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Does Coach McHale Know Matchups?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Red&BlackPudman, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Red&BlackPudman

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    I'm going to start off by saying that I really do like McHale's positive attitude and encouragement towards our players. He's competitive, down to earth, and he wants to win. Overall, I like McHale, but does he understand matchups? Here me out below...

    January 25th vs. the Bucks
    I watch us go small for the majority of the second half. By small, I mean Dragic, Lowry, and Lee on the court at the same time. The Bucks have Dunleavy and Jackson (both around 6'8) on the wings. I watch Dunleavy and Jackson shoot over, post up, and get layups all 2nd half long. Pretty sure they both went for 20+ and we lose to one of the worst teams in the NBA at home.

    March 4th vs. the Clippers
    I watch the Clippers play Mo Williams and CP3 at the same time for the majority of the second half. Lowry guarding CP3 and CLee on Mo. CP3 goes off for close to 20 points in the second half until CLee starts locking him up at the very end. Granted, he did score on Courtney in overtime, but I can only remember once. Why don't we decide to put our best on ball defender vs quick point guards on CP3 at the end of the game (when it counts the most), yet refrain from doing so the whole second half when he's torching us! If Mo Williams is on the floor with CP3, Kyle should guard Mo and Courtney should guard Chris. Period. Mo is maybe 6'1. As you know, CP3 dribbles all over our defense, distributes the ball, all while scoring 22 in the second half and overtime. Kyle was guarding him the majority of the time with Mo Williams in the game. We lose a hard fought game.

    Last Night
    I guess McHale thought that CLee did such a good job against CP3 that he thought, "Hey, if he can guard CP3, surely he can lock up Paul Pierce!" I watch the Rockets go small again with Lowry, Dragic, and Lee. In case you didn't know, Pierce is a solid 6'8 while Courtney is 6'4 on a good day. Besides the 8 second back court call in which Pierce had no business bringing the ball up, he destroyed in OT. He also, correct me if I'm wrong, led the game in scoring all while we went small for most of it. He was getting to the paint shooting over and around Courtney. Why do we not put Parsons in the game who is 6'9 to guard one of the best clutch scorers ever?? CLee had no business on him and should have been face guarding Ray. We blow a 10 point lead with 3 or so minutes left and lose another heartbreaker.

    Look, I fully understand the concept of spreading the floor and going small to try and outscore the other team. However, in crunch time, against very good players who love to turn it on when it counts the most, why do we not want to matchup well and get much needed stops to hang on to our lead?? It's extremely painful to watch. Also, please do not get me wrong here, I think going small against some teams and in certain situations is smart. But when you have the lead like we did in all of these games at some point, you need to make stops. And to make stops, you need to be able to matchup and guard the other teams best players to the best of your ability. I'd like to hear some other thoughts and perspectives on this, but these three games are just a few of the many times I've seen the Rockets lose because of matchups that could have been handled differently.
     
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Rockets just need to play harder. And when they're playing hard, they need to play even harder. Playing hard is the cure for everything ;)
     
  3. Old Man Rock

    Old Man Rock Contributing Member

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    You do not get to his level without knowing matchups!
     
  4. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    There's two sides to each of these arguments. If you're the road team (underdog) and its overtime, my feeling is its better to go with your best 3-point shooters and transition players. You hit a few 3-pointers in OT or convert in transition off defensive stops, and that can make a huge difference in what is essentially a shortened game. I think that's what McHale was going for with his lineup yesterday.
     
  5. Red&BlackPudman

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    This is not insightful at all.
     
  6. Old Man Rock

    Old Man Rock Contributing Member

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    I take it you haven't been around here long.
     
  7. VBG

    VBG Member

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    I think he should have put Kevin Martin in. The offense looked terrible in the 4th and Rondo had really bottled up Lowry. Kevin Martin was clearly able to get past Ray Allen in the first. I think he could have helped. Martin could also guard Ray Allen defensively.

    Dragic made some very nice plays so I can't be too harsh on him and the problem would be guarding Pierce if we have a lineup of Dragic, Lowry and Kevin Martin.

    I think he should have gone back to the starting lineup but that's just me.
     
  8. Scionxa

    Scionxa Contributing Member

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    Sometimes I feel like Kevin Martin is too much of a liability to put in. One day you can put him in and the offense gets flowing a bit. Next day you put him in and he just makes the offense horrible. I wish KMart were more agressive. The man can play ball, he's just looking to pass all the time now. Most likely it has something to do with the offense though. Kevin Martin one on one is not a good thing to see :(

    I do agree with you in terms of Kmart being able to guard Jesus Shuttleworth
     
  9. VBG

    VBG Member

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    Definitely an enigma. But I think Lowry plays better with Kevin Martin in. If Martin just runs around it opens things for Scola and Lowry.

    That was what was happening in the first quarter.

    And then the Rockets just went away from it. Even in the third when we scored a lot, it was a lotta dumb fouls by the Celtics.
     
  10. hoyarocketsfan

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    I agree completely and this is just putting into long form my biggest concern about McHale all season. Remember when we had Scola at the 5 against the Spurs in the 4th quarter and we couldn't stop their guards driving at will?

    I think he motivates the team well and HAS to be credited for playing Parsons and Lee so much, but I just don't think he maximizes our lineups at key times.

    The funny thing is, I have a friend who has been a Celtics fan for years and his complaint was always that Doc never had a consistent rotation and didn't matchup his players at all. Maybe it's a Boston thing?
     
  11. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

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    That's HOF coaching from a HOF player! To show how hard they're playing our players need to clech their teeth at all times while on the court!
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. valorita

    valorita Member

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    The problem is with our roster, not McHale.
    We only have one player, Lowry, that is worthy of playing no matter the situation.
    In other words, Kyle is the only player on our roster that is the best at his position on offense and defense.
    See Boston: can you imagine Doc having to decide player is best for what situation? No! He goes with his best lineup for both offense/defense that includes KG/Pierce/Ray/Rondo.

    We need more two-way players. Simple as that.
     
  13. AstroRocket

    AstroRocket Member

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    I was giving McHale a break on his matchup decisions until I saw him leave Scola in on defense for the final play of regulation last night instead of subbing in PPat or Parsons. This is obviously a weakness for him.
     

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