The LA Clippers need to take advantage of the Lakers game one loss.
On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers lost game one to the Houston Rockets 112-97. If the Lakers are still going to advance to the Western Conference Finals like they have been predicted to all year, we now know their series will take at least five games. The LA Clippers need to take advantage of that.
What does that mean? In reality, it means the Clippers need to pull off a sweep of the Denver Nuggets. While that is a tough ask, the Clips seem fully capable of it. Game one’s victory over Denver proved that the Clips don’t have a lot of wholes and have the tools necessary to lock down the Nuggets.
It might be a bit of an overreaction due to Denver having just one day off between games and ew likely need to see how they respond in game two but consider this: Houston also just had one day off between games prior to wiping the floor with the Lakers.
Houston fans, don’t get it twisted. Last night showed some issues for the Lakers and the Rockets really could win this series. Don’t believe me? Here are some quick facts:
- The Rockets have statistically had the best defense in the bubble
- Houston only shot 35.9% from deep. James Harden was at 50% and Eric Gordon was at 37.5%. The rest of the team was horrible from deep.
- Anthony Davis played well, scoring 25 points on 10 of 16 shooting. He was marked as the “key” to beating Houston’s small ball. He played well and the Lakers still lost.
It doesn’t mean that the Rockets will surely win this series but the comparison to round one where the Lakers also lost game one to the Trail Blazers don’t seem accurate. Houston is a real threat.
All that means is that the Clippers need to take care of business as quickly as possible. Although their injury report is clean, any rest for the likes of Patrick Beverley, Paul George, or Kawhi Leonard is an added bonus. We saw last year in the playoffs that while Kawhi remained great, his body started to fail him as the Raptors went deeper and deeper. He might not have the same injury concern this year but why risk it? Ending the series quickly alleviates any possible concerns that may exist.
The Clippers face the Nuggets in game two tonight in Orlando at 6:00 PM PST. Let’s hope they can get it done and go up 2-0.