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[Chron} Rockets look to mirror Celtics

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by DcProWLer277, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. DcProWLer277

    DcProWLer277 Rookie

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    Similarities 
go beyond their marquee players

    Celtics stars Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce did not hang around ESPN prior to last season trying to come up with a clever nickname for their partnership.

    As it turned out, all those magazine cover photo shoots were staged. “The Big Three” was more of a short-hand description for the Celtics’ top scorers than the full blueprint of Boston’s championship success.

    “It was more of a media thing,” said Allen, whose team visits Toyota Center on Tuesday. “It wasn’t us. It’s not like we went out with just the three of us. We were a team. It was about the team.”

    When the Rockets put Ron Artest together with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, also giving them three players who have led their teams in scoring, there was a natural inclination to compare “Big Threes.” But the more telling and crucial comparison might lie with the big picture.

    “That’s something we’ve talked about from day one and will continue to talk about,” Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. “(Supporting players) have to be a huge part of what we’re doing; they just have to be. How Brent (Barry) plays, how Aaron (Brooks) will come along. We need all those people to step up. Our power forwards, we feel pretty comfortable about what they can do, but it’s very important.

    “I don’t think Boston had the year they had without all those peripheral people fitting in with the Big Three.”

    Perhaps because the teams were built around three top scorers, the similarities might be as inescapable among the “Other 11.”

    “I would see it that way,” Rafer Alston said. “I think the makeup of the teams is similar. You break down the Big Three first. They have a low-post guy in Garnett. We have Yao in the low post. They have two wing guys. We have two wing guys.

    “Then you have the rest of us, myself and (Rajon) Rondo, Carl (Landry) and (Leon) Powe. And you have guys who can come off the bench and score: Brent, Aaron and Luther (Head). They have (Eddie) House and Tony Allen.

    Defensive foundations

    With both teams, everything begins with defense. The Celtics were first in the NBA last season, the Rockets second.

    “Defense is something you earn,” Shane Battier said. “Though our defense has not been stellar in the first three games, it has been in spurts. Once we get our rotations in place, we’ll be a really defensive team, as they are.”

    Through their three games this season, the Celtics again lead the league in field-goal-percentage defense; the Rockets are eighth. The Rockets are first in opposing 3-point percentage and points allowed per game.

    “We were second (in defensive scoring) last year,” Alston said. “We have to strive to be first. Every game we strive to get better defensively. We’ll figure it out eventually offensively, but defensively, we want to have an effect on every game, every night.”

    Said Landry: “Defense wins ballgames. Boston was the No. 1 defensive team in the league. That’s why they won it all and why they are the champs.”

    The similarities don’t end there.

    • • Along with having three top scorers, both teams pair high-energy, dirty-work frontcourt players (Kendrick Perkins for Boston, Luis Scola for Houston) with point guards who are expected to both set up the offense and apply ball pressure defensively (Rondo and Alston).

    • • Off the bench, both teams have increased the roles for energetic and athletic young power forwards — Powe and Landry — who were available in the second round of the 2007 draft because of serious knee injuries earlier in their college careers.

    • • Both rotations are completed by a mix of veteran perimeter shooters (House and Barry), young legs (Allen and Brooks) and muscle (Glen Davis and Chuck Hayes).

    “If you think about it, they have guys on that team who do the same things that Aaron, Carl and I do for us,” Hayes said. “They look for Tony Allen and House and Powe for offense. We do the same thing with Aaron and Carl. They have shooters, guys whose main job it is to shoot the 3, like we have with Brent Barry.

    “And there are big-legged guys with myself and Big Baby (Davis) who find a way to mush it up down there.”

    • • The return of Battier would bring a comparison with former Celtics sixth man James Posey, known for his energy off the bench, defense and long-range shooting.

    • • When Rockets general manager Darryl Morey speaks of the possibility of bringing back Dikembe Mutombo this season, he has called it a “P.J. Brown move,” citing the veteran center who signed with the Celtics late last season.

    Assistants akin

    • There is even a similarity on the bench. Assistants Tom Thibodeaux and Elston Turner are often credited for their teams’ successful defensive game plans.

    “I think it’s a convenient story line for everybody,” Battier said. “Where it differs is they really went from worst to first through trades and the growth of Rondo and some of their players. We’ve been knocking on the door for a couple years now. With the addition of Ron, it makes the comparison more symmetrical. And if you look, there are similarities.”

    The Rockets can only hope.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/6091406.html
     
  2. yobod

    yobod Member

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    If the Rockets can execute like the Celtics did, then this team can go just as far as Boston. The biggest thing that impressed me about the Celtics was that they executed their game plan flawlessly from day 1. They lived up to the hype, which in today's sports world, is one of the hardest accomplishments. Let's hope the Rockets can do the same.
     
  3. redao

    redao Member

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    no comparison. They got a PG. We got a hole in PG.
     
  4. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    Everyone said they had a hole at PG at the beginning of last year too. Rajon is no Tony Parker or Chris Paul, but he didn't have to be with what he was asked to do.

    I expect the same from Rafer.
     
  5. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    Rondo is better than Rafer by MILES.

    DD
     
  6. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Contributing Member

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    QFT. Yao has very good games against Garnett and hopefully McGrady has a llittle more bounce in his knee. Can't wait 'till Tuesday night (also for other obvious reasons).
     
  7. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    Having watched Rondo for the past 5 years, he has flaws as well. The difference between Rajon and Rafer is age, length and style of play.

    Rajon will continually get better, but I wouldn't say he was miles better than Rafer right now. Will he be? Definitely. Is he today? No.
     
  8. DcProWLer277

    DcProWLer277 Rookie

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    Yea Rondo can at least drive to the basket and finish even if he's not a great 3pt shooter.
     
  9. northeastfan

    northeastfan Member

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    Rafer and drive to the basket and put up a high percentage floater ... except that it is not high percentage.
     
  10. rocketsregle

    rocketsregle Contributing Member

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    I can't seem to remember whether Rondo has a post game but i think Brooks can be effective against him and House.
     
  11. Severe Rockets Fan

    Severe Rockets Fan Takin it one stage at a time...

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    Yeah that's what Rondo brings to the table that Rafer doesn't. Good penetrator, but his shooting is amazingly much worse that Rafer's. 26% 3pt shooter and is very Shaq-esque at the free throw line...ouch.

    I'm not worried too much about Rafer this year, he started out poorly last year too (hell I wanted Francis to start over him :eek: ) but picked it up around mid december and finished strong like a good vet should.
     
  12. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    No he doesn't have a post up game. He's a slasher. But Brooks won't be able to use his speed against him too much, he's a fast defender with quick strong (huge) hands. I don't think that him will have a lot of his minutes against Rondo though.
     
  13. tiger0330

    tiger0330 Contributing Member

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    Why would a PG need or want a post game. Rondo has enough offense but its his defense that makes him so stout. He was a whirling dervish in the finals with his help defense, IMO that was a major reason the Celtics were so dominant.
     
  14. MrButtocks

    MrButtocks Contributing Member

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    At Rondo's size and length it would be an asset. It's not an ideal weapon, but the few point guards who have post games aren't bad (Billups, Cassell, Baron Davis).
     
  15. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

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    Rondo was garbage in many of the games I watched earlier in the season.

    Horrible decision making. Terrible shot selection. Generally erratic.

    I'm not worried about Rafer/Brooks if Rondo and White Chocolate can lead their respective teams to a championship.
     
  16. DcProWLer277

    DcProWLer277 Rookie

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    I agree...it seems that most the team that win big don't have a great point guard, recently I can only think of Detroit and San Antonio that did somewhat. Thanks for easing my mind about Rafer. :D
     
  17. deepblue

    deepblue Member

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    Rondo can't shoot any better, is proly a little better than Rafer at defense. He is only important because there is no backup point in Boston that can handle the ball.
     
  18. dakeem1

    dakeem1 Member

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    I think there's no comparson and Rondo does more for his team than Alston.

    Don't get me wrong, I ain't an Alston hater particularly, but I find we can do much better than him at PG. He runs the offense ok, although I think that Rondo compliments his teammates better than Skip.
     
  19. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    How many games have you seen Rajon play with "the big three"? Let me guess, about 10-12 of them max all in the Playoffs last year. Plus maybe the two games we played them last season.

    Rondo is a very talented guy, but he's still learning. He did a great job in the last two series of the playoffs, but even through those two he had his ups and downs.

    Eventually Rajon will be a much better player than Rafer, but right now Rondo doesn't do that much better than Rafer. Though to be honest, he is doing very well in the first couple of games this season.
     
  20. redao

    redao Member

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    If Rafer can shoot like Rando, at 49%, this team can claim the championship right now.

    Our Rafer was shooting 39%. Rondo was shooting 49%. That was a HUGE difference. I think Rando is doing much much better than Rafer as a role player.
     

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