NBA Playoffs are about to start and 8th seed Houston and 1st seed OKC are matched up in the first round, which is expected to be a great series.
The Houston Rockets are a rising star in the West, they are the youngest and least experienced team in the league. Everyone was expecting a rebuild year, but they've managed to pull through to the playoffs and exceed the performance of every team in history with comparable ages and experience.
Oh yeah, and captain James Harden was traded to Houston at the beginning of this season from OKC because they didn't want to pay out a max contract for him. So he's got a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.
The Rockets play a game reminiscent of D'Antoni's offense, a system that famously brought the Steve Nash captained Suns into the conference finals in 2004-2006. Also there was something called Linsanity, you may have heard of it.
It's a tempo based offense where they won't shoot with great efficiency or make good ball stops, but other teams that aren't used to the same high paced play won't be able to keep up..and older teams might just collapse from all the running.
Problem: OKC is also a team of young players and they'll be perfectly happy to match Houston possession for possession.
Contrast to Houston, OKC is actually a defensive minded team with the (sometimes) elite defender Perkins being virtually a zero on offense and elite defender Sefelosha being able to score spot up 3s at a decent percentage but otherwise also a nil on offense.
So it is scary that in the regular season OKC was consistently ranked up top in offense. OKC's offense revolves around the Westbrook-Durant Iso System. Westbrook is ludicrously fast while also being able to hit bad shots at a respectable percentage. Unguardable Kevin Durant and his lanky frame is faster than anyone who's bigger than himself while being able to shoot around anyone faster than himself at a deadly efficiency. That makes them a mismatch in more than 90% of all one-on-one situations and carried them to 1st seed in the West.
As for the coaches, Scott Brooks is a coach who commands great respect from his players but doesn't know how to run plays and makes stupid rotations, compared to Houston's McHale who commands great respect from his players but doesn't know how to run plays and makes stupid rotations = EVEN MATCH.
Houston actually has a decent chance at pulling through in a 7 game series, but in the first game they were outscored 120 - 91. That's very troubling not only because of the point delta but because for such an offensive minded team, 91 points is a pittance. If OKC defenders have their offense solved, then there isn't much else going for the Houston team. The only thing to do now is wait and watch and see how they adapt.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
-None of the squadrons in Korea are standing down, including the A-10s
-B-2s are active, no surprise there
-Interesting that the F-15Cs in Kadena aren't fully mission capable; I guess that tells you how much they respect the NK air force
-I'd be surprised if the Lancers aren't kept combat ready
-Lolol 18th Aggressor Squadron is grounded