Houston Rockets vs LA Lakers Game 1 Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Houston Rockets are coming off of a seven-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- The last time the Los Angeles Lakers played was on August 29th.
- The Lakers and the Rockets have met eight times previously in NBA Playoffs history.
Rockets vs Lakers Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Houston Rockets||+6.5 -110||O 225 -112||+205|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-6.5 -110||U 225 -109||-250|
Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
Rockets vs Lakers Predictions and Picks
Coming off of a seven-game series with only one day of rest since, the Houston Rockets look to be at a decided disadvantage against the Los Angeles Lakers. We expect the Lakers to come out of the gate fast.
Los Angeles Lakers def. Houston Rockets -250
How to Watch Rockets vs Lakers
|Rockets vs Lakers Information|
|What||Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Friday, September 4th, 2020; 9:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
Head-to-Head: Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers
|Houston Rockets||Head-to-Head||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Mike D’Antoni||Head Coach||Frank Vogel|
|44-28 (4th in West, 8th Overall)||Standing||52-19 (1st in West, 3rd Overall)|
|112.9 (6th of 30)||Off Rtg||112.0 (11th of 30)|
|110.1 (14th of 30)||Def Rtg||106.3 (3rd of 30)|
|103.7 (3rd of 30)||Pace||100.9 (11th of 30)|
Playoff Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Harden (29.7)||PPG||A. Davis (29.8)|
|P. Tucker (7.7)||RPG||L. James (10.2)|
|J. Harden (8.0)||APG||L. James (10.2)|
|R. Covington (2.4)||SPG||A. Caruso (1.6)|
|R. Covington (1.6)||BPG||A. Davis (1.6)|
|J. Green (.507)/J. Harden (9.4)||FG%/FGM||J. McGee (.714)/A. Davis (10.2)|
|R. Covington (.500)/J. Harden (3.6)||3P%/3PM||Q. Cook (.500)/T-Caldwell-Pope, James (2.6)|
Can Houston’s Pace Outdo the Lakers?
The Houston Rockets had a difficult matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. Young, capable, and full of intent, the Thunder were able to keep up with Houston’s deadly pace and pushed them to seven games. Against the Lakers, the Rockets will have to contend with an even more talented group.
Already small on the inside, the Rockets will have to deal with two of the league’s most dangerous inside presences in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While the Thunder big men weren’t particularly adept offensively, Los Angeles poses a particularly difficult match at the rim.
While the defense is key, mounting an all-out offensive against the Lakers will be crucial for the Rockets. They shot just 35.9% from three, despite converting on about 18 three-point field goals per game. Getting off to a strong start will be the best way for the Rockets to stave off the Lakers.
Can the Lakers’ Defence Contain the Rockets?
You can almost feel bad for the Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt. After playing Portland and their dynamic scoring backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, they’ll now have to contend with the Rockets’ MVP pair of James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers did a solid job against the Trail Blazers in the first round, holding their opponents to 42.6% from the field and 37.9% from three. While Los Angeles still has a lot to work on, they can expect a similar barrage three from the Houston Rockets.
Contending with Houston’s small-ball lineup will be crucial to the Lakers’ success. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will likely dominate the paint no matter what, but how the likes of Javale McGee and Dwight Howard handle Houston’s small-ball lineup may decide the series.
Rockets Key Player: (G) Russell Westbrook
Russ’ 10 in the 3rd have the @HoustonRockets up 5 entering the 4th!
WIN or GO HOME GAME 7 on ESPN pic.twitter.com/sC6V4h8Arv
— NBA (@NBA) September 3, 2020
Former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook only debuted in the 2020 Playoffs in Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round, but he slowly improved his production and efficiency as the series wore on.
In three playoff games, Westbrook averaged 14.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 41.7% shooting from the field. In a closeout Game 7 against the Thunder, Westbrook had his best match with 20 points and nine rebounds on 9-20 shooting from the field.
Westbrook can be the break starter that Houston sorely needed against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Considering the Lakers’ advantage in the half-court, Westbrook’s ability to push the pace will be incredibly valuable.
Lakers Key Player: (G) Danny Green
For once Melo don’t got it pic.twitter.com/xEfJwf8qk2
— KCEgamer (@KCEgamer) August 30, 2020
Two-time NBA Champion Danny Green has been receiving a significant amount of criticism as of late. While his defensive effort stand, his contributions on the offensive end of the court have been far too inconsistent.
In his first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Danny Green shot an average of 22.3% from three in Games 1, 2, and 5. In Games 3 and 4, Green was more efficient by shooting a combined five of nine from deep.
Green’s defensive prowess on Harden and Westbrook will be key. But with the attention that Davis and James create, Green must make an impact on the offensive end.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]