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Reflection on post-season (stats)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by OTMax, May 21, 2013.

  1. OTMax

    OTMax Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    I know it's late, or early depending on your point of view, but I wanted to share some thoughts on this series and how good we played and crazy close we got to advance to the next round:

    • We won the rebounding match 3 times and kept it close in 5 out of the 6 games. This should tell us that guys busted their humps and we were very committed to it, something McHale had clearly stressed. More importantly, consider that we only had one true big in Asik and a big forward in Parsons vs. Jerkins, Ibaka, Durant & Collins. Also given that boxing out is not our strength, we trying to run a lot, we have 3-4 guys on the perimeter most of the time and probably a lot more reasons we should technically not be a good rebounding team yet we were 7th during the regular season & 3rd during the playoffs!

    • Our 3 point shooting was one of our strongest weapons during the regular season despite us only being 10th percentage wise. The first 3 games, we were terrible and shot 27% (shot 36% during the season!) while averaging 9.3 threes (1.3 less than season average) yet lost 2 games by only 3 points. This means if we had made our regular 10.6 / shot a slightly better percentage we could've won those 2. Another positive sign is how our 3pt shooting picked up during the last 3 games and shot 42% and averaged 13.3 threes. We won 2 of those games, though this all is slightly off because of the crazy 7/9 Harden and 6/8 Parsons performances.

    • Our free throw shooting was only good for 17th during the regular season at around 75% which dropped to 71%, 4th worst of all playoff contenders. We did manage to have the 3rd most FTs during the regular season at 19.2, due to Harden obviously, and 6th best during the post season at 19.7 though. This should tell us we went to the line a good amount but lost a lot of points due to our low percentage shooting. Since our crucial game 2 and 3 loss was only decided by 3 points, a few more FTs could've won us the games. Also we should keep in mind that Harden did not get a lot of respect from the referees during the series, though he average 8.8 (8.6 during regular season) FTs. Then again, Asik went from 2 to 5 FTs averaged and raised his % by 0.07.

    • Individually 3 out of 5 starters improved significantly during the post season: Beverley (points) Garcia (points, 3PM, 3P%) & mainly Parsons (points, but almost everything he improved). Harden, Asik & Delfino were almost the same or slightly less or better than during the regular season. Unfortunately, other then that, nobody on the bench stepped up though Brooks did okay. To me, it was eye opening that Greg Smith became a zero during the playoffs. Lin played bad but I cannot really form a good opinion on him because he was out for basically all but two games. It's positive that he is hard on himself and will probably be better next year. This experience was crucial and he along with others can only get better from it. Especially if we have another All-Star next year.

    • This brings me to my last point: the coaching. After game 1, McHale finally showed he can make good adjustments that helped us especially on defense. On offense we were pretty much the same though there were some plays and group of guys out there that made it harder on OKC to stop. I applaud the whole coaching staff for what they did during the playoffs. However there is one problem I had with the coaches / McHale in sticking with Smith. I personally thought Jones had done enough during the last few games to be given a chance, but I can understand why McHale didn't try him nor D-Mo or T-Rob. You want consistency and he had made up his mind to start Smith the last few games of the regular season. In general though, with our style of play I also think it wouldn't have hurt had we used a bigger rotation. But still, they did better than expected.

    • I don't want to get into officiating because it is tough to say how well or bad they did but I will say what I think is obvious and everybody can sort of agree on: Durant got way too many calls, you couldn't breathe on him yet he could throw out his elbow on his drives countless time and did not get called for it. Game 4 it was the most obvious and personally I think they really tried hard to give that game to OKC. There were so many crucial, game changing and questionable calls going against us that I figured there was no way we would win that game. Harden did not get a lot of calls, which is partly on himself with him looking for fouls like Kevin Martin and they just weren't going to call a lot of those. This hurt his game. Lastly there was Fisher who flopped all over the place, got all the calls and was allowed to put his hands on whoever he wanted. This had an effect on the game, I will leave it up to everybody's opinion on how big or small this was.

    In the grand scheme of things, we can only get better next year. We are still young and I am sure during training camp and in trades, our PF problem will be mostly solved and we can count on either Jones / D-Mo / T-Rob / Smith at that position. Harden was up and down during the playoffs and when we get that 2nd star, it will only get easier. We can only imagine how tough it must be to be the only creator on the team, the only one worthy of a double-team and having to carry a team when you're only 23. I am sure he will slowly grow into a mature and more responsible player. The only thing that worries me is our focus on 3p shooting and FTs, the two areas that have proven to be crucial in the difference between winning and losing. In other words: I really hope next year we will see more mid-range game and 2 point shooting because we relied on those other two areas way too much. Other then that, there's mostly positive things to be taken from this playoff series and had a few calls and shots gone our way, we would've faced the Grizzlies so stay positive and let's back to Clutch City!
  2. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

    Dec 25, 2001
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    The post season sort of played out as I expected - it exposed the weaknesses of the team to show what they need going forward

    1 - the 3 point shot is great but the Rockets rely too heavily on it and when you have consecutive games (esp in the playoffs) when its not falling - you get behind real quick

    2- needing a front court playmaker - either at the PF/C spot we need someone to be a post scoring/passing threat. Having someone down there just creates easy shots - either in the paint or creating double teams to kick out for better looks at the 3 ball

    3 - A better defensive big off the bench - there will always been a drop when Asik comes off the floor because he is one of the elite defensive bigs in the league but that drop is way too steep at the moment. Greg Smith is just beyond awful defensively - always out of position, not boxing out etc. He isn't good enough offensively to make up for that terrible defense. Greg Smith was easily the worst player on the floor for the Rockets when he did play.

    4 - this could be more of having too young of a bench but there was no real bench - add in Lin's injury and then Delfino's it became even thinner. You basically just had Brooks, Delfino (till he got hurt) then played James Anderson in game 6. Granted the other guys were too young but the starters seem to just run out of gas the bench came in and at times gave them a decent boost but not consitently. Losing Delfino hurt the most since it was one less defender to throw at Durant to give Garcia and Parsons a rest and our best 3 point shooter and someone who could create. You could tell in game 6 when McHale tried to play the bench and had Lin, Anderson and Smith out there - all of whom probably played a combined 20 minutes since game 2 - that the offense and defense looked completely lost and out of sorts and OKC made that run early in the 4th quarter to seal the game.

    Our young rookies - Jones, D-Mo and Robinson have to work hard this offseason but the good news is that there are minutes to be had for them if they prove to the coaching staff. I think Jones is probably going to be the one who gets the initial nod.

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