Last Night, In Basketball: The Rockets Used The Lakers Expectations Against Them

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LeBron James has been playing against Mike D’Antoni-coached teams for years. The Lakers and Rockets play each other at least three times per season, and in most seasons, they play four times. For the most part, these guys know exactly what the other team wants to do on every trip down the floor. Not much is going to come as a surprise.

But every once in a while, you’re able to leverage a team’s expectations against them and create some good shots. If they know what you’re going to do, and you know that they know, just a small tweak can be used to win a possession. For much of the night against the Lakers on Thursday, that’s exactly what the Rockets did.

In this edition of Last Night, In Basketball, we examine several small tweaks and spur-of-the-moment the Rockets made on standard and familiar sets, and how those tweaks and reads resulted in good looks and easy baskets for their best players: James Harden and Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.

Last Night, In Basketball is a video breakdown series from the basketball mind of Jared Dubin. You can see the videos for free on Twitter and YouTube, but if you enjoy the work and want to see more, you can pledge your support on Patreon.