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Scottie Pippen gives Rockets upper edge over Lakers, Clippers

Scottie Pippen

Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is giving the Houston Rockets the upper edge in what’s likely to be a hard-fought race for the top spot in the Western Conference, especially against bolstered teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers.

Pippen, like many others, was entertained with a wild free-agency period, seeing a series of dynamic duos team up, which has likely put a temporary end to the superteam era:

“I thought it was great. I was happy to see some of the talent get spread out a little bit,” Pippen told Drew Ruiz of SLAM Online. “The Clippers and the Lakers feel like they were the big winners in the free agent market — maybe not the Lakers, they didn’t really get a free agent, they just got a trade. I think they both feel like they were big winners this summer. Still, you have to go on the court and make it real.

“I still think that Houston is going to be one of the teams that’s going to have the upper edge because they’ve been together with the one addition of bringing in [Russell] Westbrook, who can propel them to the top or to the bottom. It’s going to be an interesting season for not only the Houston Rockets, but the Lakers and Clippers.”

The Rockets have most of their core intact, but they traded one of their most important cogs in Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook — a trade many think will get Houston one step closer to their goal of making the NBA Finals and having a chance at the title.

However, adding a talent like Westbrook isn’t as easy as most other plug-and-play options, especially when he has had an offense tailored to his play style for the past three seasons. It will take some adjustments for the Rockets to reach the promised land.