The NBA is set up with another solid game on September 12. The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers will meet up in Game 5 of their best of seven series. These two teams have met in a great series so far, which should lead to a good game on Saturday night. This game will tip off at around 8:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
The Rockets finished out the regular season with a record of 44-28, which earned them the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Houston met up with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. The Rockets could not shake Oklahoma City, which led to an impressive seven game series. Now Houston needs to find some magic to avoid elimination against the Lakers.
Los Angeles earned a record of 52-19 throughout the regular season. The Lakers finished in the top seed of the Western Conference. Los Angeles had a first round meeting with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers eliminated them in five games. Now Los Angeles has a chance to win this series in five games with a big win on Saturday night.
These two teams have met in an exciting series throughout the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers have a prime chance to earn a spot in the Western Conference Finals with a win in Game 5. Houston is in do or die time with their backs against the wall. I expect both teams to come out really strong in this one to earn a big win.
Game 1 of this series was back on September 4. Anthony Davis dropped 25 points and 14 rebounds, while LeBron James finished with 20 points. It was not enough though as the Rockets won Game 1. James Harden dropped 36 points, while Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and 9 rebounds. Houston took a 1-0 series lead with a 112-97 win.
The second game of this series was back on September 6. James Harden dropped 27 points and Eric Gordon put up 25 points. Anthony Davis finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. LeBron James took over with 34 points and 10 rebounds to propel Los Angeles to the win. The Lakers tied up this series with a 117-109 win.
Game 3 of the series was on September 8. James Harden put up 33 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. Russell Westbrook finished with 30 points, but the Rockets still came up short. LeBron James scored 36 points, while Anthony Davis dropped 26 points and 15 rebounds. Rajon Rondo scored 21 points off the bench, which helped give the Lakers a 112-102 win to take a 2-1 series lead.
The fourth and most recent game of the series was back on September 10. Russell Westbrook scored 25 points, and James Harden put up 21 points and 10 assists. Houston still could not come up with the win though. Anthony Davis put up 29 points and 12 rebounds. LeBron James scored 16 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists as Los Angeles won 110-100 to take a stranglehold on the series.
Field Goal Shooting
The Rockets have not been a great team when it comes to shooting percentages. Houston has made around 44.3 percent of their shots from the field throughout this playoff run. The Rockets have also made 37.1 percent of their shots from deep, which is their shot of choice. Houston’s three point shooting is fourth best of the remaining playoff teams.
Los Angeles has been the best team when it comes to field goal percentage in the playoffs this season. The Lakers have made around 49.4 percent of their shots from the field throughout the postseason. Los Angeles has the worst three point percentage of remaining playoff teams though. The Lakers have only made 34 percent of their shots from behind the arc.
The Lakers have been the better team shooting overall in this series, but Houston has been better from deep in the playoffs. The Rockets love to shoot from deep, averaging 46.5 shots from behind the arc per game in the postseason. If Houston can find their shot from deep in this one, it will give them a chance to keep this series alive.
James Harden has been the leader for the Rockets in this playoff run. Harden is averaging 29.5 points per game and 8 assists in the postseason. Russell Westbrook has averaged 19 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Eric Gordan is averaging 18.5 points per game. Robert Covington and Jeff Green have both averaged 11.5 points per game in this series.
Anthony Davis has had a good postseason run, averaging 29 points and 11 rebounds per game. LeBron James has averaged 26.5 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists per game in this playoff run. Rajon Rondo is averaging 12.5 points per game and 7.5 assists off the bench since returning four games ago. Kyle Kuzma is also putting up valuable bench minutes, averaging 10.5 points per games.
These two teams have seen most of their production coming from their big two. Davis and James have been bigger in this series, which is a big reason why the Lakers are up in this series. Rondo’s return has also been big as his play off the bench has been phenomenal. Houston needs to make some adjustments for Rondo’s defense if they want to bounce back with a win in Game 5.
Los Angeles’ is coming into this Game 5 with a prime opportunity to eliminate the Rockets. I believe that Houston will keep this game within striking distance as they look to push this series to a Game 6. The Rockets have been strong from deep, which they will look to use to their advantage in this one. Look for Houston to control the pace early in this one to force Los Angeles to play their game.
BetOnline has the Lakers listed as a -6 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a pretty big edge to Los Angeles for Game 5. I believe that the Lakers have earned a strong spread, but I think the Rockets will keep this one close. Houston is playing with a do or die mindset, which I think will lead to Harden stepping up. I like the Rockets against the spread for Saturday night’s matchup.