≡ Menu

Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets on 3/17/2013

Form:

Gone is the warm fuzzy glow that accompanied the Warriors in the early part of the season. Back in those days (the grind of the regular season has meant they are fast fading from the memory), their better-than-expected play catapulted them comfortably into the playoff places and earned them a lot of column inches as early season surprises. But somewhere along the line, probably about the time the Rockets delivered a historic beatdown on them in the two teams’ first meeting, the story began to fall off the rails. Unable to keep up the improved defensive effort they started the season with, the team has collapsed from 30-17 to 37-30 and now has to keep one eye on the battle for the 8th seed behind them.

The Rockets have been struggling for consistency in recent weeks, with excellent wins sandwiching disappointing losses. The dichotomy between the two halves of Friday’s tilt with the Timberwolves illustrates that frustrating inconsistency best – you would be hard-pressed to find a worse half of basketball from them this season than the first half, but the potency of their attack in the second was an exhibition of how deadly they can be when everything clicks. A win here leapfrogs Houston over Golden State in the race for the  6th spot, a particularly coveted piece of standings real-estate given the way the tiers of power in the upper echelons of the conference break down. Given that, the entertaining mini-feud they had with the Warriors earlier in the year and a desire to make hay while the sun shines during the current seven game homestand, there should be no problem for the team getting the motivation together for tonight’s game.

Lineups:

McHale has been rolling with the same starting five since inserting Motiejunas into the starting lineup against Milwaukee, and at this point injuries seem like the only thing that will change that for the rest of the season.  But while the Lin/Harden/Parsons/D-Mo/Asik combo on the floor for the opening tip will be familiar, he has been tinkering with the bench rotation somewhat. In the past he has said that he prefers a rotation of 9 players, but the addition of Francisco Garcia to the squad has seen him make an exception to that rule. On Friday night, McHale for the first time I can remember this season started the second quarter with no starters on the court. We saw nearly 5 minutes of Beverley/Garcia/Delfino/Robinson/Smith, and they went +1 over that span with Delfino and Robinson doing most of the damage. The success of the bench mob depends quite heavily on whether Delfino has his shooting stroke – without it they are sadly lacking in offensive firepower. But if that group can forge a chemistry together it could prove quite useful down the stretch run. It will also allow McHale to evaluate who is deserving of minutes when the playoffs come around.

Golden State’s fall from grace seems to have coincided with Bogut’s return to the lineup. Before it happened, outside observers assumed that he could just slot in to the rotation taking over minutes from Festus Ezeli, but it hasn’t turned out that way – he’s not looked great offensively and hasn’t been able to recapture the defensive dominance that was a hallmark of his days in Milwaukee. He’ll start alongside Curry, Thompson, Barnes and Lee, a lineup bursting with offense but lacking in defensive tenacity. Off the bench, Coach Jackson can call on the services of 6th-man of the Year candidate Jarrett Jack, our old friend Carl Landry, grizzled veteran Richard Jefferson, the aforementioned Festus Ezeli and rookie Draymond Green.

I would be remiss not to share an anecdote regarding their Latvian centre Andris Biedrins. The Warriors are one of the few teams in the league I’ve seen live, and when I did there was a fan behind me who shouted “No! Not to him! He’s so bad!” every time the ball was passed to Andris Biedrins. That’s pretty much him in a nutshell – he has a well-known phobia of free throws and it seems that has wrecked what was at one stage a promising career as he is now completely devoid of any offensive threat. As the season has gone on Jackson has shown less and less faith in him to the extent that he only saw three minutes of garbage time on Friday against the Bulls.

On Offense:

The second half against the Timberwolves was the archetypal Rockets offense. The team feasted off the havoc caused by repeated drives from Harden and Lin, reaping layups, free-throws, and three pointers off kick outs. This is an attack that Golden State are particularly susceptible to. First of all, they do not have a reliable perimeter defender who can keep opposing guards and wings in front of him (although I seem to recall Harrison Barnes playing some pretty good defense on Harden in one of the teams’ previous meetings. Secondly, their favoured defensive strategy seems to be to collapse quite heavily on penetration, perhaps because David Lee is not particularly good at bothering opposing guards if left to his own devices (or so says [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HX0Ezb-OPE]Kirk Goldsberry[/url], anyway). That means if the driving guards are capable of getting the ball back out to the perimeter in a timely manner, as both Lin and Harden can, then there should be plenty of wide-open three pointers available. The Warriors also rank near the bottom of the league (24th) in free-throws allowed per field-goal attempt,  so all signs point to a team that should be driven to death by the Rockets’ starting back-court.

The ability to stretch the floor should also be used liberally in this game. Another thing the the Warriors don’t really have is someone suited to guarding stretch-4s – both David Lee and Carl Landry are both more suited to hanging around in the paint. That should mean Motiejunas will be able to get open on the three point line a fair amount.

As I mentioned previously, Andrew Bogut has not looked himself this season on the defensive end. He’s been unable to shut down the paint in the manner to which we were accustomed to seeing him in Milwaukee, and a lot of that is to do with mobility. Perhaps it’s the lingering effects of his surgery or the effects that had on his fitness, but he doesn’t have the speed to be able to zip around the paint and challenge opposing players in a timely manner like he used to do. It might be worth using Asik in the pick-and-roll a bit to try to drag him out of position.

On Defense:

Golden State’s starting backcourt of Curry and Thompson is one of the most potent shooting tandems in the NBA. Curry requires constant attention and is very much a pick-your-poison type player. He’s very capable of barrages like his [url=http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400278573]Madison Square Garden explosion[/url] a few weeks ago, but he’s also good at passing out of the double team so it’s difficult to get the ball out of his hands. In the past some teams have tried aggressively doubling him in the pick and roll, but he does a good job of dropping back, sometimes retreating all the way to half court, and dragging the two defenders with him. When he finally passes out of the trap, the Warriors end up with a 4-on-3 situation and tend to make opponents pay. He’s also got pretty decent handles and underrated court vision, so Lin will have his hands full tonight.

The Warriors’ bench features two players in Jack and Landry who can make life hell for opposing defenses. Landry has one of the more refined post games in the league and will likely give Thomas Robinson’s raw defense a stiff examination. Jack is an excellent spark-plug off the bench and does a great job of setting up his team-mates, but he has been struggling of late – his assist numbers are down from 5.4 to  just 2.7 in his last 10 games, and he’s only shooting 35.9% from the floor. Given the inexperienced and offense-light bench mob the Rockets are running with, this will come as a relief to McHale and co., but Beverley will still need to be his aggressive and vigilant self to keep him in that slump.

Summary:

The Rockets match up really well with the Warriors, and should be able to exploit the flaws in their defensive schemes. They’ll need to do their best to limit Curry and the other Warriors shooters, but provided they can do that and avoid the opposing bench from lighting up the Rockets’ backups, they should be able to come away with a win.

View this discussion from the forum.

in game coverage

{ 0 comments… add one }

Login to leave a comment.
Total comments: 33
  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Right, it has only been 12 games since the trade and considering the thread we are in I would say Golden State is definitely a better team than the Rockets that has been together the full season. With all due respect I am not debating someone like rockets best fan because he has his mind made up and it's safe to say he won't change our stances. I am writing more to the likes of johnnygold and rocketrick and others who maybe are trying to come up with answers or ideas to understand how the season is going (man we are some nerdy Rockets fans). I think it's obvious that muscle fatigue is setting in and sure it is young players and I would agree that if it was a couple young guys it would not be an issue but take into account we are young across the board and there is little to no 'ready to play'/veteran depth to help come in relive the rotation players (we have nowhere near the depth of say Denver) and I am certain muscle fatigue is setting especially when style of play is added to the equation. In addition to fatigue the point about that there is more film on the Rockets out there, particularly in the Western Conference I would guess, would lead to more failures at the offensive end that we have seen more of late. And the 12 games since the trade is crucial considering it took the Rockets about the first third of the season to round into form, maybe the coaching staff and players can right the ship in a week or so in time for the playoffs. And it is beyond me how any Rockets fan could expect this team to do anything in the first round.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    @RBF--I appreciate your vehemence on the matter. I couldn't help but picture you shouting at your car battery for not trying harder. :lol:

    128400161-caucasian-man-screaming-at-car

    I think everyone agrees with a lot of what you want from the Rockets--I think most of us just think it is unrealistic to expect as much as you want in this time period from this group. If we were talking about a group of 28-32 year old veterans then I think I would agree with you more.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    Nice post Rocketrick. I would rescind the word patience from here (if I thought I could) and replace it with two words that I like (and helped me stop being impractical about a lot of things): Scale and Relativity. If one does not apply these aspects to their thinking then it is difficult to not be myopic and biased.

    67 games is a misnomer as the mid-season trade is conveniently overlooked for the sake of argument. Also, if you guys want to draw barely associative comparisons then try this: Our defense is like going fishing with a hole in your net. That is our problem. That trade created a hole in our defensive net. For those of you who are counting that is 12 games since the trade. TWELVE. Get a grip guys. Like Rocketrick said, we're competing against the best in the world and they can smell the blood in the water.

    When one looks at something and projects what they expect it to be he/she will always find dissatisfaction, frustration, and disappointment. Instead, try looking at what is and appreciating that.

    I liked the Daily Blast's bit about playing the guys who know what they're doing vs. the guys who should actually do it. At this point I'm on board for a one-game test--how bad could it be :o

  • Steven says 1 YEAR ago Teams play good defense in the regular season, because they can't score the ball. With the grind of the 82 game schedule, it's either be good on offense or be good on defense. No one leads the league in scoring average and scoring defense.

    The Rockets are the best defense in the half court in the NBA when Asik is on the court (according to Morey). The problem is, they turn the ball over so much that they aren't in half court defenses as much as other teams. When teams get 20 points off of turnovers every game (idk the official stat), it makes your defense look worse.

    Playing Defense in the regular season is overrated. It also leads to boring basketball. Who besides Bulls fan, actually watch the Chicago Bulls? No one. Because they are boring. O but they play good defense. Who cares? The object is to win, but it is also to be entertaining. At the present time this young Rockets team is finding a nice mix of both. Just remember this team was picked to finish with around 30 wins, so any playoff birth is a clear overachievement this year.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    I see Rocketrick's post went completely over your head...

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    things are not out of hand............... well they are defensively. so everyone calling for patience.....tell me when the battery stops working in your car do you want patience or change? when the mail person keeps sticking your mail in someone else's box do you want patience or change? if your child brings home an F on their report card do you want patience or change?point is there is a proper time for patience and a time for change. I can be patient as long as I am seeing some progress on a given front. however that's not happening defensively, we will never.........ever.....ever learn to be an elite team without learning how to play at least decent defense. so this goes to the very heart of what we are trying to get done. sticking our heads in the sand pretending this is not an important issue is unrealistic. I keep hearing posters talk about our record and the fact we should be proud just to be where we are. are you proud when your child brings home a C when you were expecting an A.I do like our position, but if we stop reaching for perfection we will fall back into lackluster performance. if we aren't trying to get better then what the hell are we playing for?

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    ^ I agree with every word.

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    Before things get completely out of hand in this thread, we need to go back to the basics and the facts of the current situation with the Rockets roster.

    First, assuming the Rockets make the playoffs which they should (of course no guarantee, they gotta keep winning!) this will be the youngest team in NBA history (in terms of overall playing experience from 1-15) to have ever made the playoffs. Expecting the youngest team to already have everything figured out on defense, offense, rotations, etc.. is being too overly critical in my opinion.

    Second, everyone knows the Rockets weakness. It stands out so much it is blinding my eyes as I type. PF. There were some on this board who were anti-Patrick Patterson. Now that he's been gone these past couple of weeks, isn't it amazing how it has become clear the importance of having him on THIS team.

    Third, our bench is weak. Delfino is hot and cold. Beverly sometimes gives our team some energy but other times gives us basically all 0's in the boxscore. Who is our backup C? Oh yea, that's right, not only are we weak at PF (starting and backup) but instead of having reliable depth at PF that could cover some of the backup C playing time, guess what? Our frontline is absolutely our weakness.

    Don't forget, the Rockets play in the best basketball league on this planet, maybe even in this galaxy (just throwing that possibility out there). So of course our opponents are going to scout us and try to take advantage of our weak spots.

    News Flash--------it's gonna be a struggle for the remainder of this season into the playoffs trying to "hide" our weakness to the best of everyone's ability. If Delfino is swishing a bunch of 3's and Chandler is on fire, the Rockets can overcome their defensive lapses caused by a weak frontcourt. Thankfully we have Asik or I can't even imagine for a second longer how much worse things could be! Too bad Asik can't play all 48 minutes.

    It is what it is, I am going to scream loudly at the games and support my team through thick and thin. And I sure hope the majority of those on the board can do so with a somewhat less critical eye knowing full well the challenges that lay in front of us.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    We will be better defensively next season. You need to be more patient.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    RBF, You are skewing my statements way out of proportion. Of course I am not saying that. I am saying it is a process that takes time to reach mastery. We are very early in the process. I am sorry it is not to your liking. The growth curve I am alluding to is based on the general premise that most players peak around age 27 and it refers to the entirety of the game--offense and defense. The game moves incredibly fast and teams with more experience are able to take advantage of our inexperience. A maturation process is taking place. Enjoy the process.

    Based on an article I posted in the "bad defense" thread your assertion that we are not learning some new, high-tech defensive system may be incorrect. Either way, you are lacking the scale and relativity necessary to see the big picture here. You want it all and you want it now. I can understand your frustration given that perspective.

    I am more patient than most, but there come a time when inactivity can be just as bad in the long run. what I am saying is WE HAVE NOT IMPROVED DEFENSIVELY. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT. I don't expect us to start playing defense like the spurs by tomorrow, but it would be good to at least see some progress. we are not getting that from this team. WHY? I don't buy the youth excuse anymore. we are not even average. that means either we arebeing taught the wrong thing or we have and inability to pick it up. which is it? 67 times we have played a game this year and we haven't beengood defensively yet. when you were in your history classes trying for your degree would the teacher have been pleased with no progress?.........of course not. likewise we should be alarmed that there has been no progress on the defensive front. sticking our heads in the sand will not make the problem go away.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    RBF, You are skewing my statements way out of proportion. Of course I am not saying that. I am saying it is a process that takes time to reach mastery. We are very early in the process. I am sorry it is not to your liking. The growth curve I am alluding to is based on the general premise that most players peak around age 27 and it refers to the entirety of the game--offense and defense. The game moves incredibly fast and teams with more experience are able to take advantage of our inexperience. A maturation process is taking place. Enjoy the process.

    Based on an article I posted in the "bad defense" thread your assertion that we are not learning some new, high-tech defensive system may be incorrect. Either way, you are lacking the scale and relativity necessary to see the big picture here. You want it all and you want it now. I can understand your frustration given that perspective.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    your kidding right? tell me your kidding. you think we should give this team possibly up to 7 years to learn how to play defense? it doesn't matter what defensive scheme we use. there is no reason it should take that long. also these guys (most of them) have been playing basketball all their lives. basketball is not rocket science. whatever system we are using it seems like we would be getting it right at least some of the time by now don't you think? we do NOT have 1 win....not even 1 win that I can pull up and say that was a defensive masterpiece. our idea of playing defense is hope the other team misses :lol:when we get pass asik and parson defensively we stink. plain and simple. I see no progress in this area. humans are creatures of habit. if you don't pratice sound fundamentals you won't display sound fundamentals when you play. which brings up 2 points. 1.is mchale adjusting his defense to best use the talent available(defenses adjust all the time in the nba depending upon what players are on the floor) is he taking advantage of the strengths of our players and masking some of their faults while trying to teach them the right way? and 2. are mchale's defensive ideas sound and grounded in the fundamentals. if so why is he unable to get his team to understand what it is he is trying to do after 67 games with no suscess. i'm sure we are notrunning some high tech defense that these players have never seen b4. if so we need to trash it and pull out the spurs model and start over.

    Our defense isn't even that bad when Asik is on the floor, it's quite good actually. The problems we have are easy to fix (such asgetting back in transition), and typically it takes1-3 years to see a huge improvement in young guys -- not7 years. Have patience young Jedi, the force is with us.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    :huh: I'm mostly speechless....no, wait...totally at a loss to respond here.

    You must be some kind of savant because when I learn to do something it takes a while before I am good at it and even longer before I am great. You are aware that most NBA players take roughly 3-4 years to really "get it"?...from there it is usually another 2-3 years of continued growth before they really begin to peak--from an understanding the game point of view.

    your kidding right? tell me your kidding. you think we should give this team possibly up to 7 years to learn how to play defense? it doesn't matter what defensive scheme we use. there is no reason it should take that long. also these guys (most of them) have been playing basketball all their lives. basketball is not rocket science. whatever system we are using it seems like we would be getting it right at least some of the time by now don't you think? we do NOT have 1 win....not even 1 win that I can pull up and say that was a defensive masterpiece. our idea of playing defense is hope the other team misses :lol:when we get pass asik and parson defensively we stink. plain and simple. I see no progress in this area. humans are creatures of habit. if you don't pratice sound fundamentals you won't display sound fundamentals when you play. which brings up 2 points. 1.is mchale adjusting his defense to best use the talent available(defenses adjust all the time in the nba depending upon what players are on the floor) is he taking advantage of the strengths of our players and masking some of their faults while trying to teach them the right way? and 2. are mchale's defensive ideas sound and grounded in the fundamentals. if so why is he unable to get his team to understand what it is he is trying to do after 67 games with no suscess. i'm sure we are notrunning some high tech defense that these players have never seen b4. if so we need to trash it and pull out the spurs model and start over.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    :huh: I'm mostly speechless....no, wait...totally at a loss to respond here.

    You must be some kind of savant because when I learn to do something it takes a while before I am good at it and even longer before I am great. You are aware that most NBA players take roughly 3-4 years to really "get it"?...from there it is usually another 2-3 years of continued growth before they really begin to peak--from an understanding the game point of view.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    As a history major I strongly disagree with the idea of not learning from the past.

    Further, the notion that defense is just effort is silly. Against sophisticated offenses, smart coaches, and clever point guards effort only takes you so far. Sound principles, fundamentals, and understanding spacing come first...then the effort to do them follows. The Rockets are getting beat by being out of position and allowing opponents to get easy, open looks underneath. With youth all you have is effort--the understanding will come.

    JG i'm a bit of a history buff myself(even tho I never couldcapture that elusive spelling bee championship) :lol:and I totally agree with everything, but that last statement (with youth all you have is effort- the understanding will come) the rockets have played 67 games this year. plenty of time to understand defensive and offensive rotations. at what point are we suppose to at least see progress in this area? seems like after doing something for 67 times we would start to get it right at least some of the time. however even when we win our defensive rotations still stink.the rockets shouldn't just watch tapes of lost games, but wins too. however tape watching can only take you so far. i'm sure it's no secert what assignments are beingmissed on defense......so why aren't we getting it corrected.........if I was the owner right now that's what I would be asking my coach right now. we can talk about all the great offensive scheme's we want to, but FACT is defense wins championships. until we learn how to get quality stops we must relie on outscoring the opposing team. that's a recipe for failure. live by the 3 die by the 3, but you die even faster when you play no defense. I hope we can get it corrected asap.....i've got my fingers crossed, toes crossed, all the labels on the bud lite cans lined up :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    I don't think anyone on the Rockets coaching staff, players, etc. needs to study the film of the last 2 games to see what they did right and where they went wrong.

    In my opinion, it's very simple. Intensity and Effort!!!!!!!!

    It looks quite clear to me the Rockets are suffering the same disease all young teams suffer from, the jitters caused by their average age, overall NBA experience and first time together as a unit.

    They just have to play through it and learn from their experience. Which means Rockets fans arelikely to experience the highest highs and lowest lows the remainder of the season incluidng any playoff action coming our way.

    As a history major I strongly disagree with the idea of not learning from the past.

    Further, the notion that defense is just effort is silly. Against sophisticated offenses, smart coaches, and clever point guards effort only takes you so far. Sound principles, fundamentals, and understanding spacing come first...then the effort to do them follows. The Rockets are getting beat by being out of position and allowing opponents to get easy, open looks underneath. With youth all you have is effort--the understanding will come.

  • rocketrick says 1 YEAR ago

    There isn't much to say here....So I will look for a sliver lining as I am prone to do....

    The past two games have afforded the Rockets two quarters worth of game film to see just how good they can play at both ends. (also 5 quarters worth of film to see how bad they can play). Maybe, just maybe, they can study those two quarters and figure a way to make that a more consistent effort....

    I also enjoyed Kelvin Sampson's little interview at halftime...He didn't seem to be fazed by what was happening and recognized that this was just "one of those nights"....regarding the first half, I loved the pithiness of him saying that ultimately, "you gotta put the brown thing in the round thing".

    I don't think anyone on the Rockets coaching staff, players, etc. needs to study the film of the last 2 games to see what they did right and where they went wrong.

    In my opinion, it's very simple. Intensity and Effort!!!!!!!!

    It looks quite clear to me the Rockets are suffering the same disease all young teams suffer from, the jitters caused by their average age, overall NBA experience and first time together as a unit.

    They just have to play through it and learn from their experience. Which means Rockets fans arelikely to experience the highest highs and lowest lows the remainder of the season incluidng any playoff action coming our way.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    There isn't much to say here....So I will look for a sliver lining as I am prone to do....

    The past two games have afforded the Rockets two quarters worth of game film to see just how good they can play at both ends. (also 5 quarters worth of film to see how bad they can play). Maybe, just maybe, they can study those two quarters and figure a way to make that a more consistent effort....

    I also enjoyed Kelvin Sampson's little interview at halftime...He didn't seem to be fazed by what was happening and recognized that this was just "one of those nights"....regarding the first half, I loved the pithiness of him saying that ultimately, "you gotta put the brown thing in the round thing".

  • Alituro says 1 YEAR ago

    You guys are right, but I still think it's a case of McHale being reactive instead of pro-active with the rotations he chooses and when he chooses them. The small ball lineup can be effective for stretches as far as swinging momentum and lighting up a scoreboard, but lets face it, a squad that features Beverley, Lin, Harden, Delfino, Smith as it's killer punch, is a team that is in trouble and we suck a lot more than what our record indicates. I used to think it was LIn-only fans whining about him being benched when in a funk, but now I see it is roster-wide. You can't overcome your funk if you are riding the pine, especially with young players. This is McHale's last chance, if he bombs us out of the postseason once again after having it all but sealed up (once again), then he needs to be driven far out of town. every team in the league has elevated their games at this point in the season and we're stuck in the mud (again).

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    Curry and Thompson are far too dangerous from outside

    To play a little devil's advocate, if I may - you do have to be a little careful in how you evaluate the success of the small ball lineup, because a lot of its potency is dependent on Delfino's ability to make shots. As we've seen through the year, he has hot and cold stretches. If he's sinking the three ball often and at a high percentage, then the lineup looks excellent and you can live with what is given up defensively. Tonight though, with absolutely nobody making shots in the first half, there was no chance it would look anything other than horrible.

    I also got the impression that McHale was putting Delfino at the 4 because he did not trust Robinson for the evening. And given the mental lapses Robinson had been making (that blown dunk was comical), I can kind of see why. Motiejunas still struggles from fatigue if he plays long minutes, and you could see him gasping in this game. When you have to take him out, there's really no other choice than to put Delfino in if you don't trust Robinson to play.

    ST

    I agree with this.

  • Ostrow says 1 YEAR ago

    the rockets have had plenty of time to adjust to the lost of ppat and mm. they weren't the stars on this team. if the defense is unable to adjust he should have tried a zone for small spuirts. anything except continue to watch the team stumble.

    You can't go zone against a team that has Curry and Thompson. PPatt wasn't a star, but he was a good positional defensive player, and you always knew what you were going to get from him. D-Mo and T-Rob both have higher ceilings, but right now McHale doesn't know what he is going to get from them on any given day.

  • thenit says 1 YEAR ago

    I'm one of those Mchale haters, but I just don't think it was so much coaching tonight. It was Harden not closing out on thompsons for a few 3s when the lead was cut to 3 and a lot of the players having a big fat goose egg on the score sheet. Parsons had 1fg, delfino shot poorly until the mid4th quarter. The only offensive threat was Lin and Harden, but they doubled Harden. Lin also seems to run out of gas in the 4th quarter, because he missed 3 straight FTs. The team just shoot poorly, the shots they took in the 1st and 2nd quarter wasn't really that bad. D-mo missed like 5 open 3s, parsons missed a couple, delfino a few. If 4-5 of those open looks hit, we were looking at single digit game starting the 2nd half.

    It was just one of those nights.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    You have to kind of feel for McHale. I think the Patterson trade was absolutely the right move, just from a long term perspective. But it really sucks losing your only veteran at a position down the stretch drive.

    the rockets have had plenty of time to adjust to the lost of ppat and mm. they weren't the stars on this team. if the defense is unable to adjust he should have tried a zone for small spuirts. anything except continue to watch the team stumble.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Sir Thursday:

    I too needed time to reflect. I was so upset by that lost you could have fryed an egg on my forehead. :angry:this game looked like one of the games involved in the meltdown from last year. the team is beginning to slide into collaspe. if mchale is unable to stop the slide he should be fired. the continued slow starts are digging holes that we simply can not get out of. I have been bashing mchale for quite some time now because I see things in him that are not healthy for this team. I have been hoping he would overcome some of his shortcomings, but it appears he has fallen down and can't get up. I could point to failure to make adjustments defensively, inability to adjust the offense to what GS was doing defensively. ineffective player matchups, players focus and determination, but all of that stuff has one thing in common............THE COACH

  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    You have to kind of feel for McHale. I think the Patterson trade was absolutely the right move, just from a long term perspective. But it really sucks losing your only veteran at a position down the stretch drive.

  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago

    To play a little devil's advocate, if I may - you do have to be a little careful in how you evaluate the success of the small ball lineup, because a lot of its potency is dependent on Delfino's ability to make shots. As we've seen through the year, he has hot and cold stretches. If he's sinking the three ball often and at a high percentage, then the lineup looks excellent and you can live with what is given up defensively. Tonight though, with absolutely nobody making shots in the first half, there was no chance it would look anything other than horrible.

    I also got the impression that McHale was putting Delfino at the 4 because he did not trust Robinson for the evening. And given the mental lapses Robinson had been making (that blown dunk was comical), I can kind of see why. Motiejunas still struggles from fatigue if he plays long minutes, and you could see him gasping in this game. When you have to take him out, there's really no other choice than to put Delfino in if you don't trust Robinson to play.

    ST

  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    There were three consecutive plays where Delfino was on Bogut and we had to double/triple team. All of the possessions resulted in a wide open made basket.

  • Alituro says 1 YEAR ago

    I agree with you there ST, when is McHale going to step up and play some big-boy ball for any reasonable stretches? I mean having 2 post players on the floor at all times. With Jones, D-mo, Asik, Robinson, Smith and even Albrecht, we have the bodies youth and athleticism to keep a large presence down there at all times. They may not be stellar defensively, but couldn't be worse than Delfino. Parsons nor Delfino has anybusinessplaying the 4, ever. It would have helped Harden's defensive leaks by having some size down there too. I'm usually a McHale supporter, too, but here lately, with the last couple losses I'mbeginningto rethink that assessment. He seems to react to the opposing coaches' moves rather than cause the reaction himself with his own. We are making, rather than forcing adjustments constantly.

  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago

    Now I've had some time to reflect, I feel like Harden has to take some blame for this one. The whole team was poor to start off, but once we got close we needed intensity on the defensive end to stop the lead from ballooning again. Instead, we got Klay Thompson wide open over-and-over, and he made us pay. That's Harden's man, and his defensive effort was unforgivably lax in that situation. Especially in a game where the Warriors worked hard to get the ball out of his hands when the Rockets had possession, you'd think he'd have something left in the tank to contribute at the other end of the court.

    I'm usually a McHale supporter, but I was disappointed in some of his lineup choices tonight. Golden State were playing their two PG lineup a lot with Jack, Curry, Thompson + 2 bigs. McHale was countering with his standard small-ball, ie. Delfino at the 4. The problem was that it meant there were two matchups GS could exploit on the offense - we had one of Parsons or Delfino on Jack and the other on Landry or Ezeli. Putting a bigger defender on the Jack wasn't ideal because he is nimble enough to take advantage, and there were several times where Delfino got overpowered defensively by the bigger GS players, particularly on the boards. On the other end though, Delfino was not able to provide much of anything until it was too late (eg. his outburst mid-4th quarter), and Parsons was unable to exploit his size advantage at that end. I would have prefered to have seen McHale try to match the two-PG setup and perhaps play Lin and Beverley together (he did experiment with AB in the second quarter, but that group went -10 in 5 minutes).

    ST

  • JSosa13 says 1 YEAR ago As much as I hate to say this, We really dont stand a chance against any of the top 5 teams in the West. I heard Bull saying that Denver would be a good match up for Houston in the playoffs but I dont get it, they basically play the same style as the Rockets do except 2 or 3x better, plus their squad is alot more consistent. I would prefer if we could just hold on to that 7th spot and face OKC in the first round, the Rockets have beaten them before so I believe theu can pull out at least 2 wins in that series, I'd take that over a potential sweep against S.A or Denver anyday.
  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago
    Yeah, definately brought me down to earth. Lets face it, we're young and likely to see a 1st round exit. But as long as we keep playing hard and improving we have nothing to be depressed about. The shots weren't falling but our guys fought hard tonight in spurts, and with experience will come consistency.
  • Red94 says 1 YEAR ago New post: Golden State Warriors 108, Houston Rockets 78: Ten Points Aren't Enough
  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago

    Well that was depressing. It looked like it was going to be brilliant second half after the Rockets got within 7 - been a while since I've heard the Toyota Centre that loud! Warriors did a good job of snuffing out the comeback though.

    ST

Leave a Comment