The Houston Rockets looked exceptionally well on Friday and the offense ran very smoothly. Will the Rockets continue this ball movement in the season?
Even though James Harden went off for 37 points on Friday against the Clippers, the Houston Rockets played very well on offense, despite not having Russell Westbrook. The Rockets often struggled to move the ball around and get everyone involved last year, especially when both of their point guards were off the floor, but Houston’s ball movement looked great in Hawaii.
Harden was able to keep his teammates involved and get to his spots faster. Houston played at a much faster pace and they often initiated the offense much earlier in the shot clock, which led to more efficient shots in half court sets.
Players who stood out
Two players for the Rockets who had a great night offensively were Chris Clemons and Ben McLemore. Clemons had a couple of key 3-pointers and scored 15 points on the night. Clemons, who went undrafted, has a lot to prove to make an NBA roster. He was recently named Big South Player of the Year at Campbell College.
McLemore, who finished with 9 points on the night, is also trying make a spot himself on the team, in what could be his last shot in the NBA. He looked impressive with the shots he took and made against the Clippers and in his first game against the Shanghai Sharks. McLemore is also a solid defender and he isn’t afraid to extend the pressure against opposing players.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 4, 2019
Harden told the media he loved the performance of both players in the locker room after the game. Mike D’Antoni should look at the confidence level of these two players before making any rash decisions.
Russell Westbrook is expected to play in one of Houston’s games against the Toronto Raptors next week. Everybody is anxious to see how he fits in the offensive. The key things for Westbrook to succeed in Houston is to make his open shots and to keep the ball moving the around. He was really good at finding his teammates on the court while playing in OKC. Hopefully, he can continue to do those things in Houston.