Playoff Capsule: Houston Rockets

Houston Shot distribution

There’s nothing remarkably complex about Houston’s offense, mainly because, as scholars such as Zach Lowe have noted, Houston’s youth necessitated a simplified offense. Yet, while the offense may not be as intricate as, say, the triangle,  it is undeniably effective, not to mention efficient, as … [Read more...]

James Harden: Defensive Shapeshifter

Defenses are made to move and adjust. The quality of NBA offense means that defenses will inevitably be penetrated, probed and pressured. The defining variable in effectiveness is the defense's ability to rotate and bend, fluidly changing shape, without ever breaking down. However, certain NBA … [Read more...]

Rejecting Ball Screens and Beating the “Down”

Today's NBA is defined by the ball screen-and-roll.  Every team runs several variations of it and has nuanced and still-developing ways of defending it, and games are won and lost on that action and its subsequent ramifications more than any other.  Making your shots and forcing the other team into … [Read more...]

The Thunder Risked It All When They Traded James Harden And Their Risks Have Paid Off

While many national media members try to skew the Thunder's trade of James Harden into a Harden vs. Russell Westbrook situation, the truth is that the choice was between Harden and Serge Ibaka.  The choice the Thunder really made was one of basketball philosophy: they bet that two ball handlers and … [Read more...]

Offensive Templates For Austin Rivers

Any way you slice it, Austin Rivers' rookie season has gotten off to a disappointing start. While many elements of his statistical profile seem perfectly reasonable for a rookie - 9.8 points per 36 minutes, 36.0% on three-pointers, 3.4 assists per 36 minutes, a turnover percentage of just 13.7% - … [Read more...]

Ripple Effects Of Harden To Houston

Martin Off Screen 2

The big news of the weekend was the James Harden to Houston trade. The former Thunder sixth man/star was sent to the Rockets along with Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Daequan Cook for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two 2013 first round picks (from Dallas and Toronto) and a 2013 second round pick (from … [Read more...]

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