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What Josh Smith taught me about James Harden

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by finsraider, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    On offense, it's all about trust. We've been busting our heads in trying to figure out why Harden massages the air out of the ball. He casually walks the ball up the floor, crossing midcourt at 17 seconds. Then he hands the ball off to someone else, who promptly returns it to him, and he pounds the rock until he passes it off to a shooter, drives the lane, or pulls up.

    Why? Because he can't/won't/shouldn't trust anyone to facilitate this offense.

    We all love Dwight, but you can't run an offense through him consistently. More often than not, he ends up clanking a jump hook off the iron or turning the ball over mid-post up (though his post up have been better recently).

    Harden does trust DMo. You could see it last year, and even in DMo's short stint this year. Of course DMo has been hurt, so we haven't seen much help there.

    As much as we wanted Ty to take some of the load off James, he was VERY timid until about a month ago and he's served two suspensions since late December. Morey said early in the season that PG is the most difficult position to integrate, and it has been a tough sled so far. Letting Ty run the show off the bench has been a big boost to his confidence.

    The rest of the guys are role players. You don't ask Beverley, Ariza, Brewer, TJones or Capela to initiate the offense. You just tell them to cut and hit open shots. Asking more of them leads to the offense we've seen for most of the year.

    And then you have Josh. Smoove has done it before, fits the aggressive nature of this team, and is completely unselfish. While Harden was glued to the bench in game 6, Josh was dismantling the Clippers with sharp passes and above the break 3s. Josh doesn't hesitate...he makes the pass the second he sees the opening, and takes the 3 when the immobile 4s and 5s back off him. In some ways, Smoove is like Ginobili....you live and die with him, but you don't win without him.

    Trust extends to the other end of the court as well. I think we're all starting to realize that we've been playing 4 on 5 (and sometimes 3 on 5) on defense for most of the season. We haven't had a PF that contributed anything positive to date. In fact, it got so bad that we had to convert Capela into a PF, which has probably stunted his growth. TJones has been horrific, and Harrell is a rookie.

    With Josh, we've finally got a great defensive 4 and small ball 5 that knows where to be and what to do. We're in sync, showing some defensive intensity, and trusting each other. In fact, watching the team yesterday has caused me to question how I have analyzed the sport. We typically think of offense and defense as separate parts of the game, but I see now that they are inseparably related. How else can you explain Dwight's lack of interest on the offensive end and his seemingly diminishing returns on defense, or Harden's lack of defensive effort for most of this season and his volatile offensive performance.

    Long story short, this team had a very big hole, and until recently most of us couldn't figure out what it was. Now we know......Josh Smith completes James Harden.
     
    7 people like this.
  2. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    No stats, no care
     
  3. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    Didn't sufficiently bash Harden. Didn't demand we trade his drunk ass for a pu pu platter of garbage.

    0 stars, no rep given.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Pen15clubber

    Pen15clubber Member

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    With the back injury of dmo and jones being injured all the time last season it's amazing we couldn't promise smith a big role in our offense
     
  5. ibm

    ibm Member

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    Josh Smith completes James Harden? hehe, c'mon now, that's a reach.

    did he "complete" harden last yr in the playoffs? if so we're in trouble, aint we.
     
  6. Pen15clubber

    Pen15clubber Member

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    Last year we were a top 3-4 team. Without smith this year we were basically Sacramento
     
  7. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    We just really need a 4 who can shoot and/or playmake.

    The Rockets' smoothest offense in recent history came when we were playing PPatt and Morris at PF. Even though we had Asik at center, the spacing those guys provided was so huge that it made the whole offense click.

    Plus we had Parsons back then who was quite a bit better offensively than Ariza, but still. The stretch 4 is huge for us.
     
  8. finsraider

    finsraider Member

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    Not sure a "stretch 4" is quite the solution. Do I think we need more forwards that can shoot? Absolutely, but that can't be their only skill.

    That's why I think getting DMo back to his 2014-2015 self would be a huge boost to this team. Like Josh, DMo does a ton of stuff that contributes to winning basketball. He's a very versatile offensive player, and he knows where to be on defense. I don't care if he has to sit another month....if we can get the new/old DMo back by early March, it will be as if we made a deadline deal for the perfect stretch 4/small ball 5.
     
  9. rocketsmetalspd

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    Still need another PF to complete the roster. Hoping Morey gets something done on the trading deadline, just four weeks away.
     
  10. OpenLayup-Why3?

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    [​IMG]

    Capela, Jones, SMith, DMo, Harrel, Dekker, Ariza, Harden. Half of the roster already are PFs.
     
  11. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    Looks like you have an idea on what a PF is, but you're still just a wee bit off.
     
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  12. ISOBall

    ISOBall Member

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    The whole team needs to make plays for eachother

    Isn't that what McHale said on media day???! Harden needs the ball in his hands less and make off ball plays for catch and shoot

    We've won our last 2 games by ball movement thanks to Smoove
     
  13. jbasket

    jbasket Member

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    And the breakup lead to one of Clutchfans' great threads in recent history though.

    I'm ok with that.
     
  14. Tfor3

    Tfor3 Member

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  15. photojoe

    photojoe Member

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    Now we know? We know this after 2 games?

    I'm hopeful. Josh Smith can definitely fill a role with this team and we basically gave up nothing to get him. I have grown sick of watching the Rockets look terrible and, after 2 games, they have at least looked better.

    But I have a hard time saying that the Rockets are cured or that they have turned the corner. I have a hard time saying that Josh Smith was the answer for all of the struggles we have had so far. I have a hard time saying that Josh Smith completes Harden. It's only been 2 games.
     
  16. SF3isBack!!

    SF3isBack!! Member

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    I figured it out and got called a Harden Only Fan for pointing it out, lol. Harden just needed help. I hope Lawson comes along it seems like Smith gave him confidence as well he still needs to shoot when he's open.
     
  17. sugrlndkid

    sugrlndkid Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. phantoman

    phantoman Contributing Member

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  19. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Here's the thing about Smoove. When you envision a team around Harden and Howard, you imagine people who can thrive around a post presence and an elite creator - slashers, shooters, etc.. Smoove is kind of a secondary creator. He was once elite around the rim and is now below average; he was never a shooter, though he now considers himself one. He's been somewhat turnover-prone for a creator type player. His rebounding numbers aren't eye-popping. By any metric, Smoove shouldn't be a very effective player in the NBA today. Certainly in LA and Detroit he was horrendous. But you can't escape the fact that in two short games the team has moved better and flowed better on offense because of the presence of Smoove. Whether it's due to impact, increased focus, or better effort, he's been a positive despite most indicators suggesting otherwise. I think the talking heads are right - only in Houston could Smoove ignite a renaissance. Whatever the case is, welcome back to the Band of Brothers!
     
  20. Fantasma Negro

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    Last year there was no one to guard Curry, this year Bev is back
     

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