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!

A look at Off. and Def. Team Production by year

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by larsv8, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    21,663
    Likes Received:
    13,913
    Its always been my personal belief to be a contender, you need a top 10 offense and defense, and probably closer to top 5 in both, if you want to be not only a contender but in that favorite class. I've seen people use net rating, which I don't really love, but it is kinda the same concept, and of course there are always weird exceptions like last seasons T-Wolves who were very close to (9th off, 12 def) and managed to miss the playoffs all together, but I think the theory has merit, so I wanted to break down the past few years rosters and what they produced on a team level, while injecting my own team building philosophies.

    In my little world (assuming you don't have an otherworldly GOAT type talent), in general team building, you need a team that consists of the following:

    1.) A workhorse superstar level offensive creator (Harden, McGrady)
    2.) Secondary workhorse, good but not star level (Lowry, Dragic)
    3.) Dedicated wing elite defender/glue guy/intangible guys (Ariza, Battier)
    4.) Defensive bigs (Howard, Asik, etc.)
    5.) Legit post up threat (Scola, Dmo, etc.)
    6.) Scorers/shooters/slashers who can feed off the creator (Parsons, Delfino, Patterson, etc.)

    For this discussion, I am focusing on the top 8-9 guys per year in minutes played and slotting roster guys where they ideally fit and not what they actually played. IE, Lowry isn't a workhorse, and Howard really isn't a post threat. I no it isn't a simple as this, and I am ignoring some key concepts like rebounding, turnovers, and fast breaks, but I have always considered those sort of ancillary to your core basketball functions, if that makes sense. Anyway, lets just start with when McHale started, so we have a constant.

    2011-2012:
    Ortg: 12th.
    Drtg: 17th.

    Workhorse Superstar
    None

    Secondary Workhorse
    Lowry
    Dragic


    Elite Wing Defender
    None

    Defensive Bigs
    Dalembert
    Camby


    Post Up Threat
    Scola

    Shooters/Slashers
    Parsons
    Lee
    Patterson
    Budinger
    Martin


    Offensively that team, of course, lacked the offensive superstar to carry the load. We had secondary option guys masquerading as ones, with a decent offensive supporting cast, even with a post up option. Collectively, they amounted to a slightly above average offensive team, which wasn't surprising, considering the lack of a star. That team really had no upside offensively without adding a star IMO.

    Defensively, the lack of an elite wing defender hurt them greatly. Lee was good, but not great and no one else was really known as a defender. Dalembert was not the greatest defensive big, but Camby helped out from a depth standpoint, to help provide atleast an average output on defense. That was a fun team with nice depth, but really had no future without a superstar. They probably could have added a dedicated wing defender, but they would have topped out as a treadmill team. Reminds me alot of the Suns today

    2012 - 2013
    Ortg: 6th.
    Drtg: 16th.

    Workhorse Superstar
    Harden

    Secondary Workhorse
    Lin

    Elite Wing Defender
    None

    Defensive Bigs
    Asik

    Post Up Threat
    None

    Shooters/Slashers
    Parsons
    Delfino
    Patterson
    Morris


    Offensively, this team had its workhorse and at least a serviceable secondary ball handler in Lin. They lacked a post up threat, but good shooting/fit on the wings help create a good free flowing offense. Morris and Patterson shot the ball from long range extremely well, with a nice mix of drive and dish by the slashers. They ended up sixth offensively, with a need of a better second option on the wings, and too a lesser extent a good post up player.

    Defensively, they had an elite level defensive big in Asik, who replaced Camby/Dalember, but were still lacking that dedicated wing defender, which produced the same pretty average defensive output, as the year before.

    2013 - 2014
    Ortg: 4th.
    Drtg: 13th.

    Workhorse Superstar
    Harden

    Secondary Workhorse
    Lin

    Elite Wing Defender
    None

    Defensive Bigs
    Howard
    Asik


    Post Up Threat
    None

    Shooters/Slashers
    Parsons
    Jones
    Casspi
    Beverley
    Garcia


    Offensively, this team had its workhorse and at least a serviceable secondary ball handler in Lin. They lacked a post up threat, but Howard provided some post up capability and cleanup which made up for the real lack of supporting offensive players. Its kinda amazing looking back that we had such a high rated offense when you compare what Morris/Delfino/Patterson shot the year before. They ended up fourth offensively, really only lacking a better version of Lin.

    Defensively, they had an elite level defensive big in Howard, but were pretty much without Asik most of the year. The were STILL lacking that dedicated wing defender, which produced a pretty average defensive output, although slightly increased from the year before.
    .

    2014 - 2015
    Ortg: 13th.
    Drtg: 3rd.

    Workhorse Superstar
    Harden

    Secondary Workhorse
    None

    Elite Wing Defender
    Ariza

    Defensive Bigs
    Howard


    Post Up Threat
    Motiejunas

    Shooters/Slashers
    Beverley
    Terry
    Brewer
    Papa
    Ariza


    This year, we saw a complete 180. We finally added an elite defensive wing, but simultaneously gave up our backup workhorse and best shooter/slasher (Parsons). We added a post threat, although I question how useful a post threat really is, as I look at my model. The offense dropped from 4th to 13th without Lin/Parsons.

    Defensively, with the added wing defender and Howard, we really had the foundation for an elite defense and it has shown in the output. We jumped ten slots defensively, to settle in an fourth. Ironic, that it was such a clean swap of offensive/defensive rating from the year before, but a testament to good cap management by Morey. Lin/Parsons (23 million) vs. Ariza (8 million)

    Now its important to note, we made some significant additions 10-15 games ago, so our final numbers might be better (or worse) than our output at the moment.

    My conclusion is that if this team wants to get to that title favorite level of play (Top 5 offensive AND defense), they badly need a secondary proven workhorse at the PG and probably a better shooter/scorer on the wing, without giving up the core we have in place. And honestly, I envision both of these guys as bench guys, as the starting lineup is fairly strong right now. For the record, no, I don't think Canaan is that secondary workhorse guy. He is a year or two away from being a contributor on a championship team.

    I personally find Terry, Papanikolau, Jones, Canaan, Capella, Dorsey and Shved as expendable, without hurting our output (IE Robbing Peter to pay Paul). If I were GM, my targets would be:

    Goran Dragic
    Ty Lawson
    Isiah Thomas

    Wilson Chandler
    Aaron Afflalo
    Kevin Martin

    I don't know if we have the assets to make one from each bucket happen, but I think that gets us where we want to be.
     
    #1 larsv8, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
    2 people like this.
  2. HouStu_Rocket

    HouStu_Rocket Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    44
    Great research. Thanks for sharing
     
  3. HouStu_Rocket

    HouStu_Rocket Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    44
    Didn't mean to quote all of that
     
  4. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Messages:
    34,854
    Likes Received:
    23,440
    You mean our offense dropped from 6th and 4th to 13th after we lost Lin... even though we have added a much better post threat?

    LOF!!!! ;)
     
  5. ForTheWinYes

    ForTheWinYes Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    778
    Likes Received:
    35
    That's probably the common wisdom and I've subscribed to it for the most part. But the offense has picked up considerably since the Rockets slotted in Dwight and Smith into Black and Dorsey's minutes while the defense has been worrying of late. I'd like to see a couple more weeks of this team before I add players who are detrimental on one end of the floor like Kevin Martin or even Lawson (McHale won't know how to properly rotate Beverley and Lawson). It's entirely possible that the offense is fine and it's the defense they need to focus on maintaining.
     
  6. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,201
    Likes Received:
    12,925
    kevin martin on this team would be killer. he draws falls in bunches. and would make hardens drive to the basket even easier.
     
  7. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    25,201
    Likes Received:
    12,925
    fouls. falls to probably... :eek:
     
  8. baller4life315

    baller4life315 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    12,647
    Likes Received:
    2,902
    Good post and all valid points.

    I'd add versatility and balance to that list, also. As a team, we're far too reliant upon Harden for his scoring and playmaking. Chances are we're going to face a Tony Allen type in the playoffs and they're going to rough Harden up for a game or two.

    Having another player that can run the offense and pick up the slack whenever Harden is having an off-night will be crucial.
     
  9. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    21,663
    Likes Received:
    13,913
    Probably mostly Parsons, but losing Lin with no other creator certainly didn't help.

    I am neutral on Lin the player. Despite his glaring weaknesses, he still had his uses. His fans were total dicks however.
     
  10. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    13,677
    Likes Received:
    1,920
    Great post.

    Honestly, as much as I would like for us to get back to being a top 10 (or even top 5) offense and defense, I don't mind where we are now. Primarily because of the fact we are highly rated on defense as opposed to offense. I have always felt like defense was something that you could always rely on. Offense can be a fickle thing, especially on a team that relies so heavily on the three point shot (without any real three point shooters) and on the brilliance of one player (Harden). We've seen in the past and this season that if our threes aren't falling or Harden is having a rough night, our offense turns to absolute crap. Defense is something you can always "hang your hat on", as we have seen this current Rockets team do earlier in the season.

    As long as you have a top 5 (preferably 2 or 3) defense, you can win with a slightly above average ranked offense (in the 11 to 15 range), I believe.

    But I see some hope that our offense will return to its high marks soon. First off, most everyone is back from injury and roles are being defined once again after the Brewer trade and Smith signing. I believe since they have came to our team, our offense has been ranked 3rd. Secondly, I feel like our shooters will begin to find their strokes as this team starts finding their spots.

    I feel like this team needs to run more. Too often, we slow it down instead of forcing the action and getting easy buckets. Part of it is personnel, as we only have Harden and Brewer who are consistent transition threats and the other part might be due with all of the extra energy we are spending on defense. Hopefully, once Jones is back (and healthy), he will add to our transitional attack.

    Anyways, Harden will be Harden. If Howard can come back to what he was this season before the knee strain, we are title favorites in my book. Before the knee strain, he looked like Orlando-Dwight. Right now, Howard's health and consistent effort separates us from being "just another great Western Conference team" to clear title favorites.

    A secondary playmaker would be very nice. I just don't think we are getting any of Dragic, Thomas or Lawson. Lawson might be had for a hefty price, but I don't he is the "perfect" fit on this team; just too weak on defense. But I do think Morey will make a Morey-esque deal to snag a player that can be a secondary playmaker who no one has thought or mentioned. I'm thinking something along the lines of that Rafer Alston - Kyle Lowry trade.

    Or maybe Canaan can get out of the dog house.
     
  11. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    31
    our defense AND offense are slipping...
     
  12. Alvin Choo

    Alvin Choo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,466
    Likes Received:
    152
    This proves 1 thing.

    Mchale does not dictate the team. It depends on whoever Rox have as assistance coach. Where Rox will either focus on defense or offense.

    Yes, the roster have high turnovers, but a team mentality should not change.
     
  13. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10,764
    Likes Received:
    11,573
    If we are just talking about this season, our defense has held pretty steady throughout the year and our offense has done nothing but improve since our unsustainable start to the season nose dived.
     
  14. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1999
    Messages:
    123,676
    Likes Received:
    32,546
    Good thread, we have completely flipped the coin, and lack a balance, what I don't understand is that knowing that, we still added defense so far, when we need a little more offense.

    DD
     
  15. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,550
    Likes Received:
    6,131
    Nice post.

    I believe since our acquisitions we've been a lot better offensively. Not just adding the athleticism of Brewer and Smith (who shoots awful but draws attention plus creates turnovers and runs the break), but also keeping Harden and Ariza fresh.

    Ariza and Harden have been shooting great in Jan.
     
  16. hakeemthagreat

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    4,103
    Great post. Ty Lawson would great on this team. Kevin Martin would also be great. The question is who are we giving up?
     

Share This Page