1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Rockets get ready to run with the big dogs

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Champ06, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. Champ06

    Champ06 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    20
    Rockets get ready to run with the big dogs
    The players hope picking up pace will push them to success

    By BRANDON C. WILLIAMS
    Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle


    Don Nelson knew it was just a preseason game, but after watching the Rockets run up and down the court during their 104-90 victory Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks' president of basketball operations/general manager knew the gap between the two teams was closing fast.

    No longer was this a defense-first team with an offensive style more sleep-inducing than title-contending; no, this group of Rockets — much like Nelson's Mavericks — was playing up-tempo. This group of Rockets looked poised to do more than just make the playoffs. This looked like the team that compelled ESPN basketball stats guru John Hollinger to pick the Rockets as his choice to win the NBA Finals.

    "The future's bright in Houston," Nelson said. "They're deep. ... With the kinds of weapons they have out there, they can play an East Coast beat-'em-up style or get out in the open court. (Coach) Rick Adelman is one of the best in the league at opening up an offense; plus, they still have strong defensive principles. It's the best of both worlds for them."

    Change was necessary after four stagnant years of Jeff Van Gundy's style of play, but the Rockets embarked on an extreme makeover that would stagger Ty Pennington. Eight new players (rookies Aaron Brooks, Mike Harris, Carl Landry and Luis Scola, along with veterans Jackie Butler, Steve Francis, Mike James and Justin Reed), a new general manager (Daryl Morey) and a new coach (Adelman) later, the expectations have changed.

    Living in the suburbs of the Western Conference won't cut it; the Rockets are hoping to move into the high-rent district where Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio have resided.

    The tenants up Interstate 45 already have noticed the changes.

    "They're probably happier now that they have freer rein to play up-tempo," said Mavericks guard-forward Jerry Stackhouse. "Van Gundy was more old-school in wanting to play a grind-out game. But with Rick, they're going to score more, so we think they're more dangerous than in past years."

    The redesigning of the Rockets centered upon building a club that can play an up-tempo style of offense while instilling the anaconda-like defense that Van Gundy trademarked. That meansgenerating more than last season's 97 points per game average, which placed them a pedestrian 17th in the league.

    "It's definitely going to be good to go up and down the court," said James.


    Players like new tempo

    Guard Rafer Alston agreed.

    "It fits me well," Alston said. "I can get out and push the ball. ... I'm a guy who likes to pass the ball, so that forces guys to run with me. They know they're going to get the basketball."

    The additions to the roster will take the pressure off of Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming to carry the team on their shoulders. Too often in recent years, the Rockets' offense consisted of three players waiting around for the two All-Stars on the floor to create scoring.

    Mavericks coach Avery Johnson knows that won't be the case this season.

    "They're going to be a dangerous team," he said. "Collectively, each of the changes they made will help put them over the top."

    The arrival of Scola has garnered the most attention. The 6-9 power forward's aggressiveness inside the paint and ability to score down low provides the franchise with its most complete player at the position since Charles Barkley.

    "He can play," Bonzi Wells said of Scola. "He's definitely going to help us, but we need everybody to make him better."

    The Mavericks and Spurs also will have to contend with a roster that is deeper than it has been in years. With Adelman's ability to utilize the likes of Francis, Wells, James and Chuck Hayes off the bench, the Rockets now believe they have enough depth to withstand the grind of an 82-game season and the injuries that come along with the marathon pace.

    "We have a lot of depth, and that's what they have," said Alston. "They have guys who can come off the bench who can shoot and score, and we now have guys who can do that. Now we have to see how that plays out on the court."


    Stacking up well

    While Thursday's win doesn't count in the standings, it did show the Rockets might be on the cusp of being more than just the "other NBA team in Texas."

    "I think we stack up well against (Dallas)," Hayes said. "On paper, we look like we should be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but we haven't proven anything yet. ... We made a lot of nice moves in the offseason to compete with the other teams in Texas."

    Alston believes the game was important, even though it doesn't count.

    "It may be preseason, but it's important to get a gauge on them," Alston said. "They're one of the best teams in the conference, so you want to get a chance to see how you match up against them."

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/5230611.html
     
  2. liangqj

    liangqj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is only a preseason game, and we played against the third-lineup of Mavs. It can not prove anything. The players/members/coach of Mavs said the word is formula.
     
  3. Painting_Shade

    Painting_Shade Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    993
    Likes Received:
    22
    It can prove the relative fluidity of our offense. It proved that Yao is fit for the system and very confident. It proved that Tracy is ready to lead the team and also feels comfortable in the system. It may not prove anything in regards to how close/far we are from contending with the likes of Dallas, but it did prove some validity to the hype this team has suffered.
     
  4. Cohen

    Cohen Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 1999
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    4

    Wow... if Alston starts we may have more fire and grit skilled players coming off the bench than I've ever seen anywhere, anytime. Chuck can prob get along w/ anyone, and if those first 3 can target their fire on the opponents instead of each other...
     
  5. liangqj

    liangqj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    0
    the relative fluidity of our offense----Mavs have not make hard defense.
    Yao is fit for the system----Yao fit for the system after this game? and very confident? If that is the true, I am so disappoint for he is too low with their expectation.
    Tracy is ready to lead the team ----Before the preseason, Tracy have already led the team.
     
  6. ReD_1

    ReD_1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,053
    Likes Received:
    12
    Even article on ROCKETS.COM said that we'll have the same lineup as last season.
    So expect Alston to be in rotation so as James and Francis.That gives us more flexibility to run the offense and James,Francis can play the SG position.
    So expect various lineups this season to see,we're so deep,probably the best team we had in last 10 yrs.
     
  7. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    40,101
    Likes Received:
    9,626
    Mavs played up tempo?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/stats/b...team&conference=NBA&year=season_2006&sort=235

    The Rockets attemped 1 more FG per game than the Mavs did last season, and 1.7 less FT attemps while turning the ball over 0.5 times more.

    The number of possessions per game between the two teams were pretty similar.

    The Mavs didn't play any more "up tempo" than the Rockets. They are more efficient than the Rockes in these possessions: scored 3 more points per game. But they did not paly at a higher pace.

    I would hope if the Rockets are trying to play more "up tempo" they would be playing at a highe pace than the pace they played at last season.
     
  8. meh

    meh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    14,703
    Likes Received:
    1,088
    Weird comments by Don Nelson. For a team as stat-oriented as the Mavs, he should know quite well that the Mavs are no longer an up-tempo team. Their pace is pretty damn slow, but their efficiency in a slow-pace offense is what makes them so good.
     
  9. iconoclastic

    iconoclastic Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    6,070
    Likes Received:
    361
    Another JVG bashing article! I'm lovin it
     
  10. JeopardE

    JeopardE Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    7,418
    Likes Received:
    246
    I was just about to say this ... this article is about as inaccurate as it gets. The Mavs are the COMPLETE opposite of an up-tempo team -- they ranked 28th out of 30 teams in possessions per game (and the Rockets were 22nd). Another classic mistake confusing the terms "high scoring" and "up-tempo" -- these terms do not mean the same thing, and you'd think someone like Donnie Nelson would know the difference by now.

    Also, Bonzi's quote is interesting. Seems he basically said "Scola's a great offensive player, but we're gonna have to work hard to cover for his defensive mistakes until he learns".
     
  11. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    7,471
    Likes Received:
    528
    My 2 cents: Avery held out his big guys Thursday in order to concentrate on Friday's game with Detroit. Playing with their starters (except Dampier), the Mavs executed Detroit 122-94 and made it look easy. I believe that they wanted to get a good look at the new Rockets offense and this preseason game was the perfect opportunity so I really wouldn't read too much into what happened Thursday night. We really won't know how good the Rockets are until they can settle into their new systems and that should be sometime around December.
     
  12. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    40,101
    Likes Received:
    9,626

    Nelson wasn't the one who claimed Mavs played up-tempo. The reporter was the one making that **** up. Some of the guys he interviwed mentioned Rockets may play more up tempo, but never said Mavs were. The idiot reproter probably went around asking Donnie, Rafer, Stack, etc the same "up tempo" question in order to write this article. He also confused Don Nelson, who works for GS, with Donn Nelson, who works for the Mavs.

    Seems like the Mavs were not the only ones playig third string scrubs that night.
     
  13. Yetti

    Yetti Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    9,070
    Likes Received:
    60
    I interpreted it quite differently!! I thought that he was saying- If Scola is going to be part of the second team then we must be prepared to utilize his abilities and we must focus on passing him the ball, when he is open.
    I say this because in the last game Scola floundered because of our selfish guard play, they almost cut him out of the offensive game!! Possibly it was a hint to Mike James!
    Comments from the Dallas Coaching & Management Staff are worthless and should be considered as part of their verbal tactics. Only stupid people would be proud to listen to praise from their enemies :p
     
  14. metalshred

    metalshred Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    49
    i also think the line up we had last year should continue shining this season as the starting 5. It would be nice to see chuck, an undersized PF who can rebound to play alone Yao, and Scola, who can score, to play side by side with a shot blocking machine and rebounder mutombo. We can make sure both scoring and rebound don't fall too low both when Yao's on and off the court.
     
  15. metalshred

    metalshred Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    49
    edit: off the bench

    lol
     
  16. OrangeRowdy95

    OrangeRowdy95 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    15
    Who's Brandon C Williams? Is e a new Chronicle hire?
     
  17. zong

    zong Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do not pay a attenetion to what they said, they did not even give ours a chance for a practice with their starters, hoping they are going lose the first round again this year.
     
  18. metalshred

    metalshred Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    49
    why not letting them pass the first round so we can kick their butt
     
  19. watashi315

    watashi315 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,540
    Likes Received:
    146
    How come I'm not exactly jumping up and down with joy? While we made some excellent transactions during the off-season, I think Dallas is still the team to beat in the Southwest Division. They still have the core nucleus of their team plus they made some great new additions to fill in on their weak spots from last season, interior play (Dampier still sucks) and fast guards (Terry lost a step). I like the new addition of Brandon Bass, Jose Barea, and Nick Fazekas.

    1. Although he's been in the league for 2 years, Bass has got a lot to prove. As witnessed on Thursday, he can play with the big boys and he's aggressive down low. In the preseason game, he single-handedly carried the team against our starters. Get some more minutes under his belt and he could carve into Diop and Dampier's playing time. The only thing he's gotta work on is his defense.

    2. Barea was a surprise. We might've never heard of the guy but we'll be hearing a lot of him in this upcoming season. He's QUICK, fearless, and knows how to find openings to score. Once Terry goes, it's gonna be him and Harris running the team. That's a scary thought.

    3. Fakekas is like an American version of Dirk. A big man who can shoot the lights out from behind the arc. He's got a long way to go before he becomes Mr. MVP, but he's only a rookie and I assuming Dallas is grooming him for the future.

    These three are excellent additions for this already great team and I think will give us headaches in the upcoming season.
     
  20. mzymmm

    mzymmm Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    0
    BOOHOO, San Antonio, okay... Dallas, not much of a big dog. so whatever. ;)
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now