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Friday Notebook: Great success in the first round of the Lakers


Happy Friday!

The 2019-20 NBA season is 9% over and see five noteworthy numbers, plays and quotes here as we head into Week 3 weekend.

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1. Lakers who hit it big (for now)

LeBron James and Anthony Davis, unsurprisingly, played well together.

Anthony Davis expressed dissatisfaction with the play center, and the Lakers made sure they wouldn't have to play the full-time spot by re-signing JaVale McGee, adding DeMarcus Cousins ​​and – once His relatives tore his ACL – Dwight Howard in August.

Still, it seemed a safe assumption that the Lakers would be at their best with those guys on the floor and with Davis in the top five, and that Davis at five would be the configuration for the long jump in close games.

But in the Texas Lakers ’tight win (Friday in Dallas and Sunday in San Antonio), Howard was on the floor with Davis and LeBron James. In the 36 total minutes of the trio playing together, the Lakers outscored their opponents by 34 points.

Overall, the Lakers were better with Davis at four (combining his minutes with McGee or Howard) than those with Davis at five (with McGee and Howard resting).

Lakers with Anthony Davis on the floor
Upstairs MIN OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Davis + McGee 99 97.7 101.4 -3.7 -11
Davis + Howard 72 120.8 85.3 35.4 58
Davis at 4 overall 171 107.3 94.8 12.5 47
Davis at 5 p.m. 72 96.4 96.4 0 0
OffRtg = Points scored on 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point difference per 100 possessions

Davis himself was more effective in the top five (effective field goal 55%, true shooting percentage of 63%) than he was in four (46%, 55%). One question with the Lakers' struggles during the minutes in which Davis played midfield? James wasn't all four.

There is one split between the time James was on the floor and the minute he got off the floor huge the difference in how well the Lakers played with Davis at center. In the 49th minute with Davis in the heels and James on the floor, the Lakers they outnumbered their opponents by 24 points each. In the 23rd minute with Davis in the five with James on the bench, the Lakers are outnumbered by 24 points.

Lakers with Anthony Davis at 5
James on / off MIN OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
James on the floor 49 110.6 87.8 22.8 24
James from the floor 23 66.0 115.7 -49.6 -24
Davis at 5 overall 72 96.4 96.4 0 0
OffRtg = Points scored on 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point difference per 100 possessions

These sample sizes are all small (plus the Lakers playing just seven minutes per game with James and Davis at four and five is kind of wild). Come April, the numbers may look a lot different. The Lakers could play the Davis Fives a lot more in the postseason. But if I can still have success in those minutes of great lineups (and at the same time saving Davis from some wear and tear), that's a big win.

The Lakers started six games in a challenging five-day training session as they made Friday (10:30 pm ET, NBA TV), Raptors on Sunday (9:30 ET, League Pass) and visited Sunday (9 ET, League Pass).

2. Hayward in control

Gordon Hayward had a night in Cleveland on Tuesday tying his career high with 39 points while adding seven rebounds and eight assists in the Celtics' 119-113 victory against the Cavs.

Gordon Hayward fired the Cav by 39 points Tuesday night.

Hayward was a whopping 16 for 16 in 2-point shots, 13-for-13 in color and 3-for-3 from medium range. And one thing that stood out was the control with which he ended the show. These two drives are good examples of how Hayward managed to get into the paint, but then slow down and end up in control …

Hayward remains in color control against the Cavs

(And yes, after stopping Hayward's initial drive on that first play, Kevin Love should probably do his best to compete in the short turnaround.)

3. Modified & # 39; Spain & # 39; in Boston

One play that has grown in popularity in recent seasons is Spain pick-and-roll. It's a tall pick-and-roll with an extra screen – a backdrop for the big man who set up the original pick – from the third attacking player to start the color game as a rule. Tough defense game because it requires a lot of communication and three defenders to be in sync.

(Here's the Knicks running it successfully on Wednesday. And here's Jonathan Isaac breaking the Spain pick-and-roll from the Mavs that night.)

With Hayward moving on Tuesday, the Celtics have launched what looked like a modified Spanish pick-and-roll, with Kemba Walker setting the second screen.

But instead of it being a standard high pick-and-roll, it was a dribbling option, with Hayward first getting Brad Wanamaker a collapsed screen and then on the left side of Robert Williams ’floor. Instead of going under the basket and positioning the back screen, Walker moves to the right wing and sets the screen to the side of Williams defender (Tristan Thompson). Therefore, only 6-foot (1-foot) guard Collin Sexton remains to protect the 6-foot (7-m) Hayward hoop going downhill.

The Celtics run an after timeout game to bring Gordon Hayward to the basket.

Opponents fired 16-for-20 (80%) on the sidelines when Sexton was there to protect him this season.

This post-break game was a smart fight by coach Brad Stevens.

Like the Lakers, the Celtics won six straight games after dropping their opener. This winning streak will kick off Saturday in San Antonio (5th ET, League Pass).

4. High praise for Horford

The Sixers overcame the Timberwolves in the Oct. 30 contest.

The fight between Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns was a big story in last week's Timberwolves-Sixers game. The result of the fight was a two-game suspension for both big stars. The result of the game was a convincing Sixers win in which they often outplayed the smaller Wolves.

After the game, Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders turned the question on the size of the Sixers into strong praise for Philly big man Al Horford.

"It created problems for us on both ends," Saunders said. "I'll attribute that to both the staff and the individuals, where Al Horford is someone who has carved himself … he can fit into any system. He is a top professional in this league. I have always had a lot of respect for him. So he poses a problem. when he plays four. "

The Sixers fought offensively, scoring less than a point per possession, with Embiid and Horford on the floor. But they held their opponents to just 83.7 points per 100 possessions in 59 minutes of playing time together.

The numbers with Horford in the top five (and Embiid off the floor) are not very good on defense but much better on offense. On Wednesday in Utah, the Sixers lost by two in a game where they scored nine points in 12:10 and Embiid fell from the floor.

Philly ends his trip Friday in Denver (9 ET, League Pass), where Horford will pair with former teammate Paul Millsap. In addition, Kia MVP candidates Embiid and Nikola Jokic will go for the fourth time in their careers for the fourth time.

5. Win against the winner

The Bucks improved to 4-2 against winning teams after outplaying the Clippers on Wednesday.

They are through Thursday 14 teams with records. And there are nine teams (all within the group) with multiple wins over those 14 teams.

The last group is led by the Milwaukee Bucks, who are 4-2 against other teams that have records, with wins over the Rockets, Raptors, Wolves and Clippers. Those last two wins came with a lack of a place in Minnesota, and in the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard. But the Bucks can pick up another when they visit the 5-3 Jazz (9 ET, League Pass) on Friday.

Teams with multiple wins over teams currently over .500
Team GP W L Pt. Diff.
Milwaukee 6 4 2 5.5
LA. Lakers 4 3 1 3.8
Miami 5 3 2 4.6
Utah 5 3 2 -0.6
LA Clippers 6 3 3 0.0
Boston 3 2 1 1.0
Denver 3 2 1 6.0
Philadelphia 4 2 2 7.3
Phoenix 5 2 3 -1.0

Had we made this calculation on Thursday, the Lakers would have been 4-1 against teams that had winning records, but the Hornets lost to 4-4 on Thursday night with a loss to Boston. (The Lakers, as mentioned above, play three more teams within the group – Miami, Toronto and Phoenix – over the next five days.)

The 4-4 Indiana Pacers, meanwhile, are the only team that has yet to play a game against one of the 14 teams currently recording a win. The Pacers' next three games are against 4-5 Pistons (Friday), 2-6 Magic (Sunday) and 3-5 Thunder (Tuesday).

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John Schuhmann is a senior statistics analyst at NBA.com. You can email him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this site do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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