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Where Do the Rockets Go From Here – The Power Forward Position

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jtr, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. jtr

    jtr Member

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    We have all seen Morey in action. Boldly completely dismantling a winning roster because it just had no chance of competing going forward. Replacing every player of value besides Parsons. But what is his vision? To decipher that we need to look at his priorities. And what is at the top of his priority list when choosing a player for the roster? Shot selection. You might ask why shot selection is so important. Because shot selection determines how efficiently the team scores. That is the basis of money ball. And here the advanced metrics view of the value of NBA shots:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ev0_2zdUkzRCzNI5x_Cvl8Ak7167_PxPxEZRX0bKUNY?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-5lLeeBBhHMQ/Ug2T55K15GI/AAAAAAAAAHA/MgKls12YJVs/s288/NBA%2520shot%2520PPS%2520table.jpg" height="106" width="288" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/107238459161314210079/RocketsPF?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMDQ0_rJi6bR6QE&feat=embedwebsite"></a></td></tr></table>
    * For the sake of simplicity I am ignoring technical free throws and and-1's.
    ** I used last seasons team free throw percentage. Otherwise I used NBA averages.
    Please note that for all practical purposes there is no difference between 8-16 foot and 17-24 foot mid-range shots in the NBA.

    Is Morey adhering to this basic analysis of shot selection? How can we tell? We ask the question “As he remade the Rockets last summer did he modify anything?” In short order we find that he completely redesigned the complete architecture of the Rockets offense. He modified the Rockets offense from one that was just average in offensive efficiency into one of the most efficient squads in the NBA. Shot chart time. Houston's shot chart from the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 seasons:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Z4GuGV1q5O69tXGxaXK07sAk7167_PxPxEZRX0bKUNY?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TgUOUWQnxF0/Ug2UMNOooZI/AAAAAAAAAH8/Pm-ye_rymwc/s800/Shot%2520Selection%25202011-2013.jpg" height="298" width="800" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/107238459161314210079/RocketsPF?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite"></a></td></tr></table>

    Breaking the shot charts down into the basic components:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/v_TmdNK1BnfI2x231KzjTMAk7167_PxPxEZRX0bKUNY?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-7hRpr134C-E/Ug2T-TxCQOI/AAAAAAAAAHU/i8H3SFiMX2M/s400/Rockets%2520Shot%2520selection%2520pie%2520chart.jpg" height="132" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/107238459161314210079/RocketsPF?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMDQ0_rJi6bR6QE&feat=embedwebsite"></a></td></tr></table>

    So what do the pie charts tell us? McHale brilliantly implemented Morey's roster reconstruction to minimize the innately inefficient mid range shot and allocate those shots to 3 pointers and at the basket shots.

    So what does this mean for staffing the power forward spot on the Rockets roster. Let us take a look at a perennial Clutch Fans favorite, LaMarcus Aldridge. First let's take a look at LMA's shot selection and the points per shot (PPS) from last season and compare them to the Rockets.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GVrdTDuP8xE90MMmNfnHEsAk7167_PxPxEZRX0bKUNY?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9Qjc9I8vdqU/Ug2TsnAN6_I/AAAAAAAAAGg/P6h34EM-YTo/s288/LMA%2520Rockets%2520Shot%2520PPS.jpg" height="63" width="288" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/107238459161314210079/RocketsPF?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMDQ0_rJi6bR6QE&feat=embedwebsite"></a></td></tr></table>

    OK. That is pretty bad. It is pretty obvious that LMA is no 3 point shooter and never will be. However when you consider LMA's shot selection he begins to look like a really bad fit in a Morey designed offense:

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/E6B0-B1bYq5z9jVj8lYhGMAk7167_PxPxEZRX0bKUNY?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6Pwg9F-UcaQ/Ug2WxVMA_pI/AAAAAAAAAI4/dCdkvxaTg-A/s400/LMA%2520shot%2520selection%2520Pie%2520chart.jpg" height="136" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/107238459161314210079/RocketsPF?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMDQ0_rJi6bR6QE&feat=embedwebsite"></a></td></tr></table>

    What makes the fit so absolutely terrible is that last season Aldridge took 842 mid range jumpers while the entire rockets roster only took 1214 mid range jumpers. Does anyone really want the Rockets players to take 70% more bad shots next season? The mid-ranged shot is the least efficient shot in basketball. Even more stunning is that Aldridge averaged 0.25 PPS from mid-range less than the Rockets roster averaged from beyond the 3 point line. I seriously doubt that we will see any player like LMA at the power forward spot while Morey is the GM.

    But what about Kevin Love you might ask? Well Love also is a bad fit for the Rockets, but for none of the reasons Aldridge is a bad fit. Another day. Another post.
     
    #1 jtr, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
    4 people like this.
  2. hikanoo49

    hikanoo49 Member

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    we just need one of our young guns to develop and we will be fine
     
  3. jimmyv281

    jimmyv281 Member

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    "Nice job old chap"......
     
  4. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Member

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    Good post. Aldridge is so talented that you can likely make things work-- if his more of his midrange Js are wide open due to attention paid to Harden and Howard, the efficiency may be better and he may be able to make corner 3s like Patterson did. He is also a decent enough defender and a smart player to contribute even when he does not have the ball in his hands. But the fit is not obvious and requires some adjustment on the part of everyone. So, perhaps there are better fitting targets out there that wont cost as much to trade for and gives u more bang for the buck.

    Honestly, I think a nice fit for this team at PF would be Rasheed Wallace back when he was younger-- top defender, skilled on offense, can shoot 3s and doesn't give a **** about how many touches he gets. Too bad there is no Sheed in the league right now.

    So, the best we can settle for at the moment is to start James Harden at the PF spot with Lin/Beverley/Parsons/Howard.
     
  5. jtr

    jtr Member

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    Exactly. Thank you.
     
  6. H-TownBBall

    H-TownBBall Member

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    Chris Bosh? His defense is underrated.
     
  7. jtr

    jtr Member

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    Hello
     
    #7 jtr, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  8. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Member

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    You know why the thread is rated one star so far? Because there has only been on person rating it: Me. And I did it just to mess with you. :cool:
     
  9. mfastx

    mfastx Member
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    I agree with Carl, I'd like a PF who can be an enforcer, someone who can play great "D" alongside Howard, and who's not afraid to mix it up.

    Also would be nice if he could shoot with range.

    But I do not think a "stretch" 4 with no inside game would be good (Ryan Anderson).
     
  10. PatBeverleyFan

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    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. Rockets_12

    Rockets_12 Member

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    You just perfectly described Z-Bo..
     
  12. mfastx

    mfastx Member
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    He would be a great fit.

    Ah, one can dream. It'd be nice if we got someone on the good side of 30 though.
     
  13. jtr

    jtr Member

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    Sorry Carl. I am obviously much to uptight about it. I will take this forward in my life.
     
  14. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Member

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    One issue some have raised is that any PF HOU plays will likely take no more than a modest amount of shots given the number of touches that Harden and Howard will (for mostly good reasons) get.

    If we are talking about a "star" PF with a high usage rate, the Rockets will have to come to some sort of understanding where one or more of its stars take less shots than he is used to. I wonder if guys like Love or Aldridge are willing to take the "Chris Bosh" job.
     
  15. jtr

    jtr Member

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    And you just nailed my next power forward post. And as you previously stated is the money best used elsewhere in the roster?
     
  16. newAge_Rockets

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    I don't really agree with the point that LMA can't fit the system, because we'd change it for him. But I give 4 star thread for the solid reasoning behind your points. :)
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron Member

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    the strength of the high low combo comes from what the high post player does if you don't match up, they drive in closer, that's what Duncan does, that's what Aldridge does, heck that's even what Gasol does.

    Whereas when we camp our pfs of the 3 point line, often they are taking wide open shots because the defenders will hedge them, the only shot they have is the 3, if they step in they still never get anywhere near the rim so that's no threat, but it's Harden who then gets his drives hedged against.

    That forcing to make the defender accountable is why Indiana, Memphis etc could create several vacant driving lanes even deep in the playoffs.
     
  18. mjhaver5

    mjhaver5 Member

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    money ball

    the money ball concept only works when you are working with less talent, and maximizing your potential. money ball only works to a certain extent. The rockets will never compete in playoffs without a mid-range game. Harden has couple games in the playoffs where was ice cold. same for parsons. when the three isn't falling, the money ball concept gets messed up. you see, in playoffs, your opponent really understands how you play, your strengths and your weaknesses. Hence, many of your inside the 8feet shots are no longer available. Those plays are only available that are truely dominating. ex: post up plays, pick and roll plays, strong screens, etc. transition, back door plays, most screen plays, and many other of these types of plays are no longer as effective.

    hence, the money ball worked for when you had harden, lin, and parsons who really didn't have many dominant plays. but now with a developed harden, more experienced parsons, and now with a post-up option with dwight, we can play to our strengths (dominant plays). aldridge is perfect, because he can constantly hit his jump shot, creating a powerful play for a pick and roll, post up play, strong screens, and more efficient half-court basketball. that is why aldridge is a top 5 pf in the league. he has what most other power forwards don't have, an unstoppable post up, fade away jump shot (like malone).
     
  19. Rox23

    Rox23 Member

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    Have faith in the people you've got and they will respond accordingly; doubt them, expect the worst from them and don't give them a chance, and they will respond accordingly.

    The grass is always greener, as they say...

    Go ahead. Get a guy like Aldridge. With D12, Harden, Lin and Parson in the line-up Aldridge will go from perennial all-star and go-to-guy with the Blazers to a spot-up shooter on the Rockets only getting like 7 or 8 shots a game. If a guy like Asik isn't willing to make sacrifices do you think a bigger ego like Aldridge will like to be minimalized? Too many stars in one starting lineup doesn't work...not long term anyway.
     
  20. Alvin Choo

    Alvin Choo Member

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    Just wondering, do you have the numbers of the other Pfs in the houston rockets last season?

    I just got a feeling that most of those Mid Js are from pick and pop situation with our Pfs. Be it Pat2, Morris, Robinson, Smith, Jones or DMO.
     

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