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ESPN: Rockets showcase what they must: Lockdown D

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by deshen, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. deshen

    deshen Member

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    Rockets showcase what they must: Lockdown D

    Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer

    HOUSTON -- The desperate 36-footer by Donovan Mitchell sailed over the backboard in a miserable moment that epitomized the Utah Jazz's offensive woes in their 122-90 Game 1 loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

    Mitchell had no choice but to toss up a prayer after receiving a pass so far from the basket just before the expiration of the shot clock, which was pelted with the errant shot. The Rockets' aggressive defense had snuffed out every action the Jazz attempted on the possession. That was a theme throughout the night.

    "Their physicality defensively disrupted us," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "The ball stopped and got stuck on one side of the floor. We just have to be more determined in those situations."

    The Rockets held the Jazz to 39 percent shooting from the floor (7-of-27 from 3-point range) and forced 18 turnovers in the rout. It was the kind of dominant defensive performance that gives the Rockets, a historically elite offensive team, confidence that they are legitimate title contenders.

    "It doesn't surprise me that we can defend," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "At all."

    Houston, one of the NBA's worst defensive teams during the first half of the season, has excelled on that end since the All-Star break. Only Utah ranked above Houston in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break, as the Rockets allowed only 105.3 points per possession in that span, a major factor in their league-best 20-5 finish.

    "That's what we have to do," said Rockets superstar James Harden, who had game highs of 29 points and 10 assists. "That's how we have to play defensively. We have to be aggressive. We have to disrupt their routes and their plays and things they like to do and make sure that they're not comfortable. If we don't do that, we don't have a chance. Defensively, we've been locked in these last couple of months."

    Reserve guard Austin Rivers raised some eyebrows after a March 28 rout of the Denver Nuggets when he declared that the Rockets would win a championship if they continued to play elite defense. That's a belief held throughout the Houston locker room.

    "That's something that we always emphasize," said forward PJ Tucker, the Rockets' best defender. "When we're aggressive as a team, our defense goes to another level. We're being physical on box-offs, on all the switches, and we're being aggressive and getting up into people, making them drive. When you do that, it puts pressure on the offense to try to make the right plays."

    The Jazz repeatedly made poor decisions under duress or had to settle for low-percentage shots in Game 1. With Eric Gordon as his primary defender, Utah go-to guy Mitchell had a particularly tough night, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting with no assists and five turnovers.

    "It's one game, and you have to learn from it, but I can't have no assists and five turnovers," Mitchell said. "I don't care how many minutes you play or whatever. If you get five turnovers, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and figure out how to adjust."

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26527473/lockdown-d
     
    caneks, bilaal14, tmoney1101 and 4 others like this.
  2. Madmanmetz

    Madmanmetz Member

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    Maybe some of the scared posters on here will begin to believe in this teams defense. They are good and can be elite if they play as a unit.
     
    D-rock, CCity Zero, topfive and 4 others like this.
  3. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    We closed paint really well last night. Look for them to swing it more for priemeter shots and lobs in the next games.
     
  4. Williamson

    Williamson SHUMPERT ONLY FAN
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  5. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    Mitchell is key. He will be aggressive and drive to get Harden in foul trouble. I do agree that swinging for perimeter shots can help him and other players. Fronting Gobert is tough, but it might help to decrease the lobs to him.
     
  6. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum It. Deserves. Its. Own. Thread.
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    Tell me how we're going to defend the Jazz
     
  7. tochiee22

    tochiee22 Contributing Member

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    And then look for us to Fck that gameplan up.. go rox
     
    hakeem94 and YallMean like this.
  8. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    Ego is very capable, glad MDA stuck with him as a starter.
     
    roslolian and D-rock like this.
  9. Sep11ie

    Sep11ie Member

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    Imagine how much better our D would be if Luc was injured for us instead of as a free agent.
     
    Spooner likes this.
  10. Wooderson

    Wooderson Member

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    It is quite baffling that so many people outside of Houston are acting surprised by the Rockets playing solid defense as if it were a new thing in last night's game.
     
    D-rock likes this.
  11. lnchan

    lnchan Member
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    Did anyone show this to 'holic yet...?
     
    D-rock likes this.
  12. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    From basically a beat writer, not homebase, but nice try.
     
  13. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    The team deserves props for the strong defensive play, and i'm excited to start the playoffs with a decisive win. But i'm not buying into the fact that we are going to out-rebound Utah going small like we did last night. Utah is 3rd in rebounding. if we aren't scrapping for every lose ball and the ball isn't taking some funny bounces, i'm not sure that small lineup delivers the way it did last night. I still want to see more Manimal and Capela on the court together; especially against Utah.
     
    D-rock likes this.
  14. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Wrong! Haven't you heard? It's impossible for us to be anything but a terrible defense because Tilman was too cheap to re-sign Ariza and only-4-games-this-year Luc!
     
    jdjd likes this.
  15. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I've probably criticized Gordon as much as anyone here, so I have to say that he played one hell of a game.

    Kudos, Eric!
     
    #15 Deckard, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Denovo, HookemHorns1250 and D-rock like this.
  16. BallSoHarden

    BallSoHarden Member

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    Ha if it weren't true, we would have seen that highlight block from Harden on the opponents Superstar. They have not once mentioned Harden's defensive progress in the form of a 5 second highlight or statistically. Not a single mention. There is a lot of data out there, but lets just not use any of it.

    The story is incredible, and I honestly never believed it to be possible because guys that I respect like Bob Voulgaris (guy is unbiased as the best pro better ever) who are highly quantitative in their analysis said it would not be possible for Harden to be an average defender while doing as much as he does on offense in isolation.

    It 100% is media bias due to a certain Company's influence. If Harden all of a sudden was a + defender and shows he can win without the whistle, there is no argument for Giannis.
     
    #16 BallSoHarden, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    D-rock likes this.
  17. Astrodome

    Astrodome Member
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    That early foul against harden scared me. You never know when the officials get a memo to pile them fouls on him.
     
    Deckard and Hakeemtheking like this.
  18. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    Not solid, ELITE defense.
     
    BallSoHarden and Hakeemtheking like this.
  19. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Same here. James got that foul straight away and "Oh no!" escaped my lips without any effort on my part.
     
    Astrodome likes this.
  20. Pat

    Pat Contributing Member
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    Does this mean its too late to tank for Zion?
     
    D-rock likes this.
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