team would be and how Luke would choose to coach as far as lineups and rotations etc., the FO had to wing it a little bit at least with Luke being largely an unknown quantity. So from that perspective, an imperfect fit of players could be expected to a degree.  Even assuming that though,  the Deng deal is nearly 100% indefensible to me.   

    In hindsight, it would have been smart to have signed some bargainish guys to shorter deals like Derrick Williams, instead of Deng and perhaps Nene instead of Mozgov.  If the team is going to be appealing due to their young emerging talent, it’d sure be nice to have the money to spend when players come available in the next few years.  

    Maybe that is the timer frame the FO is on.   Does the FO expect a true full 4 year process to realize the talent of the young core such that Mozzy and Deng’s deals would be up??  I can’t believe THAT would be their vision. 

    Should the Lakers be Sellers on the Market with an expiring Calderon, and two hot Veteran shooters on super affordable pre TV MONEY deals with Young and Lou???  This would allow a FULL youth movement and bring in some other assets.  

    The future is still pretty murky here.  The GS blowout games aside, last night was a low point IMO.  Just an uninspired effort.  It smelled like last year…… ugh……

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  17. A Horse With No Name December 30, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    There isn’t a better tactical coach than Rick Carlisle.  Once again, he exploited the laker’s many weaknesses defensively, relentlessly running the high pick and roll.  Timely 3 point shooting by his vets and rookie  Dorian Finney-Smith, broke it open in the third, as the laker’s rotations were late or non-existent.  Personally I’d like to see a more diversified offense with more pick and rolls run by Russell, better screening (double screens, drag screens) to generate more open shots than we are seeing with the “move the ball” mandate.  It’s also time to mix up the lineups, and give more run to guys who are hot.  That’s old school coaching that is still viable and valuable, and can help develop young players.

    Black vs. Robinson:  Robinson is quicker and more versatile with better hands, but doesn’t have the lower body strength that Black does, nor is he the shot-blocker/rim protector that Black is.  Solution? Sign Montiejunas! No, he isn’t a savior, but he’s a talent well suited to this offense and will greatly improve movement and spacing.

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  18. A Horse With No Name December 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    P. S. :  I don’t really care about Jim Buss staying or going; now that it’s clear Jackson isn’t ever coming back–but I would still freak out if one of the younger Buss boys took over for him.

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  19. _ Robert _
    I did that, and posted the articles as alternate views..but thanks Robert !

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  20. KevTheBold _ Robert _  No  :  )  I meant the comments section of the SSR one     :   )

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  21. Watching Rockets and hating Clips. Anderson and Nana picked up off season by Rockets. Great shooter and a rim protector.
    Lakers picked up Deng and Mosgov at $10 million more with bad rebounding and zero rim protecting. While Mike D run out of town in LA but could be coach of year in Houston.
    Hottest team Dec. in NBA Houston. Worst team record in NBA Lakers.
    Yet 4th year in a row Buss/Mitch get a pass as media now paints the young team future. Lakers 6th youngest team in NBA though.
    Am I missing something? Or do I maybe not buy into the Laker media hype?

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  22. Right on good post.

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  23. Mosgov is 86th in NBA in rebounds and averaging less then a block per game. Signing a guy who was a bench guy in Cleveland and offers less rim protection then Hibbert isva terrible $16 a year signing. He solved nothing but NBA minimum payroll.

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  24. Lakers are not the 6th youngest team in the NBA they are right in the middle at 15.

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  25. Yup told everyone when this team was .500 don’t be fooled. Anyone with some BBall savvy can see this roster has been horribly constructed. Time for the Buss Family to put the team in a trust, grab some real NBA FO personnel and retire to the owners box.

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  26. _ Robert _
    Oh, my bad, will do.

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  27. _ Robert _
    Yes, you wanted me to see that there are many, like you who support the conversations involving front office mistakes over the past several years, deep doubt in our current core, and disillusion for the future?
    Yes I knew that, having frequented many forums before I discovered the balanced forum that Darius runs. 
    Bottom line for me Robert is that since we have zero control over the decisions the team makes, I have decided that the past is the past, and…it’s a better existence with hope, than with frustration.

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