Carl Landry’s Return

It was bittersweet last night seeing Carl Landry in a Kings jersey.  While the memories of his time with the Houston Rockets are still fresh in my mind, I stopped to marvel at just how far he has come in his career, starting as a little-known second round pick and now being featured as the primary frontcourt threat on an impressive up-and-coming Kings team.

My favorite theme from last night’s contest was the dynamic between friends, a story familiar to every one of us.  We all have that acquaintance regarding whom we boldly proclaim that we “know every one of his moves” prior to engaging in battle.  This was captured yesterday in the matchup between Carl Landry and Chuck Hayes.  The subplot was intriguing because, after starting his rookie season buried on the bench as an after-thought, Landry actually pushed the incumbent starting Hayes completely out of the rotation later that same year (until the injury to Yao forced him into emergency duty.)

Carl finished the night with 22 points and 10 boards, going 7-13 from the field.  Rather than Scola, Hayes was the primary defender against Landry, the numbers giving off the impression that the mentor was taught a lesson by his former apprentice.

The tape tells a different tale.  I finally got around to pulling the trigger on some hardware which will allow me to capture the live video of the game onto my laptop.  This should really make it easier to explain the elements of each game which catch my attention.  I apologize for the very poor image quality in this first installment as I am still getting the hang of things.

What we find is that when matched up, Chuck was able to handle Landry fairly easily, anticipating each of his moves.  The sequences below are not intended to imply some flaw in Carl’s game; they are merely what was captured in a very unique relationship between the combatants.

In this first clip, we see Landry attempt to attack Hayes with his patented post-up-face-up move.  Hayes has seen this so many times in practice that as Carl brought the ball around, Chuck was able to anticipate and nearly swipe it away.  Carl falls to the floor.  Fascinating because I watched him routinely destroy All-NBA defenders with this move, going on to take one dribble to his right and spinning back to his left.

In our second clip, we see Chuck move his feet to cut Carl off from the baseline, steering him towards the help. One thing we noticed in the weeks prior to the trade was that Landry needs to improve upon recognizing the double team. While the Kings did score, Landry was forced into an awkward pass which could have easily led to a turnover.

In this next clip, we see Chuck anticipate the signature move again, reacting to cut off Landry’s right hand. He moves his feet and gets under the ball, but, as the replay shows, is wrongfully called for the foul.

Finally, we close with a clip that demonstrates that knowledge and familiarity do not suffice. Andersen shades Landry’s right hand, what Hayes would have done, knowing that he can only drive in that direction. However, because Andersen does not have anywhere near the lateral quickness possessed by Hayes, Landry easily blows past him for the dunk.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

in game coverage
  • echu888

    rahat, _really_ appreciate the inclusion of video. illustrates your point quite well. the padawan has developed nicely but sometimes he still can't beat the tough old dog.

  • physicsgeekandrocketsfan

    Yea, the video is an excellent addition. What a terrible foul call by the way, I guess I should be used to it by now, nobody respects the chuckwagon.

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  • rahat_huq

    Glad you liked it, guys. I think it will really make things much easier as I will no longer need to describe the play itself and can focus on the actual analysis.

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  • Eric

    Knowledge and familiarity do suffice in the last example, just not from a defensive perspective, Landy sized up Andersen and dunked on him.

  • Hayesfan

    Maybe if coach had put Chuck in to guard Landry in the waning moments of the game we wouldn't have lost. Not that I'm biased or anything.

  • Verbs and Nouns

    Landry does what he does. hated to seem him go, but thrilled to cheer for him and watch him develop into a legitimate 20/10 guy. has all the moves … inside/outside. TOUGH AS NAILS! his defense is suspect but all in all is a very good player. im sure morey offered up scola instead of landry in any deal(s) but he obviously wasnt the prized acquisition. much luck to carl, his short time in H-Town was memorable (gunshot, tooth fairy) and i hope he succeeds. BTW, chuck hayes can arguably be called an ALL-NBA defender, so being shut down a few times isnt anything to be sullen about, what were his stats for the night again? Team get the 'W'?

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  • Alituro

    Keep the videos going Rahat, nice addition! I know we will always have a spot in our heart for Landry, he always played hard and was always the good sportsman. A guy it's hard not to be a fan of once you get to know him, even from afar. Attracting double teams means that he's made it as a premier player. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts and if he learns to overcome them or detect them sooner. Something I haven't seen him excel at thus far, and one reason I'm glad he left instead of Scola. Scola has a better awareness of whats happening on the court, not just in his immediate vicinity, also he's a better defender. So the going away party was nice for Carl, but it also gave me full confidence in Morey's decision seeing that Scola had the better night still with 19pts/18reb/5ast. Carl's numbers on his new team will more than likely be better than Scola's in the future, but keep in mind Carl is now the 1st scoring option on his new team while Scola remains 3rd, and the difference in the numbers won't be significant.

  • bob schmidt

    I love Landry and his game. However, his enthusiasm and energy can be replaced with new young players who may have better size. Martin will be a starter for us, and Landry probably would have remained a 6th man for the predictable future. I hated to see him go, but a team requires players on a priority basis. Personally, I will miss his smile and attitude more than his play. He was great for team chemistry……..

  • CL

    Outstanding post. Many thanks for heightening our insight, rahat.

  • CL

    Outstanding post. Many thanks for heightening our insight, rahat.

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