NBA News

Houston Rockets Lose Game 1 Behind Lackluster Play and Copious Turnovers

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale agues a call with official Bill Spooner while playing against the Los Angeles Clippers in the second half in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Los Angeles Clippers won 117 to 101. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Certainly head coach Kevin McHale wasn’t holding anything back in the post game presser when he flatly said his team was terrible and let the Clippers win. Generally we provide a game break down to highlight what happened by quarter, but in fairness McHale’s own words are succinctly describe the game in a nut shell:

“We didn’t play with much composure all night long. We had 24 turnovers, 15 in the first half, we were just sloppy. We did not play, they played with much more an edge”

Generally at the podium McHale finds a way to offset losses, but he looked angry and he dressed down his team accordingly:

“They played harder than we did. Again, we didn’t play well. And, I didn’t believe our effort for a second round game, trying to hold home court in game one with them coming off a dog fight series against the Spurs. They had more energy then we did”

Asked if the time off was a factor McHale got irritated and replied

“No, there’s no excuses, they played better than we did.  There’s no excuses. They came out and they wanted it more. They were quicker to lose balls: they had 16 second chance points, we had 11, we didn’t even go to the offensive glass hardly at all, they had 9 offensive rebounds, we had 6. We missed a million shots and had 6 offensive rebounds! We looked and felt a half step slow the whole night. It looked and felt a half a step slow in the first quarter, it looked and felt a half a step slow the whole game.”

It looked like we were reacting to everything they were doing and we were not being proactive what so ever. Started off the game trying to go inside and having layups and just turning around and throwing the ball to them without shooting the layup.  They played better than we did. We have to play much better than that. That was not the effort, forget everything else, the effort level has got to be better. Days off are no excuse, there’s no excuses, I mean you either get the thing done or you don’t get it done, we didn’t get it done. They kicked our ass, that’s the bottom line.

A reporter brought up the fact Howard had switches he would want and was calling for the ball and it appeared wasn’t getting the touches. Again McHale looked disgusted and shook his head glaring at the reporter he replied:

“They switched , we stood on top of plays, we didn’t move after. We didn’t do a good job of recognizing that. Like I said we looked like we were stuck in mud the whole game. When we had switches we tried to get to him and we turned it over which wasn’t Dwight’s fault it was just our bad spacing, you know guys didn’t recognize the switch, didn’t give him space, tried feeding the ball from bad angles it was just a night where we were up 4 at half and it still felt like we were so sluggish.”

“Every time out I kept telling the guys we gotta get some rhythm, let’s get going, let’s get going and we never did get any rhythm. We weren’t sprinting back on defense, we turned it over, we’d hang our heads. When they have 34 points off our turnovers, that’s just way too many.”

Reporter: As far as the turnovers go, where do you start to address the root of this problem (McHale interupts him)

Hey, don’t throw the ball to them, that’s a start! I mean you know hell some of them were just terrible turnovers. We drove to the hole had a layup and then turned and threw it to them. We came down jumped in the air and threw it to them. These are professional athletes, some of the turnovers we had were 7th and 8th grade, I mean we just jumped in the air and with no one to throw it to they just ended up throwing it in the air. I mean it’s very hard, I mean (McHale seems to be getting very flustered at this point)  we gotta be better, bottom line.

These are professional athletes, some of the turnovers we had were 7th and 8th grade, I mean we just jumped in the air and with no one to throw it to they just ended up throwing it in the air. I mean it’s very hard, I mean we gotta be better, bottom line. – McHale

“Guys gotta be more decisive, we gotta play faster, we gotta play with more quickness, we gotta play with more speed and when you play with more speed, things are more definite. When you are coming up and stopping/starting, stopping/starting you don’t know where the hell to throw the ball and we had 5 turnovers that way.”

James seemed to let the game come to him quite a bit without ever forcing the action, was it something they were doing defensively?

No I don’t think so, James was just like the rest of the team. (he reiterates about the lack of speed and just reacting to the Clippers without being proactive.)

I’ve watched a ton of his press conferences and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him so annoyed and frustrated. Having won championships I think he recognized how dangerous it was to give away a game like that.

Next: Harden speaks his mind?