Los Angeles Lakers: Andrew Bogut

Lakers vs. Warriors: What to watch

November, 9, 2012
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
After the early upheaval today, there’s still a game to be played tonight.

For more insight on the Warriors, I sent some questions to J.M. Poulard, who covers the team for the True Hoop network's Warrior's World. Below are his responses.

Andy Kamenetzky: Five games into the season, how would you describe the Warriors' style of play? What type of matchup do you think they present for the Lakers?

J.M. Poulard: The 20-minute cap on Andrew Bogut’s minutes coupled with Stephen Curry’s struggles to effectively run the offense make it as such that the Warriors have a small identity crisis. They have been surprisingly good with Jarrett Jack on the court -- even when paired with Curry in the backcourt -- which would have you think that they are a good small-ball team. But they actually stick to traditional positions for the most part. That’s essentially a long-winded way of saying they are a selective, fast-breaking team that tries to masquerade itself as a good half-court team … for now.

As for the matchup, it stands to reason the Warriors will attack the trapping Pau Gasol in the pick-and-roll, then try to generate shots from 3-point range as a result of the action. They'll also progressively attack the interior to take advantage of a backpedaling Dwight Howard.

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Lakers at Bucks: What to watch, with Bucksketball

January, 28, 2012
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky

The Milwaukee Bucks have tumbled a long way since the "Fear the Deer" playoff run of 2010. Last season, they ended below .500, and this campaign is paced to match, with Andrew Bogut's fractured left ankle doing hope no favors. However, that doesn't mean this game should be taken for granted as a win to open the Lakers' back-to-back road swing. For starters, no team 1-6 outside of its home turf can ever count on a win away from its soil. Plus, as inspired as the Lakers played against the Clippers, their nonexistent track record of consistency means they're essentially starting from scratch.

In other words, this may be a winnable game for the Lakers, but it's best to treat it as one requiring blood, sweat and tears for victory.

Rocky Widner/Getty Images
Stephen Jackson and his coach at odds? Who'da thunk it???

For some perspective on the Bucks, we tracked down Jeremy Schmidt, who runs the Bucksketball blog for the True Hoop Network. Below are his responses to four questions about the Bucks, plus a couple thoughts of my own.

Land O' Lakers: The
"Jax" era in Milwaukee has appeared volatile and not nearly as productive as hoped. What have been the issues on and off the court, and do you see them smoothing out as the season progresses?

Jeremy Schmidt: Thus far, things haven't been great, but that has a lot to do with Andrew Bogut having missed a lot of games. There have been some spats, as Jackson has moved out of the starting lineup and occasionally hasn't played the minutes he's accustomed to. But that's just a learning curve he and Scott Skiles are going to have. The biggest issue with Jackson is that he isn't a great player and the biggest issue with the Bucks is that they are an average team. None of that will change, and Milwaukee will continue to be sad about the Bucks.

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Lakers vs. Bucks: What to watch

December, 21, 2010
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
While the city's collective basketball attention (and the minds of children everywhere) may already be focused on Christmas Day, the Lakers do have one team on the agenda before all the Yuletide fun begins.

Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
With Brandon Jennings on the shelf, Andrew Bogut's life gets a lot tougher.

The Milwaukee Bucks are in town Tuesday night. Before the season they appeared to be a up-and-comer in the Eastern Conference- not a title contender but a dangerous team nonetheless. Now they're more a gift that keeps on giving, their largess not simply an act of holiday spirit, but a season long trend. At 10-16, the Bucks, beat up by injuries all season (the latest being surgery for Brandon Jennings) have consistently underperformed. Particularly on the road, where after being completely dusted by a similarly short-handed Portland team Monday night, the Bucks are 3-10.

By all rights, the Bucks seem right for the picking (or hunting, if you prefer a more deer-themed metaphor), particularly in light of the Jennings news, but they're still a genuine NBA team with real uniforms and a team charter. On their more careless nights, the Lakers have struggled with lesser squads. To preview tonight's action, I hit up Jeremy Schmidt, host of the always entertaining/informative Bucksketball blog, who was kind enough to answer some questions about Scott Skiles' hard luck crew:

1. Now that Brandon Jennings is on the shelf, what changes about Milwaukee's offense? They don't score much anyway, and he accounts for a huge portion of the team's assists. How will the Bucks generate points?

Generally ball dominant, Jennings was using 26.2% of the Bucks possessions heading into Monday night. In his absence, his teammates general lack of ability with the ball in their hands was on display. Early on in Portland, the Blazers doubled Andrew Bogut off the ball when the Bucks looked to find him for post-ups inside. Jennings didn't always find Bogut on the pick and roll or drop it off to him on drives to the hoop, but he, more than any other Buck, needed to be accounted for by the defense when sharing the court with the big man.

Now that Milwaukee has one less player that requires serious attention, Bogut is sure to be the recipient of heavy double teaming and an increased amount of attention. Bogut and Jennings have played together for 592:29 minutes this season and Milwaukee is +16 in those minutes. No other player has played as many minutes with Bogut and only Ersan Ilyasova has had a better plus/minus on the court with him. A healthy Jennings allowed the Bucks to be Andrew Bogut's team and for Bogut to thrive.

(Note: For a more in depth look at the Bucks without Jennings, check out Schmidt's post on the topic at Bucksketball.)

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Lakers vs. Bucks: What to watch

November, 16, 2010
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
As Brian noted in his Week in Preview, Phil Jackson thinks a three-game roadie could help the Lakers rediscover some execution recently lost. Everything from hotel living to unfriendly arenas to a basic lack of familiarity spark relative discomfort, which in turn can lead to a sharpened focus. Like Shannon Brown told me after Sunday's loss to Phoenix, you really have no choice but to play better on the road. Assuming you want to win, that is.

Of the three consecutive contests played outside Staples Center, tonight's date with the Bucks appears by far the biggest challenge. Here are some items to think about once the ball is jumped:

Brandon Jennings the scorer vs. Brandon Jennings the playmaker
The Lakers want the former, not the latter. This season, Jennings is shooting (almost) 41 percent from the floor, and a look at the young point guard's game logs manages to make the paltry clip feel bloated. The kid's managed just two games with a 50 percent success rate, plus five where he didn't even hit 37 percent. The bottom line is he's not yet an efficient shooter.
Even with a reportedly improved tear drop move and a recent hot streak from beyond the arc (10-19 in his last four games), he's still a guy I don't fear calling his own number.

Josh D. Weiss/US Presswire
If Brandon Jennings wants to shoot, generally speaking,
let him.

Calling someone else's number, however, Jennings is arguably the team's blood source. He leads the team in assists (6.3) and for relative NBA novice who often devotes a lot of time dribbling and probing, his turnovers are impressively low (2.5). Moreover, the team averages an NBA-29th 17.6 assists per game, meaning Jennings sets up more than one-third of the team's buckets for an already putrid offense. Cut off this particular snake's head, and I'm guessing you're left with a reptile none too venomous.

Keep a body on Jennings' teammates and deny clean entries. Cut off his passing lanes. Sag off at times and dare him to let fly. If you turn Jennings into a one-man gang for points, he could be a lightning-quick handful, especially heading to the cup (where the most hay is made), but I'll gladly take my chances.

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Like certain prize-winning dogs, the Lakers came out on top, but that doesn't necessarily make the triumphant pretty to look at.

The breakdown is below the jump.

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Nick Young
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
ReboundsP. Gasol 9.7
AssistsK. Marshall 8.8
StealsJ. Meeks 1.4
BlocksP. Gasol 1.5