1. Resume defensive dominance
The Rockets had a great defensive showing in Game 1 of the series, holding the Lakers under 100 points, but for most of Game 2, the Lakers scored at will anytime they got ready. The scoring outbursts of James and Davis was no surprise, but Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris all scored in double figures. This helped change the game in a positive way for the Lakers before Davis and James took control during the fourth quarter.
The Rockets have re-upped and re-birthed their defense since being in the bubble and their effort on the defensive side of the ball has made them a better team overall. If the Rockets want to re-gain control of this series they’ll have to leave everything they have out on the court in Game 3.
Their rotations, their communication off the screens, and their 1-on-1 defense has vastly and visibly improved game by game during the playoffs, and they’ll have to find different ways to disrupt a Lakers offense that’s capable of scoring at will in a blink of an eye.
Overall, Houston controls their own destiny in this series. Despite the loss, they’re in position to put the Lakers in a hole, and if they can focus on these three things they’ll be primed to secure an important and possibly series changing Game 3 victory.