The Houston Rockets and LA Lakers are currently playing for the right to advance to the western conference finals. On the surface it's a pretty even matchup. Houston has two superstars in James Harden and Rusell Westbrook, LA has Lebron James and Anthony Davis however this isn't a two on two matchup.
After both teams dynamic duo's you start to take a deeper look. The Lakers bench is terrible and other than Rajon Rondo not even sure they have a 4th NBA caliber starter. Surface concerns aside let's take a closer look.
We will break down both rosters based on EWA and Defensive rating. These are estimated wins added and defensive rating. These two metrics should give a pretty clear view of where any depth advantages may lay.
Lebron James and Anthony Davis both account for an EWA of 17 meaning they contribute an estimated total wins added of 34.
James Harden alone has an EWA of 23
Russell Westbrook's is 11 so 34 for this duo as well.
Now let's take a look at the key role players.
Dwight Howard has a EWA of 5
Rajon Rondo EWA is 1
KCP has an EWA of 0
Kyle Kuzma's EWA is 1
Robert Covington's EWA is 2
Eric Gordon's EWA is 3
Jeff Green's EWA is 2
Ben Mclemore's EWA is 1
PJ Tucker's EWA is 0
8-7 in favor of Houston but if I have Lebron James i'm not worried about a slight depth advantage.
Let's take a look based on defensive impact and shooting since we know offensively things are looking pretty close.
The Rockets have 7 players who have a above average defensive rating. Six of them have a defensive rating well below the league average of 109.
The Rockets have 7 players who shoot better than league average from 3.
Let's see how the Lakers compare.
The Lakers have 5 players who have a defensive rating better than league average of 109.
Anthony Davis has covered a lot of their depth issues can he and Lebron keep doing it?
The Lakers have 4 players who shoot at least league average from the 3 point line.
Houston has more shooters and a deeper roster. It's a not a popular decision but we are saying Rockets in 7. They just have too much depth.