The Houston Rockets advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-99 in Game 5. In the battle of “Harden vs. Westbrook” the media created, James Harden came out on top in the series, but with limited plays with them going one on one, the stats say Russell Westbrook had the more impressive series.
The Rockets are the better team, actually, they were the only team in this series. While Westbrook insisted on not having anyone split him apart from his team, it was honorable, but everyone and their mother knew that Westbrook was by himself the whole series. When the second option to score is Steven Adams, you’re gonna have a tough time winning against any team in seven games. Russell Westbrook is still MVP, and if anything is said differently, are you blind? This man has been on a revenge tour all season. After Kevin Durant left him, Russell Westbrook was an MVP front runner and didn’t disappoint. Even with KD, a top five player in the league, last year Russ still flirted with averaging a triple double. All that is beside the point. The Thunder were exposed in this series. If they want to be an actual contender and get Russ that ring, they’re going to have to add serious talent this offseason. You can’t have one player take 18 shots in the fourth quarter with the game on the line and expect to win. If he hadn’t only made four of them, this may sound different, but in game 3, he attempted 43 shots, finishing with 51 points. 43 shots. The Thunder can’t have Westbrook pull this type of shit off next season too. No one in their right mind would want to stay in a situation like that.
The Rockets played great. I won’t discredit them for that. They came into the series expecting to win and followed through. But Patrick Beverly, come on man. Take your win and move on. You’re lucky to even be doing this well in the NBA. Any team but the Rockets and you’re lucky to be in the constant rotation, so when Russell says that you can’t guard him and he’s already at 40 points, don’t try and talk trash back to him. Yeah, he did need 34 shots to get there, but he still cooked you most of the night. The rest of the series, besides that one blemish, was damn near perfect. Losing one game is alright. Houston played team basketball the whole time. There was no need for Harden’s heroics when everyone up and down the bench was contributing in at least one game. In a rather lackluster first round, this series provided interesting games each night, even though the 4-1 victory might not show it, each game was close enough to make you watch to the end.
The Rockets take on either San Antonio or Memphis in the next round, so they better hope like hell that David Fizdale’s “take that for data” rant somehow motivates the Grizzlies to pull an upset, but as of right now, there’s no way they can beat the Spurs, just based on talent alone, but then Lil B did curse James Harden so I wouldn’t bet on him winning anytime soon.