Mike D'Antoni says Ryan Anderson must produce, commits to small lineup in Game 3
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Mike D’Antoni says Ryan Anderson must produce, commits to small lineup in Game 3

Ryan Anderson

Despite a painful loss at home to the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni will remain committed to his small lineup against the twin towers of Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, hoping the small adjustments will suffice to pay back with the same coin.

The Rockets swiveled between P.J. Tucker and Ryan Anderson, with neither really having the effect desired, combining for a mere 2-of-11 from the floor and 1-of-7 from deep, as the team shot 40 percent from the field and 27 percent from long-range.

D’Antoni hoped to keep his players accountable, but noted veteran center Nene will likely be the first player off the bench, while the likes of Luc Mbah A Moute will see more minutes in hopes to give the starters some added rest.

“He (Anderson) has to produce,” D’Antoni said, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “I like some of it. A little is about (how) you feel in the game. We’ll go back to Nene and see how that goes.”

“It’s just a general read of the game. Hopefully, I’ll read it right. Might not. I know I left P.J. in a little too long in the third and he might have got a little tired. We have to watch that. I’ll try to up Luc (Mbah a Moute’s) minutes a little bit. He’s been at 16, 17 minutes. Now, I think it’s time to get up to the 20s. Little adjustments we have to make rotation-wise and then read who’s going and not going.”

Anderson has been relayed to a slim bench role this postseason, playing only seven minutes in Game 2 of this series.

During the loss, the Rockets managed more shot attempts from the field, from distance, and from the foul line, but proved ultimately ineffective against a masquerading Jazz defense, one they’ll be tasked to solve on the road in hopes to gain control of this series.