We finally have the last half of the Western Conference semifinals. The Houston Rockets edged the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 7 to advance to play the Lakers. In the other Western Conference semifinal, we have the Los Angeles Clippers battling the Denver Nuggets. As we all know, the Lakers beat the Blazers in 5 after dropping the first game. The Lakers are one of the favorites to win the NBA championship this season. Houston will hope they can run around the Lakers with small ball. For the Rockets to advance, they must have James Harden and Russell Westbrook play at an MVP level. P.J. Tucker will have to play the best defense of his life when match up against Anthony Davis. Will the Rockets put up a fight against Lebron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers?
For the Houston Rockets to upset the Lakers, they must be red-hot from 3-point land. When Harden or Westbrook break down the defense and kick it out, those guys must hit those 3s. P.J. Tucker, Robert Covington, Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers and crew need to hit those open shots. The Rockets aren’t known for their defense, but they have shown signs of stepping up in crucial situations. Will fatigue be a factor seeing that the Rockets just went 7 games with the Thunder? How healthy is Russell Westbrook and his quad? The Rockets have too many questions to answer against a team like the Lakers.
Los Angeles should be healthy and they could have Rajon Rondo for the first time in the playoffs. Anthony Davis lead the way for the Lakers as dominated from the inside and outside. Lebron is a triple-double machine and various guys have stepped up in the playoff. Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green and Alex Caruso have stepped up. In relief of Davis, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee have been great. Do the Rockets have a chance to shock everyone and pull off the upset? They do, but will they? I’m picking the Lakers to have another five game series and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Los Angeles Wins Series 4-1