Rockets star Russell Westbrook flexes advantage of ‘micro ball’ after come-from-behind wins vs. Mavs, Bucks
The Houston Rockets have now made it two-for-two in their first couple of games inside the Disney World bubble following a four-month season hiatus. Even more impressive is the fact that the Rockets defeated both the Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks coming from behind — something Houston star Russell Westbrook credits to their “micro ball” lineup.
According to Westbrook, head coach Mike D’Antoni’s decision to field such a small yet quick lineup has paid dividends thus far:
“I think so,” Westbrook said, via Sports Radio 610. “Throughout a game it’s tough to sustain, honestly, how we play. We’re used to playing that way. It’s something that teams aren’t used to, and I think it goes to our advantage.”
The Rockets’ unconventional lineup has been heavily criticized for being too small, but perhaps the most important thing that has been overlooked is how their style of play throughout the entire contest has the unique ability to wear down their opponents.
Westbrook went on to say that he himself experienced how both the Mavs and Bucks were unable to sustain their energy level toward the end of the games:
“I definitely feel it,” he added. “I’m always looking at other guys and seeing when they’re trying to catch their breath, if they’re in tune to what’s going on. It definitely wears them down.”
Westbrook has somewhat let the cat out of the bag here with his revelation, but in truth, teams will still be hard-pressed to address this matter even with this bit of information at hand. The Rockets may not be playing with traditional big men, leading to some issues on the glass, but their speed, ability to force turnovers and penchant for launching 3-pointers helps make up for that.
It will be interesting to see how far Houston can ride this gimmick, which has proven effective thus far.