Game On: Pelicans @ Rockets

Published: December 18, 2014

There have been buckets of ink spilled about the Sexy Golden State Warriors this season.  Memphis has gotten actual notice from the national media for it’s amazing play. (mostly because they did bad things to the Sexy Golden State Warriors) However, toiling along behind them, mostly ignored, are the 19-5 Houston Rockets.  19-5 despite missing Dwight Howard for 10 games.

It’s a damn good team the Pelicans are facing tonight, people, and I’d bet almost every one of you would guess completely wrongly if I asked you how they did it.  They have the Beard, right?  All offense, no defense James Harden?  It must be his efficient offense that is propelling them!

Wrong.  The Rockets sport only the 20th most efficient offense . . . and the 2nd most efficient defense.  Higher than Chicago.  Higher than Memphis.  Only the Sexy Golden State Warriors have locked down opposing teams better.

Tonight will be a dog fight, my friends.  If you want to hear more about the Rockets, listen to On the Fly.  Really!  I insist!

Keys to the Game:

  • Eat offensive glass.  This is a must.  The Rockets contest shots like crazy and force turnovers at a very high rate.  Their only defensive weakness – and it’s much less dramatic now that Howard is back – is a weakness on the defensive boards.  They have the 7th worst defensive rebound rate.  Asik, Anderson and Davis will need to be generating offensive boards at their best rate for easy shots tonight.
  • Mark guys in transition and GET ON THEM.  Harden is like Tyreke in transition, forcing the issue whenever he can, and the rest of the Rockets wing players work hard to get transition buckets.  The Rockets are 8th in pace, and the Pelicans can be a disaster in transition.  If they don’t show some discipline getting back and finding a man, this could be painful.
  • Beg Ariza to shoot.  He started the season at a torrid pace, but he’s fallen off terribly and is now at 34% on 8 threes a game.  If there is a way to get Ariza shooting rather than Howard and Harden, the Pelicans need to do that.

Enjoy the game!  There’s a watch party tonight to at Tracy’s.  Be there!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.