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Warriors coach Steve Kerr on how Rockets have improved defensively

Steve Kerr, Rockets, Warriors

Helmed by offensive master Mike D’Antoni, the Houston Rockets are known for high-scoring affairs, laced by three-point baskets all over coupled with an offensive display by James Harden. But this year, the Rockets seemed to be deadset on improving their defensive game as well. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, however, commented on how the Rockets have improved on their D.

Asked on the Rockets’ defense, Kerr shared his thoughts, as per Mark Medina of The Mercury News. He pointed out that the Rockets filled their roster with defensive-minded guys:

“They’re better defensively. They had a good offseason. I think they changed their focus. And I think it was smart. They went after defensive-minded guys who are decent three-pointers. Instead of great three-point shooters who are decent defenders. So they balanced the roster out and became a better defensive team as a result.

Kerr’s observations are backed up by statistics. The Rockets are second in the league in terms of defensive rating with 102.1, right behind the Warriors who have a rating of 99.3. They are also third in steals with 8.4 per game.

Kerr also singled out two players who are capable of guarding multiple positions. He added that the Rockets have a similar defensive strategy with them, opting to switch match-ups when forced to:

“I think with Mbah a Moute and P.J. is that they can switch and obviously they are switching everything like we do. So they’re much better defensively than in the past for sure.”

Maybe the Rockets do have a chance after all.