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Steve Kerr notes Mike D’Antoni is right on staying true to iso playing style

Mike D'Antoni, Steve Kerr

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was unequivocally refusing to make any major changes to his offensive approach after falling short in Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors. His counterpart Steve Kerr offered the same principle, agreeing with his colleague on the matter.

“Mike is right,” said Kerr, according to Logan Murdock of the San Jose Mercury News. “You don’t change who you are during a playoff series.”

The Rockets ran a season-high 45 isolation plays during Monday’s game, which was the most during the past five postseasons, according to Second Spectrum. The ring leader, James Harden, was responsible for 26 of them, earning him 41 points.

Yet the strategy played right to the hands of the Warriors, who lulled the Rockets into their heaviest tendencies and made them pay by taking their best punch in the first half and slowly grinding a lead in the third and fourth quarters.

D’Antoni was posed with a question — does the fact that Harden’s 41 points didn’t get the job done become a reason for concern? The long-tenured coach joked he’d make Harden go for 55 in Game 2.

That mindset would still play into the Warriors’ game plan and Game 1 was already enough of a revealing factor to make Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon question what adjustments they should make for tonight’s tilt.

Kerr is right on saying D’Antoni’s philosophy shouldn’t change — you do what got you here — but Kerr also knows this is right up his team’s wheelhouse and D’Antoni is facing trouble whether he sticks with his guns or attempts to adapt on the fly.