Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby The Rock on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:33 am

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/4/22/4251210/la-lakers-spurs-nba-playoffs-2013-kobe-bryant-post

The Lakers certainly tried to get the ball in the post a lot. Of their 103 plays tracked on MySynergySports.com, 48 of them were called to get the ball inside as a first option. Many of the other plays were offensive rebounds, transition opportunities and late-game possessions where desperation threes were needed, so realistically, you can cut off 20 or so possessions from that 103 number to get a real picture of post opportunities taken. When you try to get the ball inside over half the times you possibly could, I think you're trying pretty hard.

And yet, despite the low-post ability of Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, the Lakers weren't especially successful with whatever they tried to do. They scored just 11 times and drew fouls on six other opportunities for a total of 17 productive possessions out of 48. Clearly, something wasn't right with whatever the Lakers were trying to do.

In watching the tape, I see a few scattered reasons. There were certainly a couple possessions where Gasol could have been more aggressive. There were a few others where the Lakers' guards threw terrible entry passes that led to turnovers. But the two biggest problems I noticed: a lack of motion setting up the post-ups, and poor perimeter shooting cramping the spacing.

Let's hit the latter first. The Spurs' strategy throughout the game was to aggressively front while providing a lot of backside help to prevent the lob pass. If that failed, they "dug" down with one or two perimeter players after L.A.'s bigs put the ball on the floor. That means they would cheat off their men on the perimeter without fully committing to double teaming until the big man dribbled to a certain spot on the floor. This is the kind of strategy that was illegal when Bryant first entered the league, but is common now.

Here's an example of how the fronting threw the Lakers off. This is early in the game in a transition opportunity. Howard does the right thing and goes right to the block looking for an early post-up. But the Spurs don't give it to him, fronting him with Tiago Splitter and using Kawhi Leonard to provide help against a lob pass.

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For all the Lakers' best efforts, there's no pass here. Blake tries swinging it to Gasol for the hi-lo, but Gasol is too far out and Tim Duncan pressures him beautifully, forcing a terrible pass and a turnover.

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That set the tone for the rest of the game. Look at these other examples of the Spurs fronting the post beautifully.

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It's impossible to throw a good entry pass under these circumstances. Better perimeter shooting would help, as would very quick ball movement, but the Lakers lack the former and didn't really do a good job of doing the latter on Sunday. (Note, too, how pressured the passer is on many of these plays. That only makes it harder).

When the Lakers did get the ball inside, the Spurs were very smart with their help. They consistently ignored top-of-the-key shooters and generally weren't afraid of the strong-side wing perimeter man either, especially because Steve Nash was off. You often want to be careful helping when it's easy for a post player to find the man closest to him with a kickout pass, but the Lakers' lack of shooting and San Antonio's superior positioning made it work.

Here are some examples of this phenomenon at play. Here, watch how Manu Ginobili zones up as Howard starts backing his man down, only to come hard when Howard gets to a certain point in the lane.

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The Lakers aren't prepared for this. Ginobili's movement confuses Howard, forcing him to pick up his dribble. When he does, the Lakers are spaced poorly, allowing Tony Parker to guard both Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks. This eventually ends up in a turnover.

Here's an example with Gasol. Look how poor the spacing is when the Spurs dig down on him.

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Where is Pau supposed to go there? Unless he spins baseline for a fadeaway, there's nowhere he can turn. He eventually tries a shovel pass to World Peace that fails because there is too much traffic.

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Even when the Lakers had decent spacing, they still couldn't make the Spurs pay for their coverages. Look how slow the ball movement is on this last-second possession at the end of the second quarter.

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This should result in an open three for somebody. Instead, Howard's pass out is a bit off, Blake doesn't think about the corner shooter fast enough and Darius Morris tightens up.

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It also didn't help that the Spurs consistently ignored World Peace at the top of the key, using Leonard to double the post when appropriate. World Peace only made San Antonio pay once for this strategy.

Here's an example where he didn't. The Lakers try getting Howard early position immediately, and the Spurs initially dig down with Danny Green off Steve Nash.

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The Lakers counter this by reposting Howard, but when they do, Leonard, and not Green, comes back to half-double.

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Howard makes the right play to kick out, but the Spurs' strategy is vindicated when World Peace and his slow release get blocked by the recovering Leonard.

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In all of these instances, the Lakers' attempts to run offense through their bigs down low were thwarted by San Antonio's ability to shrink the floor. Jamming the ball inside as Bryant seemed to suggest won't work because it's 2013. Half-zone defenses are allowed and teams like the Spurs can run these types of coverages while being able to recover to perimeter shooters. L.A. tried pounding the post and the Spurs' defense was just too good. That was the major issue, not failing to work the ball inside at all.

What is the solution, then? These days, post play has to be preceded by motion or other misdirection to prevent a defense from loading up their coverages like the Spurs did. We saw the Lakers do this a little bit on Sunday, and when they did, they generally were successful.





It goes on to talk about 1 play where the Spurs misread it as a non post up, the sequence evolved into a post up for Dwight and he scored with a lefty hook

But yea, spacing is essential and you need the players to open things up for the bigs inside.
Last edited by The Rock on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Analysis of why feeding the bigs didn't work in Game 1

Postby The Rock on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:11 am

Look at the congestion in the paint I dont think the Spurs are letting up anytime soon. The Lakers only made 10 of their 43 shots outside the paint

http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2013/04/22/what-dwight-howard-and-pau-gasol-are-facing-defensively/

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Re: Analysis of why feeding the bigs didn't work in Game 1

Postby jlkr on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:50 am

This is where the lack of reliability of the Lakers' perimeter shooting and the missing Kobe hurt the Lakers. When the Spurs average only 89 points and 37% shooting in the last two games against the Lakers, you know it's not the defense that's killing the Lakers, that kind of defense should ordinarily keep the Lakers in it. The defense did have its breakdowns, especially on some of the Parker and Ginobili plays, but overall it was good enough to keep the Lakers in the game. Parker had a Parker game, but he shot subpar most of the game; Duncan started well, but didn't rock the place after the first quarter; Ginobili shined on his 2 3's and the assist to Bonner. But the game was very winnable.

The problems as shown in this thread are on the offensive end. Part of the problems are that due to the numerous injuries this season, the teammates simply aren't familiar enough with one another the way the Spurs are. And the Spurs are exploiting this to the max.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Alleyhoops on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:02 pm

An inside game is always negated by poor perimeter shooting. Always. I've been scratching my head for a few years regarding that issue with this team. The Lakers have had two talented bigs on the floor for the past few seasons, yet they've appoached adding complementary perimeter shooters in a very half-arsed manner. With roster spots open in the past few seasons, they have forgone acquiring affordable shooting pieces that ultimately signed elsewhere. I find it completely confounding.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Armani on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:08 pm

Cool article. It all comes down to spacing issues. The Steves and Meeks need to consistently hit their shots... there's no way around that.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:20 pm

It takes a star on the perimeter to hit those shots on the road. The Spurs are playing percentages; when they play at home, and they play aggressive defense, the road team will miss most of their perimeter shots. That means that you can sag off of them, to the point of a now-legal half-zone, and disrupt the post players by packing it in. They won't be able to do that at home, because our barely-serviceable backcourt will light it up at home. Earl, Metta, Nash, and Meeks will make their shots in LA, and that will keep the Spurs defense honest. I expect a better effort, and maybe even a win, in game 3 or 4. But on the road, it's going to be tough.

The only thing that was wrong about game 1 with the bigs was that Gasol went tot the high post again. He needs to stay down low, and either keep Timmy with him, and then pass to Dwight, or post up Timmy. Too much he was pulled out into the high post or no-mans-land, and made into a jump shooter. That effectively neutralizes him, since he won't hit jumpers on the road with a decent percentage.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Doc Brown on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:33 pm

I'd be very surprised if MDA changes his strategy on this subject. The only people that should be playing in this series are....

Blake/Nash/Glock/Meeks ( :man5: )
MWP/Clark
D12/Pau/Jamison

Pau plays with MWP/Clark/Blake/Jamison/Glock
D12 plays with Clark/Jamison/Glock/Nash/Blake

But that won't happen because that bozo will trot out Morris with Clark and MWP with D12 and completely negate any spacing that we could take advantage of.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Chillbongo on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:51 pm

1. Greg Poppovich is a smart, smart man.

2. We don't have the shooters to counter their fronting strategy.

3. Has Mike D'Antoni heard of back screens? Baseline off-ball screens? A good way to free your big men momentarily.

4. Ok, we can't shoot. Where's the cutters? Why are our own guys clogging the paint at times? Do we have a system?

5. Poppovich is a master and the Spurs executed beautifully, but we're not the first team with two big men.

6. Fronting is nothing new in basketball. A good coach can devise counters or other "read plays" that can develop out of an entry pass to a big.

Us missing shots is a big issue but that's not the only solution to Spurs packing the paint. Where's our movement? We are stagnant on offense this year whether it's Kobe iso or big post ups.

It would be nice to see a lot more motion to improve our spacing. Back screens, etc - in one of the images above Pau is on the left block and Meeks in the left baseline corner. Why not have Pau set a back screen for Meeks? Meeks could hit the baseline hard which might force Gasol's man to cover. Get the ball into Gasol who can score from there. Or have someone else set a simultaneous screen to a cutter.

There's so many options we just don't use them. It all comes down to MDA not really knowing how to run an inside-out offense.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby bnr034 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:57 pm

Chillbongo wrote:1. Greg Poppovich is a smart, smart man.

2. We don't have the shooters to counter their fronting strategy.

3. Has Mike D'Antoni heard of back screens? Baseline off-ball screens? A good way to free your big men momentarily.

4. Ok, we can't shoot. Where's the cutters? Why are our own guys clogging the paint at times? Do we have a system?

5. Poppovich is a master and the Spurs executed beautifully, but we're not the first team with two big men.

6. Fronting is nothing new in basketball. A good coach can devise counters or other "read plays" that can develop out of an entry pass to a big.

Us missing shots is a big issue but that's not the only solution to Spurs packing the paint. Where's our movement? We are stagnant on offense this year whether it's Kobe iso or big post ups.

It would be nice to see a lot more motion to improve our spacing. Back screens, etc - in one of the images above Pau is on the left block and Meeks in the left baseline corner. Why not have Pau set a back screen for Meeks? Meeks could hit the baseline hard which might force Gasol's man to cover. Get the ball into Gasol who can score from there. Or have someone else set a simultaneous screen to a cutter.

There's so many options we just don't use them. It all comes down to MDA not really knowing how to run an inside-out offense.


MDA will answer that question with... Who needs cutters when you have 3pt shooters :bang: :bang: :bang:
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Vasashi17 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:04 pm

You guys all saw Pau do his best Kobe/Nash impression right?

MDA's adjustment will be PnR with Pau and Dwight.

I like the fact of getting the ball in Pau's hands more...but I'm afraid, he's going to be converted into the lead guard role now.

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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby lakerfan2 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:34 pm

1. More screen and rolls.
2. Move the ball.
3. Move off the ball.
4. Make your damn shots.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby JJigga3000 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:13 pm

The problem was going not hitting open shot's you take the shots that Steve Nash normally makes , and Gasol continuing to miss open shots and that's where the games was lost. Lack of consistent shots at the beginning of the game, cost us the game. I think we'll get game two.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby lakerfan2 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:38 pm

You watch the Spurs defense again and they're doubling on from the weakside, leaving that guy wide open. We're lacking the communication, movement, and coaching to take advantage of that.

They want us to make the crosscourt pass for the long jumper.

If we just moved the ball around, make cuts, and get into the right positions, the Spurs defense is easily exploitable. I hope D'Antoni makes the right adjustments, because we can get much easier shots if they're sending the double EVERY TIME. We have to dictate their rotations, they can't dictate where we move the ball.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Psychobroker on Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:16 pm

I would take the ball out of Nash's hands and let him focus what little energy he DOES have in spacing the floor and knocking down shots. Blake can direct traffic and is more effective at getting into the paint at this point anyway, but WONT be able to space the floor like Nash because nobody fears his 3-ball.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby khmrP on Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:20 pm

these little things people dont see when I saw poster noting in game day thread "spurs are nothing special" "they should be beating us by more, so we have a chance" "they're not even playing well." Well based on these diagrams they are playing well and they're making us a jump shooting team, I'd say anytime a team forces you to do something you dont like, they're playing well.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby LakerFanIam on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:50 pm

Damn... Wide open shooters in every one of those pics... :bang:
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby karacha on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:59 pm

Maybe hitting some WIDE OPEN shots for change?

We got excellent shot opportunities in game one. But were unable to make it. The game plan was good, and... our shooters failed.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Chillbongo on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:08 pm

The game plan was good only if we're making shots. A good coach with a great game plan has counters when plan A doesn't work. Expecting your jumpers to fall every time is flawed basketball logic. Especially when you don't have a shooting personnel.

There are plenty of options that could have been explored. We didn't lose simply because we missed shots.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby LTLakerFan on Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:57 pm

Chillbongo wrote:1. Greg Poppovich is a smart, smart man.

2. We don't have the shooters to counter their fronting strategy.

3. Has Mike D'Antoni heard of back screens? Baseline off-ball screens? A good way to free your big men momentarily.

4. Ok, we can't shoot. Where's the cutters? Why are our own guys clogging the paint at times? Do we have a system?

5. Poppovich is a master and the Spurs executed beautifully, but we're not the first team with two big men.

6. Fronting is nothing new in basketball. A good coach can devise counters or other "read plays" that can develop out of an entry pass to a big.

Us missing shots is a big issue but that's not the only solution to Spurs packing the paint. Where's our movement? We are stagnant on offense this year whether it's Kobe iso or big post ups.

It would be nice to see a lot more motion to improve our spacing. Back screens, etc - in one of the images above Pau is on the left block and Meeks in the left baseline corner. Why not have Pau set a back screen for Meeks? Meeks could hit the baseline hard which might force Gasol's man to cover. Get the ball into Gasol who can score from there. Or have someone else set a simultaneous screen to a cutter.

There's so many options we just don't use them. It all comes down to MDA not really knowing how to run an inside-out offense.


Yeah yeah yeah that all makes sense if you had an offensive minded coach. We're stuck with supposed "defensive" genius Mike Potato Brown because Jimmy's too proud to rectify his 2nd mistake after Rudy 3. Wait....what's that....he actually canned him early???....well props!! I hope from his choices among who was available this time he got it right. Oh. Reading above, guess effing not. :bang: :bang: :bang:
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby trodgers on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:55 pm

Goudelock - let him shoot.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby noobiew on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:08 pm

Inside Outside basketball, both Nash and Blake have to hit from outside to allow and open the inside for Howard and Gasol.

We desperately need some shooters who can knock down the open jumper.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby SpencerHarrison on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:16 pm

The Spurs have no answer to Pau and Dwight inside. OF COURSE THEY'RE GOING TO CROWD THEM. This isn't Pop being a defensive genius and playing 4th dimensional chess. The Spurs aren't geniuses, THEY'RE VULNERABLE DEFENSIVELY IN THE PAINT.

Make them pay, you win the series. We have the personel to do just that. Get Jamsion, Nash and Blake looks from 3 and they will start to go in. Keep it close and make the Spurs have to pick their poison and swallow it. This is checkers not chess, and LA has every tool necessary to win.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby LTLakerFan on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:23 pm

SpencerHarrison wrote:The Spurs have no answer to Pau and Dwight inside. OF COURSE THEY'RE GOING TO CROWD THEM. This isn't Pop being a defensive genius and playing 4th dimensional chess. The Spurs aren't geniuses, THEY'RE VULNERABLE DEFENSIVELY IN THE PAINT.

Make them pay, you win the series. We have the personel to do just that. Get Jamsion, Nash and Blake looks from 3 and they will start to go in. Keep it close and make the Spurs have to pick their poison and swallow it. This is checkers not chess, and LA has every tool necessary to win.


Except a really top flight "coach".
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby karacha on Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:56 pm

I don't think our coach has anything to do with this. A coach can't hit or miss open shots, make old players move quicker etc. We had good shots, we missed them. Our guys have to hit them - Nash, Jamison, Meeks, Blake... they have to hit some jumpers. Of course the Spurs are going to try and crowd the paint. Even then, Dwight will get his. There's nothing special the Spurs have to do, or can do at this point.
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Re: Lakers pounded ball inside & fed the bigs. Didnt work in Gm1

Postby Vasashi17 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:17 pm

People say that if we made shots we may have won....maybe true.

But don't forget that SA played uncharacteristically as well. They shot 38% when they typically shoot 48%. Give credit to LA for good defense, but had these guys made closer to what they normally make...well they still win by double digits...but you get the point.

Meanwhile we shot 41% and typically shoot 46% for the game. We lost by 12 folks...even if we met our average, we lose. Granted we shot a 20% clip from 3 when we normally make 36% from there, but it still wouldn't have meant a damn thing.

I understand that there are other intangibles at play, but SA had 12 more attempts at the basket than we did. If that continues, forgetaboutit. But then again, we do have an offensive genius so I'm sure he'll figure out how to even up that margin.
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