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93-95 Rockets could destroy the 2000s Lakers in a playoff series.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by plutoblue11, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Likes Received:
    I'm serious.

    On an old website (ESPN 2), the List (Jeff Merrill) ranked 93-94 Rockets as one of the worst championship teams ever, even though they dominated the West and soundly beat the roughhousing Knicks.

    The Rockets run in their 2nd year was absolutely unbelievable, they beat every single team as underdog without any type of home field advantage.

    I firmly believe that the Rockets were a greater team than the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

    Here's why:

    1) Even at that point in 2000, with how great Shaq was becoming, you have to remember his competition was almost non-existence or past their prime. Also, I believe Dream at his best was greater than the Big Aristotle. If Shaq's defense in 95 couldn't stop dream, what makes you think a much more heavier and slower to PnR could have a better chance against him. Shaq is one of the greatest centers ever, probably the strongest, outside of Wilt Chamberlain. ......but the Dream was better....in every category, except strength and power.

    2) The Rockets supporting cast was far better than the Lakers. Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell, young Robert Horry, Otis Thrope, Mario Elie, Carl Herrera, and Vernon Maxwell beats out older Robert Horry, Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, Horace Grant, Rick Fox, Ron Harper, and others. Most of the Lakers' reserves were primarily good outside shooters, when open, but if they are covered well...then good things did happen against the Lakers. Since most of their players couldn't create off the dribble, unlike the Rockets guards.

    3) X-Factor = Kobe Bryant. Most would the Rockets might have tough time against him or even slow him down. But, remember, if Vernon Maxwell did a pretty good job on MJ...I think he could limit a more passive, outside shooting Kobe. Also, team defense with an all time great defending center and pretty good power and small forward. I think Rocket's athleticism helps slows Kobe down and keep shooting those low percentage shots.

    4) Ref Factor - We know how scummy the refs can be, but I think the Rockets have played every kind of situation possible and can beat the ref factor. Especially, when their center is very discipline and avoids foul trouble.

    5) Defense - The Lakers could turn on the defense in crucial situations and stop most teams... In this case, I think they would get completely exposed against the Rockets, like they did against the Kings and Spurs. Otis Thorpe would run wild on the opposing power forward, like other Western forwards did against the Lakers. Smith and Cassell could handle Fisher/Harper, especially after dealing with the pillaging Derek Harper. This is the one series where Shaq might be cancelled out in, while everything would fall on the role players and Kobe. Houston's main concern would probably be to stop LA's outside shooting, which has be shown to be fairly stoppable with good above average defense.

    I might be exaggerating with the "destroy" bit, but the Rockets could certainly beat the Lakers in series in under 7 games. Besides, the Lakers are very comparable to the Magic, except with few more enhancements.
  2. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

    May 16, 2000
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    I think your analysis is too detailed, and therefor too open to argument and nit-picking.

    At the core, I think the argument is completely opinion based, but could be made as easily as follows - the level of competition in the NBA for a 10-15 year period from the early 80's through the mid 90's...can even call it to the strike shortened season, was simply better than it's been since.

    When the Rockets won, they had to compete against Barkley led Suns, Payton/Kemp Sonics, Malone/Stockton Jazz and Robinson/Elliot/Avery Spurs. And then to have to face an Eastern Conference team that was a Knicks, a Magic, a Pacers, a Bulls (yes, I know they didn't face all these teams in the playoffs, but just a testament to how good those teams were).

    Now, yes, the Lakers played some teams with good records in their playoff runs, too. But I just don't think the league as a whole had so many "teams who could win the championship and you wouldn't be surprised by it" teams by the time the Lakers started winning, or today, even.

    I do think the Lakers could definitely compete with the above mentioned teams (and the Rockets), though. But I wouldn't pencil them in as winners. Championship teams of the last few years I think are even weaker. The Celtics last year I think could compete in that era...maybe the Spurs team that still had Robinson but also had Parker and Ginobili really starting to perform well could compete. But in all, not as impressive to me.

    But, its just an opinion.
  3. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    May 9, 1999
    Likes Received:
    The matchup that's most intriguing


    Robert Horry


    Robert Horry
  4. IROC it

    IROC it Contributing Member

    Feb 16, 1999
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