FINAL SCORE: ROCKETS 95, Lakers 80
Complete Game Info
From The Lakers Perspective
1. Phil Jackson, with 9 NBA Championships to his credit already, is a terrific head coach … but he was out-coached last night by Rick Adelman.
2. Anytime Andrew Bynum was not on the floor, the Lakers’ interior defense [read as Pau Gasol] could not cope with Luis Scola, or Aaron Brooks, or Carl Landry.
3. There was no legitimate reason for Andrew Bynum [-1] to have only played 19:03 last night when Pau Gasol [-15/43:03] was repeatedly being abused by the Rockets on the defensive end of the floor.
4. Given how the Rockets have used Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes and Carl Landry at the C and PF positions, since the injury to Yao Ming, it is simply criminal that Josh Powell [DNP-Coaches Decision] has been chained to the Lakers’ bench … considering that he is the single best match-up on the Lakers’ team vs an under-sized post player.
5. Derek Fisher is a physically sturdy PG … who is simply not quick enough to cope with a player like Aaron Brooks and does not possess the type of low-post game it takes to punish the Rockets’ diminuitive PG at the offensive end of the floor.
6. Given how well Jordan Farmar [21:00] and Shannon Brown [09:12] have played in this series Derek Fisher [1-7, FGM-FGA] should not be getting 21:24 of floor time.
7. Sasha Vujacic [06:34] and Luke Walton [15:50] are two highly serviceable players who were not used effectively last night vs the Rockets’ [i] small back-court combo of Brooks & Lowry and their [ii] physical forward combo of Artest & Battier, respectively.
If the Lakers are going to advance to the Western Conference Finals and then have success against the Denver Nuggets … and eventually the Celtics, Magic or Cavaliers … Phil Jackson will need to re-think how he is using his player personnel. If he fails to do this … and, instead, stubbornly sticks with the same old same old … the Lakers will not win this year’s NBA Championship.
From The Rockets Perspective
1. At this point, Houston is playing with house money.
2. Basketball is fundamentally a game of quickness, relative to the oppenent, at the position played, and as long as the Rockets can accentuate their advantage in this aspect of the game there is every reason to believe that this team can succeed, if they make their fair share of open and contested shots.
3. Going at the Lakers last night with an interior attack focused on the Scola vs Gasol match-up was a stroke of genius by Rick Adelman. See the seminal article by Malcolm Gladwell on the way in which David must attack Goliath if he hopes to succeed, i.e. through the use of unconventional/unexpected strategies & tactics.
4. Winning Game 7, on the road, will still be a mighty chore.
5. It’s a treat to watch this collection of NBA players & coaches give their all in the face of such adversity.
6. The NBA game is based upon individual and team match-ups … and, the outcome of Game 7 in this series will depend on the answers to these two straight-forward questions:
I. Can Rick Adelman continue to out-fox the ZenMaster?
II. Which team is going to make more shots than the other?
Far too frequently too many so-called “NBA experts/observers” try to make the game much more complicated than it actually is.