Houston Rockets: 3 takeaways from Game 4 against the Warriors

By Tevin Williams
Chris Paul #3 and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets
Chris Paul #3 and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets /
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Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors /

The Warriors can’t beat the Rockets at their own game

The Rockets and Warriors have been the NBA’s best teams all season, but their styles are drastically different.

Golden State’s offense centers around ball and player movement. Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green handle the rock nearly as often as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Golden State easily led the NBA in assists per game in the regular season (29.3).

For Houston, James Harden and Chris Paul generate almost all of the offense. The Rockets scored a whopping 1,435 isolation points in the regular season, which is 620 points more than the next best team. The spread between the Rockets and the second best isolation team is bigger than the gap between the second ranked team and the 30th ranked team. The Rockets are by far the best iso team in basketball, and its hard to beat them at their own game.

On defense, Houston switches on every on-ball and off-ball screen. Switching everything allows Houston to play airtight defense, because screens become less effective. This forces Golden State into a lot of isolation plays, which isn’t apart of their normal game plan.

Golden State has targeted Harden in 1-on-1 situations similar to how Houston has targeted Curry, but they’re playing right into the Rockets hands. When the ball and players stop moving, Golden State is no longer impossible to defend.

Next: No. 2