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NBA: Rockets Postseason

FortisAnimi
Posts: 195
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4/20/2016 3:17:56 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
In the 2016 season, the Rockets put forth a lot of effort during the final days of the year, sliding into the eighth playoff seed of the Western Conference with a record of 41-41 and finishing off with a three straight win streak. All seemed well, for the Rockets had completed their ultimate goal coming into the season; reaching the playoffs. This goal was impeded by many obstacles, including the firing of former head coach Kevin McHale and the release of Point Guard Ty Lawson. Yet interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff managed to lead the team to a playoff berth, and that was more than we could have asked for. Now, the Rockets face an adversary that seems almost unbeatable, the Golden State Warriors.

During the regular season, in all three of the matchups vs. Golden State, the Rockets lost. One could argue that the Splash Brothers (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) are an unstoppable force combined with the playing skill of the team surrounding them. However, I think that the Rockets have to run a specific gameplan, and they will no doubt stand a chance against the Golden State Warriors of legend. There are several good players on the Rockets team: Patrick Beverley, James Harden, Dwight Howard (if used properly), and good starters plus an active bench. This team definitely has a lot to work with. The question is, what will make it work in a cohesive manner that would take this team to the next round of the playoffs? Simple. They need to play in the paint and mid-range, with three pointers taken occasionally. I say this because they have one of the most underutilized in-the-paint threats in the entire league, Dwight Howard. If the Harden can catch Howard on the run towards the basket with a well placed pass, there is almost no doubt that he can post up or bring it down hard. However, beyond this, Howard is limited in his mid-range game and behind the perimeter. That"s where the others come into play. Harden needs to do what the Point Guard is supposed to do, rotate the ball around. I"m not talking about dribbling for 20 seconds and popping a three, I"m talking about real, technical ball movement, something which the Warriors seem to have perfected. Once the rotation begins, it is only a matter of time before the open Howard is hit in the paint, Beverly gets a mid-range jumper off, or Harden/Ariza can get a three. The argument could be made that the Warriors play a defensive style which is impenetrable, but I believe that this can be solved. If all men are guarded, Harden needs to take initiative and drive it to the basket, either putting it up or passing to the outside once in the paint. This will not happen effectively by having the other players sitting idly by, they need to be actively searching for the open spot to launch a shot or setting screens to protect Harden"s forward movement.

Once this team can put these pieces together, and basically shift away from fancy passes and ill-advised three pointers and euro-steps to classical ball movement and tactician style playing, I think that the Rockets could very well be an even match for the Warriors. It remains to be seen whether the Rockets can tie up the loose ends and utilize their players in an effective manner. If they do, we will be able to tell immediately. If not, I fear that the Rockets may be swept in this series.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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4/20/2016 6:09:48 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 3:17:56 AM, FortisAnimi wrote:

SWEET. A sports thread. :D

Just a disclaimer: I'm not a GSW fan, nor am I a Houston fan. I'm originally a Celtics bandwagoner from the 07-08 days... but I don't consider myself that anymore. I've stayed true through some really rough seasons. :P

Also, Clippers are going to win it all.

In the 2016 season, the Rockets put forth a lot of effort during the final days of the year, sliding into the eighth playoff seed of the Western Conference with a record of 41-41 and finishing off with a three straight win streak.

All of which is due to James Harden's defense. (BTW, he was robbed by Kawhi Leonard for that award smh)

All seemed well, for the Rockets had completed their ultimate goal coming into the season; reaching the playoffs. This goal was impeded by many obstacles, including the firing of former head coach Kevin McHale and the release of Point Guard Ty Lawson.

Lawson's a cool player.

Yet interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff managed to lead the team to a playoff berth, and that was more than we could have asked for. Now, the Rockets face an adversary that seems almost unbeatable, the Golden State Warriors.

Not almost... they are. :P At least by the Rockets. Harden vs Curry matchup is tough, because Harden's good at offense, but Curry's better. Likewise, Curry is bad at defense, but Harden is worse. It's a lose-lose for Harden vs Curry, and that's the only matchup that makes sense. Curry/Beverley doesn't work out, as was already evidenced. The lineups just aren't comparative.

During the regular season, in all three of the matchups vs. Golden State, the Rockets lost. One could argue that the Splash Brothers (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson) are an unstoppable force combined with the playing skill of the team surrounding them.

Agreed. The only team that can really beat them at this point is San Antonio.

However, I think that the Rockets have to run a specific gameplan, and they will no doubt stand a chance against the Golden State Warriors of legend.

Well this will be interesting...

There are several good players on the Rockets team: Patrick Beverley, James Harden, Dwight Howard (if used properly), and good starters plus an active bench.

Sure, these are good players. But, the matchups are heavily in Golden State's favor. Harden vs Curry or Harden vs Thompson, Golden State has the edge. Beverley vs Thompson? Beverley vs Curry? Golden State's edge. I'd argue that, in any feasible matchup (aside from Golden State playing really deep), Golden State has the edge. Even Iguodala is better than Brewer.

This team definitely has a lot to work with. The question is, what will make it work in a cohesive manner that would take this team to the next round of the playoffs? Simple.

Don't think it will be simple, or even possible.

They need to play in the paint and mid-range, with three pointers taken occasionally. I say this because they have one of the most underutilized in-the-paint threats in the entire league, Dwight Howard.

He's a threat on offense, but not really on defense. Besides, with Bogut in the paint as well, it's going to be hard to get a ball in there in the first place.

If the Harden can catch Howard on the run towards the basket with a well placed pass, there is almost no doubt that he can post up or bring it down hard. However, beyond this, Howard is limited in his mid-range game and behind the perimeter.

Well placed passes around Thompson will be pretty tough. He's a great defender.

That"s where the others come into play. Harden needs to do what the Point Guard is supposed to do, rotate the ball around. I"m not talking about dribbling for 20 seconds and popping a three, I"m talking about real, technical ball movement, something which the Warriors seem to have perfected.

IMHO, it seems pretty cliche... and it's a lot to expect the Rockets to perfect in a series, especially versus a team that will be doing the same thing to them on offense, with more development and probably more success. You're talking about the most developed team in NBA, who has literally perfected the game of basketball in its current form. The environment in which they'll play makes them basically unstoppable. You saw how Beverley tried to play physical and it didn't work. They just can't be stopped. They're a record-breaking team with a record-breaking season coming off a championship win. It's unprecedented, and it doesn't show signs of slowing down. Even without Curry, they won.

Once the rotation begins, it is only a matter of time before the open Howard is hit in the paint, Beverly gets a mid-range jumper off, or Harden/Ariza can get a three. The argument could be made that the Warriors play a defensive style which is impenetrable, but I believe that this can be solved. If all men are guarded, Harden needs to take initiative and drive it to the basket, either putting it up or passing to the outside once in the paint. This will not happen effectively by having the other players sitting idly by, they need to be actively searching for the open spot to launch a shot or setting screens to protect Harden"s forward movement.

You're placing this upon the presupposed notion that all Houston players will be on their A-game and undermining the authority of GS on D. I don't think that's feasible. This isn't March Madness, upsets of this gravity don't happen.

Once this team can put these pieces together, and basically shift away from fancy passes and ill-advised three pointers and euro-steps to classical ball movement and tactician style playing, I think that the Rockets could very well be an even match for the Warriors. It remains to be seen whether the Rockets can tie up the loose ends and utilize their players in an effective manner. If they do, we will be able to tell immediately. If not, I fear that the Rockets may be swept in this series.

The only way Houston can win is if Curry is out for all of the remaining games, which at this point is very unlikely. Even with that disadvantage, GS won. It's really a stretch, given the scheme of the league and the circumstances right now.
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ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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4/20/2016 6:10:09 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 3:18:16 AM, FortisAnimi wrote:
boom revived

Thanks for posting, bro!
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW
ford_prefect
Posts: 4,138
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4/21/2016 9:56:49 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 6:09:48 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
Also, Clippers are going to win it all.
No way. There is zero chance they upset both Golden State and San Antonio.
ColeTrain
Posts: 4,291
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4/21/2016 10:05:16 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 9:56:49 PM, ford_prefect wrote:
At 4/20/2016 6:09:48 PM, ColeTrain wrote:
Also, Clippers are going to win it all.
No way. There is zero chance they upset both Golden State and San Antonio.

Lol, I know. It's out of sync with reality... I just feel something. Idk, can't explain it. I love their lineup.
"The right to 360 noscope noobs shall not be infringed!!!" -- tajshar2k
"So, to start off, I've never committed suicide." -- Vaarka
"I eat glue." -- brontoraptor
"I mean, at this rate, I'd argue for a ham sandwich presidency." -- ResponsiblyIrresponsible
"Overthrow Assad, heil jihad." -- 16kadams when trolling in hangout
"Hillary Clinton is not my favorite person ... and her campaign is as inspiring as a bowl of cottage cheese." -- YYW