We were all shocked to see the small-ball team of Houston 7 months ago. Everyone questioned Mike D’Antoni’s game-changing philosophy since day 1. Everyone doubted Harden’s playstyle predominantly composed of isolation plays and most of the greats deemed that he may not get a ring with this type of basketball ever. Well, it’s probably too early to talk but we have seen a team locked in for championship last night not to mention that they played against one of the two biggest title candidates. Rockets defeated the Lakers 112-97 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. There is a lot to analyze about this game but before we start, we want to suggest you register for the best betting software to bet on NBA semi-finals with the highest odds on the market!
Rockets’ shockingly good defense
Rockets came to play the semi-finals after an extremely close 7-game series against OKC. We were all excepting to see the after-effects; instead, we witnessed an energetic and high-tempo basketball. One of the key factors that helped them to secure the first win of the series was their defense as “The Beard” also highlighted. “It’s our defense. That’s what’s going to get us to where we want to go” Harden told the reports during the press conference. It is no secret that Harden was always heavily criticized for his lack of effort on the defensive end but actually he’s improved his defense a lot this season. Rockets are currently sitting in the number 1 spot in the category of defensive efficiency during the playoffs. They only allow 101.4 points per 100 possessions. Last night, they kept Lakers below 100 points. Last but not least, P.J. Tucker’s defensive stops were noteworthy. He managed to shut-down Davis many times.
Insanely fast game style
Even King James acknowledged how effective the speedy game-style of Rockets was after the loss. The small-ball basketball allows the Rockets to have faster players on the court and they always push the tempo. The philosophy of Mike D’Antoni lies behind one great rule: “seven seconds or less”. Rockets are a perfect-cut team with every player that can shoot threes and space the floor. When you add Westbrook, one of the most explosive guards to ever step on the court, to this formula, you really have a Rocket-like team. That was what happened last night. Clearly, Lakers could not adapt to this playstyle. If there is one betting platform that can match Rockets’ speed, it’s the best betting software, VIP-IBC. It’s a great tool to get odds instantly from multiple bookmakers only in a single account. Make sure to check out VIP-IBC ahead of Game 2.
Does LeBron get no help?
It’s not the first time LeBron James had to carry the load on his own. We have seen multiple times in his career that he took over games single-handedly. However, a 35-year-old player in his 17th season will surely need help to get out of the Western Conference and win the title. There is no shame in that. Last night, no one from the starting five besides Davis contributed enough to beat the Rockets. Danny Green, KCP, and McGee shot 8 for 22. Kuzma only scored 8 points coming from the bench. In fact, the best player coming from the bench was Alex Caruso who scored 14 points in 16 minutes. If the Lakers are to beat the Rockets, they need to shoot better as they are playing against a team not afraid of shooting threes all game long.
All in all, the series is far from being over. We believe that we might see another game 7. The next game will be played on 7 August. Open a betting account via betting agent now and double your excitement!