Following another Houston Rockets practice Mike D’Antoni spoke more clearly of his philosophy for the training camp process.
has not been very forth coming on his philosophy regarding the offense, he did give further insight following the training camp practice on September 26th.
For starters, he says James Harden will dictate the rhythm of the team. D’Antoni indicated Harden will be on the ball from the minute it comes in bounds. Though, the coach cautioned there will be times another guard will bring the ball up the floor. For example occasionally Eric Gordon and Patrick Beverley will also be tasked with ball handling.
The purpose is to stop opponents from denying Harden the ball. But, coach D also hinted that Harden reads the game better and has a better shot. In essence Harden was already doing 80% of what his new role is.
Harden the “points” guard:
When D’Antoni joked they’ve renamed this offense, he quickly backed off when pushed on what it was called. Though D’antoni did joke in James Harden’s case they could call him a ‘points’ guard because he’ll be scoring.
Queries were made regarding whether Patrick Beverley would be held out again to which the coach confirmed he would. He also noted how feisty PBev is. Apparently Beverley had been working out with a deep cut on his foot that would have given most people trouble simply walking.
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Asked about Tyler Ennis the coach’s first and immediate response was “smart”. This emulates exactly what Ryan Anderson said of the young Canadian. Coach D went on to say he feels Ennis is due to break out.
I’ve been calling for Ennis to land on a team where his talents could be capitalized on, and finally think he might get his chance under D’Antoni. Though there are other guards vying for the back up point guard role such as Pablo Prigioni, Bobby Brown and Gary Payton II, something tells me Ennis may well be the man who not only wins the position, but also gets serviceable minutes in the process.
The coach went further with Ennis saying “he’s a ball player” and noted the game is headed toward a positionless system like Don Nelson once claimed it would. Certainly if D’Antoni ends up going the route of playing two shooting guards, he may be the coach that moves the game closer to that positionless era.
Asked if anyone else stood out Mike D’Antoni gave the stock answer of the players you would expect to stand out have. Pushed for an answer he cited K.J. McDaniels, Sam Dekker and Corey Brewer as all having solid showings so far.
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