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A nice play from Friday, and some thoughts

The Rockets came out of halftime to start the third quarter with this play on Friday night.

It’s some pretty basic action that involves every player on the floor, and ultimately results in a wide open shot. Had he wanted it, Harden could have also lobbed the pass up to Capela, with the right angle.

When I talk about the need for the Rockets to diversify their offense, there have been two main points of contention. First, that the Rockets don’t have good passers, i.e. that the reason Golden State is able to do the things that team does is because every player in the lineup is an above average passer. The second point of contention is that such a course of action is unnecessary; that the Rockets rode Harden’s brilliance all the way to the Western Conference Finals last year.

To counter the first point, the above illustrates you don’t need great passers to institute motion elements.  Harden is still the primary decision-maker here – the rest of the players are just moving parts.  In fact such a set doesn’t even take the responsibilities out of Harden’s hands.  He’s still the primary decision-maker.  This just gives him more options.  That leads to the second point.  Milking Harden is obviously a winning formula.  He’s one of the greatest pick&roll players ever.  But diversifying the offense doesn’t mean taking the ball out of his hands and turning him into J.J. Redick.  It would simply constitute mixing things up a bit to give him more options.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of www.Red94.net.

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