Game Four Preview: Lakers look to take commanding lead over Rockets

Lakers
Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images

After their 112-102 victory in Game Three, the Lakers will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over Houston. A win would certainly take all the pressure off LA, and put Houston on the brink of elimination and a very uncomfortable offseason. Now, join us at the Alter of Playoff Rondo as we preview some keys for the Lakers in Game Four.

Bench Mob

In Game Three, the Lakers’ bench outscored Houston’s 42-16. The Rockets looked shorthanded without key man Danuel House, whose status for Game Four looks murky again.

Obviously most of the work was done by Rondo’s 21 points, but that everybody was contributing is what Vogel would want to see as the Lakers get closer to the Conference Finals. Houston’s bench has been poor this series, and the Lakers must keep winning the non-Harden minutes as he shifts to the bench.

Year 17 Never Looked So Good

Small ball, big ball, it doesn’t matter who’s on the floor when one team has LeBron James. The 35 year old didn’t look a day over 26 as he steamrolled through the Rockets to the tune of 36-7-5 last game. The Rockets clearly have no answers for him, and James’ dominance has put the Lakers in a wonderful spot as they try to put this series on ice.

Rotation

Vogel’s played AD as the 5 a lot, with Dwight not playing a single minute this series and JaVale McGee playing through some injuries. This has paid off immeasurably, with Davis regularly imposing his will on Houston at both ends of the court. Despite the success, Coach Vogel was optimistic about getting his guys on the court:

Markieff Morris has played well in particular, with his defense and ability to make deeper shots keeping him on the floor. Both Lakers wins in this series have come with increased Morris minutes (he played nine minutes in the Game One loss).

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