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Why are the Clippers such a bad matchup for the Rockets?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by HamJam, May 12, 2015.

  1. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    It reminds me of the Sonics in the 90's. Rudy T could never adjust for Karl's (illegal) defenses on Dream, and the Rockets seemed to be able to beat the Sonics.

    But, what is it about the Clippers that McHale and the Rockets seem incapable of adjusting to? On offense, is it just the presence of Jordan in the middle?

    On defense, it seems that the Clippers are very good at not letting the Rockets force them into turnovers, so, the aggressive passing lane attacking style we play doesn't work on them as much, and it doesn't force fast break points as it does on other teams (which also affects the offense). The fact that the Clippers also have very good outside shooting, which can make the Rockets pay for getting out of position while going for steals and being aggressive, also seems to be a major issue.

    What else am I missing though in understanding why the Clippers are so particularly a bad match-up.
     
  2. Krizzle

    Krizzle Member

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    They could just be the better team you know, also having a coach who can perform in the playoffs help drastically.
     
  3. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    They have a Dwight Neutralizer, they have good 3 and D players to put on Harden, and they have marquee/hyper elite HOF players at 1 and 4 spots who can create havoc by penetrating where Rockets are very weak on defense and have to move around and hide people.

    That and their main weakness (bench) has been neutralized by the ****ty perfomance of Brewer and Smith.
     
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  4. HardenHardon

    HardenHardon Member

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    Because the Rockets aren't that good.
     
  5. jcee15

    jcee15 Contributing Member

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    Winner.
    /Thread
     
  6. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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    This BS of bad match up needs to stop.

    Good championship teams do not make the constant excuse of bad match up.

    If you're good enough to win it all, you don't complain about match ups.

    Rockets are not good enough, that's it. Both the roster and especially the coaching.
     
  7. Fulgore

    Fulgore Member

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    They have a center that's just as athletic as D12 and the clips are strong at the spots the Rockets are very weak at (pf and pg).
     
  8. bmd

    bmd Member

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    The Rockets' front court isn't supremely skilled... they are just very athletic. Against teams with less athletic front court players, Dwight, Jones, and Smith have an advantage and can play well. But against DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, that advantage is not there. Essentially, Dwight and DeAndre cancel each other out.

    The athletic bigs also make it more difficult for Harden to score in the paint. So Harden is less effective.

    So the Rockets' two super stars struggle.

    Then on the other side, the Rockets' PG's cannot stop Chris Paul and the Rockets PF's cannot stop Blake Griffin. They also have better shooters with Reddick, Barnes, Paul, and Crawford. And speaking of Crawford, he can also score points on his own.

    In short, they have the players to stop the Rockets' stars, but the Rockets cannot stop them.
     
  9. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    They are nothing like what the 90's sonics were to us.

    They are just out playing us, Out running us, out coaching us, out witting us.

    Those 90's Rockets left everything on the floor trying to beat the Sonics.

    This team left everything at the strip club the week after beating a sorry ass Dallas squad.
     
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy SPECIAL MASTER
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    There's a lot of paper-rock-scissor matchups in the west right now IMO. Title winners aren't always capable of beating every team in a series. Sometimes they just find the best road there. You build the best team you can and hope for the best.
     
  11. Dmo for 3mo

    Dmo for 3mo Member

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    Cause they are better than us.
     
  12. Liberon

    Liberon Rookie

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    Rivers, Reddick and Crawford did as much if not greater damage than Paul and let him rest often. Think about that....
     
  13. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    People on this very board have argued that Blake Griffin isn't special. LOL
     
  14. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Sam nailed it.
     
  15. rezdawg

    rezdawg Contributing Member

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    That's not the point of this thread.

    The Rockets consistently lose by double digits to the Clippers...and have been doing so for about the last 10-12 games against them. It has nothing to do with how good or bad we are...but more to do with how our strengths and weaknesses match up against theirs. The Clippers seemingly have trouble with a good handful of other teams...but when they play us, it's a cakewalk for them.
     
  16. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Well normally it's because their 2 strongest positions(PG and PF) are the 2 weakest on the Rockets. But with Chris Paul a virtual spectator in this series, I don't think the whole "bad matchup" argument applies.

    The reasons this particular series is going so badly for the Rockets are:

    1) The non-existent defense - You can't give up 119.5 PPG and expect to win a playoff series. And this has plagued the Rockets the entire postseason, so again, don't play the "Clippers are a bad matchup" card. They surrendered 110 PPG to the Mavs in Round 1. And on the road, they've been especially dreadful. 124.5 PPG to the Mavs and 126 PPG to the Clippers. This is historically bad defense. I've been watching the NBA for 23 years, and I don't ever remember a team being this consistently awful on that end of the floor in the playoffs.

    2) The disappearing act by the bench - Smith and Brewer were big in the series against Dallas. They've been horrendous through 4 games against the Clippers. Smith can't buy a basket. He's trying to lob to Dwight when that play has been scouted and defended well since Game 2 vs the Mavs. He makes no effort on defense. Meanwhile, Brewer can't buy a basket either. The team's sorry defense prevents him from being able to score in transition. And he keeps making dumb defensive plays like fouling guys while in the penalty or hacking 3-point shooters. Their awful performances are only made worse by the fact that they're allowing their counterparts on the Clippers to go off.

    3) James Harden going into pouting mode - When James doesn't get foul calls, he has a bad habit of camping out on the perimeter on offense while dogging it at the defensive end. Unfortunately, he's done this most of the series which is why we see his teammates forcing the issue and trying to make plays they clearly aren't capable of. Maybe it's gonna take another season and an embarrassing playoff loss for him to mature in this area of his game, but he needs to man up and stop looking for the refs to bail him out. If you don't even attack the basket, how can you expect to score or get foul calls?

    4) The lousy coaching - The Clippers are not a very complicated team on offense. Talented, but not complicated. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul run a lot of PnR. DeAndre is a dunker off of lobs and offensive rebounds. Redick runs around a lot like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen to get open looks off of screens. Barnes likes to score in transition and shoot 3's. Crawford is a chucker. And Austin Rivers is....well, Austin Rivers. It's not easy to defend them when they've got their outside shots going, but it's also not impossible. Why McHale seems completely incapable of drawing up defensive plays to counter the Griffin and Paul PnR and Redick shots off of screens is beyond me.

    If you wanna look at the glass as half-full, it's still not too late to correct some of these issues. Especially with 2 of the 3 remaining games in this series(should it go the distance) being at Toyota Center. But when we're 4 games in and we see the Rockets following the same script every time, it's hard to get one's hopes up.
     
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  17. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    The Clippers are a bad matchup because the Clippers have great basketball talent and the Rockets have lesser basketball talent.
     
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  18. sugrlndkid

    sugrlndkid Member

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    The Rockets have NO true offensive Post presence.
    Just look at the prior series vs the Spurs. The Spurs arent super athletic...but they have 3 main options in the post who can get any shot inside at any time.

    1. Tim Duncan - the guy is still the big fundamental, and was consistently schooling DeAndre in the post.
    2. Tiago Splitter - If he was healthy to start the series we couldve seen a different result.
    3. Boris Diaw - He is a matchup nightmare...He is a high IQ player who understands how to use his body in the paint/up and under/bank shot/step out and nail a jumper.​

    If the Rockets were able to keep the Clippers honest inside the paint, this series would be a lot more different. The fact is Dwight is a below average offensive post player, and that something we all knew. Losing Dmo was a huge blow to this team...during periods of offensive lag, they were able to dump it in the post and have DMo get easy buckets just with his craftiness(his running mini hooks/up and under moves/and underrated post passing). A true post game is ideal for postseason success. You must have it. Normally, Dwight's athleticism would allow him to impact the offensive end as well, but he is faced with some that has effectively neutralized his strength and atheleticism in DeAndre. This is where post intelligence or a 15 foot baseline jumper could've been effective. The Rockets dont have such options, bc no one is that skilled.

    The ripple effect has hurt James who thrives in attacking the rim, but is unable to do so since the perimeter guys cheat way too much(without fouling). They essentially funnel him into DeAndre who is quick enough to deter James at the rim, and agile enough to recover to a weakside pass. And if shooters arent getting open shots...we were gonna be in trouble.

    The key in this series was Defensive integrity and fast break opportunities. The Clippers have essentially destroyed the Rockets defensively and neutralized fast break runs with intentional fouls.
     
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  19. adoo

    adoo Member

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    DH has one go-to inside move, DJ has none.

    but DJ has heart and a grinder, DH is a chicken little who quit on his team in game 4

    it is coaching; the Clips over play Harden to his left.

    thus far, Rox coaching staff has not been able to counter that strategy

    correction, Harden is the only super star

    chicken little has not been a super star since he left Orlando some ~4 yrs ago
     
  20. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Yeah, that's another thing I forgot to mention. The loss of D-Mo is being felt because the Rockets have no one to go to for easy baskets in the post. Dwight is doing ok, but his free throw shooting has been so bad this series that the Clippers can just hack him(and Smith) anytime they're in the paint trying to score.

    Even by the Rockets' standards, the free throw shooting has been pathetic this series. Dwight is closer to Joey Dorsey territory than his usual 50% clip. And meanwhile, DeAndre who's usually around 40% has been able to hit around 50% during key stretches in this series. So yet another area(much like the bench) that we thought would be either a slight advantage for the Rockets or at least a wash has gone in the Clippers favor.
     

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