The Game 5 match up between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets was much less competitive than projected. The Lakers got off to a strong start and largely had no issues closing out a team that looked defeated.
Los Angeles’ defense throughout the series was suffocating but it was especially stifling in Game 5 as Houston could not manage to generate their normal amount of 3-point attempts as they were constantly run off the line.
The Lakers also seemed happy to let Russell Westbrook isolate against the set defense and shoot wide open jumpers, much to the detriment of the Rockets offense.
With the game’s result clearly decided in the fourth quarter, Westbrook and Rajon Rondo’s brother William Rondo got involved in an incident where the latter taunted the point guard. Westbrook took exception with his comments and William Rondo was escorted out of the arena.
According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, William is not expected to be ousted from the bubble but his status as a guest for future games is unclear:
While it’s uncertain when William Rondo will be allowed to attend another Lakers game, he is not expected to be kicked out of the bubble after his verbal run-in with Russell Westbrook last night, source to @TheUndefeated. More on @RajonRondo brother here: https://t.co/sme8OreNZn
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 13, 2020
Westbrook had a terrible night shooting the basketball, going only 4-of-13 from the field and missing all three of his looks from beyond the arc. His lack of offensive production coupled with the chippiness throughout the game only exacerbated the issue, and now the Rondo brothers will have to wait and see what the league decides to do.
On top of being the brother to the veteran Lakers point guard, William additionally is overseeing the barbershop and concierge services inside the bubble.
Anthony Davis believes dominating performances instill confidence
After some shaky showings in the seeding games, the Lakers are locked in and appear to be peaking at the perfect time.
Blowing out the Rockets in consecutive games was impressive given how dangerous their small ball offense was, so Anthony Davis thinks that those types of performances only feed into the team’s belief in themselves.
“It gives a little bit more confidence, especially with the way we played offensively,” Davis said. “It gives our shooters and role players a lot more confidence going into this next series. And defensively, the way we played: guys being on a string, guys talking, guys covering for each other.
“It just gives us a lot more confidence to put pressure on the ball, knowing someone is going to have your back. The way we finished the last two games in this series is very impactful and it’s going to help us in the next round.”
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