NBA, Playoff Blogger Faceoff / May 4, 2009 / 4:07 pm

NBA Playoff Blogger Faceoff Round 2: Lakers vs. Rockets

Welcome to our first ever NBA Playoff Blogger Faceoff, where we pit our favorite team-related writers against each other to let them tell why the teams they represent will win their first round matchups. We gave them no set format, no style guide – we just told them to do their thing. Check it out and join in the debate in the comments section.

Next up: 1. Lakers vs. 5. Rockets

Written by Kurt of ForumBlueandGold

The Lakers are going to advance past the Rockets simply because they can outscore them. Houston is a good defensive team, but they try to funnel everything into Yao Ming (with good reason), the problem is the Lakers can attack with many different weapons from many different places on the court, they cannot be funneled as easily as the TrailBlazers were.

Also, the Lakers will run this series, getting down the court and getting mismatches in transition, as the Rockets bigs do not run well and only Yao blocks shots well. The Lakers will wear Yao down — harder to do than it was a couple years ago, but it can be done. They also will attack him directly and try to get him in foul trouble, getting him out of the game.

While all this is happening, the Rockets offense is pretty basic — get the ball to Yao. The problem becomes if you can stymie that they have nobody (outside Von Wafer off the bench) that can create his own shot. The result is Ron Artest jacking up a contested jumper. The Lakers in the crunch can shut down the Rockets — the Rockets cannot do the same to the Lakers.

Then there is Kobe Bryant. Despite what you read in the New York Times, Kobe shot 53% against the Rockets this year and 50% from three, scoring 28 points a game in some of his most efficient play. The Rockets really have no good answer for this, and they can’t match the scoring output.

Written by David Clark of TheDreamShake

Yes, the rumors you have heard are true. The Houston Rockets will defeat the Los Angeles Lakers. Why? The Rockets simply have nothing to lose.

After clearing the first-round hurdle with a convincing series victory over the upstart Blazers, the Rockets no longer have any pressure. Instead of Tracy McGrady sulking around and disappearing in the fourth quarter, the Rockets now feature Ron “Crazy Pills” Artest, the man who is so relaxed he will go into the stands to share a beer with fans mid-game — and then turn a post-game interview into an impromptu comedy routine. No longer are the Rockets timid or unsure. This version is a whole different animal. (*Insert obligatory “Wolverine” movie advertisement here.*)

On the flip side, the Lakers have the burden of expectations. A humbling defeat in the NBA Finals last year supposedly has Kobe Bryant obsessed with winning it all this year. The Rockets, however, are the only team that can throw two elite defenders on Bryant at all times. Artest has already started the mind games when he stated that Brandon Roy — and not Kobe — was the best shooting guard he’s ever had to defend. Kobe may revert to the “old” Kobe, and try too hard to win it by himself. After Artest gets Kobe to turn the series into a 1-on-1 battle, the Rockets win.

While the Lakers do have Kobe … the Rockets have an answer. Two, in fact. But the Rockets have Yao Ming. And no one has an answer for the Great Wall. Andrew Bynum is not in the Hall of Fame yet. No matter how many Laker fans want to put him there already. Prepare to be humbled, Mr. Bynum.

In Round 2, Yao Ming re-asserts his status as the best center in the NBA. The Rockets win.

Check out all of the Blogger Faceoff Series HERE

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  • the antoine

    the rockets answer to kobe is letting him shoot 53% and score 28.3 a game.. nice

  • LAballer

    um..so the rockets win cause artest makes funny jokes at a press conference? thats what you got goin for you? …hahahaha

  • dk

    Byant over the ” MVP ” in six… Are the Rockets still a squad… Is there a real reason to discuss anything outside of how LA and Clevland matchup….

  • E$

    I can’t wait to hear the excuses from “Fakerland”

  • pslakerfan

    Sorry guys, the Rockets will take this series in 7 games. Kobe is getting old and is too run down. As much as I want my Lakers to win this series, I just don’t see it happening.

  • KCL

    Um, im pretty sure kobe has destroyed Ron-Ron everytime Ron tries to go “1 on 1″ with kobe, they’ll be lucky to get two wins out of this series

  • DTC

    Not trying to be mean, but the Rockets side of the argument is kind of weak. So Houston will win because they are relaxed and the Lakers will cave under the pressure? That is a whole lotta assumptions about mindsets and attitudes. Any X and Os reasons why Houston will outplay the Lakers? Matchups?

  • KobesNeyeG

    PSlakerfan- please stop pretending you are a fan of the Lakers. You come off as an idiot and you are not fooling anyone.

    People who refer to the Lakers as “Fakers” are idiots and have no imagination. what do they “Fake”. what a moron.

    Lakers shine under pressure (cleveland,Boston)

    It seems that the author is basing his analysis on hopes and dreams. there are no facts to support his opinion.
    I look forward to posting her tonight after the Lakers sweep the floor with the Rockets.

    And NO ONE in LA thinks that Bynum is better than Yao Ming at this point. We think he has tremendous upside and could be a Hall of Famer one day. Bynum was putting up better stats that Yao the weeks before he went down but that doesnt make him an All-Star yet.

    Enjoy your last hurrah Houston because you only have 5 games left in your season.

  • BCR

    Agree with DTC. The Houston argument basically boils down to: “Everyone expects us to lose; therefore, we’re going to win because the Lakers have too much expectations.”

    Lakers in 5. Kurt is on the ball — Houston can’t score enough on the Lakers and can’t stop their offense well enough.


    Rockets are taking this series because of the “D” of battier and artest and the fact that pau gasol is playing PF. When he plays C he tears Yao apart with his speed and his outside jumper, but since he is on the PF, Scola can keep him to about <15 per game if he really trys. It seems impossible to most people but just wait till RonRon explodes and shows his true skill

  • QQ

    I think the Lakers will absolutely destroy the Rockets, but I love the Houston blogger’s style.

    ‘Instead of Tracy McGrady sulking around and disappearing in the fourth quarter…’

    Take that, Austin Burton!!! LOL.

    You see, REAL fans (as opposed to fucking blind fanboys) see the good AND the bad in their teams. They are willing to admit what is wrong with their favorite player, and are willing to let go if letting go is absolutely necassary.

    Austin Burton, on the other hand…

    Let’s just say he cries himself to sleep every time he hears someone hate on T-Mac. Just like what every good couple should do.

    PS: The Rockets DON’T need T-Mac.

    Just… Don’t.

  • doc

    wow..lakers straight shot jumpshots throughout the whole game, were they even tired afterwards? if i jack up 30 shots and don’t get to the line.

  • E$
  • SWAT

    and a hush falls over the laker fans…HAHA!!

  • pslakerfan

    Told you.

    Rockets will win this series.

  • SagJism

    great game Rockets, We will be back Wednesday to see if you can get 2?

  • flowrunner

    lol where all you laker fans at now? hahaha great prediction pslakerfan. most laker fans are to blind from ignorance to realize that the lakers areant that great.