Stephen A. Smith On Why The Rockets Don’t Fear The Lakers | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The Houston Rockets reformulated their lineup this winter, adding Russell Westbrook as a complement to James Harden in an attempt to keep up with the arms race that has become the NBA Western Conference. Even with that retooling, however, they have lagged behind two other teams that overhauled, both of them from Los Angeles: the Clippers landed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, while the Lebron led Lakers tacked on Anthony Davis. All of this, and a resurgent Nuggets team, has stymied the Rockets in fourth place. Team owner Tilman Fertitta made news this week by stating that he’s not worried about the stranglehold LA has on the league, saying, “None of us fear LA or the Clippers or Denver like we feared Golden State. We could easily win the West this year or get knocked out in the first round.”
Stephen A. Smith of First Take explained why he believes Houston doesn’t have the same level of respect for the Lakers they had for the Warriors in the past.
“With Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, they were literally a threat from the moment they stepped past half court,” Smith said, explaining that the Warriors unbelievable three point range exposed other weaknesses in teams’ defenses by forcing them to space much further out. “It’s one of those situations where he’s (Tilman) like, I don’t look at anybody as unbeatable. That elevates our chances.”
The Warriors were already impossible to guard before they added Kevin Durant, and it was a team that just came at you in waves. There was a reason they were a near mortal lock to at least make the Finals annually. None of this year’s teams are on that level, and that’s probably a good thing for the league.
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Stephen A. Smith On Why The Rockets Don’t Fear The Lakers | TooAthletic.com