Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Lakers Daily

Playoff Preview: Lakers vs Rockets – Game 2

Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)  |  Houston Rockets (1-0)


This game two of the Western Conference Semi-Finals follows the Los Angeles Lakers’ losing effort against the Houston Rockets. The final score of game one was 112 to 97.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: LA Times

Last game, the Lakers struggled to keep up on defense and shooting the three-ball. The defensive struggles came as a surprise since they have been successful on this side of the ball all season because of Anthony Davis and LeBron James. In this game, they might utilize a different strategy or possibly give more minutes to players that can keep up with the Rockets’ small-ball lineup, such as Markieff Morris. The decision-making will be a tough choice; Morris is not the scorer, and keeping up with the Rockets typically requires a lot of scoring.  

Another way the Lakers can approach this game, and what they will most likely do, is to keep the same strategies believing it was a game one struggle that won’t happen again.

This season the Lakers shot 34.8 percent from three, last game, they shot an atrocious 28.9. Teams do not always hit their average, but statistically, odds are they do not shoot that bad again. The Lakers also averaged 107.6 points per game in the regular season but were held down to 97 against a Rockets team that allowed 113.9 points per game. Playoffs are different, and season averages should not determine everything, but the fact is that the Lakers played worse than they typically do. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in. They might consider keeping the same exact strategy as it was a flukey struggle that’s bound to happen once in a while in basketball.


Let’s address the elephant in the room. Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Kyle Kuzma are all inconsistent shooters.


Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

They typically do not shoot as bad as they did in game one, though, meaning that’s another reason to believe the Lakers will not change their strategy. Green shot 4-12 from the floor in game one, Kuzma shot 3-9, and Caldwell-Pope shot 2-8. All those shots play a considerable role in the number of points they scored.

Their lackluster performance should not put them in panic mode, as this happened against the Portland Trail Blazers during game one of their series as well. They will most likely take game two as an opportunity to right the ship as they did in game two of that series. They will keep everyone’s minutes the same as they were during game one and prioritize hustling on defense as well.

The Rockets are also an inconsistent team as well. So other than trying to hustle against them on defense, there are not many things teams can do to plan against them. Sometimes they will shoot 18 percent from three, and sometimes they will hit 40 percent. They just so happened to be on fire while the Lakers just so happened to have their struggles.


So, the big question is, who will win this game?


It is so unpredictable because, as I listed earlier, both teams are inconsistent. The odds the Lakers play as bad as they did in game one are extremely low. The stats show that. If I had to predict, I would go with the Lakers for the same reasons I have always predicted them in playoff matchups. They are simply the better team this year.

Davis and James, in my opinion, are a better duo than James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The team with the more talented names and playoff experience like James’ typically prevail in a seven-game series. Regardless, this game can go either way.



The Lakers look to tie the series at game two later today. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 pm, and it airs on ABC.

Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets      Lakers vs Rockets     


-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media


Follow The Franchise on Social Media