Houston Rockets Game 80 of 2015-16 offered an opportunity to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers.
Continuing SCS series of all 82 games from last season next up is the Houston Rockets Game 80 of 2015-16 versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Houston Rockets added draft picks and signed free agents to improve upon an especially mediocre 41-41 campaign. Big man Dwight Howard left for Atlanta while free agents Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Nene Hilario and Pablo Prigioni joined Houston in free agency.
Therefore Houston hopes their free agent additions and the growth of existing assets will translate into a season similar to 2014-15. While fans wait for October 26th opening night versus the Lakers hopefully this series will appease your cravings.
To that end, this series showcases the Rockets 82 games noting the pregame analysis, post game grades, and relevant video. Furthermore, SCS will highlight significant changes made by their opponents this summer. So, here it is – – enjoy all 82 posts as SCS takes you back over the 2015-16 season.
Game 80 – Lakers
In what was Kobe Bryant’s final game in Houston the pregame focused more on the Mamba’s swan song than the game. Albeit, I did make sure to highlight how important the game was to the Rockets. Furthermore, I noted the Rockets schedule was far easier than the 2 teams they were competing with for the final 2 playoff spots.
All but four teams (the Nets, Knicks, Heat and Orlando) were offered the opportunity to say goodbye to Bryant in their own way. Around the league even teams with huge rivalry’s like the Boston Celtics put aside their vitriol for an evening to thank the man who carried the league after Michael Jordan left. Seeing Bryant smiling as he was received with standing ovations and sold out arenas filled with fans who came to see him for his final curtain call just felt right.
His health for the most part cooperated as he wasn’t afflicted by a major injury like the past two seasons. With just 3 games remaining the Lakers and Bryant arrive in Houston for a matinee today. Bryant’s farewell tour finishes on Monday in Oklahoma City facing UCLA product Russell Westbrook and one of his greatest admirer’s Kevin Durant. His swan song appropriately will culminate with the final night of the regular season on his home court.
Full pregame write up and ode to Kobe Bryant can be found via this link.
Post Game Analysis:
Being a huge Mamba fan it was only appropriate that SCS writer Coty Davis provided for him what inevitably was a win-win (big night by Kobe and a win for the Rockets).
The Houston Rockets bid adieu to Kobe Bryant, but more importantly won the game keeping their playoff hopes alive. SCS reviews the game via player grades.
After their disappointing loss to the Suns, it’s no surprise the Houston Rockets came away with a win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Both games are just a constant reminder of the inconsistency of their season.
This was by far one of the most entertaining games of the year. As James Harden and Kobe Bryant squared off for the final appearance by Black Mamba in Houston. Overall, it was a great win by the Rockets as they continue to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The full write-up can be viewed via this link.
In what would be their last career showdown James Harden and Kobe Bryant put on a show for the fans.
The Beard scored 40 points, 4 rebounds, 13 assists and 4 steals while the Mamba scored 35 points with 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.
ESPN box score available via this link.
Rockets Games vs Lakers in 2016-17
- October 26th the Rockets open their season in LA at Staples Center
- December 7th at home
- March 15th at home
Draft Picks and Free Agents
Los Angeles acted quickly when free agency hit doling out some questionably high contracts. While the expected Rookie of the Year resides on the Sixers the player who could end up developing into the Lakers next franchise star was selected second overall.
With the exit of Kobe Bryant via retirement the Lakers are looking to re-establish a new winning regime and build an identity with their youngsters. To that end, Luol Deng should offer valuable veteran experience and knowledge on becoming a professional.
Round 1: Brandon Ingram (2)
Round 2: Ivica Zubac (32)
Incoming Free Agents/trade:
Exiting Free Agents/traded:
- Roy Hibbert 1-year, $5M
- Brandon Bass to a 1-year minimum deal moves to Clippers
- Robert Sacre signs summer league/training camp contract with Pelicans
- Metta World Peace
- Ryan Kelly
Next up Game 81 versus the Wolves