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Rebounds and Rockets Risky D

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by rocketsjudoka, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I was very impressed with the Rox comeback win last night and a lot of grittiness and heart shown by this team over the last few games. That said being a Houston fan I'm still worried and am still not sold on the all small ball strategy.

    The D was amazing with all of the switching, strips and steals but this is a very risky strategy at the NBA level. With players with good handles trying to strip them is a good way to rack up a lot of fouls. Harden is doing some of the stuff that we saw Clyde Drexler do and get into the passing lanes for interceptions. Even with Clyde a lot of times if you can't get the pick off often leads to an easy basket for the opponent.

    While this was a Rockets' win and not just the Bucks losing I think the Bucks going into crunch time made a strategic mistake Lopez was eating our lunch and it was clear his height was bothering us. It seemed to me if they Bucks had gone to a traditional post game of throwing the ball over our defenders into the post where Lopez didn't need to dribble That would've been very difficult for us to stop. They also could've played Giannis in the low post more too since he has a such a long reach instead of having him set up in the high post.

    The Rockets have to play this type of D because of the lack of the big rim protector and I'm glad it works so far but this is risky and if we're allowing a past his prime Brooks Lopez do that too us we need to be worried.

    The riskiest part of the Rockets game is giving up so many rebounds. As the saying goes "You can't train height' and that makes a big difference on the boards. I know a lot of people made fun of the "easiest rebound" Giannis ever got last night when the ball just came to him. That said there was a Rockets player right next to him and he used his long arms to outreach the Rockets player. It's never a good idea to give up second chance points. It allows a team to take more time off the clock and means much more energy has to be expended on D. The Rockets offense is good enough to minimize the damage done by second chance points but that still depends on us getting enough shots at the other end. My fear is that a team that can play a slow down low post game, limiting Rockets possessions could be disaster for us.
     
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  2. Astrodome

    Astrodome Member

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    Hopefully they are saving some new defensive schemes for the playoffs. We looked great in the last two 4th quarters. I am optimistic.
     
  3. Reeko

    Reeko Member
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    the main thing I worry about is how taxing what they’re doing seems to be...also, I hope this trend of our guys always being in foul trouble doesn’t continue

    people were already saying in the game thread that PJ couldn’t hit his wide open threes because he had no legs having to battle Giannis and all those bigs

    Can they keep up the intensity that is required for 4 playoff rounds?

    they survived being outrebounded by almost 30 against the Bucks because they had 15 steals and forced 22 turnovers...also, the Bucks shot 9-35 from three which helped

    they’ll have to continue to force turnovers at a high rate in order to offset the numerous extra possessions the opposing team will generate due to easy offensive rebounds

    main reason I don’t fear the Lakers is because Bron is the only who can get in the paint consistently, and they’re not a great shooting team...their only big who isn’t mediocre offensively and can stay on the floor is AD who is kinda soft...I hope we see them in the 2nd round
     
  4. chenjy9

    chenjy9 Numbers Don't Lie
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    I am not trying to be an ass here, but what exactly is there to sold about? We are already all-in on this small ball strategy. There is no pivot here; it's small ball or bust. At this point in time, the only thing we can do is to sit back and enjoy how this experiment can play out. Concerning your point on rim protector, that is more on team defense and positioning than height. Case in point, Chuck Hayes was probably our best interior defender since Olajuwon and he was 6'6. While blocking and vertical ability is nice and flashy, the much better alternative is to simply not give the offense that position, whether it be a post up, cut, or drive. By virtue of "being there first" or even "being in the way" while keeping your hands up, you automatically make things much more difficult for the offensive player you are engaging. Now, that's not to say that height doesn't help as it does, just that skill and positioning help much more.

    As for rebounds, while that is a concern, the real question is; how are we compensating. With small ball, that's by playing the passing lanes more aggressively and getting up more shots. We saw that yesterday. We saw that between GSW and Thunder a while back. Now, will that always work? Of course not. Then again, we won't get out rebounded that badly most games either, only against the teams with legit big men. Conversely speaking, big men will also tire out against us, especially if the opposing team insists on trying to yam it down our throats in the middle every play as we have a very thicc defense. Point is, teams that have the ability to absolutely crush us on the boards will be hard pressed to keep up with us defensively and even offensively if they insist on forcefully initiating interior offense. One thing that DOES concern me however, and this has gone on beyond this season, is our inconsistent and fairly poor overall ability to box out. With our stout players, we should be better way better at that.
     
  5. mfastx

    mfastx Member

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    Their consistency is still a concern, so is lack of rebounding. A lot needs to go right to win with the small-ball strategy, both in terms of 3PTs made and deflections/steals/forcing turnovers.
     
  6. Patience

    Patience Contributing Member
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    I think the ease with which Lopez and Giannis scored when they got good position made the problem seem worse than it was. Tucker, Covington, and Harden did a pretty good job keeping them from getting that position for the most part. There were a couple of possessions where it seemed like Lopez was forcing a post up because of his size advantage, but ended up taking contested leaning jump shots. Those are wins for the Rockets defense. If the Bucks focus on getting Lopez 2 point shots, that means they are not getting Giannis dunks or open three pointers. That seems like a win for the Rockets' defense as long as they keep Lopez somewhere in the range of his normal averages (he shot 50%).
     
    #6 Patience, Aug 3, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  7. Patience

    Patience Contributing Member
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    Interesting stats:

    Rockets FG%: .396
    Bucks FG%: .489

    Should have been a blowout, right?

    However:
    Rockets eFG%: .511
    Bucks eFG%: .538

    I guess there is something to Morey's math after all.
     
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  8. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    In a long series, they might have to go 9 deep, hopefully with a reasonable healthy E.G.
     
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  9. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    While I do think MDA is kind of arrogant and all in to a fault about this small ball, the results speak for themselves. It’s risky yes but it has paid off.

    The only problem will come when in a series we go cold and it comes down to timely possessions, pace and not giving the opponent opportunities to score. If you then are small, unable to rebound and keep going for steals with all our switching style then we basically bank on enough threes and fouls to be called.

    We just have to live with it and I think while we didn’t play fundamentally sound necessarily, I loved and have loved how disruptive we are with Roco, PJ and Harden. We were like this in 17-18, the two main differences: we had bigger guys in Ariza and Mbah while also having more sound defenders in CP3 alongside those two.
     
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  10. lakersuck2

    lakersuck2 Member

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    I dunno if this will stick in the playoffs but I kinda noticed that for some reason, NBA teams are kinda averse to straight up cheesing. Like even if something is working really really well, they're reluctant to do it over and over and over again or if it doesn't work like once they'll start doing other things. I dunno if they think it's boring or the egos of the other players keep them from just watching one guy do the work over and over again but it really doesn't happen. It's probably some psychological thing but yeah I feel like they probably would've been in a better position if they just let Lopez post up literally every possession but at the same time they were looking for any excuse to stop doing that.
     
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  11. Kim

    Kim Contributing Member

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    Pointless in having a true center out there unless the Rockets completely change their defensive scheme (which they did with awful results 2019 WCSF game 6 no Durant) in order to keep the big around the rim. If not, other teams will just iso pick hunt or space a shooter draw the big out of the paint, nullifying the rebounding advantage. Essentially, the best players to defensively execute the current scheme (mobile 6'5" to 6'9" wing types) are also woeful at boxing out true bits. That stated, Capela got dominated on the boards by some true bigs, like Valincunas (sp) as well. The only place I see the true big working without a trade-off is in free throw rebounding situations.
     
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  12. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    Looks like there’s people that still don’t get it



     
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  13. harold bingo

    harold bingo Iso Only Fan
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    The rebounding thing is so overblown. Comparing raw rebound numbers is something that we shouldn't even be doing in 2020 - it's a pretty useless metric, almost like fg%. If one team shoots 100 2s at 50% and the other team shoots 100 3s at 35%, and neither team gives up an offensive rebound. the team that shoots the 2s is going to outrebound their opponent by 15! Wow 15 more rebounds, you outrebounded your opponent by 15. But who cares? Did it do anything? Defensive rebounds don't create extra possessions. Any team that shoots way more 3s is going to have way more misses, meaning their opponent is going to get more rebounds. Now obviously, getting a defensive rebound prevents an offensive rebound, I get that. But total rebound numbers don't tell the whole story (or even half the story). If you want to look at an actually useful number, look at offensive rebounds. Those are the ones that give the other team extra chances.

    To put it another way, the rockets got "outrebounded" by 40 or whatever and somehow they actually got more possessions than the bucks. Why isn't anyone talking about that? If the rebounding thing is so huge, and it's causing the rockets to give up so many "extra possessions" and "second chance points", then why did they still get less shots than us?
     
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  14. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Those are good points and positioning is very important. Charles Barkley was an all time great at that. Is Tucker might be Chuck Hayes but he's no Barkley. Also Chuck Hayes was on a team with Yao and Mutumbo.

    I agree we don't have much choice and we play with who we play. Chuck Hayes did a good job in the 2009 playoffs after both Yao and Mutumbo went down but we ultimately couldn't win. If this strategy keeps on working that will be great but it sill seems very risky.
     
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    That was my point. We're giving up too many offensive rebounds leading to second chances and for the opponent to eat more clock. That they had less shots is because they play a slower style.

    I said this going into the 4th quarter last night. The challenge was how many open threes do we get versus how many second chance shots do they get.
     
  16. harold bingo

    harold bingo Iso Only Fan
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    No it's not. Playing "fast" does not get you more shots, playing "slow" does not get you less shots.
     
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  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    This goes back to the Seattle Sonics style of the 80's when they would move their bigs out to draw out Hakeem. That is what we do with camping PJ and Covington out. That's a good strategy when we have the ball but doesn't really work when we are on D.
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    If you can strip or steal the ball before the other team a shot up then yes it doesn't matter what speed you play at. In general though playing slow (eating a lot of the clock) does mean less shots than playing fast (getting into your offense early and minimizing the amount of clock you use).
     
  19. YOLO

    YOLO Member

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    that's because mitigating the rebounding numbers isn't something casuals understand. they still think being dominated on the boards equals automatic loss. they dont get that the rockets focus on other areas such as steals, pts off turnovers, and actually forcing turnovers is a way to aggregate the apparent dominance on the boards.
     
  20. harold bingo

    harold bingo Iso Only Fan
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    Stripping or stealing the ball is a turnover, and yes, turnovers get you more shots than your opponent. But if one team plays slow that doesn't mean they will get less shots than the team they're playing against.
     
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