In their first two series in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers have lost the game both times. In the first round, falling in a narrow defeat against the Portland Trail Blazers, they made just about every adjustment they wanted to make, and easily won the series. The Western Conference semi-finals – and the Houston Rockets – are a different animal, but in Game 2, the Lakers got off to a good start to make this playoff.
After losing to the Rockets in Game 1, LeBron James compared the speed of this Houston team to the Ram’s “Greatest Show on Turf” version, and said that he usually needed a game to accommodate that type of quickness. it occurs. In Game 2, he and his team made adjustments, doing a better job of pass placement to limit turnovers and proceeded to make holes in Houston’s defense without shaking the ball.
After the win, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said, “We showed the film and talked about his speed and his gambling defense.” “It took us a while to make sure we got used to it. The passes we normally get in a regular season against a normal, traditional defense are slightly different against a switching, gambling defense. It only takes a little time to feel. I felt that we did a better job as we did in the game. “
The Lakers did an excellent job switching, twisting, trapping and pressurizing the Rockets at the other end, as well as playing with Russell Westbrook to turn him into poor shots and reckless turnovers. James said he felt that he and his teammates had adjusted how fast the Rockets’ hands were on defense, and how physical they were while playing underseat, as well as how much hands they had to cover their shooters on the other end. Have to wash
The statistic retracted its claim, as did the Lakers at a slower pace and at a lower percentage of times in game 2, the ball was lower than in game 1, even if it was. He played just plain shots from the field (56.6%) and three (44.4%), which he did in the first games of the series (42.2% and 28.9% respectively).
On defense, the Lakers may have allowed 41 points in the third quarter, but they let Houston score 68 in the other three quarters. Some of those aforementioned were improved rotations and tactics, but the Lakers achieved a better percentage to ensure they had a significant percentage to go into the game in order to execute boxing better.
“They’re small, badass guys. They’re just gonna scrap. We’ve got to scrap with them,” said Markieff Morris to the Lakers after Game 2, saying the Rockets had a point of emphasis for the Rockets. The corner shooter was watching to make sure that someone boxed them out when the shot went up.
“We were late in the game, and we got to do these kinds of things. These are the small things that are going to win this series, ”said Morris.
They are all good adjustments from the Lakers, and they are not just what they made. The real question is what the Rockets can do to counter them. Houston was built to play one way, and it is small. He doesn’t have a big way to deal with the size of the Lakers, even if he wanted to do something Mike D’Antoni.
(Editor’s Note: There is zero chance what Mike D’Antoni wants to do as evidence of his entire coaching career)
Now, rocket can do Make planned adjustments to their way of playing clearly. And as we saw in the third quarter of Game 2, their shooters have been able to be as hot as Southern California this weekend. But line-wise, there is not much they can do other than just play and shoot better.
Will the changes they make together be enough to swing the series back in their direction? Or has the Lakers devised another game plan that works on a playoff opponent that gave them troubles with the bat? We will get some answers when Game 3 tips off on Tuesday.
Notes and updates
The Lakers and Rockets will play Game 3, Sept 8 of the Western Conference semi-finals tomorrow, Tuesday, at 6:00 pm PT. It will be broadcast on TNT. You can also sign up to watch it here on fuboTV.
for more information Lakers Talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll Podcast feed E tune, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcast. You can follow Harrison on Twitter @hmfaigen.