Last Night, we saw a pivotal, potentially series altering game four between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets. Prior to this game, LA was leading this series 2-1 but have now taken a 3-1 lead as they are one win away from their first WCF appearance since 2010.
Anthony Davis led the way scoring 29 points and grabbing 12 rebounds while shooting an efficient 10/18 from the field. Davis has easily been the Lakers’ best playoff performer up to this point, due to his production along with his terrific efficiency. In these playoffs, he is second in Player Impact Plus-Minus, only slightly behind his own teammate, LeBron James.
Davis has also been the best playoff performer in the entire league up to this point. Among players still in the dance, Davis is second in scoring, third in rebounding, first in blocks, second in field goal percentage, and second in PIPM. He is truly asserting his dominance and his impact is evident, especially in the small sample size he has played at center during the second round.
LeBron James wasn’t too great from a scoring standpoint last night. He only scored 16 points on 7/17 shooting, missing all of his three point attempts but his impact was felt through his playmaking and defensive play. He tallied nine assists and he had the second best defensive rating on the team among players who played over twenty minutes (Only behind Markieff Morris).
The Los Angeles bench mob once again showed up in a big way. Alex Caruso led the way with 16 points on 5/9 shooting, and once again, the legend of Playoff Rondo continues to grow. Rondo was close to recording a triple double scoring 11 points on 5/8 shooting while dishing out eight assists and grabbing ten rebounds. KCP also recorded ten points.
For Houston, man do we have a problem. Russell Westbrook had finally been performing how he should be and with more consistency. That doesn’t sound like a problem does it? No, it isn’t. That isn’t the problem in Houston. The problem is when one superstar is on a roll, the other is ice cold.
James Harden was absolutely horrendous last night. Despite scoring 21 points and dishing out ten assists, Harden was awful because he quite literally shot Houston out of the game with his egregious efficiency. He shot 2/11 from the field, which is under 20% and it’s the eighth time in his career in the postseason he has “accomplished” such a feat.
It’s the same story with Houston every year. They have a problem. Down three games to one, the window is just about closed on their season and their opportunity to secure a championship in the James Harden era. This was their best chance. When a problem arises, the only thing that must occur is change.