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[ESPN] Lowe: Harden vs Traps

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by durvasa, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    #1 durvasa, Dec 10, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  2. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    Finally...some Rockets discussion that is about the actual basketball games
     
  3. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member
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    media conspiracy
     
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  4. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Imagine being so stupid you willingly try to go though a double team trap

    Harden really is that stupid
     
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  5. Reeko

    Reeko Member

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    Houston has scored 1.093 points per chance on shots that follow -- after one or more passes -- Harden dishing out of a double-team as he crosses midcourt, a mark that would lead all half-court offenses both for the season and since Nov. 20.

    That dovetails with public data. Houston has scored 114.3 points per 100 possessions since Nov. 20 -- fourth overall, per NBA.com data. That number jumps to 116.6 with Harden on the floor. Houston in that span has averaged a mammoth 1.14 points per possession anytime opponents trap Harden on a pick-and-roll, according to Second Spectrum data.


    This is why it’s better for Harden to be the one initiating the offense in the halfcourt and dominating the ball more. How many times did Harden immediately pass the rock to Russ after getting double teamed allowing Russ to get right to the rim with ease? It happened several times. Russ should keep looking to attack the rim when he has these 4 on 3 situations. A week ago he was settling for 3 point bricks, but last night it was straight to the rim for the finish or dump off/kick out. U love to see it.
     
    #5 Reeko, Dec 10, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  6. Reeko

    Reeko Member

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    Going into Monday's game against the Sacramento Kings, other Rockets had hit an astonishing 15 of 21 3s directly off passes Harden tossed out of traps, per ESPN Stats & Info data. (This does not include conventional traps on pick-and-rolls -- just all-out two-against-one traps.) On those shots, the closest defenders were more than seven feet away. Four of Houston's 10 best games in terms of shot quality -- their expected effective field-goal percentage based on the location of each shot, the shooter and the proximity of the nearest defender -- have come since Nov. 20 in Denver, per Second Spectrum.

    Their shooting around Harden should only improve. Danuel House Jr. missed three recent games, but he is back and shooting 43% from deep. Eric Gordon has hit 38% of his catch-and-shoot 3s as a Rocket. Coaches wonder if Gordon's return from knee surgery will mark the tipping point at which trapping becomes untenable.

    When Luka has defenses going all out like this, maybe then u can dare to put his name anywhere near Harden’s.
     
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  7. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    That podcast linked to in the first post was a really fun listen, by the way. Kind of reminded me of Radio Lab the way they mixed in Lowe’s comments and other audio clips and music.
     
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  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tastemaker
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    Traps against NBA players should always be EZ$. That's why you don't see it. It gets eaten up. And in those situations where the defense wants to deliver 4on4 offense opportunities to us on a silver platter - should be EZ$. 4on4 -- the advantage goes to the offense.

    The only reason teams even have the balls to do it against us is because we have a team that, 1. loses their confidence if they miss and 2. is comprised of specialists instead of hoopers. You give a hooper some space, he'll make you pay. You give a specialist space, it can throw that player off leading to a miss or turnover. Tucker cant drive or finish at the hoop. Capela cant dribble. BMac can only shoot 3s. And nobody shoots midrange. Specialists.
     
  9. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    So is the conclusion so far that it isn't working for defenses? That's "generally" what I'm seeing... eye test. Their problems still remain turnovers and defense.

    They're 21st on turnovers on the season, but absolutely worst in the league over their last 3 games at 19.3 a game. To the extent the trapping is increasing turnovers, then, maybe it is working. I'm pretty sure - correct me if I'm wrong @heypartner that the ORtg numbers quoted factor in turnovers - in other words if you turn the ball over, you're not scoring so the Ortg should be lowered. But it doesn't / can't factor in points off turnovers. at least from the eye test, they seem to be struggling turning the ball over late and having it lead to immediate transition points. I'm not sure that's a function of the Harden traps though.
     
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  10. bratna8

    bratna8 Member

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    More tapes on how to beat different types of schemes against Harden and the Rockets for the when the real season starts...that's what it comes down to.
     
  11. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    Harden's numbers were down in the past three games. Were the team's numbers up?
     
  12. Nook

    Nook Member

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    It is like this.

    James Harden is so incredibly good on offense that teams were losing to him even when the supporting cast was having limited individual success.

    As a result teams tried trapping, which is usually a poor long term strategy. With Harden's success teams felt that perhaps trapping would overall be a net benefit.

    Teams have trapped Harden, and at times Harden has tried to beat the trap, but often times has passed out of the trap. Whether it is a success relies less on Harden and more on the role players profiting off of less defensive attention. So far the role players have done well enough. Turnovers have been an issue, but will likely improve the longer teams trap Harden.

    Defensively the Rockets have been inconsistent. They will defend well for whole quarters and sometimes for an entire half, but at some point they will have an 8 minute stretch of time where their defense fails.

    The good is that we know Harden will pass out of traps and the role players are capable of stepping up. The bad is that turnovers are too high and the defense has lapses.

    The ball handling needs to be addressed internally and that can be fixed. The defensive issues, at least in part, need to be addressed with defensive personnel improvement. Also, want to get rid of traps? Add a wing or 4/5 that can shoot 3's.... traps will stop.
     
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  13. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    Like everything else with this team...everything is reliant on whether our 50-something 3-pointers a game are falling or not.
     
  14. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    This is my conclusion as well. Chatter is almost exclusively around the offense, but the issues remain defense and turnovers.

    Those are interrelated btw. The Rockets are WORST in the league in opponent fastbreak points.
    https://www.teamrankings.com/nba/stat/opponent-fastbreak-points-per-game
    This is partly pure defense - getting back especially with a lot of long rebounds. But it's also turnovers. It'd be one thing to have the ball going out of bounds a lot on turnover. Rocket turnover seems to be dudes literally just losing the ball on drives. And by dudes, that's Westbrook and Harden principally. And by losing the ball, it's half just losing the ball and half forcing action too much so even mediocre other team NBA defense is going to get deflections.

    Their pace also obviously plays a role, but in a league where every point matters - if their 5 losses since their slow start, three have been by 1 point, 1 point and 3 points (Clippers, after being up late) - eliminating opponent points in any way possible matters.

    Also anecdotally, I'm sure this is searchable but I don't have the time to figure it out, they seem to get somewhat worse in these areas, pace adjusted and relative to other teams, in the 4th quarter.
     
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    My eye ball test tells me the same as you concerning the 4th quarter defense, especially off turnovers.

    I read a lot of fans blaming the coach and the players, but some of this is personnel. The Rockets do not have the wings their system needs. They also do not have an athletic back up 4/5 to get back defensively either. We have traded our best defender (Paul) for one that has been mediocre this year (Westbrook), we have lost MBah and Ariza over the last couple seasons...... right now our best defender is in his 30's and is under sized. There are just issues that if they are not addressed, will be exploited by teams like the Clippers and Lakers and even Nuggets.
     
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  16. Nook

    Nook Member

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    FWIW here are some numbers.

    The bad:

    We are dead last in the NBA in opponents points per game in the 4th quarter. We are giving up 30 points a game in the 4th quarter. That can be a result of being an older team. It can also be an indication that the starters should perhaps play a couple minutes less heading into the 4th as well. I think it is a reflection of our lack of quality depth while trying to also push the pace.

    As for turnovers......... we are slightly causing more turnovers than times we turnover the ball. However, when we have consistently won in the past, we have won the turnover battle by a couple of turnovers. The switch from Paul to Westbrook has resulted in a -2 in the turnover battle. With a team that relies on the variability of the 3 point shot, we need to win battles like turnovers to consistently win games.

    As for steals........ it is the same as the turnovers. We are neutral on this point, when in the past we would steal a couple extra possessions from the opponents. This will cost us several games at least over the course of a season.

    Fouls......... again are neutral as we give up 23 a game and we get fouled on average 23 times a game. Now, because of Harden we do lead the league in foul shots at an amazing 30 a game. This is a massive improvement from last year where we only went 24 times to the line. This does somewhat help make up for the dip if steals/assists.

    Rebounding is interesting...... last year without Ariza and MBah we lost the rebounding battle. At this point in the season we are out rebounding our opponents by 1. We are getting 7 more rebounds a game this season and giving up only one more rebound than last year. With the difference in pace, that is impressive. The improved rebounding can largely be attributed to having Westbrook rebound like a power forward.

    Ever since we added Paul to the Rockets, our success was linked to winning the turnover battle, winning the free throw attempt war and limiting turnovers and not getting crushed on the boards. Essentially to overcome the volatility of relying on 3's, we in large part depended on having 5-6 extra possessions a game.

    This year we are neutral on the turnover/steals/foul battles and are winning the free throw attempt and rebounding (narrowly).

    I think the turnover issues can be some what rectified (although we won't be as good without Paul), but I think the other issues mainly need to be addressed through personnel improvements.
     
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  17. Severe Rockets Fan

    Severe Rockets Fan Takin it one stage at a time...
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    Not sure if you’re kidding, but I honestly feel the same way...he does that **** all the time, obviously trying to draw a foul, but 99% of the time just looking foolish. It’s cringe-worthy...just pass the damn ball man!
     
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  18. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    Great article

    Agree that teams decided to even attempt this level of doubling because of Paul being switched with Westbrook.

    I think once Westbrook and the others get more chances of attacking 4 vs 3 they will get better.

    Gordon coming back might end the doubling.
     
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  19. RKREBORN

    RKREBORN Member

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  20. Furious Jam

    Furious Jam Contributing Member

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    I hate to beat a dead horse, but you never see an article like this about Giannis. If the Bucks were in the West they would only win 50 games and there's no way he would win the MVP - he would basically be Anthony Davis on the Pels. But it won't last regardless - he'll leave the Bucks as soon as he can to become a third wheel on some contender like Chris Bosh did. I get a Dwight Howard vibe from him - he'll be the heel soon enough.
     
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