Houston, You Are a Problem

Could the upstart Rockets derail the Lakers and scuttle the much-anticipated Kobe-LeBron clash in the NBA Finals?

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It’s hard to imagine the Rockets maintaining the level of inspired play that they showed on Sunday, but I have to think that Houston coach Rick Adelman has been waiting seven years for this chance. In 2002, he was the coach of the Sacramento Kings, and they lost to the Lakers in a tense seven-game series that was so poorly officiated that it’s exhibit A for anyone who thinks NBA games are fixed. Adelman is probably the best active NBA coach without a championship ring, and 2002 was his best chance. Without Yao, Houston’s chances of winning this year are slim, but eliminating the Lakers would be very sweet revenge.

The action on Sunday was a great argument that the NBA playoffs are full of drama and uncertainty, and this sets the stage for what should be a week of great basketball.

Martin Johnson is a regular contributor to The Root.

Martin Johnson writes about music for the Wall Street Journal, basketball for Slate and beer for Eater, and he blogs at both the Joy of Cheese and Rotations. Follow him on Twitter.

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