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The Rockets must improve transition D in potential matchup with Lakers

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets Must Get Back

Houston’s new micro ball approach has convinced some within the media that the Rockets should be actually rooting for a showdown with the Lakers in the playoffs due to how they match up. While that may be taking it a bit too far, the recent loss of Avery Bradley would certainly be a big improvement in Houston’s chances in such a series.

It’s no secret that the Rockets have a huge disadvantage in size against the Lake Show. As Zach Lowe shared on a recent episode of The Lowe Post, however, they knew about the possible consequences of going small.

“Houston is last in defensive rebounding since they stopped playing Capela — and they knew that,” began Lowe. “They knew they were going to struggle. Part of their calculus was if you go for offensive rebounds and don’t get them, we’re going to run and shoot threes and rain fire on you from above.”

Hot. Kenny Smith: Small ball ruins Rockets' title chances

While rebounding could become a problem when Houston’s shots aren’t falling, there’s another weakness in Houston’s game that could be a huge factor as well, as John Hollinger of The Athletic noted on the same episode.

“It’s odd to think this,” began Hollinger. “But I think the biggest thing that could hurt Houston in a matchup against the Lakers is that they’re awful at transition defense and the Lakers are really good at transition offense. That’s where the Lakers could hurt them the most, even though the Lakers are the much bigger team and you’d think Houston would be able to outrun them.”

Next: Breaking Down the Data

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