The Houston Rockets’ go-to play on offense has always been the isolation for James Harden or Chris Paul. It has worked wonders in the regular season, but not so much in the playoffs. If Clint Capela — who has been instrumental to their success — is concerned, they should lessen these plays and move the ball a bit more.
As reported by Sam Amick of USA Sports Today:
“We’re just out here waiting on (Harden and Chris Paul) to make the decisions,” Capela said. “This is what they do. This is what they’ve been doing all season long, so it’s something that is harder to do right now. Maybe we’re going to have to be more aware on the weak side, maybe (use) flares to get guys open, to get more movement, so all the focus won’t be on the guys on the weak side.”
Whether or not head coach Mike D’Antoni heeds Capela’s opinions is a matter of wait-and-see. Capela, as well as other analysts, have pointed out that such a system won’t work against the Golden State Warriors.
As the game progresses, the isolation play will eventually run out of steam. Only Harden or Paul will get a fair share of the momentum while his teammates stand around. The Warriors, too, will figure out how to exactly counter attack.
But despite their shortcomings on offense, Capela recognized that his team was more aware defensively:
“I thought the difference between the regular season and the game tonight is that I think the regular season we were more aware about switching the ball (on defense) and being aggressive on the fast break defense. I just really think that was really the difference. Whenever they score, we’re not getting our pace and what we’re looking for. That’s harder.”
The Rockets might have lost Game 1, but from Capela’s comments, they seem to have only a few problems left to fix. Expect them to come out strong in Game 2.