The lack of league-leading muscle memory during the first two weeks of the Houston Rockets’ playoffs coincided with the start of the Western Conference semifinals.
Showtime gamesmanship of Lock-down Defense, James Harden and Chris Paul both on Perimeter and Back End were present from the very beginning. Now if Mike D’Antony can get his crew to keep up their form for four straight quarters instead of half or three quarters in five games of his first-round series, then it will be considered satisfactory.
“It was a total game until the end of halftime,” said D’Antoni because he still tried to get his team to complete the 48-minute effort. “Obviously, we are ready to start from scratch,” said D’Antoni. “Halfway, we don’t have a lot of fruit juice. Obviously, we are ready to roll from the beginning. They stand out, and we have to use it. They have some dead legs, and we come out and do what we should do.”
“But there is such a feeling, and you come into the game, and we are 27 years old, or 24 and you leave it, and it is difficult to take it back, give them credit, they fight, we did what we have to do. And obviously, we are happy … but we can do better. ”
“Once again, I think this team is aggressive, we, we are different,” Harden tried to describe how the team went against 0-60 in a flash against one of the league’s elite defense is. “We have seen so many different safeguards throughout the year that it has prepared us for this moment, whether it is Gobert on team switching. We have seen everything, every year is very beautiful, So we watch the movie and we understand how we can create three [points shots] and create opportunities for each other, and we can play our butt by going there. ”
So, in the past few weeks, it looked a bit playful, when you are good as rockets in some parts of the expedition, then it can be expected.
“My job is to pick and improve when we are bad,” he said. “We only got 46 points in the second half, so it’s not good. The pace isn’t where it should be. We have some sub-divisions on the defensive. We made 15 turnovers and got them 22 points. There were five turnovers in half. We have been careless, and all of this comes from the general irrationality. Those are things we can control. That’s what makes them better. We can play better than that.”
However, D’Antony could use some external help in making his points.
The Jazz stole D’Antoni’s reasonable shots and defeated Oklahoma City Thunder and their Kia MVP Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony’s “OKC III” in the first round. His team injected some necessary emotions and urgency.
They can generate Michelle and Jazz, whatever the starting points available, without the guards, instead of requiring them to settle. Ricky Rubio left with a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the game six win over Thunder and is not expected to return before the game 5 of the series, provided it continues for a long time.