Do the Rockets have the right pieces?
The Rockets abandoning the pick and roll and going to an isolation heavy offense wasn’t some innovative offensive strategy, it was a reaction to the talent that resided on their bench. James Harden is the best isolation scorer in the league so it made sense to give him the ball and let him cook.
Unfortunately, each Harden isolation made Clint Capela more and more useless on offense because his only real role was as a screener and rim runner. To make matters worse, Capela clogged the area of the court, the paint, where Russell Westbrook is at his best.
The Rockets jettisoned Capela in a mid-season trade and in the process they lost the player needed to run an effective pick and roll. Fortunately, Rafael Stone knows what type of players Stephen Silas will need to fulfill his vision of the Rockets’ offense.
The Rockets have picked up two centers to kick off free agency in DeMarcus Cousins and Christian Wood in an effort to bolster their pick and roll game. What makes these moves great is that the pair are credible 3-point shooters so they won’t have the same problems Capela did of cramping Westbrook’s space.
The Rockets’ offense will look different under Stephen Silas than it did last year under Mike D’Antoni. The good news is, Rafael Stone has gotten the players Silas will need to recreate the offense that made the Mavericks the best in the league.