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Observation and Question

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by millerz, Apr 1, 2001.

  1. millerz

    millerz Member

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    Observation: After three years in England it's great to be back in Texas watching Rocketball. I saw the game last night and it was my first real chance in a long time to see Cato in action. I know it's no big suprise to most of you but Cato acts as if he could care less about being on the court. Sure he blocked a few shots but then he just stands there afterwards on doesn't run back up the court. I was really focusing on him and there was a hell of a lot of standing around. I, as I'm sure everyone else, was wishing we had found a suitable big man to replace (bad word) Hakeem. With such raw physical talent it's too bad the guy is so lazy.

    Question: I, like most of you, would love to have Webber on the team. Does anyone have concerns about having another great player in the mix? I mean with Mobes coming into his own and Francis on the team, I was just wondering if anyone thought there would be problems with the amount of 'touches' everyone would get.

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    [This message has been edited by millerz (edited April 01, 2001).]
     
  2. Digaida

    Digaida Member

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    I have no concerns about "problems sharing" if we land Webber. Francis is a very unselfish player, he would not mind one bit to sharing with a player of Webber's caliber, as long as it gets him closer to his main goal, a championship. I think to a certain extent Mobes would feel the same way, but in either case I believe they would all get enough touches.....


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  3. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Maybe one day Cato will learn how to
    block a shot *AND* keep it inbounds

    Rocket River

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  4. KD

    KD Member

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    Steve will have no problem with any number of stars on his team, as long as he is the PG. He wants control, and to him, to control a game is to control the ball, not necessarily shooting.That is why he is as interested in rebounds as in scoring.(How I know? Because I am a control freak too. The best way to feel the control is not to shoot the ball, but to keep it in your hands until you see the opportunity.)

    Mobley will have problems. He was a 2nd round pick. I am sure he felt that it was injustice. He certainly feels the need to have stats to counter that. An alternative for him will be to be the team leader, which will be hard for him without good stats.

    Webber will not be happy with anything less than a finals appearance. He already had the recognition; he won't ask for much more on the stats other than not having to pick up Mobley's bricks.

    My $0.02

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    "'Guys, stand on my shoulders. I will take you to the prom tonight.' That is what he does." ........ Sam Cassel on Hakeem in 95 playoffs
     
  5. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    millerz, welcome back to Texas!

    Clyde Drexler is the man who quit basketball, because he didn't get enough touches. This team is not like that. It is about mismatches and attacking with the best option. If you want to discuss problems with "touches", Shandon has stated it he has a problem, and Francis has started demanding control of the ball in the end of games. I've heard that. Now is that harmful to us...I don't see it. Mobley always wants the ball at the end, and that mentality is a good thing. But, I've never heard him complain about not starting, or not running pretty much any plays in the 1st quarter and 3rd quarters....which is becoming a trend.

    Mobley "selfish" or just a classic, studly, driving jacker

    Speculation that Mobley is selfish and will get upset is unproven. I don't see him having that character. He has never shown a dislike to doing much of anything that Rudy has told him to do. Why would he start with Webber? I don't get it.

    Why you should worry about a ball-control PG before a SG with Webber

    I'm not suggesting Francis is someone to worry about; I can't ever image Francis getting upset. I just want to make a point about the best system for Webber. I see more signs that you'd worry about Francis, before Mobley. Francis does too many ISOs for a PG when he has a pick at his disposal. As a PG if he treats Webber the way he treats Mo' there could be problems...especially at the end of the game.

    End of game play calling
    At the end of games with Webber, I worry about Francis wanting the ball to control the game and simply use Webber as his go-to guy, and look at himself as the real decision-maker. Likely, the best scenario is Webber doing the dribbling and passing. This is not Damon and Rasheed, afterall.

    If Mobley gets the call at the end of the game, it is Rudy's call, likely on mismatches, as always. If any player has a problem with that...well...Drexler's not here anymore, so I don't see anyone having a problem with Rudy calling a play for the mismatch.

    Thinking about our Offensive System to Answer the Question

    Now to really answer this questions about play calling (which you call "touches"), I can't help but first speculate on the offensive system Rudy will implement. To me, Webber is the perfect fit for a perimeter game using 3 guards outside and 1 big man inside. There is a traditional offensive system designed for that that exploits the quickness and shooting of 3 guards, while giving a superstar big man room alone in the block.

    After Dream leaves, Rudy will likely have to play centers like Collier who can shoot and take up space on the defensive end, simply because centers are so hard to find. So, let's assume a Longley or Carr type of player is our center...guys who will do the dirty work and hit the open 15'er.

    4 Guys Out Front and 1 in the Middle

    What this does is creates 4 guys out front, leaving Webber in the middle ... really ... really ... hard to guard. This is what Iowa State did with Fizer; Arkansas did with Corliss Williamson; Oklahoma did with Stacy King; UNLV did with Grandmamma. Note that these guys are not producing that well in the NBA now that they have to beat double teams to be stars. They were superstar college players because the system their coach played prevented zones from double teaming them. This is called a 4-out-1 offensive system. It is a system for using 3 guards who can shoot and drive, to free a big man. It was invented for that. It has dozens and dozens of plays designed around the problem of guarding a big man who you can't really double team because of the guards. It is designed in college to destroy a zone not by rotating motion like Duke/Indiana to confuse the defense hoping they make a mistake; it forces the action. It makes defenses choose the worse of evils. It gets them away from the basket and "flattens" the defense.

    Flattening a Defense With Webber

    A zone is like a box....right. Flattenting a defense is what is known as flattening that box. You don't need just ISOs and pnr's to flatten the box. That is just what we are best at right now and what Rudy can teach these kids to do, right now.

    ...now with Webber...Rudy can pull out many more sets to run in this 4 out 1 system. They still feature the guards as one of the evils the defense must stop. imo, we won't be discussing "touches" in the locker room or in the game. We will be discussing exploiting the defense.

    Webber of course, can beat a double team. But if you watch him, he does not really require playing back to the basket like Rasheed Wallace loves. Webber loves entry passes in the high post and beyond....and he loves to pass. This is the pivot man! Webber is a classic pivot man. And he brings Rudy huge flexibility in running more sets we've never seen in Houston for over 10 years.

    Running those guards around a pivot man is classic UCLA basketball (John Wooden era) and also the heart and soul the Triangle. I believe Webber will control the ball a lot, to find the open guard. If someone has trouble, I think KD may have hit something that Francis hopefully won't be a control freak with the ball. The system in place, with a Webber pivot man will be powerful at using the big man as a passer and decision-maker. Let's hope Francis does not demand to make all the decisions like he wants to be Steve Alford running Bobby Knights motion offense and only view Webber as his go-to guy...that would be Rasheed Wallace's role. Our PG cannot view Webber as Wallace, because that is not the best way to use Webber's skills.

    Why Flattening a Defense will Exploit Shooting Guards

    As for our shooting guard Mobley with Webber in this system I described and already see us playing this year and last, Mobley is the classic guard for this system. I think without a doubt, Mobley becomes a big evil that is exploited by Webber and the system. The Mobley ISOs we see now will go down, and possibly disappear except when needed (when everything is bogging down). Mobley running around Webber (with or without the ball) is a difficult thing to guard. Mobley's ISO "touches" will go down, but I'm telling you, a 4 out 1 system (if that is indeed what we continue to play) is designed to exploit Mobley's skill in tandem with Webber's skill. I would go so far to say that Mobley and Webber's skill sets are classic prototypes for the systems that seek to flatten defenses. The classic PG is not really necessary.

    Classicly speaking, this Offense would have less ball control from a PG---does that worry you?

    So, to answer your question in view of offensive systems, I have more worries about a PG than a SG, and even less worries about Webber, himself. I doubt Francis gets upset with anything, so I doubt anyone gets upset.

    As for worries about statistical expectations, I do not subscribe to the philosophy that our SGs numbers will have to go down to suit Webber. That would not be classic statistical expectations for our system. In fact, I suspect our SGs number to soar higher. We will have 3 deadly evils, and a wildly fast, mouth-watering, small line-up when KT joins Webber on the frontcourt...oooohhh, Webber...fast...droool. If you like to try to figure things out by balancing statistics, what I feel is most likely to occur is the shots by the role players go down, because the stars are more likely to be open out there. Mobley will likely still take 15-16 shots per game, perfectly within system design. Look at Milwaukee if you want an example of how a great PG can put up star numbers while playing with two 20 ppg stars. It can happen in this classic system that is designed for players like Mobley and Webber, too.

    [This message has been edited by heypartner (edited April 01, 2001).]
     
  6. Band Geek Mobster

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    And that post is why HPartner is one of the best posters on this board. Great stuff dude.

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    Here's a little inside information to help you answer that tricky question, "Is the Final Four on yet?":

    If you're watching ESPN's riveting programming and you see the cheerleading championships -- you, my friend, have missed the tipoff.
     
  7. tacoma park legend

    tacoma park legend Contributing Member

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    I think Shandon would be the one to benefit the most as opposed to Cuttino. I'm not really talking about the offensive system, but more having a big dominant inside force would more benefit Shandon.

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    [This message has been edited by tacoma park legend (edited April 01, 2001).]
     
  8. tacoma park legend

    tacoma park legend Contributing Member

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    Just wanted to add a couple more things....

    Francis only demands the ball when he's feeling it at the end of games. When he's not on, he will willingly concede the ball to someone else.

    Mobley is not a selfish player. I don't think he would suffer at all from the new system. Cuttino talks alot about recieving accolades, which some unjustly criticize as an example of him putting personal goals ahead of team goals, but he seems like the type who would get more satisfaction out of getting to the playoffs than lead the team in scoring.

    Teams overplay Francis on the pick and roll more than they do Mobley, which is why you see Francis go away from the pick often. He is FORCED to do so many times. Teams know Francis is at his best when getting into the lane,especially on 24 high, which is why they try to take it away. If you have noticed the new wrinkles to 24 high, Rudy is trying to delay the screeners man from getting over so that he can not trap Francis as easily.

    Webber in the post would have to be the bread and butter play at the end of games. Teams would be forced to double team, and all of our guards would strive from it. If Webber was going against the other elite forwards in the west, like a Duncan or Garnett, then I would run the pick and roll with him and Francis.

    I do think Mobley's points would go up, because though he would be taking the same number of shots, they would be much easier to get.

    Every player would benefit from Webber's presence. I think every player on the Rockets is willing to to sacrifice or do whatever it takes to get Webber in a Rockets uni.

    HP,
    Where exactly do you see Webber setting up in the new offense? Where in the post?

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  9. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    TPL,

    High post for sure. In my dreams, he will run the offense there like Bill Walton, and we will use Steve and Cuttino as two shooting guards.
     
  10. Arnel

    Arnel Member

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    Does anybody really know what kind of chances we got of gettin' C-webb,, like 50-50 or something, just curious..

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    against all odds
     
  11. B-ball freak

    B-ball freak Contributing Member

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    Hey, did I mention that I, also, am a classic, studly, driving jacker? Well, now I have!

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  12. Hottoddie

    Hottoddie Contributing Member

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    Great post Heypartner. I was wondering how the zone defense would affect the team, now that it appears the NBA is going to allow it to some degree.

    Would a guy like LaFrentz be able to mesh with the system as you just described it. Oeilpere indicated that the Rockets are still interested in acquiring him.

    Pack your bags Cato, you're outta here!

    How about the SF position? Who or what type of player do you see as being ideal for this system if Webber comes on board?

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  13. KD

    KD Member

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    I think most of what HPartner said is right. Meanwhile, I am looking at this not from the basketball system's point of view, but more from the psychologically aspect.

    While I am not an expert in basketball, I have met some people like Mobley. They started low, in a way at least (42nd pick), earned themselves a place at the top. They work hard, but at the same time, they always look for opportunities to show those 'born elites' (in this case will be Webber or Francis) that they are just as good. That is partly why they always appear very confident, talk big and act bravely. They love responsibilities since it's the only way to show performance.

    I am sure that Mobely is a smart guy; that makes me even more worried about how he will fare when more stars come to Rockets. The fact is, he knows that without stats, he will be another Shandon Anderson, earning only occasional praises. No one outside Houston will give him credit if he has no great stats. Remember why he did not go to Toronto?

    So hopefully Hpartner is right: Webber can bring Mobley's stat up instead of down.

    By the way, anyone remembered a quote by Mobley on playing against Scottie Pippen? Clutch commented no one understood what he said? He was saying he loves Pippen. But even if his mother was in Trailblazers, he would try his best to beat them, and go home and enjoy his time with his mother making bagels for him. He was just saying he would try to beat Pippen on the court, but that will not affect their relationship off court.

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    "'Guys, stand on my shoulders. I will take you to the prom tonight.' That is what he does." ........ Sam Cassel on Hakeem in 95 playoffs
     

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