MasterIchiro wrote:I mean, I don't think the Rockets will beat Lebron, but if they do, will it damage Wiseman's stock? Imagine if the Rockets made the NBA Finals without a traditional center. It's like they're trying to kill off the position.
When you have two guards as unique as Westbrook and Harden who combine for 60 points and each push triple doubles on the regular it can change the composition of a team.
Same with the Warriors, which has been explained adnauseam.
These teams are the exceptions, not the norm.
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The Lakers played their best basketball of game 1 with McGee on the court. They were +5 in his 13 minutes and everyone else that played outside of garbage time had a negative +/-. Based on game one, it looked like McGee needs at least slightly more minutes (at the expense of Howard, who probably shouldn't play at all).
Basically three things killed the Lakers in game 1.
Rondo is completely unplayable and Vogel gave him 23 minutes during the crucial part of the game. Houston completely ignored him when the Lakers were on offense and overloaded 5v4 to stop Lebron/AD. The Lakers weren't able to generate any quality shots when Rondo was in the game and he also wasn't able to defend anyone. The only time you should be playing someone who can be completely ignored on offense, which doesn't actually include centers like McGee who can't be ignored on rolls or when camping in the dunker slot, is when they are valuable defenders, for example Lou Dort. Even Dort might be a bigger offensive threat than Rondo because he can at least attack the basket and finish in advantage situations.
Kuzma got absolutely torched on defense. Kuzma isn't a very good defender and had an especially bad game by his already lackluster standards. The Lakers still need him because he can score, but he needs to do better on defense going forward and they need to stop sabotaging their offense by playing Rondo and keep as much shooting on the floor as possible.
The Lakers were cold from behind the arc. They struggled to get good looks for a lot of the game, but no one other than Lebron and AD was able to really capitalize on the good looks they did get.
The two individual players who really hurt the Lakers were a pass first point guard who isn't a threat to score from anywhere on the court and is a weak defender, and an offensive PF who is a weak defender.
Houston played a good game, but lets also not forget that they were a couple shots/bounces going differently from losing in the first round to an OKC team with zero all-stars being led by old ass Chris Paul and playing Steven Adams 30+ minutes a game.