[Chronicle] How to beat the Warriors? It starts with discipline

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Deuce, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Deuce

    Deuce Contributing Member

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    It's like Hollins and JVG are applying for a job. ;)


    How to beat the Warriors? It starts with discipline

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/spo...251069.php?t=54b74fb324&cmpid=twitter-premium

    OAKLAND, Calif. - You are J.B. Bickerstaff, interim coach of a Rockets team you barely dragged into the playoffs on the strength of a three-game finishing kick and all kinds of help in Utah.

    You have pushed your often underachieving team to some real improvements in the second half of the season. But the missteps along the way stuck you with a first-round series against the greatest regular-season team in NBA history, owners of 11 wins in 12 games against the Rockets and last season's NBA championship.

    You get one day to come up with a game plan and go over video; one day for a brief walk-through.

    Now, go beat the Warriors. What do you do?

    "They're a heck of an offensive team," Bickerstaff said. "They have multiple guys who can make shots from deep so they spread your defense out. Then, they're also ball-skilled enough to where they can get to the basket. They're one of the most prolific offenses we've seen in a long time. They have unique shot-makers and a combination of them I don't think we've seen in a long time.

    "Defensively, they're stout, too. They're good individual defenders. They have good team defenders. We'll have a challenge. But we'll prepare for it and we'll be ready to go."


    If being great offensively and defensively were not enough of a starting point, many of the Warriors' strengths match up with Rockets' weaknesses, particularly their ability to convert on the break, force multiple players to serve as ballhandlers and to play with relentless intensity.

    There are, however, suggestions to consider.

    "The first thing you have to talk about is discipline," former Grizzlies and Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "You can't play at the Warriors' pace. You have to use the clock, take good shots, not turn the ball over. Where they get you is you come out and take quick shots and miss; they run back at you and score. You come back and turn the ball over; they come back and score.

    "The second thing is in their early offense, a lot of teams spend a lot of time switching everthing. What happens, is you start creating bad matchups. You end up with a big guy guarding Steph Curry. Maybe slide through a screen, help with a big guy who is guarding the screener. Just take away some of the mismatches.

    "The third thing is from a defensive perspective with Steph, your big guy can never be at the free throw line or dropping in the lane because Steph doesn't need to come to you. If a guard gets hung up on a screen, he's shooting and he makes a high percentage of them. When it's Draymond Green, he's such a great playmaker or finisher, he'll turn and dribble and attack the basket and make you have to stop him. He'll throw alley oops to (Andrew) Bogut or he throws it out to the 3-point shooter if they're pinching in on Bogut."


    The Rockets, however, also play with pace and struggle when stuck too often playing in the halfcourt. They use their big men to trap on high screens and often switch defensively, especally late in the shot clock.

    "You have to be you," Hollins said. "That's first and foremost. But if you are versatile, you have to be careful not to get caught up in their pace. Houston probably matches up pretty good with the Warriors because they have versatile players that play multiple positions and can switch and do some of the things the Warriors do. But can you do it as well, can you do it as consistently?

    "The ball sharing has to be at a premium all night long, every game, because if you start holding the ball, taking bad shots, quick shots, that's what the Warriors feed off."

    Former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy also cited the Rockets' defensive versatility and ability to play small lineups as vital. The right mix of switches and high-screen traps is the best of bad options.

    "Obviously, turnovers are a critical factor," Van Gundy said. "Then, I think your defensive versatility is a huge factor. They have lineups they can play if you don't have defensive versatility as far as speed, length, the ability to switch some of the actions they put you into, they're always playing four on three. They have the shooting and decision-makers to hurt you."

    On the other end, Van Gundy said the Rockets have to get Harden playmaking help and use Dwight Howard inside in pick-and-roll and other cuts.

    "Overlooked is how much switching they do, so you have to have guys who can take care of the ball and go off the dribble and create a play," Van Gundy said. "The worry for me for Houston is who is the second guy who can make a play off the dribble? I haven't seen someone consistently be able to do that.

    "This is why I still think Howard for Houston is a big key; (the Warriors) will be less likely to downsize and play Green at the five against Howard. I don't think you can be completely Harden-centric, to where they can always see him with the ball in his hand and the five defenders are staring at him. I like when they have moved him off the ball so he's coming off a pin-down (screen). Then, when he catches and attacks. I like making him more versatile, which they've gone to more, which is a great move by J.B."

    Van Gundy also believed the player Curry defends, likely Pat Beverley, will have to be involved in the playmaking.

    "Whoever (Curry) is guarding, I think they have to be actively involved as a screener, as a guy who is using screens on or off the ball," Van Gundy said. "You can't let Curry just guard a spot-up shooter, standing in the corner and never be involved defensively."

    Most of Beverley's shots come as a spot-up shooter, but the Rockets have set more ball screens for Beverley and with teams staying with rolling big men, he has scored with floaters in the lane.

    "He's been better at that than I imagined," Van Gundy said. "It can't just be 'if Harden scores 40 we got a shot.' They're going to be locked in to Harden. Other guys have to be involved.

    "Howard, it's not about post-ups. To me, it's about transition, seals early in the clock, about second shots. It's defensively protecting the lane so the perimeter guys can get ball pressure and force them to put it down." If the Rockets can make all that work, they also have to have the tenacity to limit and withstand the Warriors' inevitable runs.

    "You have all of those things to factor in, and then just believing you can win," Hollins said. "Also, you can't get caught up when they're on runs. You have to keep playing and playing your game throughout the 48 minutes.

    "Obviously, they had a special season. Curry's season was really good. But they have other people you have to worry about. Klay Thompson is somebody you have to worry about attacking the basket and going backdoor. You have to worry about the postups of Harrison Barnes and leaving him open. You have to give up something. Most coaches will give up shots to Harrison Barnes on the perimeter and see if he can make enough shots. Most times he does. You're not going shut them down the way San Antonio did."

    So, the Rockets have to allow shots to shooters that usually make them; have to run, but not too much, find playmakers they could not all season and take care of the ball better than they normally do against a team ideally suited to force turnovers. And they have to do it against a team with the confidence of a run through the season greater than any in league history.

    "The Warriors are a tough team, a very poised team and they have confidence," Hollins said. "No matter how you play or what you do, they've seen it, they've exploited it, they'll do it again. They attack the basket, share the basketball and don't care who scores. If you do those things and have good players, you're going to be very hard to beat. There is a reason they won 73 games. They're very good."
     
  2. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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    TL; DR version ?
     
  3. rocketsballin

    rocketsballin Member

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    obligated "it starts with jb"
     
  4. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    As soon as they started quoting JVG, I had to tune out.
     
  5. OTMax

    OTMax Member

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    Hahaha if there's one thing we clearly lack it's discipline. Beverly is not a good defender so Curry will go nuts.
     
  6. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    then obviously missed very accurate information
     
  7. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    not so sure about that...i think he picked us to win it all last year if i remember correctly.
     
  8. ilovehtownbb

    ilovehtownbb Member

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    Just don't play terry and Brewer
     
  9. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    so what in his quotes above are incorrect to you. They look on point to me
     
  10. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    i dunno...i tuned out. lol
     
  11. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    ok lol. then exactly like i said, you missed pretty accurate information
     
  12. dumbartonbass

    dumbartonbass Contributing Member

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    So, the one trait this team has lacked all season. Got it.
     
  13. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    While everything in the article strikes me as true, the other things they didn't mention which are keys:

    1. One of the PFs has to be seriously on their game the whole series. DMo, Beasley, Smith. One of those guys has to be dialed in, offensively, defensively and/or both. A dialed in Smith is best, but that's pretty rare.

    2. Bench play has to be more than non-existent. It's been fairly non-existent most of the year.

    So if you add the above to what they said - discipline, Howard playing big, making sure Beverley is involved and setting screens requiring Steph to work more defensively, etc.... well, you end up basically saying the whole team has to be playing at their absolute best.

    Which, of course, is absolutely true.
     
  14. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    pretty much the summary right there haha
     
  15. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    That's what is mentally frustrating.
     
  16. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    What is discipline? I don't think we have one if those. Let me call Harden, he might be at the stripclub. Let me ask Morey, he said it doesn't exist via twitter.
     
  17. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    The Rockets spell it dishiplin. They have yet to figure out that it isn't a word and they don't know what it means.
     
  18. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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    "But can you do it as well, can you do it as consistently?"

    I want to believe; with tears in mine eyes I cannot.
     
  19. jbasket

    jbasket Contributing Member

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    Yea, I can definitely turn this series around. Have faith!
     
  20. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    The Rockets are screwed worse than a 2 cent hooker.:cool:
     
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