Despite the team losing two good defenders this offseason, Mike D’Antoni fully trusts the team on that end of the court.
A couple days ago, and reiterated today, MDA said that he thinks that the defense of the Rockets will actually be better this season. In an article by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, D’Antoni said:
“(The media) reports we’re going to be worse defensively. Obviously, (the players) read and they put a lot of emphasis into it. And we’re not going to be worse. We’re going to be better.”
The coach had more to say today, reemphasizing his prior statements. This time, he talked about losing players like Ariza and Mbah a Moute:
“You hate to lose those guys. They’re great, without a doubt, but we’re going to be really good.
The Rockets will still be great defensively
The Houston Rockets should still be a top-tier defensive team this season. I like the confidence that D’Antoni has and I hope that they can be even better than a year ago.
The addition of James Ennis brings some of the intensity on that end that was lost by Trevor and Luc. Eric Gordon continues to be an underrated defender and showed that side of his game off, especially in the playoffs. Carmelo Anthony is a weak spot on that end of the court, but he will likely be coming off the bench and can be hidden against power forwards.
The Rockets will have a second year under the switching scheme on defense that is led by Chris Paul and P.J. Tucker, two fantastic defenders. CP3 earlier in training camp said that you need to play defense if you’re going to be a part of this team. That attitude, paired with the help of assistant Roy Rogers, will help the team recover from losing Jeff Bzdelik.
The first preseason game of the year is next Tuesday! Maybe we’ll get to see a little bit of the defense then.