3 reasons why Houston may stand a chance vs the Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Reason #1: Houston’s last stand is an unspoken – but powerful – narrative

Basketball is a team sport. I dislike hearing about individual narratives more than anyone else. I write about specific in-game strategies, not overarching narratives. I prefer to leave the narrative talk to different writers.

With that said, here is an overarching narrative: this is Houston’s last stand. Coach Mike D’Antoni’s contract is expiring after this season. Both James Harden and Russell Westbrook are 31. PJ Tucker is 35. The win-now narrative is a real motivator here. Again, I dislike narratives. But Houston is in championship-or-bust mode.

People forget Houston had home court for Game 7 in the 2018 playoffs vs the Golden State Warriors. Houston would have had been NBA champions had it not been for 27 consecutive missed three-pointers.

They are desperate to get to the Promised Land for the first time since the Clutch City days (AKA the mid-1990’s). Desperate times cause people to do desperate things.

Houston’s power trust, GM Daryl Morey and coach Mike D’Antoni, knew their chances to get to that level again were slipping so they burned the boats, making the Capela for Covington trade.

Smart move.

Playing without a center was made out of necessity, not by choice. Capela and Westbrook were borderline unplayable together. They both need an uncluttered paint to flourish. The move to trade Capela for Covington was intended for Westbrook to flourish in an offense with four shooters surrounding him.

Sounds good in theory. But this is what has happened in reality.

But never count out a desperate team. Houston is desperate. They are an aging team with an unproven style of play. Ownership may decide to completely rebuild the team after this season.

Forget the narrative! What about facts?