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[Clutchfans] Harden Pick and Roll: We Have a Problem

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by GBRocket, May 7, 2017.

  1. GBRocket

    GBRocket Contributing Member

    Apr 8, 2003
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  2. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

    Oct 27, 1999
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    We do see Harden reset that pick if he doesn't like the under and wants to drive....he can also force a switch with the reset, much easier.

    btw: the second play in your video is a switch, though, not going under. It also isn't one of our 2-man PnRs. There are 3-guys on the left side. Looks like one of the curl plays for EGo, then somehow converted to double picks for Harden. Kinda looks busted to me.

    Anyhoot, that's 4-men strong and 3 perimeter defenders just stay put on switches as Gasol stays back.

    Are you sure you have the count on Kawhi going under correct? I'd just focus on our obvious 41-Highs (with Ryno/Ariza out high and Capela camping at the rim) and the standard Harden/Capela high PnR. Those two comprise the most of our 2-men PnRs.

    Big thanks if you could count the unders on just those.
    #2 heypartner, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  3. blahblehblah

    blahblehblah Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    I know Zach Lowe thought that going under the screen wouldn't work for the Spurs and would result on Harden killing them on threes. And I think he is right, that is partly right. I don't think that strategy would work if the Spurs employed it exclusively and the reason why it's been effective is because the Spurs have been switching up their strategy and confusing Harden. Sometimes they switch (much more rare now), sometimes they show/hedge/trap and more than ever, they're going under the screen, after hedging.

    One major reason its been effective, is Kawhi's ability to recover and contest so quickly, after going under that screen as well as the slight hedge by the big. The other major reason is of course Harden himself and his ability to shoot the threes. Obviously his % on threes the past few years has been average at best. Now whether this is a result of Harden taking so many difficult, end of the clock, step back, contest threes or if its just because he is simply an average 3 point shooter is to be determined.

    If I were the Spurs, In dealing with the Harden pick and roll I'd go under all the screen when Kawhi is guarding Harden. Trap Harden hard every time when the screener is Capella, leaving Capella as the only Rocket open to receive the pass at around or below the 3 point line and forcing him to make a play. The spurs haven't employed this strategy at all & I'm curious if they pull it out late in the 4th. i would switch every screen if it involved Kawhi, Green, Ginobli and any other small forward or guard. I would almost never switch if it involves Aldridge, Gasol or Lee having to guard Harden. Any screen involving Trevor Ariza should be hedge.

    As for the Rockets, the only way they can combat the Spurs going under the screen is simply for Harden to start making his threes. As GBRocket noted Harden was 1 for 6 on such attempts. That simply wont cut it. The other solution is for Ariza, Anderson etc to make their threes or attack when they have the slight opening before their defender who has hedged, recovers.

    Edit to add... HP correctly pointed out (and I forgot to mentioned) that the spurs have also been having the BIG (Gasol or Aldridge) fall back into the paint leaving the man guarding Harden to fight through the screen, trail over or sometimes though less often go under. This has worked on occasion somewhat suprisingly as Gasol and Aldridge have been able to deter Harden in the paint. However as the last half of game 3 shows, Gasol or Aldridge really shouldn't be able to stop Harden coming at them full speed at the rim 1v1.
    #3 blahblehblah, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
    dmoneybangbang likes this.

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