Rockets News

The Houston Rockets Are Suddenly a Defensive Team

TORONTO, ON - MAY 07: P.J. Tucker #2 of the Toronto Raptors defends as Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball in the first half of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 07: P.J. Tucker #2 of the Toronto Raptors defends as Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball in the first half of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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HOUSTON, TX – MARCH 08: Raul Neto #25 of the Utah Jazz has his shot blocked by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on March 8, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – MARCH 08: Raul Neto #25 of the Utah Jazz has his shot blocked by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on March 8, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

For a few years now, many people in the NBA world labeled the Houston Rockets as an offensive-minded team with a minimal focus on defense. But with a recent influx of defensive prowess into the roster, this team is becoming a true defensive threat.

Mike D’Antoni has never lead a team that puts a heavy focus on the defensive side of the ball. That is why when he came to Houston, he was paired with Jeff Bzdelik; a man very capable of running the team’s defense.

After season one, the Rockets were an elite offensive team but seemingly lost games due to defensive collapses. Entering the offseason, it was obvious that the defense needed improvement. That is exactly what Daryl Morey set out to do and he accomplished it.

The Rockets brought in Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute and Tarik Black as well as resigning Nene to an extension. All of the aforementioned players are stars on defense and stand out on that side of the ball.

Starting with Chris Paul, he may not be a defensive upgrade over Patrick Beverley, but he brings elite defensive talent to a position that will likely be guarding players like Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving. His offense will give the team a huge boost which is where he shines over Pat Bev.

Although Paul may be on the wrong side of 30, he’s still got the tenacity to go after balls and produce steals. He is not only a big-play guy, he plays tight defense on every position. This makes it very difficult for an opposing point guard to find a lane and/or dish the ball to a shooter.

Next: Tucker and Mbah a Moute

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