Lakers vs Rockets Preview and Prediction: Is LeBron James Playing Tonight?

Published 11/02/2021, 2:20 PM EDT


Following a disastrous start to their campaign, the Los Angeles Lakers are beginning to find their feet. They went without a single win throughout their pre-season, and lost their first couple of regular season games too. However, they are now getting into the groove. On Tuesday night, LeBron James and co. take on the Houston Rockets, having just beaten them two nights ago. Can the side do the double on Houston, and secure their first three-game streak this year?

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Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets: Preview

Oct 31, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. (3) drives to the basket past Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Lakers overcame the Rockets in their first bout. It was a 10-point victory for Frank Vogel’s side, against a hapless Houston side. Already marred by injuries, the Lakers have been struggling for a majority of their outing thus far. After disastrous losses to the Warriors and Suns, they finally picked up a win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Since the win, they have gone on a 3-1 run, and are riding on confidence.

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The Houston Rockets on the other hand, have been abysmal. Their only victory has come against the OKC Thunder, another side that is still figuring out their best combination. Christian Wood and Eric Gordon have been the standouts for the franchise in an otherwise forgetful start. Yet, their loss to the Lakers would’ve given them an idea on how to approach the game. If they can silence the veterans in their opposition and start stronger, we can expect a much closer battle.

Is LeBron James playing vs Rockets? Possible lineups, Prediction

In the first match-up, the Rockets did a good job of limiting LeBron James. But the men in yellow recovered quickly, with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony stepping up. This will have cleared up a lot of doubt in the mind of Vogel. As for James, who has been in a poor run of form, he has been listed as questionable for the game. Yet, it is likely that he will step up to the occasion and feature for his side. Houston on the other hand, have a pretty settled lineup, and won’t look to alter too much.

Lakers Possible Five: Russell Westbrook (G), Kent Bazemore (G), LeBron James (F), Anthony Davis (F), Deandre Jordan (C).

Rockets Possible Five: Jalen Green (G), Kevin Porter Jr. (G), Christian Wood (F), Jae’Sean Tate (F), Daniel Theis (C).

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It will be a particularly interesting match, considering the teams have just faced each other. If LeBron isn’t fully fit, a lot of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. In addition, Anthony will play a crucial role off the bench. We predict the LA Lakers to pile on the misery and make it two in two.

Prediction: Lakers to overcome the Rockets

Oct 31, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket past Houston Rockets center Daniel Theis (27) in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With less than few hours to go, we are in for a banger of a game. Bring out the popcorn and fasten your seat belts, for we are in for one hell of a show. In all likelihood, the return fixture will not be as defense-oriented as the first. Let’s wait and find out if the Lakers can continue their run!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

432 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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