Over the last few games, we’re finding out the Houston Rockets don’t have a clear plan b. That will be a problem come playoff time.
The Houston Rockets were blown out Thursday night at home by the LA Clippers. The final score of 120-105 looks bad but it is actually a kind take on their blow out, as the Clippers were ahead by as many as 20 points early into the second quarter.
Now the first thing everyone is going to jump on the Rockets about is that “micro-ball” doesn’t work. Over the course of the last two games, it hasn’t. The Knicks and Clippers both beat the Rockets. Both teams are not super tall but they have length and a lot of forwards. Against the Clippers, LA only played one player over 6-foot-9 (Ivica Zubac) but they have many forwards that fall right in with Houston’s 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-9 “bigs.”
Where does this leave us with the Rockets in a week they have lost to one of the worst teams in the NBA and one of the best? To say this small strategy will not work is definitely an overreaction but the small ball isn’t killing them. It’s their lack of a Plan B that is the cause of the problem.
The recent failures of the Rockets have been their poor shot selection which has led to a massive amount of missed shots. James Harden was 8-22 from the field overall and 3-13 from 3-point range in their loss to the Knicks and against the Clippers, he was 4-17 from the field and 0-8 from 3-point range.
The Rockets took 97 shots on Thursday and went 7-42 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range.
The Rockets need to figure out an offense to complement their 3’s. They should use more screen and rolls and back door cuts to the rim. In order to bring balance to their currently sometimes reckless need to take 3’s. If the shots are not falling they need to be aggressive driving to the rim. This could lead to some kick-outs and perhaps an open 3.
If you can’t hit 3’s and the whole team is cold then what are you going to do in the Playoffs when everyone knows your game plan? Are the Rockets just going to hope they don’t go ice cold again and not miss 27 straight 3’s again? The Rockets need more than a few game plans because they won’t win four games in a series by just jacking up 3’s.