1. The Houston Rockets Must Limit the Rebounding Disparity
Houston was outrebounded 46 to 36 in their victory and going forward, they’ll have to find a way to combat the Steven Adams and Gallinari tandem down low. The Rocket’s ‘small ball’ gameplan is in full effect, but losing the rebound battle can cause too many extra possessions for OKC and not enough for them, which can give the Thunder a huge advantage that they don’t need to have.
For Game 2, Houston will have to find more effective ways to attack the glass with excessive force to limit possessions for the Thunder and give them more chances to secure the rebound so they can fly out on the break and create swift scoring opportunities on the offensive end of the ball.
2. The Rockets Must Limit Points off Turnovers
The good news? The Rockets committed only seven turnovers in the game. The bad news? The Thunder scored 19 points off the Rockets’ turnovers while the Rockets only scored six points off the Thunder’s 13.
A huge key to the playoffs is momentum. Any single play can have a grave impact on the game as a whole, and because the Rockets were so efficient on the offensive end, their inability to limit points off their turnovers didn’t hurt them during this game, but it can very well change throughout the series.
As a result, if Houston turns the ball over in bulk, they’ll have to dig down to limit the points that result because they can’t give Oklahoma City free baskets. They have to make Chris Paul and company earn every inch.
Next: Adjustment #3