News » Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-26

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-26

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-26For six years, the Rockets could always defend. No matter who came and went, from Jeff Van Gundy to Rick Adelman, from Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady leading them to highlighting the inactive list, the Rockets remained one of the league's top defensive teams in every measure.

They still have the personnel to defend well, having replaced McGrady and Yao with strong defensive players. But with the Rockets' move to a high-scoring, up-tempo offense, opposing teams have found scoring remarkably easy, too.

The Rockets have fallen from the top five to the bottom third in the league in scoring defense and opponents' field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.

The Mavericks tore through them Wednesday as no team has since long before any Rockets player entered the league. Dallas scored 130 points, more than any team has had against the Rockets since Dallas put up 156 in two overtimes (119 in regulation) in 1995.

"There wasn't any defense," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "I can't really talk about it, but it's kind of the way we practiced yesterday and it came out today, and they (the Mavericks) made every shot. Like I said, our aggression, we were so non-aggressive. They (Dallas) shot almost 70 percent in the first half. We sent them to the line six times. We didn't even get close enough to them to even foul them in the first half."

The Rockets, however, were not convinced the game was a one-night aberration. They have had good moments defensively, too, but they know how far they are from the sort of consistently stingy team they had been.

"We are still trying to figure out our defensive identity," Shane Battier said. "We've got a lot of new faces, and we are trying to figure out what works for us on the defensive end.

"The old defense we had when Yao was here was a little bit different. You would play pick-and-rolls a little differently. Your spacing has to be different and your rotations have to be different. We can do it and we've shown that we can do it but there has to be concentration and effort, a concerted effort every night. On most nights when we play poorly we haven't had that concentration."

MAVERICKS 130, ROCKETS 99: Rarely has an early lead been more fragile or misleading. For the Rockets, they had to go back to their previous game to find a night a lead was as meaningless. When it was over, they had to go back a lot farther than that to find a loss as bad.

In Dallas, they led by 17 before getting blown out. Against the Mavericks in Toyota Center, they rushed to a 15-2 lead, then were thoroughly whipped, with Dallas rolling through a 26-0 run and eventually leading by as much as 35. The loss was the Rockets' most lopsided since Feb. 2006. The Mavericks' 130 points were the most scored against the Rockets since April, 1995, when Dallas scored 156 in two overtimes, but had just a mere 119 in regulation. The Mavericks blew past that number with 2:41 left, long after the latest early Rockets' lead against them had long since been forgotten.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 26, 2009


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