Rockets interviews: James Harden, John Wall eager to test themselves vs. Lakers

Ben DuBose
·2 min read

Led by future Hall of Famers LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers are the defending NBA champions — which makes them the league’s gold standard entering the 2020-21 season.

They’re also the team that ended the season of James Harden and the Houston Rockets last September, winning 4-1 in a best-of-seven series in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

The Rockets have changed significantly in the months since, headlined by John Wall and Christian Wood replacing Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington in the starting lineup. But is that enough to compete with the league’s best? That’s what the Rockets will get to measure on Sunday and Tuesday, when the Lakers visit Houston for a pair of games.

The Rockets (3-4) are several games off the pace of the Lakers (7-3) to start the new season, though Houston has been ravaged by injuries and quarantines in its losses. Now, with nearly the entire roster except for Danuel House Jr. (back spasms) available, the Rockets feel they’re better than that initial record — and the 42-point home romp over Orlando on Friday night could offer evidence of that. The Lakers, however, will bring a much stronger test when they visit Toyota Center.

Following Saturday’s team practice, here’s what the Rockets had to say about their upcoming matchups versus the Lakers.

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James Harden

https://twitter.com/KellyIkoNBA/status/1347980850470772736 https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Feigen/status/1347982248025403398 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1347984136246611974

Stephen Silas

https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1347983052195188738 https://twitter.com/KellyIkoNBA/status/1347983775179956232 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1347984803832995843 https://twitter.com/AdamSpolane/status/1347983847594582016 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1347985679876296704 https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1347986967267598339

John Wall

https://twitter.com/CotyDavis_24/status/1347999384202588167 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1348000848190853123 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1348005280341221376 https://twitter.com/KellyIkoNBA/status/1348000857229582336 https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1348002264548573186 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1348003109159763968 https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1348003741274877952

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