The NBA’s highest scoring team (106 ppg) shot a high-arcing lump of coal that landed gracefully in the Chicago Bulls stocking on Christmas night. The Rockets new found ability to light it up is not unlike an eager child sniffing around the Yule Tide tree late on Christmas Eve, trying to find the shortest rout to his/her gift. If the opportunity is there, the guys will pounce. Whether it be a streaker down the court or a back-door cutter, he will be found and fed the rock.
For three straight games Houston has surpassed the 120 point mark. In two of those games, it was against a top 3 defense; one versus Memphis and the other against Chicago who rank first and third, respectively.
So, what’s gotten into these running Rockets? The plan all along was to get the players out in transition. But that strategy was implemented pre beard; when a half court offense looked like a futile attempt at putting it in the hole. Now it seems as if the Rockets are starting to perfect both styles. They can slow it down and defer to the follicled freak of na
ture or simply ram it down your throat.
There are a few things prettier in sports when a group of hard working athletes buy into a system and cohesively put it into fruition. The rate at which it took the group to get it down pat is one of them. Said
, “We don’t care what the score is. We just want to be the team that’s running more than the other one.” This simple quote reflex the mind-set instilled in them by coach Kevin McHale.
But a team doesn’t just get the rebound and run wildly down the floor for this system to work. The awareness and basketball IQ have to be on red alert. A team must first understand the game better before heaving the ball down court to a team mate. What McHale is doing is simplifying the sport for his kids. Hang your hesitation on the coat-rack at the door. Don’t think too much. Just play. Play fast. Faster than them. This eliminates the chance for the defense to set and pressure. It all sounds so easy, right? Well, it’s not. But these up and coming Rockets make it look that way.