Rockets a good lesson for OKC
While you were sleeping, the Houston Rockets beat the Lakers 100-92 Monday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal, and while I certainly expect LA to win their series, nothing about it will be easy.
Houston is a great teaching tool for the rest of the NBA. Play defense, and good things happen. The Rockets have two of the sport’s best all-purpose defenders: Shane Battier and Ron Artest. They have a 7-foot-5 skyscraper in Yao Ming. They have a bunch of guys. Aaron Brooks and Chuck Hayes and Luis Scola and Carl Landry.
Houston’s franchise player, Tracy McGrady, is hurt and out of the playoffs. Yet the Rockets have advanced — and are up 1-0 on the Lakers — because they play defense.
The Thunder has some wondrous young talent. But the Thunder must adapt Houston’s defensive mentality to take huge strides in the NBA. Kobe Bryant was great for the Lakers on Monday night, with 32 points in 44 minutes. But check inside the box score. Bryant made 14 of 31 shots, which is solid, but had just five foul shots, making three.
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