An ISO player may not help the team as much as some fans imagine (USA Today)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by RoxD, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. RoxD

    RoxD Member

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    Lin and Harden are paying dividends for Rockets: NBA A-Z

    Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports8:58p.m. EST January 2, 2013

    <blockquote><hr>
    One month into the 2012-13 NBA season, the James Harden-Jeremy Lin backcourt for the Houston Rockets sputtered.

    It reached a point where some analysts suggested the Rockets might be better off bringing Lin off the bench. At $8.3 million perseason, that was one expensive backup point guard.

    There were traditional and advanced statistics to prove Harden and Lin weren't clicking. In the first month of the season:
    <ul><li>The Rockets scored 102.8 points per 100 possessions, allowed 102.7 points per 100 possessions, shot 43.6% from the field, including 35.2% on three-pointers, and averaged 97.75 possessions per every 48 minutes.
    </li><li>With Lin on the bench, the Rockets averaged 103.9 points per 100 possessions, allowed 100.8 points per 100 possessions and shot 42.5% from the field. With Lin on the court, Houston averaged 102.4 points per 100 possessions, allowed 103.5 points per 100 possessions and shot 44% from the field.
    </li><li>With Lin and Harden on the court at the same time, the Rockets averaged 102.5 points per 100 possessions, allowed 104.2 points per 100 possessions and Harden was a minus-3. With Lin on the bench and Harden on the court, the Rockets averaged 104.9 points per 100 possessions, allowed 96.3 points per 100 possessions and Harden was a plus-20.</li></ul>Now, 15 games is a small sample size for sure, but the early returns suggested Lin and Harden weren't the dynamic combo the Rockets expected.

    But beyond a small sample, a series of other factors were neglected. Harden was acquired just before the start of the regular season and didn't have a training camp to work with Lin and his new teammates. Lin was in his first season as the known starter headed into Game 1 and was learning a new offense with new teammates on a very young team. Houston's opening-night starting five included Harden (fourth season), Lin (third season), Omer Asik (third season), Marcus Morris (second season) and Chandler Parsons (second season).

    Rockets coach Kevin McHale understood it required time and patience, with patience being the most trying part.

    "Until the team really understands how you play – every team has a style and a lot of teams are trying to find that style – but once you find out what works, you have to be dedicated to doing it," McHale said. "I liken back to Houston and the old Hakeem Olajuwon days. The team didn't one day all of sudden say, 'We're never going to throw the ball to Hakeem tonight. We're going to ice him out. We're going to come down shot jumpers.' They threw the ball to him every single time because that was their style.

    "Our style has to be ball movement, moving the ball side to side. You're going to have turnovers the way we play. We just can't be throwing the ball to the other team. ... But we have to play our style."

    When the Rockets didn't play well, he pinpointed the reasons.

    "The ball was too sticky on offense, too many mistakes defensively. … There's a lot of teams in the league that are young, asking the same question," McHale said. "A lot of guys are searching for themselves, trying to figure out who they are. When you pass all of that, it just makes it easier to play basketball. There are times when guys are searching for their offense. The ball gets sticky. Guys are looking to say, 'Hey, I have to get off.' "

    However, in December – the second month of the season – signs appeared that Lin and Harden can make it work as they found a better balance between who had the ball and their attacking natures. Lin likes to attack with finesse and the idea that he can pass to open shooters on the perimeter. Harden likes to attack with force and draw fouls.

    Take a look at some of the numbers in December:

    <ul><li>The Rockets averaged 106 points per 100 possessions, allowed 104.5 points per 100 possessions, shot 46.8% from the field and had 101.19 possessions per 48 minutes. The pace picked up, the scoring increased, the shooting percentage increased and the defense allowed a few more points but the net margin between points scored and points allowed was much better in December.
    </li><li>With Lin on the court, the Rockets averaged 106.2 points per 100 possessions, allowed 102.3 points per 100 possessions and shot 48.1% from the field. With Lin on the bench, Houston scored 105.7 points per 100 possessions, allowed 108.4 points per 100 possessions and shot 44.7% from the field.
    </li><li>With Lin and Harden on the court together, the Rockets averaged 106.8 points per 100 possessions, allowed 101.1 points per 100 possessions and Harden was a plus-54. With Lin on the bench and Harden on the court, Houston averaged 108.4 points per 100 possessions and allowed 110.2 points per 100 possessions and Harden was a minus-1.</li></ul>Again, that's a small sample size – 16 games in December for a 10-6 record with victories against the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks. But it's a sample size that proves it can and does work.

    "For us to be successful, we've got to move the ball and we've got to move our bodies. … Regardless of who we play, we've just got to attack and move the ball," McHale said. "We have a style that we have to play which is up and down and ball movement.

    "We're all getting to know each other a little bit. We have a really young team, and we haven't been together that long. … As a team, we have to find our footing."

    In a recent victory, Harden had 28 points and five rebounds and Lin had 16 points, eight assists, four rebounds and four steals. In another recent victory, Harden had 26 points, six assists and five rebounds and Lin had 20 points and 11 assists. In Lin's return to New York to play the Knicks, he had 22 points and eight assists, and Harden had 28 points and 10 rebounds.

    "It's a good example of what we can do," Lin said.

    </hr>
     
  2. CheukLau

    CheukLau Member

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    Arr... so the conclusion is small sample size.
     
  3. BeeBeard

    BeeBeard Member

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    Nice misleading thread title / unwarranted dig on James Harden you've got there.

    The article is about how the Rockets are learning to play in concert with one another, but you went a whole different direction in summarizing it, huh?
     
  4. GIGO

    GIGO Member

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    Right. I read this article earlier but never thought it'd be read as the title of this post suggests.
     
  5. RoxD

    RoxD Member

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    A little bit. ;)

    The intended direction of the author is not that important. What is important in this article is the data listed there. One of them is obviously pointing to another important issue:
    "With Lin on the bench and Harden on the court, Houston averaged 108.4 points per 100 possessions and allowed 110.2 points per 100 possessions and Harden was a minus-1."
     
  6. CheukLau

    CheukLau Member

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    So what are you trying to prove?
     
  7. Jedster

    Jedster Member

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    It's probably not related so much to the iso-player effect as to the 'who was supposed to guard that guy' D that Harden plays.

    And if you honestly never said that while watching a Rockets game, well...good for you. Haha.
     
  8. flamingdts

    flamingdts Member

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    Terrible title. Very misleading and provocative.

    But the OP could keep telling himself that championships are won without players capable of creating their own shots aka. "Iso players".
     
  9. RoxD

    RoxD Member

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    It is indeed a small size sample. Ya, only one-third of a season.

    The data listed in this article explains the conclusion I drew that Harden and Lin had roughly the same scale of on-court impact on the team's performance this season so far. The data here shows that Lin had a lesser on-court impact on the team than Harden in November and Lin had a larger on-court impact in December. That makes even.
     
  10. Nero

    Nero Member

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    Reasonably good article, but one star for a stupid thread title.
     
  11. CheukLau

    CheukLau Member

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    The stats could be suggesting Delfino has been playing great as a substitute for Harden. While, Douglas has been struggling as a substitute for Lin....
     
  12. CheukLau

    CheukLau Member

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  13. King1

    King1 Contributing Member

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    More dumb threads from LOFs. Lin isn't worthy of carrying Harden's bags to the arena
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. ogh

    ogh Member

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    Calm down, :grin:
     
  15. ch0c0b0fr34k

    ch0c0b0fr34k Member

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    You mind not quoting him?
     
  16. raskol

    raskol Contributing Member

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    Change the title OP. It negates all your points whether its correct or not.
     
  17. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Im not sure how this article makes any sort of argument that "An Iso player may not help the team." The only thing the article really hammers home is playing a style of gameplay that matches your personnel. The Rockets are a team of youth, and players that attack the basket. That doesn't mean it will hurt your team.

    Heck, to a greater extent you can see what Miami did last season with the same situation. Two ball dominant perimeter players who were at their best attacking the basket.

    If they continue to play their game, they have enough talent to become a playoff team consistently(maybe not THIS YEAR). In the playoffs, when the game slows down a bit, we will see how they adjust. Still, Miami holds the blueprint right now to show that it can be done if you have a solid enough defensive mindset, and players willing to move the ball on offense.
     
  18. King1

    King1 Contributing Member

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    Gotten to
     
  19. Skyhoop

    Skyhoop Member

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    More dumb posts from LOH's. You realize that the OP is a 2007er who's been a Rockets fan on Clutch years before Lin even entered the NBA, right? Your post contributes nothing except add to the inane LOF/LOH idiocy. Please refrain from dragging such inanities into a thread where there was none. Never be the first to resort to the LOF/LOH stereotypes unless your goal is to make the forum worse and expose your lack of insight. Especially when you're demonstrably wrong and would have realized that just by looking at the OP's join date, instead of ending up looking foolish. Please try to contribute to the conversation instead of knee-jerk one-liners that make no sense.
     
  20. Dreamin

    Dreamin Member

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    ISO or no ISO, it doesnt matter cause obviously offense hasn't been the problem for us. What are we gonna do about the turnovers and defense?
     

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