For an inexperienced, exuberant and advantageous Houston Rockets team, the 2013 NBA postseason has been a priceless learning opportunity. With James Harden pinned up against his old teammates you knew sparks would fly, but now multiple pundits are predicting that this is the Rockets’ series to lose. Really?
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a stout basketball team — regardless of the countless morons leaving the team for dead just because Russell Westbrook is out of action. NBA teams make adjustments; that’s what basketball and sports in general are all about, so to giving the #1 seeded Thunder a death sentence is nothing short of asinine. Thunder coach Scott Brooks has a tough task ahead of him as he must manage this Thunder team differently than he has in years prior.
Unlike the Derrick Rose saga with the Chicago Bulls, the Thunder have not played without Westbrook since drafting him fourth overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. Brooks has racked his brain coming up with ways to soften the blow, and with more time on his hands things will surely be different on Friday night.
Houston faithful have taken advantage of Reggie Jackson running the point, but the biggest key to victory is stopping Kevin Durant because guys like Kevin Martin simply refuse to make big shots this postseason. Thunder fans can rest easy knowing they have a game-changing player like Durant on the floor, but this series lies in the hands of Brooks and the role players. Both will step their games up when play resumes in game six.