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.
The Knicks have not won in a while. They honestly haven't been a title contender in over 20 years.
Numerous coaches and GM's and President's have passed but once you pass this graveyard of failed good intentions you see glimmers of hope.
RJ Barrett has all the tools to be a superstar and is only 19. Mitchell Robinson could easily be a star.
The Knicks have 5 1st round picks in the next 3 drafts and several other intriguing young pieces.
The front office are tired of losing, they don't want to mortgage the future but a trade for a established star is a real consideration. However this star needs to be under 30 and Barrett and Robinson are likely untouchable.
Victor Oladipo and CJ McCollum are a couple players on Knicks radar. They are monitoring the Damian Lillard and Giannis situations but there are concerns the price would be too steep .
The draft will likely be about drafting a wing or PG they feel complements their young talent. The Knicks love Anthony Edwards but it's not likely he will be there at the 8th pick. This is assuming they keep the pick, it will also be shopped as a trade chip. OBI Toppin is another name to watch on draft day. Knicks love his fit with Robinson in the front court.
We have been told the Knicks will work the phones about adding an established PG to aid in Ntlikina's development and move into competing sooner. McCollum is one name they like as a point guard option. Russell Westbook is another trade target should he become available.
Point guard is a real area of concern as well as a wing to complement Barrett or possibly even help aid his development. The New York Knicks want to build another dynasty and are determined to get there sooner rather than later.