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Chris Paul explains origin of Rockets’ switch-heavy defense

Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets guards Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets guards Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

How the Rockets’ have fared with the switch-heavy defense

During the 2017-18 season CP3 referenced, the Rockets had one of the best defenses in the league, as they had the below finishes on the defensive end.

  • 5th in steals per game
  • 6th in points allowed
  • 6th in defensive rating
  • 7th in defensive 3-point percentage
  • 10th in forced turnovers per game

CP3 says the Rockets devised this particular defensive gameplan to specifically get past the Warriors, and they certainly came the closest to dethroning the superteam. It’s widely believed that the Rockets were en route to getting past the Dubs in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, were it not for CP3 getting injured, as he points out.

The Rockets.have continued to utilize the switch-heavy defense, although their team defense during the 2018-19 season wasn’t as successful as the season CP3 referenced. This was due to the departures of Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza, which hurt the Rockets significantly.

The Rockets parted ways with Bzdelik prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, in favor of Elston Turner, who continued to employ the switch defense, although not as often as Bzdelik’s version. The Rockets’ defense from this season was certainly mediocre, although the addition of Robert Covington provided them with an elite rim protector.

Eric Gordon and James Harden are also two of the best defenders on the Rockets, and with both players fully rested, it wouldn’t be a surprise for the Rockets’ defense to perform much better when the league resumes in Orlando. Not to mention the addition of Mbah a Moute, who has experience in the switch-heavy defense.

Next. Outlining a Westbrook trade with all 29 teams

It won’t be long before we’ll find out.

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