James Harden On Why Lakers Don’t Worry Him At All
James Harden was brimming with confidence on Monday. Despite his team losing Game 2 of their second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers just one day earlier, the former NBA MVP did not seem worried.
As far as Harden could see, the Houston Rockets withstood LA’s best punch and are convinced they know how to respond going forward.
“Each player on our team is in a good place,” he said.
“I think last night, even though we lost, we’re even more confident that we have a chance, because we didn’t play well and we let some of their role players get off, which we can control. Our confidence is skyrocketing.”
After being down by as many as 21 points at one stage, Houston came back to take the lead late. Ultimately, despite a horrific showing by Russell Westbrook and some unexpected outputs by key Lakers role players, the Rockets only lost by eight.
As far as Harden is concerned, his team will go into Game 3 knowing precisely what to expect out of the opposing defense.
“We’re so good, that teams have got to throw in traps, or throw in zones, or whatnot,” he said.
“We’ve just got to do what we do. A zone or a trap, it kind of gets us more excited, because we’re going to have more shot opportunities. Guys around me and Russ are going to have more opportunities to get going offensively. That’s what we want.
“Because offensively, me and Russ are able to get any shot we want to at any time. We watched film of the traps and the zones and things like that, ways that we can attack it, and tomorrow we’ll be better at it.”
Yikes Odell. https://t.co/WY2q4NBgRz
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 8, 2020
After scoring 20 points in the first quarter of Game 2, Houston scored a combined 89 points over the next three. It certainly seemed like they either clicked offensively, or figured out LA defensively, throughout the last 75 percent of the game.
All in all, Game 3 between the Rockets and Lakers will be very telling. If the latter squad emerges victorious, it means Frank Vogel and Co. really did figure out a defensive scheme to slow down Harden and Westbrook. Should Houston win, it will break open a dam that the Lakers may not be able to stop as the series progresses.