What went wrong for Rockets

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Crow
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What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sat May 11, 2019 6:02 pm

Playing Warriors.

Wrong seed. 2nd round matchup with Warriors.

Own turnovers.

Low assists. They needed a more active 3rd aasistmaker.

Starting lineup failure. Rivers in small ball variation in place of Capela failure. Capela and anything failure. 8 of 10 most used pairs failure.

Not enough Nene & Faried? At least not enough defensive rebounding. Nene and anyone was a smashing success. In few minutes.

The owner "loves" his starting 5. Probably should at least consider changing anyone but Harden. If they make no changes to starters, they are probably not going to improve enough to change level.

In Warriors series, two lineups played more than 2 minutes per game and both did bad. There were some dink lineups that had spot good minutes but twice as many were non-positive cumulatively. Not enough selection and elevation.

Not good enough shooting. It was pretty good but pretty good wasn't enough. If shooting is your design priority, pretty good is not enough.

Shot defense. Maybe pretty good on Curry and Thompson, but pretty bad on some of the role players.

Mike G
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Mike G » Sat May 11, 2019 7:03 pm

In the last 4.5 postseasons, the Warriors have lost one series (of 18), winning 75% of games, and avg MOV has been +9.4 ppg.

In the last 2.5 years, they are 10-0 in series, 82% in games, with avg MOV = 11.9
They beat the Rockets by 1.8 ppg; next best competition in this time has been the Cavs in '17 Finals, who lost by only 6.8 per game. All others were short by 9 to 18 ppg.
Hou was also the only team to take them 7 games, last year.

Reg season SRS had GSW > Hou by 1.5

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sat May 11, 2019 10:16 pm

The Warriors are a tough opponent but this is probably the weakest they've been in 5 years. At least by net rating.

Mike G
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Mike G » Sun May 12, 2019 1:34 am

There's regular season Warriors, and there's playoff Warriors.
By SRS, they would be expected to beat the Clipps by 5.3 ppg, but it was 9.8

Last year, they were 5.2 better than Cle and won by 15.0
2.4 weaker then Hou but won by 9.0
4.3 better than NOP, won by twice that.
2.9 better than SAS, won by 8.8

When is the last time a team did better than expected against the Dubs in playoffs? Or as well? Or nearly as well?
2017: Favored by 7.5 over Cle, they won by just 6.8. There you go. Cavs were the other team with the postseason alter-ego, aka LeBron James.
Favored by 4.2 over Spurs, they swept by 16 ppg (Kawhi out)
By 7.4 over Utah, they doubled that.
Shoulda beat Por by 11.6, so they did by 18

You may find similar postseason dominance by the '90s Bulls, the '80s Lakers, the '00s Spurs. Dynasties

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sun May 12, 2019 3:08 am

I led with acknowledgement of the Warriors.

There is what went wrong or didn't go right enough for any losing team. My post covered those things for the Rockets. If a couple of the 10 main issues I mentioned were handled better, they might have had a historic victory. Or it could still have been not enough. But better to look at and consider those things than not I think. Before the off-season and planning for next season starts.

The Warriors help force some things to go wrong but the Rockets bear a large amount of responsibility for their own shortcomings. From lineup and sub-lineup choices repeated, repeated and repeated when not working to not effectively moving the ball well enough and other factor shortcomings.

It could be said that the Rockets did well and / or that the Warriors did not play up to their previous playoff standards. Lots could be said. How many of those 10 man issues got attention in mainstream stories? Few, if any. Captured by storyline drama.

What else could I say? Warriors didn't shoot that well. Because of a few more % from mid-range, bad luck and / or Rockets defense. They didn't play very effective defense themselves. The Jazz probably played better defense.

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sun May 12, 2019 3:52 am

Was this the best the Rockets could do? Probably not, imo. Players could have played better and certain lineup and strategic adjustments might have made things better too.

If any disagree, ok.

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sun May 12, 2019 6:42 am

To get a big (enough) frontline player who can score on his own and pass some, the Rockets may want to consider:

New offer for A Davis (Capela and Gordon and draft picks)

B Lopez, K Olynyk, T Young, M Williams, C Zeller, R Gay, M Harrell, Tolliver, Kleber, D Cousins, Randle, Bjelica, Jerebko, Looney, etc.

Mike G
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Mike G » Sun May 12, 2019 11:29 am

Both Klay and Steph had almost their best game of the postseason. Iggy arguably did. Livingston definitely did, and Looney.
If one of these 5 does not have an outstanding game 6, it's game 7 today and no reason to break up the Rockets or fire the coach.

Over at ESPN, for every playoff series, there's a "writer" poised to declare every exiting team a disaster that needs to be scrapped and rebuilt. It's like a sport behind the sport, coming up with more creative and preposterous definitions of "failure".

There's even a contingent declaring the Warriors as fast approaching the bitter end. And eventually, they'll be right!

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sun May 12, 2019 4:25 pm

Curry shot under 28% from 3 for series. Durant missed a game. That was unexpected opportunity.

There is a wide range for what comes next for the Warriors. Defeat in one of next two rounds, another title, Durant goes or stays, Klay goes or stays, etc. I hadn't given that much time & focus.



Rockets? Are they going to move up next season? Without changes? I don't see it. With changes, probably not to a title.




For those who get to title game and lose first time, the history is pretty much win it next season or never win with that group. Bucks, Raptors, Nuggets, Sixers could go either way. Some more likely one way than other. Clippers may get in mix. Jazz could, with changes... if Mitchell gets consistent. Celtics appear to need big changes. Thunder, Lakers, Blazers... can't see a title without big changes.

Nate
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Nate » Mon May 13, 2019 4:37 pm

Why can't it be as simple as "the teams are pretty evenly matched and the Rockets were unlucky?"

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Mon May 13, 2019 6:04 pm

What gets learned or improved if you just say that?

If you say that, are you saying that there were no errors made or changes needed in the 10 main areas I mentioned?

You can say that and what I said, if you think it adds balance; but cropping out what I mentioned would in my mind ignore mistakes and / or areas to focus on for improvement.



Agree or disagree with each statement:

Own turnovers were a problem.

They needed a more active 3rd assist-maker.

Starting lineup failure.

Rivers in small ball variation in place of Capela was a failure.

Capela and anything was a failure.

8 of 10 most used pairs were failures.

Not enough Nene & Faried? At least not enough defensive rebounding.

In Warriors series, two lineups played more than 2 minutes per game and both did bad. There were some dink lineups that had spot good minutes but twice as many were non-positive cumulatively. Not enough selection and elevation.

Not good enough shooting.

Shot defense.

Which of these does anyone disagree with?

Dr Positivity
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Dr Positivity » Tue May 14, 2019 6:43 am

As soon as they got in a battle with GSW with 5-6 guys on each side they were in trouble. One team has Curry, Klay, Iguodala, Durant and Draymond. Even without Durant it's still more talent. GSW's weakness is depth and HOU couldn't take advantage of it.

Something needed to be tried at centre besides playing Capela there. Tucker at C is a proven counter against Draymond, but benching Capela for Tucker means D'Antoni has to find another 30 minutes for perimeter players and he notoriously runs a short bench. If Shumpert was one of the guys he's ok with, maybe he could have played more than his 15 minutes a game for the series. Green who was a big part of the series last year was around 7. Trading Ennis for luxury tax savings loomed large as he was great against Toronto. Overall Houston had no margin for error since now that Paul is now roughly around a Lowry/Holiday level player in impact, their talent is clearly not as high as GSW.

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Wed May 15, 2019 1:38 am

In the first round the Rockets were fine thru at least the 9th man. Against the Warriors it probably should have been 7 most games or at least fewer minutes for some of the players not doing well and team not doing well with them on court. I suggested shortening rotation after about game 2. They played 9 to the bitter end. Yeah there can be cost from playing guys too much but against the best you have to gamble one way or another. Top guys playing a lot or lower end players getting run.

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Sun May 19, 2019 7:21 am

There have been some claims that letting Ennis go was a mistake. He had good box score stats with Rockets. RPM estimate for full season was very poor though. I'd think it would be useful to somewhere show RAPM and / or RPM by team in addition to combined for season. More information may be more useful, more of time.

I dunno if RPM was a factor in moving Ennis. Could have been. Eye tests and some other measures might have suggested a similar the move. Maybe the approaches besides the boxscore converged.

Ennis' overall performance in playoffs was not good, I don't think, from BPM and other measures.

I think they should be open to considering trading Capela, Gordon. Neither is very likely this summer. Maybe mid-season.

Trade Paul? would be very, very hard. They probably wouldn't pursue.

The owner says getting under luxury tax was surprise, not a priority to him. I dunno if true; though it might very well be. But it still might have been a priority to Morey, to give a surprise gift to the owner. (Not sure without checking where they are with respect to the repeater tax. Maybe someone knows and can add that or I'll look it up later. It might be a deal.) A surprised, happy boss might have seen it as another reason to agree to giving a huge, early extension to such a GM. And title raises and presumably salary raises for several others. Why not til the end of the playoffs when you can reward people before the final test? D'Antoni had to wait however. I assume he'll get an extension this summer. But we will see.

The owner said he would not want to pay luxury tax unless he had "a championship style" team. It appears from related comment he define that as a top 4-5 team. By regular season wins he has had that. By playoff results he has been a bit short of that on average over 3 years. Adjusting for match-ups, he might have had that. But the competition for next season probably gets stronger. He might not have that championship style team next season. It is certainly possible but mot guaranteed. Nuggets might be better. Clippers. Maybe Jazz or others.

Crow
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Re: What went wrong for Rockets

Post by Crow » Wed May 29, 2019 10:41 pm

Reports say Morey is open to using pretty much anything to improve. Is it true? How true? I dunno. But not the thing to expect if a team is merely "unlucky".

2.5 weeks ago I said: "Probably should at least consider changing anyone but Harden." including Capella and Paul. Sounds similar to what is being said right now.

Not what the owner said earlier. We'll see what happens and who decides.

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