Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers on 2/18/14

With 29 games left to go, the Rockets are sitting in 3rd place in the Western Conference playoff picture.  What a difference a year makes for both the Lakers and the Rockets.  Dwight Howard’s decision to come to the Rockets is looking very smart now.  What an environmental change for Dwight.  This Rockets team is on an upswing that looks to last for at least a couple of years and the Lakers, well, the Lakers are losing at a pace not seen in LA for many years.

The Lakers personnel and management decisions have been crashing down on them for over a year now.  I live in Southern California and talk radio sure has changed in the afternoon with the decline of the Lakers.  There is so much for a Laker fan to complain about.  The hiring of D’Antoni has been the worst choice of all and that bad decision has spread the karma out for years to come.  Management also failed big time with the contract to Nash and the big contract to Kobe.  Injuries also have hurt this year with Kobe, Nash, Blake and Gasol all out for significant times.  Now it seems that Kobe is considering taking the rest of the year off to rehab and rest.  What’s the point of him coming back this season anyway?  To try to move up on the all-time scoring list?

I predicted earlier that the Lakers have to move Gasol.  I still think they will.  Why would they keep him?  There has been no talk of trying to re-sign Gasol after this year, and he doesn’t fit into D’Antoni’s schemes.  The Lakers are obviously at a rock bottom and trading Gasol could help to start the bounce back.  They are focusing on keeping their cap space available, so they won’t be willing to take back longer, expensive contracts.  The big dream in LA is to get Kevin Love and it seems like the Lakers wants to have at least the cap space available when Love is a free agent.  Trading Gasol for draft picks will be hard because teams are holding tight for what is projected to be a great draft.

Going after Melo is also talked about in LA, but Kobe says he won’t recruit to get him.  What?  Kobe may have a lot of rings and points, but not too many players would want to put up with his drama these days.  Howard was convinced to come to Houston due to the rapport Parsons developed with him, and his awkward relationship with Kobe.  It’s going to be a long few years for the Lakers as Kobe finishes up his career, Nash fades away and they try to lure an elite player with only their history as an attractor.  This is the lowest the Lakers have been, maybe ever.

As the Lakers sink, the Rockets are rising.  The question is how high and how fast.  They definitely have potential for this year to be their year, if the stars align and the playoff seedings are favorable.  We could be looking at a deep run into the playoffs, the likes Houston hasn’t seen for years.  Houston could also stumble and lose in the first round regardless of seeding.  This year has been remarkably inconsistent for Houston, and though the Rockets have won 7 in a row, their roller coaster ride could reappear at any moment.

The Rockets schedule looks a lot tougher over the next month than it has been of late, so Houston needs to pick up wins at every opportunity.  They need to win this game.  The schedule will allow the Rockets some time with playoff basketball atmosphere.  As they continue to gel, they’ll have to work on including Asik and Smith in the rotation (if there isn’t a last minute trade), and keep working on their confidence and ability to win in crunch time against the elite teams.

Morey sure has been quite this year with a team that now sits at 4 in Stein’s Power Rankings.  I don’t blame him.  It’s always easier to shake up a team that doesn’t have much of a chance, since there’s a lot less to lose.  I don’t believe Morey thinks that this is a team that wins a championship.  It’s close, but he’s looking at the next two years as well.  This next month will tell a lot about the Rockets future. But, let’s take it a game at time, set the tone, and push the Lakers around on their home floor on Wednesday night.

View this discussion from the forum.

This entry was posted in game coverage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Login to leave a comment.
Total comments: 16
  • YaoMan says 1 month ago

    Now we know why AB is on the side :( Hope he gets more playing time in Denver.

    Agreed. I've always liked AB and always root for him to be successful (of course just not vs. the Rockets in the W/L column!) I feel like AB has done like 3 tours with the Rockets. Hope he comes back to the team after he's done playing in some shape or form.

  • redfaithful says 1 month ago

    Now we know why AB is on the side :( Hope he gets more playing time in Denver.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    This was on the plane ride back from LA. Looks like the guys are having a good laugh at Lakers fans' expense

    LINK

  • YaoMan says 1 month ago

    I'd just like to remind everybody that this exists...

    iUG0TvSrnC25D_original.gif?1373068385

    After last night's game, this is how I imagine the Rockets locker room...except with some nae nae thrown in....for those who don't know what a nae nae is, ENJOY

    Why is Aaron Brooks on the side street dancing by himself? LOL! Love it!

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I'd just like to remind everybody that this exists...

    iUG0TvSrnC25D_original.gif?1373068385

    After last night's game, this is how I imagine the Rockets locker room...except with some nae nae thrown in....for those who don't know what a nae nae is, ENJOY

  • SadLakerFan says 2 months ago

    That's better then the Showtime Lakers.

    That was just brutal, but there are times when no amount of strategy, coaching, effort or team chemistry will overcome the simple gap in pure physical ability. The 86-87 Showtime Lakers would often have on the floor no less than four guys who had beenthe number 1 pick of the draft their particular year (Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Mychal Thompson) - all threats to score, and none shorter than 6-9.* * sighs nostalgically * *

  • senkay says 2 months ago

    Even room for a little more Asik and Howard experiment. Lakers look worse than ever, and the Rockets getting 8 in a row. McHale should rest everyone, give Asik some time, make him run. Harden hitting! Nearly 100 with a minute left in the third.

  • Steven says 2 months ago

    Lakers starting five - Marshall, Johnson, Kelly, Meeks and Kaman. Holy crap!

    That's better then the Showtime Lakers.
  • SadLakerFan says 2 months ago Lakers starting five - Marshall, Johnson, Kelly, Meeks and Kaman. Holy crap!
  • Steven says 2 months ago

    I've never seen this level of play. You guys are so lucky

    That is what happens when someone signs your best player.
  • bladad says 2 months ago

    Don't think the injuries were as extensive or as long term as the ones the Lakers are experiencing right now,

  • Buckko says 2 months ago We went through the ringer at the beginning of the season.
  • SadLakerFan says 2 months ago I've never seen this level of play. You guys are so lucky
  • Sir Thursday says 2 months ago

    Nice Post. Can someone tell me which players are injured in the Lakers?

    The impression I get is that "all of them" wouldn't be far from the truth. :P

    Here's ESPN's injury report. The gory details:

    Kobe Bryant (out - knee)

    Steve Nash (day-to-day/doubtful - back)

    Nick Young (out - knee)

    Pau Gasol (out/questionable - groin)

    Xavier Henry (out - knee)

    Jordan Farmar (out/doubtful - hamstring)

    Jodie Meeks (day-to-day/will play - ankle)

    That's some of the worst injury luck I've seen in a while. Well, them and the Timberwolves from last season.

    ST

  • SadLakerFan says 2 months ago Kobe's out, and Nash, Gasol and Farmar are all doubtful. Kupchak was quoted as suggesting that the Lakers might be looking to add pieces "for a playoff run". He either thinks the fans are idiots, or he's gone through the gates of Cinderella's castle and is officially in Fantasyland. Depressing.
  • 08huangj says 2 months ago

    Nice Post. Can someone tell me which players are injured in the Lakers?