LeBron James reflects on Game 1’s upset defeat to the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers lost decidedly on Friday night in the NBA bubble to the Houston Rockets, 112-97. Los Angeles couldn’t stop turning the basketball over and really struggled to keep up with Houston’s breakneck offensive pace. One would have thought the Rockets would come out flat after winning Game 7 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, but it was the Lakers who did.
James met with the media after the game, citing Houston’s speed as a major issue the Lakers weren’t ready for. He compared the Rockets’ high-octane offense to “The Greatest Show on Turf.” The 1999 St. Louis Rams won their only Super Bowl in franchise history that season. Is James saying the Rockets could have that special of an offense or was he just caught up in the moment?
Should LeBron James and the Lakers be concerned about the Rockets?
While this isn’t the first time the Lakers lost Game 1 as the favorite in the Orlando bubble, the Rockets pose as a more formidable challenger than the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, favored to get to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. James last played in the NBA Finals as a member of the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers.
Houston has the star power and offensive game plan to outscore Los Angeles. Houston may not have the defensive prowess to get past James and the Lakers, but taking Game 1, as well as Game 7 over the Thunder in the same week gives the Rockets a ton of momentum heading into Game 2 on Sunday night.
While James has Anthony Davis as his No. 2, James Harden has Russell Westbrook as his No. 2. The former Thunder buddies also have as deep of roster as the Lakers, so that could be a factor late in games should James or Davis get in foul trouble or deal with a nagging injury. Game 2 now feels like a must-win to take back momentum from Houston.
If James and Los Angeles don’t adjust on Sunday night, there could be big issues in Lakerland.