NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets Game 1 Injury Updates, Lineups and Predictions

Published 09/04/2020, 6:30 PM EDT


It feels like ages since the Los Angeles Lakers last played! They didn’t have to fight too much to get past the Trail Blazers in the first round, whereas that wasn’t the case for the Houston Rockets. James Harden and the team had to get past a resilient OKC Thunder to advance to the conference semi-finals and book a showdown with the purple and gold. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It is the first time that the Lakers are in the Playoffs since 2013. They had to suffer a long drought, but now, there’s only one mission, to win the championship. However, a strong Houston team stands in their way, aiming to stop them in their quest for glory. With Game 1 on the line, who’ll gain the early advantage with a victory? 

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets: Injury Updates

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Both teams fortunately aren’t troubled much by injuries. The Lakers have huge news in this regard, as we might see Rajon Rondo making his bubble debut in Game 1 against the Rockets. Rondo has been out with a fractured thumb ever since the restart, but now he is back and listed as questionable for the first game

Moreover, as per CBS Sports, LeBron James (groin), and Anthony Davis (finger), are still troubled by minor discomfort in their bodies. But, this isn’t a reason to worry for the Laker fans as the dynamic duo is expected to start Game 1 with full fitness. 

On the other hand, the Houston Rockets have a healthy roster. 33-year-old forward Luc Mbah a Moute is the only player with an active injury, and Mike D’Antoni shouldn’t be too concerned about that. Besides the Cameroonian, Houston has their firepower ready to go out and try to win games. 

Rockets with no injuries listed in the morning report. Lakers' Anthony Davis (left finger sprain), LeBron James (sore right groin) and Rajon Rondo (back spasms) are probable. Rondo would be playing for the first time since March 10.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 4, 2020

Expected Lineups and Game 1 Prediction 

Undoubtedly, both coaches would want to put their best starting five on the court. It is vital to get a good start to keep the confidence flowing for the rest of the game. Russell Westbrook is back from his quad injury and would start Game 1 for the Rockets. Here’s how the Rockets might start: 

  • Russell Westbrook (G)
  • James Harden (G)
  • Robert Covington (F)
  • Danuel House (F)
  • P.J. Tucker (C)

For the Lakers, they’ve found success throughout the season when LeBron plays as the point guard. Thus, they won’t be deviating from their plan and coach Vogel would put out his strongest starting five on the court. 

  • LeBron James (G)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (G)
  • Anthony Davis (F)
  • Danny Green (F)
  • JaVale McGee (C)

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Game 1 is definitely going to be a close battle, for sure. James Harden will go against LeBron James! Thus, a lot of buckets are in store for the fans! This will be an exciting series to watch, considering the quality of both teams. 

This is the first time since the 2008-09 NBA season that the Lakers are facing Houston in the Playoffs. There’s bound to be plenty of drama and fireworks. However, the Lakers to seal the victory in Game 1. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It is simple. The Rockets are directly coming on the back of playing Game 7 against the Thunder, which can be exhausting. On the other hand, the purple and gold got ample resting time ahead of this series. Thus, the first game might go for the Lakers, who had plenty of prep time for Game 1 of the western conference semi-finals. 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arjun Athreya

1723 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT