Mark Jackson isn't a big enough PG to guard the 2 spot on defense... we would need someone like an Eric Snow, great playmaker who is tough enough on defense to guard the biggest of 2 guards.Originally posted by <b>peleincubus</b>!
i really wish they would move franics to the SG positon. i dont get it. just doesnt make sense not to.
Good point, Steve and Cat are a good backcourt defensive duo... but it's so painful to watch Steve running the offense, there is literally no ball movement on the court, the offense just turn into a one on one streetball kind of play... and his 4.57 TO's per 48 mins and bad shot selections are causeing problems too. so why not put him on his natural position, the 2 guard...Originally posted by <b>The Franchise</b>!
Mark Jackson isn't a big enough PG to guard the 2 spot on defense... we would need someone like an Eric Snow, great playmaker who is tough enough on defense to guard the biggest of 2 guards.
You definitely buy into the overwhelming belief that Steve and Cuttino are playing for personal kicks way too much. It isn't as apparent in their play, but Steve and Cuttino do nothing short of praising Yao. They love playing with a good big man, and they know that he is the franchise player. There's never been any sort of freeze-out or anything like that. They are both scorers, but they know and are willing to do what it takes to win. Anyone who doesn't see a noted improvement in Steve's and Cuttino's play since pre-Yao hasn't been watching.Originally posted by <b>NYCbballFan</b>!
I suspect shot-happy Francis and Mobley will resent Mark Jackson feeding the ball to Yao as priority. The more - and better - Yao is involved in the offense, the more the Rockets will win. The guards just need to accept the path for Rockets success goes through Yao.
I said they will resent Mark Jackson FEEDING THE BALL TO YAO AS PRIORITY, not the man himself. I don't think they dislike Yao, either. I guess since I'm not speaking, the emphasis doesn't translate so well.Originally posted by <b>Rocket23</b>!
You definitely buy into the overwhelming belief that Steve and Cuttino are playing for personal kicks way too much. It isn't as apparent in their play, but Steve and Cuttino do nothing short of praising Yao. They love playing with a good big man, and they know that he is the franchise player. There's never been any sort of freeze-out or anything like that. They are both scorers, but they know and are willing to do what it takes to win. Anyone who doesn't see a noted improvement in Steve's and Cuttino's play since pre-Yao hasn't been watching.
It's laughable that you think they "will resent Mark Jackson..."
No, no, I understand what you're saying. Of course they would have no personal vendetta against Jackson, the man, but I don't think there will be an resentment period.Originally posted by <b>NYCbballFan</b>!
I said they will resent Mark Jackson FEEDING THE BALL TO YAO AS PRIORITY, not the man himself. I don't think they dislike Yao, either. I guess since I'm not speaking, the emphasis doesn't translate so well.
I understand the widespread notion about our duo, but it is simply not true. Everone remembers them for their iso/three-guard sets. Very understandable, as I still have nightmares about them. It was what worked at the time, and it was our only option. Mo Taylor wasn't half the offensive option he is now, and he is no world-beater now(Though his jump shot has finally re-appeared). Hakeem was on his last legs. He gave it all he had, but it was needed for a greater percentage of the season. Steve and Cuttino jacked it up to no end. It was quite successful, and the Rockets were inches away from a playoff berth. At the time, it was one of my favorite Rocket teams ever just because of the heart that our guards showed. There's no way in hell we should have been that close to the playoffs.This is about who Mobley and Francis are as basketball players in relation to what's best (Mark Jackson passing to Yao) for the team. It's one thing when they still controlled the ball. It was evident even under JVG, they preferred to take the shots, even if that meant taking the ball out of Yao's hands. It's something else altogether when control of the ball goes to the new guy and he's passing it to someone else.
Cat and Franchise have made it well-known from day one they are born-and-bred gunners. They may recognize abstractly that the big man is important, but their applied strategy on the court is to shoot, and shoot it more. It's what they know - it's who they are as basketball players. Tomjanovich did little to teach them otherwise. I don't think it's a matter of selfish, obstinant choice on their part to be shoot-first guards; it's their nature. From their perspective, it's important for the team that the best shot be taken on offense - and the best shot most likely is their own.
Your basic point is that Steve and Cuttino are inherently selfish, and that Mark Jackson is God's gift to Yao. I can't change your opinion, but I think that this reasoning is just ridiculous. They're no idiots. They realize Yao is the #1 option on the team, and they have definitely begun to accept it. Blame shouldn't be put exclusively put on Steve and Cuttino for the slow adjustments, either. Yao has not shown near enough aggression in the post. The days that he is muscled around by Dampier's and Kirilenko's just have to end.So, when their deepest rooted sense of basketball propriety calls for the ball in their hands, but the ball distribution via Mark Jackson becomes heavily weighted towards Yao, that's a cause for resentment.
They have a professional choice to make. Fight the change and reassert their own preferred identity as basketball players or adjust their games to the style imposed by Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Yao. My hope is that Cat and Franchise learn from Jackson, follow his lead and mature as professionals. The worse option is that they use Mark Jackson's presence as an excuse to abandon their responsibility to the team offense and shoot at will whenever they touch the ball.
It wouldn't matter if he were playing center, because he will always be the team's primary ball-handler. He's the team's best off-the dribble player, so he will of course dominate the ball on the perimeter. Does it really matter who actually walks the ball up the court? If Steve were officially moved to the two, and a Eric Snow-type were brought in to walk the ball up the court, would anything really change? As soon as the ball crosses the half court line, it will enter the hands of our playmaker no matter who the other guard is. He's a point guard...maybe not a conventional one, but Michael Vick isn't the conventional QB, and no one is complaining in Atlanta.Originally posted by <b>NYCbballFan</b>!
Francis is an elite guard playing at the point position. I wouldn't consider him a top PG. It's not his fault. If he was 2 inches taller, he never would have been forced to be judged as a PG. Other elite SGs (Kobe, Spree, AI, etc) have been asked to play PG with mixed results. Few have have been forced to do so as long as Francis.
I'd be surprised if MJ consistently played more than 10-15 minutes. He was an awesome player, and he has my full respect(If he played alongside Karl Malone-type threat for his entire career, Stockton's record would definitely be in jeopardy), but he was brought in to pass on some wisdom and play spot minutes. He won't even sniff 20 minutes.Mark Jackson's days of playing 30 MPG are behind him. If he plays as much as 25 MPG, I'd be surprised. If he is still athletically capable of doing more than pass, I'd be impressed. For that reason, no, he can't change the face of the team himself, although I expect to see more of Jackson in critical situations. A greater team change depends on Mobley and Francis maturing their games.
Yao receives just as much defensive attention as anyone east of Los Angeles, and he has not adjusted to it. He is very turnover-prone, and most teams have acknowledged it. What looks like good, deep position isn't really that good when the guy is surrounded by three guys, all of whom are quicker than he. The guards are trying to do their job. They just haven't been successful all the time. Just to show you that I'm not blind, I do acknowledge that they do have some passing deficiencies, but they are working on it. They have definitely made progress this season, just as Yao has. Are there times that they should have deferred to Yao? Yes. Weren't there times that Kobe should have deferred to Shaq?Yao IS a young center picking up the strength and physical aspect of the NBA. I agree, that part of his game still needs improvement, and is improving. But too often, Yao has been able to gain good position for 2-4 second windows (in the post, spotting up, pick and rolls, etc), enough time for a true PG to pass the ball, and they simply haven't passed it, or have failed to pass it properly and on time. If Yao tires too quickly or goes passive, I expect that's a big reason why. Big men battle all game long, and Yao has to fight harder given his strength disadvantage. It saps his energy to fight for 10-plus seconds on every posession to gain position, and then not receive the ball. It's easy for him to lose motivation when he's playing the team game correctly but his guards aren't - big men can't function without their guards. Yao just doesn't complain like Shaq when his guards screw around.
I don't think the journey is as long as you suggest. Living in NYC, you probably don't get to see the Rockets too often, but if you have caught any one of the four nationally televised games in the last week, you should have definitely noticed that the situation isn't nearly as bad as the media suggests.Cat and Franchise have shown more of an effort to give the ball to Yao under JVG, but they still have a long, long way to go. They know what they're supposed to do and I'm sure they're dynamite passers in practice, but in games, they revert to who they are as players. I suspect JVG didn't trade (dump) Norris and sign Jackson earlier because he wanted to give the Rockets guards - as veterans and team leaders - a trial period to change their games. Obviously, that didn't happen to the coach's satisfaction. Signing Mark Jackson, when he signed Mark Jackson, was a message.
Like I've said, I think it's already begun to happen. The team is well on its way to climbing up the ladder and emerging as a title contender sometime in the next two seasons.The issue isn't so much whether Cat and more so Franchise resent the new PG taking away what has been their ball. The relevant issue is whether they suck it up, learn something and do their jobs. I'm not saying they won't.
I have to admit that I am quite impressed with Jackson. He is a wizard with the ball, and the list of PG's I would take over a young Jackson has become much, much shorter. I think that there is a lot that he could pass on to Cat and Steve. I think they will listen, because they would be idiots not to. I just hope that they do so before JVG makes any moves(There are talks of major trade, any of which would be extremely rash).Originally posted by <b>NYCbballFan</b>!
I may not watch all of the Rockets games, but I have followed JVG's coaching career.
I think Mark Jackson WAS brought aboard to teach Mobley and Francis as one of his duties - as you suggested. JVG is all about disciplined execution with an eye towards the post-season, which Jackson has excelled at over his career - and Mobley and Francis haven't. JVG, a former PG himself, holds a high standard for his PGs.
I think you underestimate Jackson's role, barring injury. If Francis isn't running the offense to JVG's standard, which in large part means serving up Yao, JVG will use the PG who will. Even old and slow, Jackson can still run an offense and will reliably make the right pass, to the right player, on time and in the right place.
It's reasonable to believe JVG would prefer Francis absorb Jackson's far-superior PG skills, so Francis can man the point full-time, than to over-use the 38 year old Jackson. Until that happens, I expect Jackson to play as much as JVG feels is necessary to run a disciplined offense and teach the younger guards needed lessons, one of them being their place in the new Rockets order. I also expect more of Jackson's minutes to be weighted towards the more-critical game situations, when disciplined execution is a must.
This is how highly I think of Jackson.Originally posted by <b>Rocket23</b>!
I have to admit that I am quite impressed with Jackson. He is a wizard with the ball, and the list of PG's I would take over a young Jackson has become much, much shorter. I think that there is a lot that he could pass on to Cat and Steve. I think they will listen, because they would be idiots not to. I just hope that they do so before JVG makes any moves(There are talks of major trade, any of which would be extremely rash).
It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.