Impressions: Rocket’s First Scrimmage

My impressions of Rocket’s first scrimmage:

1) AB and JL are looking to be a very good back court duo. Both protects the ball well and has ability to penetrate as well as shooting from the arc. AB seems more proficient as a ball mover at the top of the key. JL made many sharp passes from the corner that resulted in easy lay ups. note: James Anderson is still a better back court partner with JL as the ball moved super quickly when those two were on the court at the same time.
2) OC’s dribbling looks suspect.
3) DH didn’t get many clean looks under the rim because of the swarming defense in the paint.
4) No one was fooled by JH’s step back jumpers. He couldn’t get a good shot off in this manner.
5) AB and JL were both able to penetrate at ease against PB.
6) TJ made some nice shots, but I am confused as to what his role is on the team.
7) DMo, on the other hand, establishes himself as the PnR big man who was able to make himself open under the rim numerous times. My comment regarding DMo last season was he didn’t run towards the rim enough. In the open lane, he too often moved towards the arc for a spot up 3 instead. It seems like this problem has been alleviated.

Houston’s 2013-2014 Official Roster

I will be using player’s initials for the first scrimmage analysis, so the above link should help in case you don’t know who I am referring to.

Part 1

@1.02 McHale instructs but can’t tell what he is saying except “wide open” then slaps AB’s butt, and again “wide open” then slaps CP’s butt.

@1.20 JH initiates PnR with DH at top of key. As DH rolls, JH passes to PB who turns the ball over on the interior pass to DH. Pass was too eager but also credit the swarming defense in the paint.

@2.0 PB dribbles the court through a semi-open lane to the basket but he slows down just enough for TJ to catch up. McHale shouts “run Patrick run Patrick, you got it”. PB takes the ball to the hole but is stuffed by TJ. McHale responds, “alright”. I will refrain from commenting on this.

@2.25 AB dribbles right past PB and draws the double team in the paint. AB passes out to TJ at the arc and shoots a wide open 3. Why is TJ camping at the arc?

@4 TJ hits another open 3 after receiving pass from interior. Why is TJ camping at the arc?

@4.2 JL enters the game. Immediately, JL throws the ball down court to find a wide open AB at the arc for a wide open 3, drains it.

@4.5 McHale called the previous play “dead ball” and told JL to start over. JL dribbles the ball down court, penetrates, draws the double team in the paint, then dishes the ball to DMo who is under the basket for an easy layup. On defense, JH was standing at the foul line instead of participating in the sequence.

@5 JH takes the entry pass and kills 10 seconds off shot clock just to dribble the ball pass half court. He then dribbles the ball between his legs several times and puts up a brick from the arc.

@5.2 DMo sets pick from AB then rolls to the basket and receives pass under the rim from AB for easy layup.

@6.3 AB cross court pass to JL at the arc. JL is guarded by JH who hand checks JL as JL accelerates right pass him. JH hand checks JL again as JL was going up for a left handed lay up.  Shot goes in.

@7.45 JH goes one on one on JL. He dribbles between his legs then shoots a 3 but was forced to change the shot to a pass to OC as JL blocked JH’s shot trajectory.

Part 2

@.40 JL prevents what would have been a GS’s easy put back off OC’s brick. There might have been some body contact, but JL’s hands were all ball, so it could have been a no call in a real game.

@2.45 DMo runs to the rim for an easy lay up after receiving a sharp pass from JL from the arc. On this play, someone had missed an assignment and left DMo open and DH had to chase DMo down. DH was visibily displeased.

Video source: Clutch Fans