After another drama-filled game on Monday, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder will face off one last time in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday before the winner moves on to the Western Conference semifinals to play the No. 1 seed, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The series between the Rockets and Thunder is the second series in the Western Conference to go to seven games. The Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets will play Game 7 of their first-round series on Tuesday.
The Lakers are the only team in the Western Conference that won their series in less than six games. The Clippers won their series in exactly six games.
While the Thunder have looked like a formidable opponent in their first-round series against the Rockets, the Lakers would surely rather see Oklahoma City than Houston in the first round. The Lakers lost their regular season series to the Rockets 2-1, with their only win against Houston coming in January, before Daryl Morey swapped every one of the Rockets’ big men for wings that can stretch the floor and play some defense.
The method to Morey’s madness is still unproven, but it’s been successful enough for the Lakers to have appropriate fear of them. That’s not to say the Thunder aren’t a force to be reckoned with, but they’re probably the worst Western Conference team left in the bubble and don’t match up that well with the Lakers. The Lakers are 3-1 against the Thunder this season.
The Rockets also have James Harden, so, yeah.
The Thunder and Rockets will play their fateful Game 7 on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. Once that series is decided, the Lakers can start scouting for their first Western Conference semifinals since 2012, which will begin on Friday.
This should be a lot of fun.
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