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Positionless Basketball and Rockets 2022-23/beyond

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Shark44, Jul 23, 2022.

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Do you believe the Rockets have the roster to compete in a positionless league?

  1. Yes, we're still young, but with more experience we have a solid core that will work.k.

  2. No, our roster is still a work in progress and needs some tinkering to get there.

  3. Who cares, positionless basketball is a fad and will go away soon.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Shark44

    Shark44 Member
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    There has been discussion and commentary on how the NBA has moved to what has been deemed as "positionless basketball" or in other words we don't need traditional 1-5 roles or styles to win consistently in the NBA.

    Here's a few articles and videos for background...
    https://www.nba.com/news/nba-commis...-basketball-at-annual-finals-press-conference

    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/...misfits-are-dismantling-an-antiquated-system/
    A couple of nuggets from this article (a few good paras on Tate)...
    Jae'Sean Tate of the Houston Rockets is not picky. "I like point center," he said initially. Then he amended it to "point forward-center," but even that didn't quite do it for him. "Point forward-center-guard," Tate said.

    Tate is only 6-foot-4, but he's 230 pounds and light on his feet. He laughs when told that the website Cleaning The Glass estimates that he's played about a fifth of his minutes at center, but categorizes him as a forward.

    To drive home the point that the Miami Heat were playing "positionless basketball," coach Erik Spoelstra -- the person most responsible for popularizing the term -- stopped using 1-through-5 labels when diagramming plays, opting instead to use players' initials. This was almost a decade ago.

    https://www.denverstiffs.com/2020/7...-or-a-waystation-denver-nuggets-jokic-bol-bol

    This guy claims positionless basketball was derived from a concept called "Read and React Basketball" in 2008 that he championed...

    I'm too lazy/impatient to do more research because the real goal is to discuss how this concept applies or doesn't to our Houston Rockets. I've seen tons of comments about Sengun and how his lack of athleticism will impact our defense, but as I look at the team Stone has assembled as of 23 July 2022 I'm very excited by the skills and versatility our guys bring to the table.

    This year's starting 5 (assuming EGo is traded) will likely be...
    Porter - 1
    Green - 2
    Tate - 3
    Smith - 4
    Sengun - 5

    To be success in a "positionless system" it seems you need players that can handle the ball/play make, shoot and be able to play defense against as many types of players as possible (1-5 is ideal).

    Four of that starting 5 can initiate the offense (Smith not yet, unless its a pull-up) and can shoot (Tate TBD this year if he's improved). Three of the 5 can guard 1-5 (Tate, Smith and Porter), although I'm probably too lenient with Porter's assessment I believe he has the physical skills to do it and demonstrated his potential last year. Sengun can handle 3-5 fairly well and surprises at times with 1-2s. Green is the weak link and needs to add strength and improve his technique to handle 1-3 or even think about 4-5s, although he showed flashes, he's still got a long way to go.

    If EGo stays and we run some line-ups with him for Green and Eason for Sengun that's a pretty solid defensive team, which also has some offensive chops.

    In the Nuggets article above they talked about a giant lineup, which we don't have a true rim protector (unless Jabari is used more in this role), but we have a solid group of players in the 6'4" to 6"10" range that can play together and have some very complimentary skills.

    Add in JC, Mathews, Martin (maybe), Nix, Ty, Garuba and Nwaba (maybe) to give Silas some interesting lineups and skill sets to employ. We need another 4/5 with rim/rebounding skills (worried Garuba can stay on the court). However, overall I think we've got a group of guys that can adapt to this positionless concept fairly well.

    I'm not an expert, so if someone sees an aspect I missed please share.
     
  2. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    I think this idea is overblown and it’s mostly about making excuses. It’s just spin on a deficiency. That being said, flexible abilities shared across a roster will never hurt you if you’ve got enough to lack deficiency. We might be able to defend, the rim will be harder to get to, but make no mistake, the antigravity we witnessed from Mutumbo won’t be there. Neither will the rebounding.

    That being said you can definitely still win with built in deficiency. Gotta figure out how to limit the exploitation though. Not sure what they are for us yet. Can’t wait to find out!
     
    #2 don grahamleone, Jul 23, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
  3. Milos

    Milos Member

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    I see it really as the evolution of bigs away from the rim more than anything

    Wings are still wings, just longer

    It's not like guards have all become 6'6"+ and started dominating inside

    You can still get away with playing small guys that are mostly ineffective inside (Curry, Ja, Trey) and have success

    You just cannot get away with playing bigs that cannot function outside, especially on DEF

    Good teams will exploit this weakness over and over by creating mismatches on switches from PnR
     
  4. conquistador#11

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    Don't need all 5 players dribbling like cat woman and Paco in a one on one game.

    I think we have a roster to play various styles so that's good.

    Wasn't read and react a part of the Fuhrer's style?
     
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  5. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    I voted yes.

    *may take some time for Green, Sengun, J Christopher, Garuba to get up
    to par because they are 2nd year players.

    *Porter to get up to par as he has only played about 21 games and
    then about 61 games (approximately 81 games total) as a point guard
    in the NBA. Some people here think that's easy.....but it's playing quarterback
    at the greatest level. Takes more than one seasons worth of games to master.

    *Jabari, Tari, and TyTy can ride the coattails of Green, Porter, Sengun, Christopher,
    Garuba, Mathews, ?Eric Gordon?, ?Tate?, ?Kenyon? until they get use to the
    speed of the game (NBA).

    *Anything Tate and Kenyon can give us?
    ___________

    All-in-All, the Rockets have the foundation or core.

    I've been preaching, "give me a bunch of 6'6" to 6'9" mobile, quick,
    fast, long wingspan players." Much closer now.

    Rotation of Starters:
    Porter (6'5"....plays like 6'6"....switch everything)
    Green (6'5"....plays like 6'6".....switch everything)
    Jabari (6'11"...mobile like 6'7"...switch everything)
    Tari (6'8"....mobile, long wingspan...switch everything)
    Sengun (6'9"...sand in his pants....can lean on big lugs in the league)

    Small-Ball (Playoff Lineups)
    Porter
    Green
    **Need
    Jabari
    Tari

    **True readiness to compete will be in 23/24 when the Rockets draft or improve
    by way of free agency:

    Free Agents
    Jerami Grant age 29
    Kuzma age 27
    Wiggins age 28
    Middleton age 31
    Oubre age 28
    Myles Turner age 28
    Jason Hayes age 23 RFA but Rockets will have money


    Prospects
    6'7" Cam Whitmore
    6'7" Dillion Mitchell
    6'7" Amen Thompson
    6'7" Ausar Thompson
    7'1" Kel'el Ware
    7'0" Dereck Lively

    or get lucky enough for
    7'3" Wembanyama

    My preference would be two SF/wings: Cam Whitmore and Dillion Mitchell
     
    #5 ApacheWarrior, Jul 23, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
  6. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    The offensive end is becoming positionless with players of all sizes becoming primary passers, but the defense is still relatively positioned based on the players' sizes. For example, on offense Sengun might be more of a PG than Jalen, but make no mistake that Jalen at 6'4 180, and Sengun at 6'9 240 will have very discernable positions on defense.
     
  7. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    I’m in the 4 out camp, unless you can get a unicorn at 5.
     
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  8. Shark44

    Shark44 Member
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    I think this is a great point! Bigs have evolved and expanded their range to enable spacing on offensive and the ability to switch on defense (although that ability is limited in most bigs).

    I think the reverse is also interesting to point out, remember when big guards use to post little guards? That rarely happens at least in the games I watch. The post up game in general is fading, except for a few guys like our very own Sengun.
     
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  9. Shark44

    Shark44 Member
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    Agree on the offensive end, but don't you think the switch everything on defense trend has impacted the concept on defense as well?
     
  10. Shark44

    Shark44 Member
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    Yes, I believe you, DRock and a few others have been advocating for lengthy wings--we've got some good ones now!

    I particularly like Wiggins, Hayes and Middleton on your FA list. I was never a big Wiggins guy, but he seems to have put it together with GS--guess it could be the Warriors system/players, but he really seemed to be getting it this year. Jaxson is an intriguing ball of energetic clay. It will be fun to see if he keeps developing like he did last year. I love KM's game, just not sure he'd want to join such a young team after being with the Bucks virtually his entire career.

    Haven't done any reading on 2023 draft. Who are your favs for the Rox?
     
  11. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    Yes, to read and react
     
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  12. AlperenSengun

    AlperenSengun Member

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    Yes and it is mostly the centers taking roles other than the classical center on offense and playing more traditional center defense, like Jokic, KAT, draymond.
     
  13. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    Warriors players (mainly Draymond) have a way of conforming players.

    Kuminga and Moody are being schooled and groomed.

    People will see them make Patrick Baldwin look great as well.
    ____________________

    here is a list of free agents
    https://www.spotrac.com/nba/free-agents/2023/center/

    I like Jaxson as well.

    I can't get enough wings (cue the hot wings gifs)....but bringing in
    Myles Turner, Jaxson, Kuzma, Middleton, Kel'el Ware, D Lively shifts
    Jabari or Tari. One slides over to SF (or the 3). Both are capable.

    If drafting Cam Whitmore/Dillion Mitchell.....Bari/Tari can slide to PF/C (4/5).
    Both are capable as they get stronger and mature. Right now I have Tari as
    as stronger and playing the PF (4) more than Jabari. On offense, they are
    interchangable. C-n-Shoot the 3 Stretch 4's.....3 & D wings.
     
    #13 ApacheWarrior, Jul 23, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  14. Shark44

    Shark44 Member
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    This is a kid I noticed in the SL and would love to add as FA or trade for him. Would love to add him as Sengun's backup. He's got great size, range, vision and is physical...
     
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  15. ApacheWarrior

    ApacheWarrior Member

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    I like Aric Holman, John Butler, Bruno Fernando and I wouldn't be
    against adding Sandro. Liked him coming out of college.
     
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  16. red5rocket

    red5rocket Member

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    He’s on a two way with Milwaukee
     
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  17. rpr52121

    rpr52121 Sober Fan
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    People act like this is a new thing on defense. The Chicago Bulls 2nd three peat had only 1 true PF/C over 6 foot, 9 inches in Luc Longley and he only played roughly 25 min a game never averaging more than like 6 rebounds a game or 1.4 blocks a game. (Kukoc was SF, not a big).

    That is only a shade more usage than GSW used Looney last year and less than GSW used Andrew Bogut during the initial portion of their run. The Bulls used athletic but physically smaller guys like Pippen and Rodman to guard bigs and challenge in the paint. And that was truly an era of Giants.

    Fewer giants to deal with today. And even if the Rockets do go against a Jokic or Embid, just pull what the Mavs did to Yao/McGrady in that playoff. They can have their 50+ ppg and no one else can do anything.

    On offense, the only new thing is the expectation of big men to shoot 3 pointers. But big men were shooting 16-17 ft were highly prized and major part of lots of games in the 90's. Great passing big men were also prized. Maybe the floor of expectations for bigs is higher today, but that is probably true of all skills as a sport evolves.
     
    #17 rpr52121, Jul 23, 2022
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  18. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    It depends on each teams roster, but as long as there is supremely talented large and small players defensive roles will always have a well defined presence in the game.

    Trae Young and Jokic will never guard each other, despite having similar offensive roles. Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday aren’t interchangeable defensively, Curry and Draymond aren’t, CP3 and Ayton aren’t.
     
  19. groovemachine

    groovemachine Member

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    It’s pretty much a fad, in crunch time it’s always been your best 5 against theirs
     
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  20. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    Well rounded very skilled offensive versatility.

    Like Olynyk in size (6'10 to 6'11), playmaking, IQ and jump shot.

    Decent 7'1wingspan (similar to Sengun & Olynyk).

    Try hard guy on defense.

     
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