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Houston Rockets: 3 Keys to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder

Mar 21, 2021; Houston, TX, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams (34) and Houston
Mar 21, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams (34) and Houston / Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
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Josh Giddey,  Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Houston Rockets key to beat the Thunder #2: Attack Josh Giddey

Fans and analysts tend to overcomplicate basketball. At its core, winning a basketball game usually comes down to two things; slowing down your opponent’s best player and exploiting their worst. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the Thunder’s strong link and Josh Giddey is their weak link. 

Giddey has a bright future and won’t be the Thunder’s worst starter for long, but he’s 19 and has one NBA game under his belt. The Rockets need to target him early and often. The young Australian has great length for a perimeter player, but he’s lean and lacks the foot speed to stay in front of players as quick as Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. 

Against the Timberwolves, the Rockets’ offensive system was not readily apparent. It’s clear the team wants to use the spread pick-and-roll to attack defenses, but that didn’t materialize consistently. Against the Thunder, the Rockets need to focus on getting Giddey on an island against either Jalen Green or Kevin Porter Jr. 

If the Thunder opt to switch, the Rockets will have two mismatches, and if they don’t, well, Giddey will be eating Green or Porter’s dust. Stephen Silas needs to attack the weak link. Giddey is that for the Thunder. 

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