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Who's the main ball handler?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by JW86, Jul 15, 2019.

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Main ball handler?

This poll will close on Aug 29, 2019 at 4:39 AM.
  1. Westbrook

    49 vote(s)
    51.6%
  2. Harden

    46 vote(s)
    48.4%
  1. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    Seems like people are very divided on this part, especially in the media. And while it's being discussed in plenty of threads, it will be an interesting poll and have the arguments in one place.

    Me personally, I think it's fairly obvious it needs to be mainly Westbrook. A few quick arguments for that is: he can get into our offense faster, is a one man wrecking crew who can either decide to take it to the hole or kick it out - not just on fast breaks, Harden is the much better shooter so can benefit from some catch and shoot opportunities, less pressure on Harden to do it all if he doesn't have the ball in his hands as much and Westbrook will benefit from having shooters around him so he can actually get to the hole much easier. Defenders will have to stay home on Harden at least.

    I also just don't see Westbrook changing his game, much less so than Harden. The guy is being asked to come to Houston so he will probably come in with an attitude of 'you wanted me here, you knew my personality and how I play so why should I change? As crazy as it sounds, let Russ be Russ might be the best way to go.

    What this also does is force Harden to be off the ball and he has to adjust, something he's reportedly said throughout the process of this trade. We are not sure if he's really willing to move and it also depends on MDA, maybe he still thinks the best formula is give Harden the ball and let's go. Or maybe Harden thinks part of being the guy in Houston is needing to have the ball in his hands, but if he's smart he will be more off the ball and let Westbrook be the PG.

    Alright people, who you got and why?
     
    kjayp and BHannes2BHonest like this.
  2. the shark

    the shark Member

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    Harden is horrible without the ball and has shown that "catch and shoot" isn't of interest to him.

    Whether he decides to finally work on this (or decide to change) I guess we'll find out.

    That said Harden will be the main ball handler.
     
  3. iconoclastic

    iconoclastic Member

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    I don't remember Westbrook being historically dominant as a main ball-handler. Harden is better as the main ball-handler, so he should retain the role. Westbrook needs to change his game on his new team.
     
  4. hakeem94

    hakeem94 Member

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    I need to watch couple of okc classic games
     
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  5. Rockets1897

    Rockets1897 Member

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    People seem to forget that Harden did play plenty off ball in the first year when CP3 arrived. It will be the same now they will share the ball handling duties when together on court but also their minutes will be staggered. Each will get around 12 minutes without the other on the floor. This is what everyone is overlooking we will play only around half the game with both on the floor and the other half with one of them running the show. This will make us unstoppable and put so much problems on the opposition having to guard an elite guard the whole 48 mins against driving to the rim and all these Harden step backs.

    This was the reason why we were so good in 2017-2018. Until Chris Paul declined so badly that he couldn’t get his shot off in isolation and he couldn’t get to his spots like he did in the first year. He could get his shot in the pick and roll before the big could contest and he had enough quickness to create separation for those side step 3s against the bigs. Last season he lost the ability to get a bucket WHEN HE WANTS because he simply lost that half step off quickness. And that made us rely too much on Harden once again.

    Of course Westbrook will be different because he isn’t a good shooter he will need to pick and roll with Capela to death. But with the shooters and the way we space the floor his rim attacks will be way easier for him than in OKC. Also the number of transition 3s we will get will be insane. Gordon will enjoy those very much
     
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  6. Red.Glare

    Red.Glare Member

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    A friend of mine who is a die hard Thunder fan said whenever Harden came off the bench, he usually took over the role of PG and Westbrook became the SG. He said Westbrook was the one who was usually moving off the ball, not Harden. We'll see.
     
  7. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    That’s definitely true, but with our playing style and Westbrook’s obvious regress in shooting. It can work in spurts only.
     
  8. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member

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    They'll share the ball roughly 50/50 the way Harden started off sharing it with Paul in 17-18 but abandoned last season after Paul came back from injury in favor of going back to his pre- Paul days of dominating the ball and jacking his turnovers up.

    It will be interesting to see if in the process of these two childhood friends playing together because they want to play together whether they both decide to really play SELFLESSLY and a lot smarter than they have for the course of their careers.

    I am relying on this possibility to believe the light at the end of the tunnel here is actually the sun and not the HW Express coming though and crushing Rockets fans.
     
    #8 basketballholic, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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  9. Streets 01

    Streets 01 Member

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    - One of Harden/Westbrook should be on the floor at all times.

    - When both are on the floor, as soon as we get a rebound, option 1 is Westbrook pushing the pace, trying to catch the defense off-balance and finding a seam to the basket; where he can either finish strong, draw contact, hit a trailing big man, or kick out to a shooter.

    - If the defense is able to get set, Westbrook hits the trailing Harden to make something happen in isolation (option 2). So it’s Russ in transition and Harden in half-court sets.

    - The exception to this is situations where we want to purposely slow the tempo down (I.e. nursing a big lead, running out the clock, playing for the last shot, etc.). In those situations, Harden should walk the ball up and Russ play the 2 guard.

    - When just Harden is on the floor he needs to be surrounded by shooters and a big man who can set picks. The offense is the same as it was last year. A bunch of switching until Harden gets the matchup he wants and then he kills his man on an island.

    - When Harden is resting and Westbrook takes over, we ideally want to pair him with the best athletes (House, Gordon, Capela, etc). The idea is to switch from Harden’s “lull you to sleep iso ball” to seven second or less. We want to just run the break as much as possible. Clamp down on D and try to get those transition buckets. Run run run! Should be able to kill a lot of second units this way.

    - In half court sets where Russ is running the show, he should be constantly looking to attack either off the dribble or in PNR sets. If the defense sags I can live with him taking some wide open 3s. If we can eliminate the long 2s from his offense and turn those into 3s; he’ll be more efficient even with low percentages. And if he has to chuck them; the time to do it is when he’s the only MVP on the floor, the quick bucket isn’t there, he can’t break down the D; and the defense is giving it to him.

    I could see this working really well.
     
  10. Mattician

    Mattician Member

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    I think Westbrook should start the game handling the ball more. Harden can take over later in the game.
     
  11. harold bingo

    harold bingo Iso Only Fan
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    For the poll are you asking who it should be if we want to see the best results for the rockets? Or who we predict it will be? Unfortunately I have two different answers.
     
  12. MasterBindo

    MasterBindo Member

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    I think Harden playing off the ball would make the most sense... But I just don't see it happening :(
     
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  13. MIAGI99

    MIAGI99 Member

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    Oh, we know who's handling the ball. I don't think Russ wants to challenge this.
     
  14. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    Who you think makes the most sense so first. I definitely predict it will be Harden. Westbrook off the ball moving around for an alley-oop, layup, pass to Capela after cutting would be ideal, but that’s not happening under MDA. He likes players who stand still and thinks players who need to go around screens to receive the ball won’t thrive here.
     
  15. BeardNation13

    BeardNation13 Member

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    It has to be Westbrook because Westbrook off the ball spotting up behind the 3 point line will be a mess
     
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  16. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    WB should bring the ball up - quickly... see if there's an opportunity to challenge the d b4 they get set.. if the d gets back and there's no opportunity to exploit... at that point WB should kick the ball to Harden and let him do his thing...
     
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  17. fattz

    fattz Member

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    They both have their styles of play and DM needs to get the supporting cast to play both styles. We need rebounding for Westbrook and spacing for Harden.
    Rebuilding and spacing = ???

    DM who is next?
     
  18. dejamike

    dejamike Member

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    This is the same question everyone asked when we acquired CP, I think it should based on matchups and adjust during games.
     
  19. xaos

    xaos Member
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    I would love to see Westbrook take the ball on missed shots to push the tempo, and if there is no opportunities then to kick it around until there is an open shot or until it finds Harden's hands.

    After that, it's a great question. I'm not going to pretend to know the answer, haha!
     
  20. DanO 337

    DanO 337 Member

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    It depends on the match up. Remember these guys want to play together. Hell, practically grew up together. Willingness is different than conforming. Assist leaders... these dudes are professional basketball players. They know how to play. I think we are in for a treat. I could be wrong but this is what they wanted(HARDEN/RW). MVP'S... they have the support. I think maybe one more 3 and D wing guy... now who I have no clue. But I totally can't wait 2 see what goes down.
     
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