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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Second game of our Texas road swing, one of the toughest road swings out West. Look, we got blown away at the Spurs, but I can deal with that. We are going to struggle out West, with our lack of quality big men, but so will most Eastern Conference teams, anyway.

The Rockets play a predominantly small ball game. Most of their plays involve alot of screening and isolation plays, designed to free up their shooters, in Francis and Mobley. This game plan can easily be exploited, by playing tough, accountable man on man basketball. It looks to me that their big men, so far, are just mainly spectators on offense and the plays are started and finished by their backcourt. I like our chances in this game.

Firstly, the Rockets, were down in the last quarter against the Nuggets, featuring a starting lineup of Blount, Posey, Bowen, Whitney, etc. Their big men are racking up the blocks, in Cato and Griffin, so we need to be aware of them, when penetrating the lane.

On offense, we need to execute better and take more timely shots. Carter has had two games to get the rust off and he needs to start firing. I like his chances being guarded by Mobley. Mobley is a guy that likes to gamble alot on defense, so I back Carter in, to have a big game tomorrow.

I would look at starting Hunter, over Williams in this game. One, because Hunter is more aggressive defensively and we need to put a stop to Steve Francis. The Rockets are playing two shooting guards in Francis and Mobley. These guys are fierce drivers to the basket, so our big men need to clog up the driving lanes. We need to stop penetration, which starts with our backcourt, in Carter, Peterson and Williams and Hunter.

Once Francis and Mobley get hot, it is very hard to stop them.But, if we force them outside and limit their space to operate and work in, I really like our chances in this game.

Griffin has struggled with his shooting, Taylor is still suspended and Thomas, might miss this game with injury. So, the Rockets are depleted for big man depth at the moment. Cato and Ming are both foul prone and we need to get them into foul trouble in order for us to gain the ascendancy on the boards.

So, I would look at giving Williams, Carter and Peterson, lots of space to drive at them, in order to draw some cheap fouls and get some and one opportunities. Their big guys do not scare me, in the least. Our big guys have been cleaning up the boards and I back them to continue doing exactly that in this game.

The Rockets will spread us out all over the floor, as they have alot of players that can shoot the three. With this, this creates space for their guards to drive and penetrate. So, our big guys need to get into position early and cut off the driving lanes.

Once again, Francis and Mobley are average, if not poor defenders. We should win this game, if we close it down, make it a scrap and capitalise on turnovers.But, we need to hit our shots and get more aggressive on offense.

Comments???
 

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This shouldn't be that hard a game to win. Francis will lead this team to the worst record in their division next to Denver, the way he's been playing. He's really shooting the team in the foot. In both games, the only player with double-digit scoring figures other than him was Cuttino Mobley. That's pathetic. For a team with so much talent like the Rockets, it's in-excusable for Francis and Mobley to have over 20 points and nobody else have 10. The only player other than those two that shot 10 FG's was Eddie Griffin, and he didn't produce, going 3-12. That wasn't Steve's fault, but nobody other than those two went to the line for more than 2 shots. Francis and Mobley are GUARDS, and they went to the line more than the entire rest of the team. Last game, those two went to the line 22 times, and the rest of the team only 6. Pathetic.

If Vince stays aggressive, and AD takes advantage of that starting frontcourt, which won't be that hard to do, we'll be just fine. Let their back-court jack up the shots, Houston's going nowhere for awhile until Francis changes his game, or just gets benched or traded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, the Rockets were supposed to adopt a new hexagon offense, but from reading the stats lines, that has not appeared yet. The offense is similar to the triangle, but the ball is moved around the perimeter and complimented with screens set all over the court, to free players up, to either shoot, or cut to the basket. More players on the roster should have had more assists so far, if it was implemented.

Reading their stats lines, this offense has not been implemented yet, as their big men have hardly had many touches yet this season.Looks like they have just gone back to their old isolation plays, like they used all of last season.

I expect that Ming will play alot in this game, as they will try to exploit our lack of height on defense. Well, he can play as much as he likes, because he will not be a factor in this game. One, because Francis and Mobley hardly give up the ball. I cannot believe that a point guard with his talent cannot even average 7 assists per game, with the amount of ball that he has per game.

At the end of the day, if we lock down on him and Mobley we win this game. But, we need to get aggressive with these guys. They are very quick and get open alot of times, from numerous screens that get set for them, all over the floor. So, our defense will need to work and exert some energy. These guys can go cold, and when they do, we will capitalise and bury them.

Remember, they do not have any inside scorers, yet as Taylor is suspended and Thomas is out injured. No-one is going to post us up and get some cheap baskets. They are going to cut and look to drive to the hole. We have to be ready to block the lanes and pressure the ballhandlers.

We need to get this win on the road. We will, the Rockets will be in for a long year and questions will be asked whether they can win in the future with Francis and Mobley scoring 22 points per game and yet the team does not improve.....
 

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I didn't get a chance to watch last night's game, but I certainly intend to watch the one tonight. I think the key for the Raptors here will be their inside play as well.
If Alvin can be enough of a menace to disrupt Francis a little bit, I think the backcourts should pretty well cancel each other out, with probably a little bit of an edge to the Raptors because while Francis and Mobley have been hot for two games in a row, Vince has been pretty bad. These trends can't continue forever can they? I expect VC to have a fairly big game (30+ points, 5+ assists). MoPete should create some problems for whoever is guarding him, and if Griffin gets hot for some reason, I could see JYD coming in and playing him fairly well.
AD really should be able to abuse whoever he is playing, I just hope that he has his short jumper with him tonight, because if that is falling it really helps out the rest of his offensive game.
Overall, I think the Raptors should be able to get the win tonight, but it should be an interesting game, and my first chance to see Ming in a regular season NBA game (even if he only plays 10 minutes and Francis and Mobley never pass him the ball).
 

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The Raptors are looking brutal right now. I know Vince hasn't been playing, but that's no excuse for not blocking out on D and playing stupid 1 on 1 ball on the offensive end.
 
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