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Defensive depth in the playoffs

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Will, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    2017-18: Here are the guys we had who could defend the perimeter decently or better:

    CP, Gordon, Tucker, Ariza, Mbah a Moute, Harden, Green, Capela. That's 8.

    2018-19: Here are the guys we have who can defend the perimeter decently or better:

    CP, Gordon, Tucker, House, Rivers, Shumpert, Harden, Clark, Green, Faried, Capela. That's 11.

    [I'm omitting Aaron Jackson ('17-18) and Vince Edwards ('18-19) as guys considered by the coach to be unworthy of PT except under duress. I'm also treating Ryno, Tarik Black, and Joe Johnson as liabilities in perimeter D. We don't need to argue about Green or Nene, since they're on both squads.]

    The point is, D'Antoni has a better set of options. He can put any of these 11 guys on the floor without cringing every time they get isolated. Remember when we had to play Ryno because 2 injuries (CP and Luc) reduced last year's list of 8 to 6? Suppose CP goes does down again (sorry) and somebody else also gets injured like Luc did. Maybe Shumpert or Faried. Take out CP and Shumpert, and you still have these 9:

    Gordon, Tucker, House, Rivers, Harden, Clark, Green, Faried, Capela.

    That's still a serious rotation. A coach can work with that. He doesn't have to play six guys crazy minutes. And, more to the point, roll the clock back: He can limit CP's minutes to begin with, to reduce the risk of another hamstring.

    We still have major problems. We don't rotate fast enough inside, we're short on the boards, and our shooting is unreliable. There's a high risk that we go out the same way we did last year, missing a lot of one-and-done 3's. But we're much better positioned to defend the Warriors than we were a year ago. If we can hit some shots or grab some boards, we have a good chance of defeating them.
     
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  2. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    With only a dozen or so games left, this is the dichotomy which the Rockets face -- tighten up the rotation to about 8 players and let them develop the cohesiveness that only can come with extended playing time, or let all these worthy players alternate playing time so that the starters can rest a bit.

    Inasmuch as I want the rotation to expend, I don't think MDA will play 10 in the playoffs. Playing 8, maybe 9 will let figured out all of the weaknesses that need to be addressed (hi Shump, don't forget to switch, instead of following your man to the center of the court).
     
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  3. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member
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    When is the post season cut off for buyouts?

    That dented can of discount beans might be the key to a winning championship formula.
     
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  4. PeppermintCandy

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    Houston may have more perimeter defenders than last season (though personally I'm iffy about Gerald Green being on that list), but as another poster has pointed out, D'Antoni isn't playing an 11-man rotation in the playoffs.

    Discounting Mbah a Moute's season-ending injury, Ariza and Mbah a Moute of last season are better than any two of House, Rivers, Shumpert, and Clark from this season. Plus, this season's team has had less time to work on their chemistry.

    But on the other hand, this season's wings can give the team more in terms of offense. So on a shorter playoff rotation, I'd say this year's team has a slightly worse defense but a potentially better offense overall.
     
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  5. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    That's 8 guys who can defend the perimeter decently. If you're going to include Green and Faried in that list, then the entire NBA can defend decently so it becomes a meaningless description. They would be 2 of the worst defensive players in the entire NBA playoffs.
     
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  6. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    Yeah way too optimistic of a list there. Last year we had a better defensive team, fact. It’s not just individuals, it’s about the team but let’s see how we finish the season.

    We’re playing better defense since the break, but the rotation will shrink and MDA has tough decisions to make. I hope he will have the guts to trust House and Green, but is also not afraid to pull them to see if Shumpert, Rivers or Clark can get it done.
     
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  7. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    Well, the obvious benefit of real depth is that if somebody is not performing or missing assignments, MDA can just plug in someone else. I am just more concerned that the "chosen 8" will have enough time to gel and work defensively as one unit. I want to see a machine out there, and I really believe this team can win it all.
     
  8. HP3

    HP3 Member

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    I dont really feel comfortable with Faried getting isolated to be honest.
     
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  9. buzz1701

    buzz1701 Contributing Member

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    LOL...you have Harden as a perimeter defender? He can defend post players alright but he is NOT a good perimeter defender.
     
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  10. FLASH21

    FLASH21 Heart O' Champs
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    He's gotten much better. He's not the best of the bunch but you simply can't label him as the worst anymore.

    He's been top 5 in steals and deflections all season and it's not because he's gambling for steals it's because he's keeping his hands active and his feet moving. With that being said he is still susceptible to the occasional blow by or lapse on defense but he is not the same James Harden defensive lowlight reel that he's been portrayed as through past seasons.
     
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  11. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    He's not just top 5 in steals - he's 0.02 behind Paul George for the league lead.

    I want him to sell out for steals and lead the league. He's 4 total steals behind George now, if he can average 3 for the next few weeks he will likely pass him up.
     
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  12. buzz1701

    buzz1701 Contributing Member

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    Yes I know about his steals...but they come mostly when he is guarding post players or just taking it from a perimeter guy, not from actually defending a perimeter player. His defense is under-rated, but he can't really guard perimeter players. He just doesn't have the quickness to move his feet at the rate he needs to.
     
  13. FLASH21

    FLASH21 Heart O' Champs
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    Not true. His deflections come from the perimeter and the post.

    He's leading all guards in deflections even (our own BEST guard perimeter defender) Chris Paul. There's no way he's leading these guys in deflections by simply planting himself on every team's biggest offensive player and guarding them in the post.

    upload_2019-3-19_10-13-26.png
     
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  14. napalm06

    napalm06 Fire Bill O'Brien
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    I agree with the premise, just disagree on Faried being a perimeter defender. He's a streaky energy player, not a cerebral, fundamentals guy.
     
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  15. hakeemthagreat

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    This is why I feel better about our team this year. I think this was Morey's strategy from the beginning of the season, which it should be. Get as many scrappy defenders as possible. The only thing is I feel at this point we should be better defensively
     
  16. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    This is some heavily optimistic **** lol

    Farried doesn't belong on the list . Neither does Clark .... and I like Clark . But he's not a playoff caliber rotation player without more seasoning .

    So basically 8 last year vs 9 this year ....

    And you could argue that Luc and Trevor are better perimeter defenders than shump and rivers . Shump and rivers are quicker , but Luc and trev knew how to use their length .

    We aren't as good of a defensive team . Even if the talent is there , the chemistry and habits are not .
     
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  17. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    re the objections to Faried: Just from the eye test, I've felt way less uncomfortable watching him guard a perimeter iso than I did watching Anderson or Black. But maybe I'm misremembering Black? How was he in those situations?
     
  18. fryjol7

    fryjol7 Member

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    I would agree if we came to a joint conclussion:

    We have more decent defenders vs last year's team, but we have less elite defenders vs last year's team.

    Then we could argue based on this season's stats which formula works better and which one is cheaper and faster to build and which fits our stars better. You could argue that with CP3 age we may do better with having more but not as good defenders, so they could fill all minutes he misses on regular season.

    In that scenario, my point for this years team would be that seeing the big monster the playoffs are, we may do better with this years cast as it can adjust to different teams and would withstand injury better.
     
  19. Houstunna

    Houstunna The Most Unbiased Fan
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    Agreed, except Luc is MIA from this discussion.

    He was a playoff nonfactor, besides hurting us when he did play.
     
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tastemaker
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    Who could and now can guard Durant effectively though?
     
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