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[Ringer] 30 Facts that Will Make or Break the Harden-Westbrook Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by SamFisher, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    I know there's a lot of these articles but this is a good one. Take that for data.

    https://www.theringer.com/2019/7/16/20695381/houston-rockets-russell-westbrook-james-harden

    Way more at the link...the numbers on westy are ugly...
     
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  2. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member
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    The grand assumption is that we are going to simply drop Westbrook into our current system, without making any changes, and that's just lazy assessments by anyone needing to push out an article (even though I'm a fan of The Ringer).

    When we got Paul two summers ago, it was assumed by all media types that it wouldn't work because both guards are ball-dominant (sounds familiar?). It was also assumed that Chris Paul would have brought more mid-range shooting to the Rockets because that was the one deficit we had the year prior. That turned out to be half true and Paul actually ended up shooting less from inside the 3 in his two years in Houston than at any other team in his career. However, while he shot more 3s, we saw Chris Paul taking his game into full ISO mode here, where about 70% of his shots have been unassisted, highest in his career.

    What am I getting at? I'm not saying Russ won't jack up 3s because he certainly will but I don't think it's simple as "Russ will fail here because we have a system that's rigid and inflexible". It might be that way for the Washed Carmelos of the world but Russ is coming in to be our 2nd banana and I have no doubt that both MDA and Harden will tweak the offense to give Westbrook room to be effective. Also I'm excited to see what Russ can do in the PnR game with Capela because he's a vastly superior big in that situation than Adams.
     
  3. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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  4. Shark44

    Shark44 Member

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    Interesting article Sam--thanks for posting. Blending WB strengths and minimizing his weaknesses will be MDA's shot at retention/extension. Do it well and we'll be awesome, but if it doesn't work MDA will get the blame and likely the boot. It will be interesting again to see the difference between how we start the season and how we finish.
     
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  5. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    There's no ray of sunshine number that I can see but if Russ does in fact curtail his stupid ass "cotton shot" he becomes a way more palatable player.

    His goal should be to shoot 0.0 a game. D'Antoni should call timeout and remove him from the game if he takes 1 with anything more than 0.9 on the shot clock.
     
  6. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Also the more I look into Russ numbers, the more egregious it is that he won MVP in 2017.

    And it was already egregious.

    I have a feeling we will say the same thing in 2021 about 2019.
     
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  7. harold bingo

    harold bingo Iso Only Fan
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    Well I just read this article and I'm feeling as bad as ever about the trade. Puts a lot of numbers to the things everyone knows about Westbrook, and it doesn't look good. I'm really really interested to see how Houston/MDA/Morey change our game to suit Westbrook, and how Westbrook changes his game to suit us.
     
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  8. BlastOff!

    BlastOff! Member

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    That’s the thing, D’antoni knows how to craft an offensive system. He’s gonna put a plan out there that will work with Harden and Westbrook, as well as the rest of the guys. I have no idea why people are under the assumption that it’ll be a free for all style offense.
     
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  9. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member
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    I was literally writing an article about this stuff when I saw the Ringer's today.

    Westbrook is literally the worst shooter at volume in NBA history. It's staggering really. The splits don't show any reason for optimism either. Wide open, catch and shoot, off the dribble, pull up...it's all ugly. This year was worse than the others though so I can see a case for a 5 point bump in some of those numbers which would be huge.

    My goal for him is to be at 33% in 3s or better.
     
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  10. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member
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    He's already said they won't be making significant changes
     
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  11. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    That was.........not an encouraging read....
     
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  12. JoeBarelyCares

    JoeBarelyCares Contributing Member

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    Start Gordon at SG and bring Westbrook off the bench. The rest of the NBA would not be able to handle the change of pace.
     
  13. Russjr2

    Russjr2 Contributing Member

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    Exactly. All of the data is based on his play in OKC over the years. When he didn't have a lot of help and has never had shooters to space the floor for him He has had to try and do it all to give his team a chance to win (all the triple doubles). MDA will create a system that will be much better for him to work in. He will know where shooters are, he will know what lanes will be open for driving, he will have a chance to play off the ball and get the ball on the move in the offense, he will finally be able to play in some structure. He is not a natural PG, he is a SG, so I hope we let him focus on scoring the ball and creating for others off his drives. I can see us kinda using him as a SF from time to time on the wing. When you have structure and you know where your teammates will be, there is a trust created that will reduce the need to force things like he did in OKC. I believe MDA and James will make this work for Russ.
     
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  14. dmoneybangbang

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    This. All the Russ detractors/haters are making this assumption.
     
  15. dmoneybangbang

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    Good thing we got a bunch of shooters on this current team....

    ... maybe Russ will be more of a distributor and maybe Harden will be more of a catch and shooter.

    This won’t work if both Harden and Russ don’t adapt. If Harden, as the leader, decides ( again) the most prudent action is more “your turn, my turn” then this won’t go so well.
     
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  16. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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  17. hakeem94

    hakeem94 Member

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    I am not reading this article..i know russ and beard will tear up the league ...60-70 wins season here we come...in po anything is possible

    and i dont want wb to change his game by an iota.. even his signature midrange brick... we need variety in the offense
     
  18. smoothie

    smoothie Contributing Member
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    fair article. i think the road to success is as follows:

    1) continue to use iso ball as both are great at generating points (in different ways) from iso. plenty of possessions to accommodate both usage rates.

    2) limit (eliminate) rus' mid range shooting and dribble 3's. the article only talked about how weak he was here but didn't mention the data that shows rus is an average spot up shooter and average at open looks. neither did they discuss that he's excellent at finishing in the paint, they just mentioned that he's great at assisting off drives to the paint. rus' iso play has to be limited to getting to the paint for a shot or pass, and then going to spot up for 3. nothing else is efficient.

    3) we can get rus in on more action with a 1-2 PnR. i love the idea of defenses not being able to switch or trap harden off the screen without giving rus a 4 on 3 drive to the basket. again since he's excellent at assisting and scoring in that situation. if harden was the screener the defense would go-under on westbrook but he's an average shooter on open looks, so they really can't do that all game. on a double or switch with rus as the ball handler james would have the 4-3 drive and he's excellent at scoring or getting to the line in that situation. it would be a nightmare to defend either way.

    lastly, its great to see that 9/10 teams that paired such high usage players have had contending seasons. most were above 54 wins and made the conference finals. 538 projected us to have 58 wins and a 25% chance at a championship right now.

    i also wish the article spoke a bit about defense.
     
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  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    25. Westbrook is suited for the same kind of distribution in Houston, with one caveat. It’s not true, as the common perception might suggest, that Westbrook will be playing with more capable targets for his passes in Houston than he did in Oklahoma City. Over the past three seasons, the most common non-Westbrook 3-point shooters for the Thunder succeeded on about 38 percent of their catch-and-shoot 3s—the same as the players now on Houston’s roster over the same period.

    Sadly, part of the reason why people hold the perception of OKC as a crap 3 point shooting team is because Russ is so bad he drags down the average.
     
  20. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    Rockets best bet for Westbrook is

    1) Remove or reduce the 2 dribble FT line jumper he loves. (Can MDA do this?)
    2) Reduce the off dribble 3's. Replace with catch and shoot 3's.
    3) More off ball cutting (Good luck?) and more drives to the basket.

    Basically MDA is charged with altering Westbrook's *shot profile.* RW might not be efficient....but can MDA make him *less inefficient.*
     
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