The Houston Rockets are a ridiculously talented offensive team. But yesterday, in their Game 1 match against the Lakers, it was their defense that earned them the win in the end.
Eric Gordon was a huge part of their performance on that end of the floor, picking up both LeBron James and Anthony Davis at key points throughout the game. And while they still got their points, they had to work for them, and Gordon did a great job making things tough.
In a chat with the media, Gordon actually revealed a bit of his defensive strategy against the King.
“He’s always going to be tough to slow down, period,” Eric Gordon said about defending LeBron James.
“You just have to make him take contested shots and try to make it hard. You don’t want to get it to the point where he’s getting everyone involved and knocking down shots.”
Gordon seems to recognize that stopping LeBron is pretty much impossible, especially in the postseason. But there are definitely ways to slow him down.
If Gordon can get LeBron to take more jumpers (and fewer drives) for the rest of the series, it could work in Houstons' favor. At the very least, making him work for his points on the offensive end can really hurt his ability to keep up with the Rockets defensively.
Of course,e these things are much easier said than done and while Gordon did a well-enough job in Game 1, you can expect Bron to come out on a whole different level in Game 2.
We'll see how the strategies work then.