Hello dear Shakers.
I had thought that watching this game in the morning after various things prevented me last night would provide more insight that reading the box score. It really didn’t.
The Rockets, like the game against the Suns, started extremely poorly. Like the game against Phoenix, they came back, to narrow the score to four points. Unlike the Suns contest the night before, the Warriors made shots and pulled away, by roughly the lead they’d established initially.
There are two ways of looking at this.
One, the least enjoyable way is that this is a young team, and with young teams come all the most boring cliches. Three steps forward, two steps back seems the most appropriate. Though anything involving patience is likely to be appropriate. It’s difficult to be patient, especially when watching bad basketball.
If one isn’t patient though, what does that mean? It means that perhaps this team has reached some sort of threshold, and should simply be performing better. It isn’t living up to, not potential, but present ability. This doesn’t seem to be the case. The Rockets are basically a collection of what in old times would be college juniors and sophomores, playing the NBA champions. That’s not quite right, of course, but it’s right in terms of age.
One could also take the view that the Rockets, while not good, should be better than this. That they should display more organization on offense, and a coherent strategy on defense. I’d note that their current defensive set up is problematic for two reasons.
One, everything they do is basically tailor made to be destroyed by the Warriors. It’s as though the Rockets under Silas completely abandoned the principles that made the old Rockets a tough opponent. They drop back. They go under screens. They don’t make a choice on Curry, to either crowd him, and give up drives, or stay back and give up shots. The Rockets sort of do neither. They certainly don’t bang him into multiple screens on offense and hunt him.
Two, the defensive style doesn’t suit the personnel. Few teams successfully deploy a dropped center these days. Those teams tend to have a top defensive center. The Rockets, emphatically, do not.
The Rockets, largely being big, and athletic, are suited to playing a switching defense. They don’t, really, and they don’t blow up picks. This leads to all sorts of problems, one of which was on prominent display last night. When an initial defender is easily beaten, the whole system becomes a chaos of other players overcompensating.
The Warriors will always punish that disorganization, and they did last night.
Sorry there aren’t illuminating stats, there’s not much to illuminate.
In my view the Rockets at present are two things:
Bad, young, and improving.
Playing systems which do not suit their talents.
Sentiment-O-Meter Early December
This poll is closed
Up AND Down, Woah.