Mike D’Antoni said the team needed desperation to be better on defense
The Houston Rockets have not had a good start to the season and a big reason Mike D’Antoni thinks the team has struggled has been their lack of desperation on defense. For the first time this season D’Antoni saw that on Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets and he knows that needs to continue on Saturday to pull out a victory against the Bulls.
“But I really think it starts from wanting to do it,” Mike D’Antoni said via ESPN. “We didn’t have a desperation before, and [Friday night] we did. [Saturday] night we’ve got to do it again.”
Coming into Friday’s game the Rockets were ranked 24th in the league in defensive efficiency. Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute are both great defenders and were on the Rockets last year. With both of those guys off this year’s team the defense sometimes looks lost and it has been the biggest issue this year.
During the first half of Friday’s game, the Rockets called a timeout and Chris Paul called the troops together and let them know it was up to them to start playing defense.
“We was talking. We was yelling, cursing,” Anthony said. “It was something that we had to figure out, and we did that.”
Added Paul: “[Coaches] can tell us all the schemes they want to. It’s up to us to figure out how we’re going to get a stop.”
If the Rockets want to continue the turnaround it’s going to come down to what this team can get done on defense.