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What we can learn from the Pelicans game

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Will, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
    Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 1999
    Likes Received:
    No, this wasn’t Melo’s fault. Nor was it mostly a lack of energy, as D’Antoni suggested. We have some systemic problems to work on. Here’s an attempt to break them down, sorting out which things we don’t need to worry about, and which we do.

    A. Problems particular to this game

    1. Rusty execution. Harden missing layups, Gordon missing 3’s. We’ll get past this.

    2. Ennis seemed wound up, tight. Choked badly on some shots. But found his stroke toward the end. I expect him to settle down and hit at least as consistently as Ariza.

    3. Some hot shooting by the Pelicans. Especially Mirotic. Some nights, this happens. Live with it.

    B. Problems we can expect to fix with some work

    1. Defensive communication. Easily our biggest problem tonight. Possession after possession, we didn’t know who was supposed to rotate where. Some of this is the new guys not knowing where to go, or the old guys not knowing where the new guys are going. But some of it was the old guys getting confused: CP and PJ, EG and PJ. One guy leaving a cutter to another who didn’t think it was his job, two guys rotating to the same shooter and leaving another shooter open. Prescription: Lots of video, and more practice time spent on rotations.

    2. Defensive inattention. Harden’s D on the ball was pretty good. But off the ball, he lost sight of his man and allowed cuts to the basket for scores and rebounds. Prescription: Chris Paul needs to get in his face.

    On these two points, I think we’re paying the price for a lax preseason. We didn’t challenge our D against good offensive teams, so under pressure, we look lost. Pretty sure Bzdelik would have dealt with the communication and assignment issues. I’m looking at you, Roy Rogers.

    C. Problems that will hurt us all season

    1. Exploitable defenders. The Pels crossed up our guys on the perimeter and broke to the basket with speed before we could recover. Green and MCW were forced into switches, isolated, and hosed. Green is often beaten anyway. Melo was not lackluster—he busted his tail to close out on a shooter in the corner—but his footwork on defense isn’t much nimbler than Ryno’s. He was sometimes juked into irrelevance, including by Randle.

    2. Size. The game started with Mirotic shoving Ennis out from under basket for an offensive rebound. MCW, at 185 pounds, gets backed into the basket like he isn’t there. Several times, the Pels posted him up and forced our bigs to double. Davis picked on him and CP. OK, there’s only one Davis. But we should expect other teams with mobile bigs to take this game as a recipe for beating us.

    3. MCW’s shooting. If he keeps airballing wide open 3s, our other guys are gonna be playing 4 on 5. See: Brewer, Corey. Gotta get that percentage up, or find a useful role for him closer to the basket.

    D. Where we’ve gotten better

    1. Ennis covers more ground than Ariza on defense and moves quicker on offense. This should help us as he settles into our system. We wanted to get a little younger and more athletic here, and we succeeded.

    2. MCW adds some useful ball handling, distribution, and slashing. Also covers the court well and hustles and elevates for rebounds. Similar to Brewer in some respects, but with court vision and the ability to make plays for others.

    3. Melo does as much board work as Ryno, but adds several things: takes his man to the basket, puts the ball on the floor and makes contested shots, passes better (the bounce to MCW cutting the baseline was excellent), defends more effectively in the post, and has much better hands to poke the ball away.

    So let’s not freak out about this game. Learn what can be learned, fix what can be fixed, and do what we can to compensate for the rest. We’re trying to work several new guys into our system. A realistic goal for the early part of the season is to limit the number of games we lose while we clean up our defensive organization.
    tc0330, BigMaloe, carib and 69 others like this.
  2. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    The truth is we're not going to be as good a defensive team as last season. Yes it will improve from this first game. No it will not be like it was late last season. Also, if it doesn't work against Anthony Davis, then it might not work against Demarcus Cousins in 4-5 months time. Frankly I don't think much can be inferred from one game, so that's as much as I'm willing to extrapolate from it.

    What was more disappointing to me was that they were not prepared for the regular season. That's on MDA. The players have allegedly been working on their games and cohesion for a lot longer than training camp.
    carib, Houtho, da_juice and 11 others like this.
  3. BigggReddd

    BigggReddd Member

    Sep 21, 2012
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    We need to do with MCW what GSW does to Livingston.

    NO THREES EVER. Even if you're wide open. Take that one dribble pull up or dish it
    carib, da_juice, bj3175 and 4 others like this.
  4. kevtse

    kevtse Member

    Jul 9, 2006
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    We overpaid Capela
    fattz, Houtho, Little Bit and 3 others like this.
  5. aurocketfan

    aurocketfan Member

    Nov 20, 2008
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    1. Defnese
    2. Match up. To me Pelicans are a bad match up for us. Although we won most of the games against them last season, they were fairly close. We had massive troubles containing AD. Their 4 and 5 had our numbers and are going to give us problems this season. We need to figure something out .
    da_juice and buffalobills!!! like this.
  6. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
    Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
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    @ Lakers
    @ Clippers

    No easy games.
    kevtse and hakeem94 like this.
  7. RocketsFido

    RocketsFido Member

    Oct 31, 2013
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    I wonder how many blowouts before Morey pulls the trigger on the Butler trade.
    fattz and mike2k132 like this.
  8. PeterKingX

    PeterKingX Member

    Nov 7, 2007
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    Six losses in a row is coming
    da_juice and hakeem94 like this.
  9. 1Deep

    1Deep Member

    Nov 11, 2010
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    I think he'll be ok but he absolutely needs develop some type of offensive game besides lay-ups & dunks off of lobs.

    The big men in today's game are highly skilled.
  10. mr_gootan

    mr_gootan Member

    May 23, 2001
    Likes Received:
    We learned that Harden wants AD to win MVP over LeBron and Steph.
  11. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
    Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Harden not moving as well off the ball and losing his man off the ball. That has been plaguing him for as long as I can think back.

    That is who he is. He can do better for sure, but he isn't going to have the best body language every game.

    Chris has other issues than playing sitter every game, he has to keep staying healthy and execute.

    Guys like Ayton and Embiid getting a field day.

    I am waiting to see if Capela can do his thang against a 'slower' Gobert in the next few games.
    #11 daywalker02, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  12. ArtV

    ArtV Contributing Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Likes Received:
    That Harden getting the MVP was enough of a reward for him to start coasting.

    Ennis is not a starter replacement.

    And yes - we paid Capela too much.

    This was just the 1st game and losing it happens even to the best teams. Losing it like that though...smh...we're not as good as we think we are.
  13. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

    Jul 7, 2005
    Likes Received:
    MCW isn’t good at any type of shooting. One dribble pull up would be just as bad
    YOLO likes this.
  14. BigShasta

    BigShasta Contributing Member

    Apr 26, 2014
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    Noticed that when he kept clanking free throws.
  15. BaselineFade

    BaselineFade Member

    Feb 28, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I learned that New Orleans may be more of a problem for NBA then the experts predicted.

    Elfrid Payton has always played serviceable D. He can dish it and rebound as well. He has a similar skill set to Rondo, just a younger version.

    I've always loved Randle. Kid is just a beast. Lakers best player last year in my imo. He brings constant energy, and looks like he added a 3 point shot. We have always had trouble containing him.

    Mirotic is who we wanted Ryno to be. A quick trigger, can rebound, and has just a pretty good BBIQ.

    I think the combo of Randle and Mirotic is a better fit to play with AD then Boogie ever was. They were better after he got hurt last year, before they got Randle.

    I keep reading about how the Pelicans are just a bad matchup for the Rockets. This team could be top 4 in the West this year.

    While we have been obsessing over GS, the Pelicans may have just snuck in the back door.

    So how do we resolve our defensive and rebounding issues against this team or against Boogie 4-5 months from now?

    We have committed to PJ as our anchor, and our small ball 5. We ain't getting any bigger. Knowing Mike D he won't add Hart or Chriss to the regular rotation, much less a playoff rotation.

    AD looks hungry and motivared. They killed us without Holiday having to show up. Moore looks solid, can shoot play E and also has a high BBIQ.

    Anyway, I hope we don't run into them before we meet GS. That's what I learned.
    Y2JT, fattz, Houtho and 15 others like this.
  16. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
    Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2006
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    Well said. Next game - Lakers

    I also dun think the Lakers are a cake walk, they look like a bunch of bad BBIQ players but if Lebron can get them to work you will see a bench of:

    Lance Stephenson who has improved as a passer
    Kyle Kuzma or Brandon Ingram off the bench
    Mike Beasley
    Lonzo Ball - can't shoot but very versatile player
    They still have guys like
    Mikhailiuk and Josh Hart who can light it up if they get hot.

    That is deep. Not allstar deep but still.
    Kuz (Ingram)

    Shootout! Rox with the better shooters, they have the better inside game.
    #16 daywalker02, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
    BaselineFade likes this.
  17. Furious Jam

    Furious Jam Contributing Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Likes Received:
    You learned that you can't always play just CP3, Capella, and 7 wings. Swapping Eric Gordon for Jimmy Butler would give you more defense for sure, but you'd still have an imbalance. Hartenstein or Zhou need to be given some time to see if either of them can become a power forward. This team needs a lot more length in its lineup.
    carib, Houtho, Little Bit and 3 others like this.
  18. Htownballer38

    Htownballer38 Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Add in for the price we paid Capela, he has to work on his low post moves. He's been here long enough and Dream has worked with him. So I'm not understanding why his development has stalled.

    I do not like this small ball lineup starting the game against legit bigs that are athletic. The Pelicans bigs destroyed us last night.

    Davis 32/16
    Mirotic 30/10
    Randle 25/8

    You can't play Tucker and Melo at the 4 against these type of bigs. And we most definitely can not do that bullcrap switching everything.
    Red Hova and daywalker02 like this.
  19. Vivi

    Vivi Member

    Feb 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    MDA "we were tired"...plays 8 guys.

    Looking forward to so how tired the guys will in the end of the season :rolleyes:
  20. hakeem94

    hakeem94 Member

    Sep 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    he just need to put his head down and attack the basket every single time..this is how i played before i improved my 3pt shot...and it worked for me extremelly well at the level i play

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