Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The Houston Rockets take on the Atlanta Hawks at the end of their season-starting two game road trip. With Patrick Patterson likely to play, we will get our first look at the complete 2012/2013 Rockets starting five.
|2012/2013 NBA Season|
|November 2, 2012|
|6:30 PM CST
|2011/12 Advanced Stats|
|91.6 (11th)||Pace||90.2 (22nd)|
|105.5 (12th of 30)||ORtg||104.9 (16th of 30)|
|105.2 (17th of 30)
||DRtg||101.2 (6th of 30)
|Also see: Peachtree Hoops | SB Nation Atlanta | StoryStream|
James Harden is a Houston Rocket for the next six years and he's the real deal. According to Kevin McHale, nobody is more pleased about this than our second most important preseason acquisition, "Let me tell you something, when we made that trade the guy (that) was most excited when I called up everybody and said we’re making the trade was Jeremy Lin. He was like, ‘Oh, thank goodness, coach.’ "
Tonight the Houston Rockets will go toe to toe with the Atlanta Hawks on their opening game. The Hawks are in the middle of their own re-purposing as a team. Gone are the days of iso-Joe offense as Larry Drew looks to find a more interior focused, big man heavy offense. The Hawks are so thin on the wings right now that at some point tonight we might see Kyle Korver try to guard James Harden. Theoretically, Harden could follow his opening night with an even more dominant performance.
Pick-and-roll is always a major factor in NBA offenses, but the Rockets will utilize it more than most with the duo of Harden and Lin in the backcourt. They set extremely high screens (sometimes 3 feet beyond the 3 point line) to free space for their two guards to penetrate into the lane. Drew said the Rockets' pick-and-roll offense is a little different because, "they may run it more with Harden than they do with their actual point guard, and he's really good. We're going to have to be on the same page when we defend it." Guarding their pick-and-roll will be the main task of the Hawks defense and the guards and bigs will have to communicate a lot to be successful. The good news is, Harden almost always holds on to the ball on screens to try and penetrate so the Hawks team speed will be a big asset in cutting him off and also having the big men trapping and retreating back to Asik or the other roll-men.
It's another exciting night to be a Rockets fan. And stay tuned to the Dream Shake for the Toyota Center home opener tomorrow night against the also-rebuilding Trail Blazers.
Notes: Greg Smith will not play tonight.
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