Los Angeles Lakers: Scouting Rockets vs Thunder for Round 2

Los Angeles Lakers(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

The Los Angeles Lakers are onto the next — either the Houston Rockets or Oklahoma City Thunder.

Congrats to the Los Angeles Lakers for advancing to the second round. I was wrong in thinking the Portland Trailblazers would take them to seven games. They just ran out of gas two games before I expected.

Russell Westbrook proved to be the difference in this series. The Houston Rockets have the Oklahoma City Thunder figured out. Even if Westbrook did not play his usual allotment of minutes, his impact on both ends was immeasurable.

With Westbrook, Houston is just objectively better. OKC is out of adjustments to make in order to gain the upper hand against Houston. Unless if OKC can win the next two games, the Houston Rockets will be the LA Lakers’ second-round opponent.

But what if OKC advances?

However, I must do my due diligence in my scouting report. In the unlikely event that OKC wins these next two games to advance, I have one idea to stop OKC’s offense: put Anthony Davis on OKC wing Luguentz Dort, a defensive specialist who is not a good shooter.

True, Dort has been OKC’s designated Harden stopper all series long. He would be labeled a hero rising out of the ashes of obscurity if OKC advances. Dort is the perfect Harden stopper because they often go up against each other in their summer runs at Arizona State University (both are former Sun Devils).

But Dort cannot fall on grass even if he was in the middle of a football field! He went 0-9 from three-point range last night.

The Lakers should put AD on Dort and let him be a free safety on defense. Playing 4 on 5 with AD as the extra defender is quite the difficult challenge to overcome.

OKC will have to play their best lineup early: Chris Paul, Dennis Schroeder, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as a three-headed monster. LeBron James will punish each of them in the low post.

OKC would not be able to stop either LeBron or AD on defense while simultaneously scoring enough points on offense to keep up.

Going back to Houston: what should the Los Angeles Lakers be looking for in terms of a scouting report? I have two preliminary thoughts on how the Lakers can beat Houston on both offense and defense.