News » Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-03

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-03

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-03As brutal as the Rockets' schedule to open the season has been, they knew their opponents unusually well.

They played the Trail Blazers and Lakers in last season's playoffs and faced them three times in the first five games of this regular season. They faced the Jazz in each of the previous two seasons' playoffs. And the Warriors -- their other opponent in the first five games -- never change.

Yet, for more than a week, Rockets coach Rick Adelman has fretted about his team's ability to adjust to the differences of its opponents because the Blazers, Warriors, Jazz and Lakers are very different from one another.

The problem, however, was not that the Rockets are unsure about their opponents, but that they still are trying to figure out who they are.

"It's always a concern because they all have different strengths," Adelman said. "We'll try to figure out who we are and what we're going to do."

The Rockets seem to have gotten a pretty good idea, with an emphasis on being up-tempo, with ball movement and with a hope that enough gang rebounding will make up for a lack of size. But with teams coming at them so differently each night, they have had to figure out how to match up.

This is new for the Rockets because in the past they never had to wonder before how they wanted to do anything.

"We knew how we were going to play against them and what we were going to do," Adelman said. "Right now, we're just trying to figure it out. We really don't know because you really don't know what you're going to get from players night after night."

He still might not know if the retooled Rockets can play as consistently as they have the last three games, all wins. But it is becoming increasingly clear how they have to play, a process that could be well ahead of schedule going into their home game against the Lakers on Wednesday.

"We played the way we want to play," Luis Scola said after the Rockets stunned the Jazz. "We played the right way for the type of players we have."

ROCKETS 113, JAZZ 96: Perhaps no team knows better than the Rockets what can happen when the Jazz gets on a roll on their home court.

The Rockets have been tormented in EnergySolutions Arena, especially in recent consecutive first-round playoff series when the Jazz would seem to routinely turn fourth-quarter runs into a door-slamming finish.

But Monday, when the Jazz rallied back from down seven to a fourth-quarter lead, the Rockets answered as they had all night. They kept on scoring and finally stopped the Jazz long enough to take the lead to a safe 23, dominating the fourth quarter on the way to a 17-point win.

Defying their dramatic size disadvantage, the Rockets outrebounded the Jazz 46-38. They outscored them 13-6 in second-chance points. Mostly, they moved the ball so well, eight players scored in double figures.

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Added: November 3, 2009


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