Only one game today and it wasn’t a good quality one (unless you’re a Lakers fan). I suspect this will actually be a very short recap, because there isn’t much to say about this game. The Lakers outplayed Houston in every way imaginable. It was a pretty poor showing from the Rockets. I hate seeing a team play with no effort at any time, but it’s especially aggravating at this stage of the playoffs.
Where to start for Houston? Defensively, I guess. The Rockets made absolutely no attempt to play defense throughout this game. It’s like they came out with the mindset that they had no chance and it didn’t matter what they did. It was very frustrating, especially because Houston have shown signs of being a good defensive team. I hate how they don’t always bring the same intensity and effort. At the end of the day, I don’t care how well you can score the basketball, if you don’t play defense, you aren’t going to win.
That being said, Houston didn’t even score that well. I don’t want to take anything away from the Lakers defense, but Houston had a garbage performance offensively tonight. At least they were consistent on both ends. This was small ball at its worst. Houston couldn’t hit a three and they weren’t utilising their speed to get to the basket. You could talk about almost anyone on the Rockets tonight, but I don’t feel like wasting my energy on them. So, I’m just going to focus on the big two.
Let’s start on James Harden. It was a lazy night on both ends of the courts for Harden. He reminded me of why I used to despise him on the court. No effort. No efficiency. Again, full credit to the Lakers. But, Harden needs to be better. He needs to give more effort. Drive hard, force a double team and find the open man. I know he had 10 assists, but he could of had more. Admittedly, he does need other guys to shoot better. Hit some of the step backs you are famous for! A few plays early in the game, Harden would get the switch and would be on Davis. He torched him! It felt like Harden could score at will in that matchup. I didn’t see the Rockets exploit that like they should of. Harden finished with 21 points but shot a miserable 18%, most of his points came at the free throw line. I don’t even want to talk about Westbrook. He was awful once again. Stop shooting threes and stop turning the ball over. It’s as simple as that. All the good he does defensively is erased every time he shoots a 3.
Basically everyone was rolling for L.A. tonight. They all got involved scoring the basketball, even Danny Green found the bottom of the net. LeBron lead the way with a near triple/double, posting 16/15 and 9. AD had 29 and 12. It was a strong team effort from the Lakers, lead by the big 2, but everyone chipped in. They had a late game scare, but it happens late in blowouts. Houston never really had a chance of stealing. Especially not with Westbrook shooting threes.
Two key advantages for the Lakers, which have been there all series. Points in the paint and rebounds. They dominated Houston in those two categories and just about everything else. Lakers win, 110-100. Houston are lucky it was that close.