Video: Rockets Preview

Assistant coach Jim Cleamons joined us after Sunday shootaround to talk about the Houston Rockets, whom L.A. beat in overtime 103-102 in overtime on Nov. 4.

Cleamons explained how Houston runs its offense in the absence of Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest, explained why L.A. was able to keep point guards Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry out of the paint in Texas and detailed what the Lakers expect from Andrew Bynum, who is averaging nearly 21 points and 12 rebounds per game.

In his pregame press conference, Phil Jackson said that the Lakers will again look to hold down Aaron Brooks, keep the Rockets off the offensive glass and find ways to get the ball inside to Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest. He added that the Rockets are a very good “hustle” team that can win games by outworking teams.

Finally, Jackson repeated some of the same Trevor Ariza answers he offered in Houston (essentially, that Ariza demonstrated scoring ability last season but the explanation for his 19.4 points per game was more about opportunity to take more shots) and that he expected the STAPLES Center crowd to react “very favorably” when Ariza was presented with his championship ring.