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Mike D’Antoni says Rockets have moved on from 7 seconds or less to 6

Rockets, Mike D'Antoni

The Houston Rockets have more than merely mimicked the offense that head coach Mike D’Antoni engineered for the Phoenix Suns of yesteryear, kicking it up another notch and going from the famed “seven seconds or less” offense to now six seconds or less.

“Six seconds or less, baby. We’re working on it,” said an enthused D’Antoni on Friday after a season-opening loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

The Rockets looked very different playing with Westbrook, as rebounds in his hands were now fast break scoring chances for the team, instantly generating some high-octane offense.

D’Antoni no longer has quality shooters like Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson, and Channing Frye, or a point guard like Steve Nash, but he can count on Westbrook’s demonic end-to-end speed and Harden’s methodical half court pace to give opponents plenty of headaches.

Westbrook led the way with 24 points on Thursday, picking up Harden as he struggled mightily from the field. The 6-foot-3 guard played at a frenetic pace and hauled in a game-high 16 rebounds in his debut as a Rocket, with plenty of similar performances sure to follow.

This iteration of the Suns’ fast-twitch, decision-making offense could also see the turnovers skyrocket, as Westbrook and Harden combined for 10 of the team’s 14 turnovers on Thursday — but that seems to be a risk the coach is willing to take, so long as it produces enough offense to win games in the future.