Three things to look for in the Houston Rockets season opener
#2 Houston Rockets: Look for more pick and roll
The James Harden drama aside there is a lot to be excited about on the court for the Rockets this season and it all starts with their new head coach, Stephen Silas. Last season, under Mike D’Antoni’s watch, no team ran fewer pick and roll actions than the Rockets did.
However, Silas, as an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks, used the pick and roll to devastating effect as the Mavericks finished with the league’s best offensive rating. Look for the Rockets to ramp up their pick and roll usage this season to diversify their offensive attack.
James Harden was the league’s most prolific isolation scorer last season, which enabled Mike D’Antoni to fashion an offense that relied so heavily on it. However, Harden looks to be on the way out and the isolation heavy system had its problem in the postseason as teams were able to scheme the ball out of Harden’s hands.
Harden has been elite as a pick and roll ball handler so expect him to get a healthy number of touches in the set and for it to be effective. Christian Wood should be the Rockets go to screen setter in the actions due to his rim running and pick and pop capabilities.
The Rockets won’t run the pick and roll every possession but it should make a resurgence in Silas’ first year at the helm. The Rockets’ roster and the coach are a perfect pairing to make the pick and roll their bread and butter on offense, look for it to feature heavily in game number one.
Next: Thing to look for No. 1