Lakers vs Rockets
Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll

Playoff Preview: Lakers vs Rockets – Game 5

Los Angeles Lakers (6-2)  |  Houston Rockets (5-6)


This game follows the Lakers game 4 victory with the final score of 110-100.


Photo Credit: NBA

The Lakers have managed to keep up with the Rocket’s fast-paced offense consistently. They held the Rockets to 102 and 100 points in games 3 and 4, respectively, so it shows that they have improved their defense throughout the series. I’m pretty sure they will stick with the same strategies they’ve used since game two and finish off the series.

Rajon Rondo has proven to be a big help stopping Russell Westbrook from going off like he typically has during the regular season. Rondo has played 29 minutes for the past two games, and there is no reason to believe that will change. Even though Westbrook scored 25 points in game 4, Rondo gave him issues while he was on the floor. Rondo is not in the starting lineup, so many of Westbrook’s points came when Rondo wasn’t guarding him. Rondo also managed to score 11 points in game 4 and 21 points the game before that. 


Another wildcard player that has earned minutes for the Lakers is Markieff Morris.



Photo Credit: DraftKings Nation

Morris is a decent defender that can keep up with the Rockets’ offense, so it makes sense that he earned more minutes this series. Other than his six for eight shooting performance in game 2, he hasn’t really gone off offensively. The reason he’s been given these minutes is because of his defensive skills, and that will not change in game 5. He will have at least 20 minutes of play in this game.

Even though the Lakers have adjusted their lineup effectively to stop the Rockets’ high-speed offense, they won’t shut Houston down completely. Westbrook and James Harden are talented players, and Harden will most likely do better than he did last game. He shot 2 for 11, which is one of the worst games he’s had in the playoffs. Harden is known to struggle in elimination games, but it is highly unlikely that he doesn’t shoot at least 40 percent to make up for that lackluster performance.

As for Westbrook, he shot 50 percent last game with 25 points and three turnovers. Westbrook has been a good scorer in this series, and we can expect him to have about the same performance. We could also see him pressing into more turnovers, facing elimination.


A huge reason the Lakers have managed to win 3 games in a row is because of Anthony Davis’ dominance.


Photo Credit: New York Post

Every game of this series, Davis has managed to record over 25 points; he even did it in game one where the Lakers’ offense struggled as a whole. Regardless of P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington’s defensive efforts on Davis, the height advantage is simply too much. They cannot stop his mid-range jump shot. They have not been able to stop him in the paint either. There is no reason to believe Davis will not score at least 25 points in game 5. The Rockets’ small-ball lineup can’t do anything with him.

LeBron James has had some unpredictable games in this series, but everyone knows he will record his usual good set of statistics in every category. He’s just so well rounded that you can’t predict what part of his game he’ll focus on night to night to help the team win. I do expect The King to grab close to 10 rebounds. Other than that, it is hard to predict. In game 4, he scored 19 points but had nine assists. In game 3, he only had five assists but scored 36 points. Either way, no defense in the NBA can stop James from coming close to a triple-double on any given night. Don’t expect Houston to do it.


The Lakers seem to have found the perfect squad to face off against the Rockets’ small-ball lineup. They have them figured out and will most likely finish off the series in convincing fashion. The Lakers look to end the series at game five on Saturday Sept 12th. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 pm and it airs on ESPN.

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media


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Lakers vs Rockets – Game 5