Particularly in the wake of Houston's easy victory in Game 1 of this series, there has been plenty of discussion about the challenges the Rockets present for the West's top seed. I think it's more accurate to say that Tucker presents those issues. His unique ability to defend Anthony Davis one-on-one while giving up 5 inches of height enables the Rockets to get away with a small lineup that causes the Lakers problems at the other end of the court.
From that standpoint, the most important thing that happened Sunday was Tucker's picking up two fouls in the game's first seven minutes and a third midway through the second quarter. With Tucker on the bench, the Rockets were outscored by 20 points in nearly 12 first-half minutes, enabling the Lakers to build a lead that helped them survive Houston's hot third quarter.
How have the Lakers adjusted to Tucker and the Rockets, and how might that play out in the series? Let's break it down.