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Defensive Analysis vs Charlotte Hornets (12/31)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jbasket, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    I did 3 of these last year:

    Chicago:

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?p=8776680#post8776680

    Miami:

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=251988

    Jazz:

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?p=8785678#post8785678

    For every made or missed shot, I recorded who missed an assignment, or did a good job. There are five categories: good and bad on-ball (OB) defense, good and bad rotation (R), and "meh" (falls in between). I only recorded on shots/fouls, not for the full game. Some good plays will go unnoticed if a shot was not taken. Some example of these things could be full court pressure by a point guard or denying the ball off a double screen, forcing the opposing team to initiate another option. Good defensive plays, but keeping track of those would be greatly inconsistent and difficult to measure. However, I try to include some of those plays in the observations. The results are below:

    <table border="1" style="width:1000"><tr><td>Player</td><td>Good OB</td> <td>Good R</td><td>Meh</td><td>Bad OB</td><td>Bad R</td></tr><tr><td>Bev</td><td>6</td><td>3</td><td>4</td><td>2</td><td>0</td></tr><tr><td>Harden</td><td>6</td><td>2</td><td>6</td><td>5</td><td>4</td></tr><tr><td>Ariza</td><td>9</td><td>6</td><td>8</td><td>4</td><td>2</td></tr><tr><td>Smith</td><td>6</td><td>13</td><td>3</td><td>2</td><td>2</td></tr><tr><td>Howard</td><td>2</td><td>8</td><td>7</td><td>1</td><td>5</td></tr><tr><td>Terry</td><td>2</td><td>2</td><td>4</td><td>4</td><td>1</td></tr><tr><td>Brewer</td><td>7</td><td>0</td><td>6</td><td>4</td><td>1</td></tr><tr><td>Dmo</td><td>1</td><td>7</td><td>4</td><td>1</td><td>2</td></tr><tr><td>Dorsey</td><td>1</td><td>4</td><td>3</td><td>0</td><td>3</td></tr></table>

    Some Notes:

    1) Make fun of his offense, but Smith brings it on the D.
    2) For a backup center, Dorsey could be a lot worse on D.
    3) Hornets made a lot of long 2 point shots. This is a testament to the D to give up the right shot. Credit to Henderson for making a couple and keeping the Hornets in the game.
    4) Corey Brewer sure gives a lot of energy. He is also very hit-or-miss with his defense. Both these points explain his high steals rate.
    5) Dwight is tested less. This is clear evidence of better perimeter D (if y'all needed more proof or not).
    6) One could raise legitimate concerns that the recent slipping D would be because of Howard and Harden. Everybody else had consistent D (good or bad). The D tightened up this game when the H and H boys tightened up their D.
    7) Transition D was generally good this game. The Hornets are not known for it though.
    8) Harden was lucky to guard MKG this game. He was atrocious in working over screens and gave too many jumpers. Good thing MKG can't hit the broad side of a barn.
    9) Ariza, Smith, Brewer lineup = destruction. There was so much disruption.
    10) Brewer can guard PGs, and that is a very valuable asset.
    11) Length kills (see point 9 above).

    The best point I noticed is that the Rockets Defense is not at its peak. In fact, it is not unrealistic to expect even more improvement. The main improvement would be when Dwight stops coasting a bit. Getting Jones back will help general PnR D, and Shved should help at the PG position, because Terry is a large liability. The big thing would be for Dwight to stop coasting. Come playoff time, watch out!

    If you have any questions on how to judge who did what wrong on a play, just ask below. I would be happy to analyze a play on a video, or if you can remember a specific set at a specific time.

    tl;dr Good D overall by the Rockets; Josh Smith did a great job. Nice blowout. Defense is still not at its max potential.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that it there was input of two others during the game. We agreed on the best overall numbers.
     
    #1 jbasket, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    10 people like this.
  2. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member

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    Nice post... Smith is naturally gifted on defense.

    I hope McHale breaks out the Atlanta tapes and gets him some better looks on offense.
     
  3. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Live by the D, die by the D. We'll never win a title relying on something fleeting like defense. :(
     
  4. LelWestbrick

    LelWestbrick Rookie

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    "I live for the D" - Carl Herrera
     
  5. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    If there is one way to die, it is by the D :)

    It takes chemistry. I was thinking of making a thread discussing simple offensive sets that can get open looks and get the Rockets out of a funk. Too lazy, and they are sets the Rockets have run already with much success. Not just Smith based, but the Rockets in general that can get Smith involved with his strengths as well.
     
  6. thething

    thething Contributing Member

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    Great analysis. Harden and Terry were the only ones with more bad plays than good plays. This was not their best defensive game.
     
  7. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    Haren brings down the D on them hoes.
     
  8. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    Terry has the 37 year old affect. I am guessing Harden got complacent because he was guarding MKG, whom is known to be a subpar offensive player. His effort and defensive performance picked up as the game went on, and hence, the Hornets offensive output dropped.
     
  9. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    I saw Harden went a mile under the screen and making no effort to get out to MKG multiple times. Given MKG's history of struggle with jumpers and the Rockets philosophy of seeing long 2s as low efficiency shots (except for open ones shot by excellent shooters), I'm guessing this is by design. To MKG's credit, he knocked down some tonight. But still, chances are the Rockets were not gonna get beat by a steady diet of MKG jump shots.
     
  10. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    McHale needs to have a talk to Smith and have him come out of the bench at the same with Brewer. As the OP pointed, our D is stifling with Smith, Brewer and Ariza. Overall, the defensive intensity picked it up from the get go in the second half, but it looked even better with those 3 playing together.
     
  11. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    I picked up that it was by design when Harden was playing 3 feet off him when he had the ball on the 3rd possession of the game. However, when he is 6 feet behind, giving MKG open driving lanes and wide open shots, even for MKG standards, it goes to question whether he took the game plan too far. The jumpers he got a general hand up, I knew it was the Rockets designed strategy, but there has to be some sort of hand up. It is a similar strategy to what teams should do (and have done) to Smith.
     
  12. coffeelover665

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    I''m glad Morey shifted towards a more Defensive mentality
     
  13. PhiSlamma15

    PhiSlamma15 Member

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    The Rockets won their 2 championships based on DEFENSE. Once Smith starts converting rebounds into points off the glass averaging 10-15 points per game with the same defensive presence he showed tonight per jbasket's stats analysis WATCH OUT. He still doesn't know WTF he's doing out there yet. It's gonna take some time like a month or two then it's ON in my opinion. McHale gotta find some time for Papa.
     
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  14. StonesRunIt

    StonesRunIt Member

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  15. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    Honestly, I think it is more of a players thing than Morey. If Morey could have matched Parsons at a more fair rate, he would have. It is defensive improvements from Harden, and a bit Dmo, plus a better system in place by McHale (said in interview he took in charge of defense) that is a huge factor in the improvement.

    Signing Ariza was a back-up move of value, and trading for Brewer was added depth. While I agree Morey did bring in some defensive players, I credit it more to the coaches and previous players.

    At the same time, a lineup of Smith, playoffs Howard, and Ariza is much more devastating. Please, go ahead and try to shoot in the paint. McHale has staggered the minutes pretty well, rotating Dmo and Smith (imo). It is a joy to watch Brewer, Ariza, and Smith go at it.

    On D, Josh Smith looks like he knows what he is doing. If that is just off natural ability, well, DANG! However, it really seemed like he knew the defensive schemes well, and it is only to speculate how much he is playing just by natural defensive ability and bball IQ. Smith has really great bball IQ on D, which I believe will translate to his O because the effort and energy is there.

    Papa would only get spot minutes, to reduce the strain on Ariza and Harden, but there is really not a reason to play him extended minutes. Defensively, he is still a step behind the NBA level, which is not uncommon because it is his first year playing over here. Come playoff time, when the rotation shrinks, he should be getting DNP-CDs.
     
  16. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

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    If and when this team focuses on defense, we are very good! We have all the tools to be the best defensive team in the league. But recently, it looks like we aren't hustling the same way we did a couple of weeks ago.

    When we are really focused, this team has championship written all over it.
     
  17. bmd

    bmd Member

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    Did Not Poo - Constipated Digestive system.
     
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  18. Man

    Man Contributing Member

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    Good point on Harden. He was intentionally giving MKG the perimeter shot; not sure how OP accounted for that.
     
  19. RocketTownHou

    RocketTownHou Member

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    Couldn't have said it any better myself.
     
  20. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    This was the most difficult thing to account for. I am not in the huddle or film session, where they would give the specific scheme to Harden, like the amount of feet of separation, etc.

    I judged it this way: If Harden gave up unnecessary middle penetration (never give middle...) or couldn't even get a hand up on a FT line jumper from MKG, it was a "meh" or "bad", based on the context. As Carl Herrera said, Harden was going a mile under the screen, but sometimes, it was a country mile. To be fair, it is also hard to implement, because it is not a normal defensive strategy for a SG. Lazy MVP :) Also, a lot of times, playing so far away and getting out of stance opened him up to ball/off screens, where he could not recover in time. To be honest, there wasn't a set definition, it just depends on the context. I would have to see the play again and what the previous ball movement was.

    I wouldn't be worried at all about the recent defensive lapse. Teams have up-and-down struggles often, and it is a testimony to the Rockets that they were even close in the Atlanta and Wizards game despite playing poorly. Man, all those backdoor layups... I would be pulling my hair off if I was McHale. However, due to the Rockets very aggressive off-ball denial, they are vulnerable to the back-door. I would not be surprised if playoff opponents scout this and adjust accordingly.
     

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