In Game 1, Rockets looked like a complicated playoff opponent for Lakers

The Rockets looked great Friday as they took a 1-0 series lead against the Lakers in the second round of the 2020 NBA playoffs. Known for their very effective “smallball” offense, the Rockets’ defense has been outstanding in Disney NBA bubble play. Here’s the Los Angeles Times on the series:

As they prepare for Game 2 on Sunday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., maybe the Lakers need to deal with the fact that they don’t have the overwhelming advantages they possessed after losing their first-round playoff opener to Portland.

The Rockets are more blazers than the Blazers. The Rockets are quicker, deeper and far more dangerous. They can make the Lakers look stagnant and stilted and confused. The Lakers have suddenly found themselves in a duel that could test their very being.

“There’s got to be a complete turnaround going into Game 2,” said James…

Maybe they’re a big team that isn’t flexible enough to overcome the Rockets’ small ball. Playoffs are all about matchups, and so far this season the Rockets have won both games against the Lakers with the disparate lineups…

“I think it’s the speed … they play with a lot of speed both offensively and defensively,” James said. “You can see it on film … but until you’re out there, you get a feel for it … that’s what we did tonight, we got a feel for their speed, and we’re fully aware of that going into Game 2.”

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