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Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Lakers game preview

Lakers Rockets at Staples Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Houston Rockets take on a familiar foe in Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Houston is on a 4-game losing streak, and LA is on a 5-game losing streak of their own. Without Anthony Davis, the team has been in free fall.

It’s surprising to me that so many were ready to crown the Lakers as the favorites in the West in the offseason after their acquisition of Westbrook. As we’ve seen in Oklahoma City, Houston, and Washington, a team that depends on Russ to play a major role has no shot at contending for a title. On any given night, he can be a whirling dervish and have a monster game and lead his team to a win. However, more often than not he’s doing things that lead to losing: poor shooting, soft defense, and general apathy when the ball isn’t in his hands.

Additionally, the Lakers followed up the Russ trade with the signing of the oldest free agent class of all time. Trevor Ariza played in two games after an injury before landing in the COVID protocols. Rajon Rondo has appeared in 18 games. Kent Bazemore, whom Rockets fans were clamoring for just a few seasons ago, has a PER of 6.31. That’s the equivalent of “He checked into the game and immediately checked back out.”

I know the internet wants the Rockets to trade John Wall, Eric Gordon, and Jae’Sean Tate to the Lakers for Westbrook. Houston isn’t going to save the Lakers.

They’re just going to let the Lakers win tonight.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest