The Lakers might of had too much time off since their round one breeze taking the Blazers’ series 4-1. This showed last night, as the Lakers had a rough first game back, losing 112-97 to Houston in Game 1 of the semis.
What gave me hope about this game is that, unlike the Blazers, the Rockets actually listened to my advice from the Blazers’ series. They looked energetic, hustled, and just looked like a well oiled machine. This is to be true, due to Westbrook finally being able to be back in his element, playing more minutes and being more of a factor since coming back from his injury. The dynamic duo was back, though Russ only had 24 points, the board man got paid, as he also put up 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. This would go along with Harden going 36, 2, and 5. Not to mention help from role player Eric Gordon, who’s been on a hot streak, since Russ’s limited playing, putting up 23.
It was nice to see the Rockets take my advice about the hustle game (that the Blazers lacked). I mean they kinda had to, since the Rockets really don’t have a true big man, to battle with AD or LeBron. You would see this as Houston finished with 13 steals, and shot a heck of a lot better/effectively than Portland did.
Yes, I know Harden pulls up from deep randomly all the time, but there’s a difference. Harden knows he can make those shots a majority of the time. Lillard thinks he’s Harden and tries to take those shots, but reality hits and you got Dame going 3/15 from deep.
More on Lebron watch to come, as he put up a quiet 20 points, but did facilitate the rock with 7 assists, and put up 8 boards.