Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers: Match Preview and Predictions - 6th February 2020
Date & Time: Thursday, 6th February 2020 (10:30 pm ET)
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Last Game Results
Houston Rockets (32-18): 125-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets (4th February, Tuesday)
Los Angeles Lakers (24-5): 129-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs (4th February, Tuesday)
Houston Rockets Preview
This match-up will be pretty interesting as we'll get to see the Houston Rockets for the first time after trading Clint Capela, Nenê, Gerald Green, and a first-round pick for Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, and the Warriors' 2024 second. They have been trying to get RoCo since early in the season and they finally had it worked out. This happened, however, at the expense of their only true center that can play big minutes.
While the ownership have dodged the luxury tax for now and will most likely look for a center in the buyout market, the new-look team will face one of the biggest lineups in the league at Staples. The Rockets are coming off of a 15-point win over the Charlotte Hornets, with James Harden finishing a rebound shy of a 40-point triple-double as he tallied 40 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.
Key Player - PJ Tucker
Tucker may not be the first, second, or even third option of Houston, but he will play a much more vital role moving forward. At 6'5", he will be key to this game as he'll be guarding guys like Anthony Davis, McGee, and Howard while also being the last line of defense against an elite slasher in LeBron James. We already saw Harden come out for the jump ball to start the game last Tuesday, and this speaks volumes about how Tucker would be compensating for whatever size the Rockets lack.
This will be a long night for the 34-year-old, and he should look to use his smarts to keep the Lakers' bigs in check. On offense, he should look to keep drawing his defenders to the perimeter and shoot the open looks he's given.
Rockets Predicted Lineup
Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Eric Gordon, Robert Covington, PJ Tucker
Los Angeles Lakers Preview
The Lakers are still on top of the Western Conference and will look to defend their home court once more after defeating the Spurs last Tuesday. In true LeBron James fashion, the star once again impressed as he scored 36 points on top of 9 assists and 7 rebounds that included five straight three-pointers in the final quarter of the game.
This was a great win for the team as they split their last two games after taking a game off last week with the shocking loss of Laker legend Kobe Bryant.
The Purple and Gold will look to exploit the Rockets' lack of size this next game as they end their two-game homestand this Thursday.
Key Player - Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis will be key in their next game as he'll be matched up against the much smaller Rockets team. The 6'10 forward should look to start the game aggressively and tire out Covington, Tucker, and the other players they throw at him early into the game. He should also take advantage of this matchup and look out for offensive rebounds to give his team extra possessions.
On the other side of the floor, Davis should protect the rim with Javale and Dwight and force the Rockets out to limit their offense. With Houston running four-guard lineups, Davis should bring out his elite defense to guard the Rockets players on the perimeter and force them to pass and disturb their schemes.
The seven-time All-Star only tallied 18 points, 1 assist, and 4 rebounds in their last game against the Spurs, and he should come into this next game looking to have a field day against the Rockets.
Lakers Predicted Lineup
Avery Bradley, Danny Green, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee
Rockets vs Lakers Match Prediction
This could be one of the most-watched match-ups this second half of the season as we're looking at two teams with entirely opposite philosophies. The Lakers' big lineup and great chemistry could very well defeat the Rockets' lack of a true big man and a new addition who hasn't played with them yet. This should be a win for the Lakers, especially with them playing at home where they have a 17-6 record.
Where to Watch Rockets vs Lakers?
The game will be nationally televised on TNT. You can also stream it live via NBA League Pass.Published 06 Feb 2020, 05:00 IST