Rockets’ offensive failures show corrections needed



For 24 minutes, if the Rockets managed to throw a 3 point, they missed it. Compared to other parts of their offense, going 0 for 10 out of 3 for a half could be seen as a positive.

At least on those goods, they got shot before they crashed into all forms of turnover to send the Raptors flying the other way.

The Rockets were intimidated by the Heat last week, but in some ways that was to be expected, and could even be seen as helpful if their young players, and in particular the new backcourt of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. , could learn from living.

On Monday, however, as much as the Raptors swarmed and demolished the offense, the Rockets self-destructed on their way to a 107-92 loss, far from showing how much work needs to be done with a single pre-dress rehearsal. more season. remaining.

In many ways, the difficulties taking care of the ball and executing the offense showed what the Rockets already know, that they are early in the process with such a young backcourt leading their offense. Coach Stephen Silas even cautioned his players to be ready for the Raptors to always help the extremely aggressive defense.

The Rockets, however, made it easier for the Raptors.

“We weren’t properly spaced,” Silas said. “I thought we were trying to run into the crowd when it wasn’t necessary. There were times when we drew the second defender. We knew they were going to be a big, big assist team and we were driving out there not necessarily looking for the right guy and doing the right reads and doing whatever it takes to actually play consistent basketball on the offensive side. .

“We have to learn from it. We have to develop from this.

The Rockets were driving in heavy, still traffic. They forced the passes. They went out of bounds. If there was a way to give the ball away in an NBA game, they did it to the tune of 30 turnovers, most of the variety of live balls that made it easy for the Raptors to beat them in the other. sense and lead to 36 counterattack points surrendered by a team that had given up an average of 5.5, the league’s lowest, in the first games of its preseason schedule.

It didn’t just keep the Rockets competitive, the Raptors were leading 24 after three quarters, even with Toronto coach Nick Nurse starting to clear his bench at halftime. It may have demonstrated how much the Rockets will need to learn to execute against the powerful NBA defenses.

“Yeah, 30 turnovers, a lot of it was just bad decision making,” Silas said. “It wasn’t like there had been any charges, dead ball situations. It was bad passes or thefts as we tried to attack and that sort of thing. We have to clean it up.

The Rockets made another push in the fourth quarter as both teams handed the game over to their reserves and training camp guests, closing in to under 12, just as they had to grab the Wizards from behind and come close. of the Heat. Armoni Brooks had 15 points in the fourth quarter to provide a familiar light spot late in the game.

But in the three quarters, the Rockets had committed 24 turnovers, leading the Raptors to 29 points. At that point, Green and Porter, having achieved a combined 1 of 7 on the field in the first half, were finished for the night, a combined 5 of 17, with Green committing seven turnovers in 25 minutes. A team determined to run, three quarters out, the Rockets were outscored 33-5 in quick break points.

The Rockets were in some ways limited with Eric Gordon out for a second straight game with a sore left ankle and Danuel House Jr. not with the team for personal reasons. But forward Jae’Sean Tate came back from a stiff back to take five of his seven shots. Christian Wood made 6 out of 12. They each had only one turnover.

Still, there was little that the Rockets’ frontcourt players could do when over the course of the three quarters the Rockets had as many turnovers as they had field goals, hitting just 3 of 16 from the 3-line. points before the fourth quarter surge.

“We’re not too worried,” Porter said. “It’s preseason. We try to teach each other, learn each other’s spots. After that slow start, we kind of picked it up.

“I feel like it’s a new style of play that we’re getting used to. We’re fast and that’s how we’re going to have to play.

Jonathan Feigen reported from Houston.

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