News » Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-10-19

Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-10-19

Houston Rockets Notes, Quotes 2009-10-19--Trevor Ariza made the jump to the Rockets, rather than moving to Portland or Cleveland, more star-powered teams than chased him, so that he could have the opportunity to become more of a go-to scorer. That, however, proved to be a challenge in the preseason, with Ariza struggling to create his own shot.

"He's got to just play," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "He's got to keep playing and trying things, can't be hesitant. As he gets hesitant, he gets around his guy and gets off balance, rather than just be aggressive. He has to be aggressive and we'll take it from there. I thought he passed up a couple early. He's got to keep taking them.

"With new responsibilities, this is just part of it. You've got to keep doing it or you're not going to learn how to be aggressive, how to be a guy that attacks the other team. It's not unusual to be the way it is right now."

Ariza, however, said he will not accept that there will have to be a learning curve.

"I'm not going to use that as an excuse," he said. "It's not an excuse. It's just something that I have to do. They brought me here because they believe I can do something and I got to do it. I believe I can do it. It's just a little tough getting used to it.

"I'm just trying to find places I'm comfortable. I'm rushing a little bit, trying to do too much. Couple more games and practices and I'll be all right."

--As the key to the Rockets' offense and its most efficient player, Yao Ming was bound to be missed offensively. He has left as large a void defensively.

Though Yao did not lead the NBA in blocked shots, he did provide a presence inside. The Rockets will try to make up for that with a combination of Chuck Hayes' defensive talent, drawing charges and double-teaming in ways they did not need in the past.

"There were a lot of charges trying to be taken out there and that's one way to keep (opponents) away from the rim," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "If we have to double the post, that's going to change the way we normally defend.

"When the Lakers put their two big guys out there, you can only put Chuck on one of them. We'll have to put the other guy on the smaller person. That's what we're trying to find out right now; how are we going to defend? We're going to have to do a lot of that to offset them. It's a unique experience. I've always had big people on the team. We just don't have that right now."

MAIN REASON ROCKETS CAN WIN: The Rockets have been among the league's best defensive teams for several years and will have to be while seeking to replace their top offensive player. It turns out that they could miss Yao Ming as much defensively, but hope to replace his inside presence with Chuck Hayes' defensive talents and greater quickness against pick-and-rolls. If they can defend and rebound as well as they have in past seasons, they might be able to generate enough offense with a move toward a more up-tempo style and greater use of the motion-based offense. All that might require that Aaron Brooks, Trevor Ariza and Luis Scola all take significant steps up in production, but it also can all dramatically change if Tracy McGrady can return and initiate offense.

MAIN REASON ROCKETS CAN LOSE: The Rockets have to have many things go right, and still might not have enough offensive firepower or interior defense. They are counting on several players to do more than they ever have before. When they are without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, they will need others to trigger offense, but point guards Aaron Brooks and Kyle Landry are more oriented to score, rather than set up teammates. Even if the Rockets can be effective in the open court, late in games they will have to be able to execute in the half-court.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everything is different. It's a different type of basketball game that we're playing. We have to get adjusted to each other. The offense is going to come eventually." -- Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 20, 2009


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