It is the tradition, every year each series of Playoffs is entitled to its house predictions. Sometimes that shows all our expertise, while other times the world wonders why some people call us “specialists”. 2020 is no exception to the rule, so let’s get wet without further ado, and we invite you to do the same.
Ben: Lakers – 4-2
The Purple and Gold have mastered their subject in the first round of the Playoffs and will have accumulated practically a week of rest before crossing James Harden and his gang. Getting started could be a bit tricky again, but after that I don’t see the Rockets’ micro-ball getting in the way too much for the King in his quest for a fourth ring. AD will turn 40-15 on the series, McGee and Superman will be able to enjoy themselves too and apart from an exceptional evening at the address for Houston, which should inevitably happen at some point, the final note should be steep. Either way, the two LA teams have already made an appointment in FDC since almost the start of the season. It had to be done early!
Nicolas M. : Lakers – 4-3
Very intriguing series given the completely different styles of the two teams. The Rockets’ miniball on one side, the Lakers and their size on the other, it promises a very interesting fight, plus two very explosive duos with the LeBron – AD duel against Harden and Westbrook. On a misunderstanding, with their unique style, we think the Rockets have a chance against the leader of the West, and I think the series will be close. But at the same time, it’s always difficult to have confidence in Houston during the Playoffs, and the first round was not very reassuring at this level, on the contrary. So no, I can’t predict in favor of the Rockets on a series against LeBron, which is running at full speed with a Davis who should be feasting by his side. Lakers in 7, with a shot from Gérard on the Bearded Man in the decisive match. Because Gérard is not Luguentz Dort.
Alexandre : Lakers – 4-1
It’s hard to imagine the Rockets beating the Lakers with what these two teams just showed in the first round. The Angelinos have serious defenders to put on Harden and Westbrook as well as top-tier interiors to protect the circle behind the defensive front curtain. The interiors, let’s talk about … How can the Rockets hope to contain Anthony Davis? When we see what AD did to the Nurkic-Whiteside pair we can be worried about PJ Tucker and Jeff Green. Of course, Houston has talent and an ability to score which will allow him to be dangerous especially as the Rockets are surely mentally boosted after this game 7 won in difficulty. They will continue to play their game and have some real arguments but the march seems too high against LeBron James and his family.
Giovanni : Lakers – 4-0
I can’t wait to see how these Lakers will put pressure on this series, facing a team from Houston as unusual as they are exhausted by a grueling first round. 4-0 it may seem a little radical, but to temper I would say that I still see a “balanced” series in the content, with Lakers who calmly make the difference in each game by relying on an Anthony Davis who should turn in 55/19 the whole series. The Rockets’ backcourt will probably make some notable perfs fart, but RIP ahead of those gentlemen PJ Tucker, Robert Covington or Jeff Green who may well suffer the wrath of the AD / LeBron. The Clippers are on track to smoke their running back, so the Lakers will have to do the same so as not to land too blunt in the Conference Final. The Texan joke has gone on long enough, we let the grown-ups play now.
Antoine : Lakers – 4-1
The series that all Pop Corn lovers are looking forward to. A team which plays with a pivot of 1m75 well packed against a team whose leader is 2m03, the tone is set. After passing the Blazers without too much difficulty, the Lakers are in total confidence since LeBron and AD are hot as embers. No Lu Dort to defend Harden or Westbrook but seeing what they showed us in the first round, I can’t believe this Rockets team, especially coached by Mike D’Antoni. If the Lakers play seriously without taking Houston lightly, it’s 4-1 (or even 4-0 if AD turns 40-20). Meeting at the final of the conf ‘for the band at BronBron.
Nicolas V. : Lakers – 4-1
The Rockets will therefore be the next opponents of the Lakers on a mission to pay homage to the Black Mamba. The diagram, in form, is not so far apart as the one applied versus OKC for the Rockets: if the shots come in, it will do it, but if the machine stalls, then we get together and we all pray together for may the adversary be lenient. If it was against the Thunder because the friends of Chris Paul have sometimes shown disinterest in the match, this time it is LeBron James and especially Anthony Davis who show up in front. Two tall guys, who together dominate the five positions, including the racket where Houston doesn’t have a big man? Ouch, in fact Brodie, El Barbudo and all the clique will have to be at the gala every game night. This time, it’s the real test for Mike D’Antoni’s philosophy of play, and it could be explosive… Well not too much, Harden well contained, Westbrook in mason mode and stained underwear, that makes 4-1 for the Purple and Gold and head for the West Summit for the King and his cronies.
Leo: Lakers – 4-2
Lakers eager to find the field after a short week of rest against the Rockets passed very close to the disaster: James Harden’s teammates barely escaped but showed no sign of control with end management sometimes dubious match in attack. A first round not very brilliant therefore on the side of Houston which necessarily worries before facing the leader in the West, finally ready to get down to business. Anthony Davis risks doing a hell of a job and the Lakers will surely dominate this series without forcing too much. With a James Harden a little more in boss mode, a more rhythmic Russell Westbrook, less pressure and success from afar, the Rockets should be able to snatch one or two games, but no more. Be careful at the start of the series with this always a little tricky matchup, but LeBron and company should do the job.
Alexandre T. : Lakers – 4-3
To see the first round of Houston, one might think that this series will be dispatched by the Lakers but in fact not. The Rockets may have been very average in the game, but defensively they have been good overall since the resumption. Even the Barbudo was very correct in this half of the field. Big style opposition between dwarves and giants on the floor: the tallest of the Houston five pointing at 2m01 while the smallest of the Lakers is at 1m96 … There will be adjustments to be made during the series, the coaches will clearly be on the grill, Harden and Westbrook are going to wake up because hitting the Lakers is always motivating. A very tight poster but ultimately won by the Lakers with an AD in TTFL mode. What about a factor X Kyle Kuzma?