LeBron James and the Lakers got run into the ground by the Rockets in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Friday night, but the four-time MVP seems to have a better grasp as to why after watching the film.
The score was close in stretches during the game, but the Lakers were always chasing it, and never really seemed to be in position to win. And that’s because they were doing exactly that — chasing, the Rockets players, that is.
Russell Westbrook and his teammates used their speed to blow by the veteran Lakers on both ends of the floor, especially in transition. James has apparently honed in on what the Rockets are trying to do, though, and he even compared them to the early-2000’s (then-St. Louis) Rams teams, due to all the speed they have on both sides of the floor.
“It’s kind of like in the early 2000s when you had the St. Louis Rams, The Greatest Show on Turf,” James said, via Sports Illustrated. “People always used to say how they would scout them and scout them and scout them, but until you got on the field and you saw Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt and Marshall Faulk and (Az-Zahir) Hakim and all those guys. And you were like, ‘OK, we need to play them again,’ because there’s no way you can simulate that speed. So, getting out on the floor and having a Game 1 gives you a good feel for it.”
It will be interesting to see how the veteran Lakers make adjustments to attempt to slow the Rockets down in Game 2.