Even after a promising launch sequence in Game 1, the Houston Rockets failed to land in the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers. And now, his season is officially over.
The Lakers had a lot of trouble sending the Rockets to a breakout 119–96, winning the series 4–1 since 2010 and advancing to their first Western Conference Finals. Like the previous series against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers veered away from a discouraging game. 1 damage and proceeded to work on more than one opponent.
This path was led by LeBron James, who gave the choice between spontaneity anger From the opening tip. The Lakers superstar returned 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the first quarter, and finished shooting with 29 points out of 9 with 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 styles.
Anthony Davis was quieter than usual with only 13 points, but his presence was felt on defense with the small Rockets on the paint.
Rocket suffers from lakers
The Lakers ‘real dominance was shown at the defensive end, where the Rockets’ offense was off the short ball. By the end of the third quarter, Houston was down 95–69 and shooting 27-of-67 from the field (10-of-34 from deep) with 11 turnovers.
Summing up on the night was a Cheedown block from Alex Caruso on James Harden, who haunted all series of Rockets in the perimeter and in transition.
Harden again led the Rockets with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, but the only way the Rockets seriously challenged the Lakers was a supernova performance from a team-wide lockdown attempt for their star and / or defense.
The defense was coming into Game 1, but the Lakers responded by downing center minutes Jewell McGee and Dwight Howard and extending Davis’s ability to 5. For the Bubble Shenanigans, Daniel’s home play went unheard of from the playoffs. Help the Rockets as well.
Rocket has lots of questions for next year
A year ago, the Rockets made one of the dynasty’s biggest gamblers with the Russell Westbrook trade, in which they acquired former Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and draft capital piles for Chris Paul.
Instead of putting together a Harden-Paul duo that once pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink, the Rockets hired another ball-dominant point guard and mortgaged their future to make it happen. It may have been a move that the Rockets were to make for team chemistry, but the pessimists seem to have done just as badly. Which also includes team chemistry.
The team then made another big gamble during the season, moving away from starting center Clint Capella for Robert Covington, fully embracing the short ball with 6-foot 5 PJ Tucker as the team’s new center. Got it.
Those moves defined the Rockets’ future direction, so it’s probably not great that the team looked overwhelmed by the Lakers in the paint several times and saw Westbrook displaying their trademark high-volume, low-efficiency series. It defeated Paul and the Thunder at least in the first round, but it was always a home-money run for OKC.
The Rockets still have their core of Harden, Westbrook, Covington, Tucker and Eric Gordon under contract for next year, but it could take a more drastic step to improve their approach beyond what is just now.
Lakers waiting for West final opponent
Now to reach their first Western Conference Finals since Kobe Bryant’s last championship, the Lakers will have to wait and see who joins them.
The Los Angeles Clippers have long been considered the Lakers’ opponent of luck and are currently up 3-2 against the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets were eliminated with one win already on Friday, but the same would happen again in Game 6 on Sunday.
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