1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

This Defense... Among Other Things

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by RocketsJumer, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    13,664
    Likes Received:
    1,861
    I'm not going to make this a knee jerk thread because there will be enough of those tonight. But this defense, and this team in general, is really concerning.

    I was very concerned with the defense and the effort we gave on defense in the preseason, and a lot of people here and on reddit kept saying that "its just preseason" and "guys will turn it up when the games count." Well tonight's game counted and our defense was horrible from tip to the buzzer sounded.

    Of course, not having Dwight out there will cause our defense to slip but we didn't have Dwight a lot last year and our defense was ranked #2 for the majority of the season. And, we might not have Dwight for a good number games if he sits out for rest now and then. We should have enough players to keep at good defense.

    But the effort I saw tonight and in the preseason is worrisome. Guys are watching the ball and losing their man. Just no effort out there.

    It looks like Harden is reverting back to his bad habits that got him infamy 2 years ago. Remember when he was so focused on defense to start last season? He was making plays all over the court, even in the preseason. Have not seen a lick of that this year, yet. Brewer has always been overrated as a solid defender because he gets a lot of steals gambling and playing passing lanes, which isn't generally good defense. Beverley lost a step defensively since his meniscus tear late in the 2014 season. Capela is still a young player who doesn't quite understand defensive rotations. Jones still hasn't made the step in his career to be more conscious on defense, as he still gets lost too many times. Lawson gives an alright effort but his size really hurts him. When DMo gets back, he is a great positional defender but his rebounding is still very bad for a guy his size. Ariza is a good defender but he isn't a defender that can lift a defense like Tony Allen. He will do his job effectively but not All-Defensive Team worthy.

    Only Howard is the plus plus defender out there and who knows if he even plays 60 games this season. I hope Capela and Harrell make that defensive jump soon because teams are going to live in our paint if Howard is out.

    Offensively: I have little doubt we will ever struggle this badly on offense but it was actually worst that the defense tonight. The most concerning thing to me was that we started breaking away from any sort of semblance to an offense when we got down double digits late in the 3rd. Getting down double digits happens, but the way we responded by basically chucking up threes, good or bad, or forcing up quick shots is not how you comeback. We totally lost our poise there, even though Harden and Lawson were both on the floor. It was embarrassing and frustrating watching them try to make up 15 point in one shot.

    On Lawson: I still think his greatest value will be coming off the bench. I understood the point of him in the starting lineup and I don't really like/have too much confidence is Beverley right now, but it's probably best for the team if Lawson comes off the bench to jump start the 2nd unit. He also need to get a little more selfish. I understand him wanting to be passive to begin the season with a new team but when everyone on the floor is shooting blanks, you need to take some shots instead of passing it to them.

    I hope our offense evolves to be more than Harden and Lawson taking turns with the ball while the other stands in the corner, like it did so much tonight. We saw in the preseason how deadly they could be but I'm worried that if the games are tight, they will revert back to iso ball.

    Coaching: I like McHale but sometimes I wish he was more fiery. We saw Malone really get into it at times on the Nuggets bench and it seems like every other coach in the NBA can get fiery at times. McHale never seems to get that way and I'm tired of watching him look aloof when things are going bad. Sometimes I wish he would just get a tech because it might wake up the guys, but I know it will never happen. Not going to get into the X's and O's but I'm really curious if they actually worked on anything in the preseason, because it looks like they haven't..:rolleyes(

    To close, still 81 games to go so the world isn't falling quiet yet. I hope they get up to play against the Warriors or the Warriors will embarrass us and we will fall to 0-2 to start a season where games in November will matter so much in April. I'm just a little worried that we may have overrated this team in the offseason. They have the pieces on paper but a lot of us, including me, thought they would get everything from the get-go and have a near perfect season.

    Tonight could either be a small blemish on an otherwise great and memorable season or a telling sign of things to come. Rockets will decided which it will be.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. mfastx

    mfastx Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    9,227
    Likes Received:
    2,467
    I agree with everything except Lawson coming off the bench. My view is that while it will take some time for Harden and Lawson to learn how to play off each other most efficiently, the growing pains will be worth it as the ceiling of this team if Harden and Lawson are clicking together is so much higher than it would be if Lawson was primarily leading the bench unit. I liken it to when LeBron first got to Miami and he and Wade (both ball dominant guys) were struggling a ton early in the season. They figured it out, and 2 rings and 4 finals appearances later it was a success.

    I do think McHale needs to shore up his rotation a bit. I think there are too many quick substitutions making it hard for players to get a rhythm.
     
  3. digitallinh

    digitallinh Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,431
    Likes Received:
    23
    You just compared prime wade and lebron to harden and lawson. I laughed.
     
  4. bmd

    bmd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Messages:
    7,668
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    He's comparing them because they were both ball-dominant players who got off to a rocky start before they figured out how to play on the same team.

    He's not directly comparing Wade and LeBron to Lawson and Harden. Only the circumstances. And the analogy makes sense.

    It is a big pet peeve of mine when people do not understand analogies and try to directly compare the subjects instead of the relationship.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    26,046
    Likes Received:
    18,739
    rockets.com had posted a video of mchale speaking after monday's practice. one of the questions he was asked touched on his preparation for game 1 vs. denver. i was shocked with his response:

    "i haven't looked at them yet, i mean nothing but some hightlights.....i'll start looking at them tuesday night and come up with a gameplan"

    what the F was he doing all month? with such a tough schedule early on i would have thought he already had some homework done for the first 10 games. so it's no surprise we had no idea what to do on defense (or offense) tonight.
     
  6. el_locoteee

    el_locoteee Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,136
    Likes Received:
    240
    Try to get a team that was not healthy in preseason to play together as a team and finding the rotation that work best, with the lack half of the bigs not playing.
     
  7. OTMax

    OTMax Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    8,352
    Likes Received:
    3,670
    I doubt McHale comes up with a plan though, I think JB is mainly the guy for that.
     
  8. Scolalist

    Scolalist Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,590
    Likes Received:
    57
    I thought the D was really good. I like Capela, Brewer & Bev's energy on that end. Without Dwight Rockets struggle defending the paint.

    I'm not really worried about anything. But if I had to say one thing from this game, it would be the terrible 3 pt shooting and Rockets bigs getting everything around the rim blocked (again no Dwight)
     
  9. malakas

    malakas Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    20,167
    Likes Received:
    15,373
    Agreed with almost everything the OP said.
    Lawson should come off the bench. Gives playmaking to the second unit and brings balance to the starters. Esp since Dwight will probably not play any back2backs and will skip god knows how many games this year.

    Do you know how much pressure a backcourt of two defensively inept players like Harden and Lawson puts on the Center and rim protector?
    Most teams dont prepare a long time for RS games. They are handed the scouting reports a few hours in advance and the players read them. The scouting reports are not made by the HC.
    Esp when you face a team like Denver that is supposed to be top5 worst of the league.
    Do you think that any team prepares when playing Philly or the Wolves?
    For GSW since we played them in the playoffs almost everyone will be up to par with the scouting anyway already since they kept the same roster.
     
  10. MarioKissoDeath

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    365
    I think everyone is discounting the positive effect Josh Smith had on defense and rebounding. Sure he made some boneheaded mistakes, but we don't have a replacement for his skill set. Jones just is a terrible defender and rebounder, and DMO can't rebound. Hopefully Harrell can learn defense quickly, looks like he is already a good rebounder. Looks like our best bet is packaging KJ, Jones and Dekker in a trade later this year for a good PF.
     
  11. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    26,046
    Likes Received:
    18,739
    before you came to clutchfans, we had adelman and JVG. and although each had their issues as coach here, i doubt you can find any rocket fan unhappy with their work ethic preparing for games. i cannot remember a single rockets game under either coach where the team looked utterly unprepared from the start. and with mchale it is a neverending recurring theme.

    players don't even know who to close out on at the arc! how many wide open 3's do other teams give danny green and gallinari in the first 5min of any game? last night denver started the game with 5 straight dunks! how does a veteran team that just played in the WCF look so completely lost? and how does this keep happening year after year no matter who is on the roster, who is sitting next to mchale, and who is scouting the games?
     
  12. malakas

    malakas Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    20,167
    Likes Received:
    15,373
    But most teams nowadays not to say all don't prepare a lot of time before hand for RS games. The players usually get the scouting reports when they board the planes a day before the game.
    The problem seems to be discipline from the players and execution. Why other teams execute when Houston didn't yesterday when all of them prepare the same time their players for the upcoming games?

    Btw it was just one game. If Houston keeps executing like that with such a putrid defence and crap defensive rotations then something has to happen to fix it. Be it double hard practices, team meetings, chance rotations and at the end change of coach.
    A contender can't have a defence like that.
     
  13. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    26,046
    Likes Received:
    18,739
    i know during the course of the busy season, coaching staffs have to prepare the players on the fly, and that advance scouts do the bulk of the work (our own rudy T has been doing that for the fakers for quite some time now). but mchale had several days from the last preseason game to start preparation. and in light of the fact that we have a brutal start to the season with a very difficult schedule the next couple weeks, you would think he'd want to get a head start as much as possible instead of just waiting till the night before.

    people are saying this was just one game, but this was a win we really needed when you look at the next 6 coming up. and if the players weren't preparing for denver in practice, it's really a mystery what exactly they were doing. aside from looking terribly out of shape, both the offense and the defense have looked like china basketball association esque the entire month with no improvement in any area to date.
     
  14. hakeemthagreat

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    5,719
    Likes Received:
    3,820
    Harden looks like he outta shape. Yea its cool to get 300 million & run around with a ugly Kardashian, but he looks like he didn't put in any work during the off season smh
     
  15. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    26,046
    Likes Received:
    18,739
    rockets announcers said he did put in a lot of work this summer. he looked very unconfident in his game last night though.
     
  16. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    27,724
    Likes Received:
    21,395
    Careful, the dummies will be out to get you.

    I wouldn't say he put in no effort but clearly not as much effort as Curry.

    His had other distractions like bitching and whining about Curry winning a deserved MVP, chasing and playing with that hoe Khloe and focused on his marketing and his "brand" as he puts it.
     
  17. slothy420

    slothy420 Paper Street Soap Co.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    337
    Remember how last off-season there was a huge emphasis on playing defense which was reflected in the red hot start they began the season with?

    This past off-season, not so much, and it showed in last nights game against a scrub team. Man, I hate it when the Rockets play like that - it's as if they just don't give a crap which is inconceivable considering their goals this season.
     
  18. mfastx

    mfastx Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    9,227
    Likes Received:
    2,467
    ^^^ Exactly. Thank you.
     
  19. Nook

    Nook Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    42,481
    Likes Received:
    67,560

    You and I disagree about Lawson's defensive ability, there is no question he has been bad the last 1.5 years. McHale, Morey and Karl all have said that he has been average when on a good team. Sometimes perimeter defense comes down the quality of players surrounding them.

    The Rockets execution and discipline on defense in game 1 was very bad, as bad as several years ago when Lin and Parsons ran around like headless chickens.

    I am not surprised the defense was bad. McHale was not happy with the effort in the pre-season and was concerned about the execution as well. However keep in mind that the Rockets were without their best two front court players. A front line of Jones and Capella is lottery caliber. Couple that with a new point guard and there will be issues.

    I don't think that the problems will magically go away, and I am not sure that the Rockets have the type of players that will immediately execute. I think it will take times. One thing I can say is that Lawson and Harden both are very bright. They are certainly capable of knowing WHEN to rotate and where the proper place to be on the the court is. Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons struggled with the intuitive part of the game.

    I don't think it makes much difference whether or not Lawson starts because he is going to be on the court 35 minutes a game and Harden is going to play 35-37 minutes a game. There is going to be a lot of overlap.
     
  20. sun12

    sun12 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,044
    Likes Received:
    14

    You know this, I know this. Lots of fans have short memory, they do not know it.

    To lose a home opener by 20 for a title contender? it tells you that the effort level is not there, concentration is not there, it is the coaching staff.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now