The First Series:
The Rockets jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the series in a blowout win over the Thunder. James Harden shines, cant be stopped on the offensive end all night long. The Rockets look like a well oiled machine ready to destroy the one man army of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook didn't have his best stuff in game one, as we all know though, Russ never gets discouraged by letting his past performance affect his next one. Game 2 the Thunder were rolling, late in the 3rd quarter they had a 15-pt lead. The Rockets are never out with their ability to put up points in bunches, they hit a barrage of 3's while the Thunder went cold. The 4th quarter is a whole new ball game, Russ has one of his worst performances ever, the epic collapse is complete, and the Rockets take a 2-0 series lead. The Thunder are back home for game 3, with the crowd on their side and desperation setting in, the only option was to win. Russell had a huge night racking up a triple double, leading the Thunder to victory bringing them back within one game. Game 4 was going to make or break the series for the Thunder, they needed to win this game to have any hope of winning this series. Russell Westbrook posted video game type stats, the thunder were was once again rolling in the third, up by 14. The Rockets storm back and sneak out a win despite the best efforts of Russell Westbrook. Rockets now lead the series 3-1.
Media Takeaway from First Series:
The Second Series:
The Rockets jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the series in a blowout win over the Thunder. James Harden shines, cant be stopped on the offensive end all night long. The Rockets look like a well oiled machine ready to destroy the one man army of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook didn't have his best stuff in game one, as we all know though, Russ never gets discouraged by letting his past performance affect his next one. Game 2 Westbrook goes off, he scores the most points while recording a triple double in playoff history. The Thunder steal game 2 on the road over the Rockets as Russell Westbrook has one of the greatest performance ever in playoff history. The Thunder are back home for game 3, with the crowd on their side and confidence setting in, the only option was to win for the loyal hungry fans. Russell had a huge night racking up a triple double, leading the Thunder to victory, bringing them back within one game. The Thunder are leading 2-1 with game 4 at home, things are looking great, and they were looking even better after Russell Westbrook finishes the first half with a triple double. The Thunder jump out to a big lead in the 3rd quarter and they don't look back from there. Thunder have now one three straight taking all momentum in this series going back to Houston with a 3-1 lead
Media Takeaway from Second Series:
Just like that the whole narrative changes. You change two quarters in that series and the Thunder are up 3-1 with the Rockets in panic mode. That's just not the way it worked out, instead the Thunder blew leads just like in last year's western conference final. Is it Westbrook's fault, not necessarily, you can't expect the game to have the greatest playoff performance ever, but that's what it probably would've taken. He has a better 4th quarter in game 2 and 4 we are having a whole different conversation. Now, we are going to talk about how he defended his teammates from a reporter and how he's such a leader for it. Frankly, I didn't care for all that, kinda seemed like an act, but whatever. I'm here to defend Russ not bash him. If two quarters go the Thunder's way a little bit more than they're up 3-1 and Russell Westbrook is being viewed as an NBA God. Impressive that one man is carrying an entire team, he gets some perimeter shooters around him I truly believe they could've won this series. Does Russ need to improve in some area, yes, but so does everybody. At the end of the day Russell Westbrook has almost willed his team to a series win over the Rockets in a series that they have no business being in. Quite remarkable actually. Westbrook has cost his team the series, only because he didn't have the greatest playoff series performance ever, which is completely understandable for not accomplishing. I'm excited to see how great Russ truly is when he finally gets some help around him again.