JAZZ BEAT ROCKETS
Critical lessons learned from Rockets' 122-91 loss to Jazz
This game was filled with mistakes that this young core of the Houston Rockets must learn from. Mistakes on the offensive glass, miscommunication on defense, turnovers, and ball placement hurt the Rockets throughout the game. The Utah Jazz are the veterans with experience, as they played with great IQ and communication, which is something this young core can learn from.
The Rockets had no pace and struggled to generate shots in the first half and second half. They finished with a -31 as a whole on defense and offense. The Jazz were able to capitalize on every mistake this young core made. Mostly in the first half it was just fastbreaks and open three-point shooting. Shockingly, the Jazz only had 14 points on fastbreaks and shot the three-ball at 35 percent.
"The way they defend, and what they allow you to get, you're going to have to shoot well to get them or your going to have to get layups in transition and beat them down the floor," Coach Silas said. "And the other end is figuring out a way to eliminate their three-point shots. The second shots killed us and their size in the inside on our switching killed us as well."
The Rockets also struggled with the rebounding, as it was 58-41 Jazz in that category. Things become easier when you have a stronger Rudy Gobert out-rebounding a frail Christian Wood. Gobert created a ton of a space in the paint for passing lanes and rebounds. He had great screens that allowed Bojan Bogdanovic to have great looks at the basket from the perimeter.
The Jazz capitalized on the switching terminology on defense and offense, which still confuses the Rockets. Also not communicating on defense hurt the Rockets a lot, which created open passing lanes and shots for Joe Ingles, Gobert, and Bogdanovic. Watching the ball movement and communication that the Jazz displayed showed great team cohesiveness, as they've been together for three-five years. Their team chemistry is something the Rockets must copy for future purposes.
Jalen Green did struggle but stayed aggressive throughout the night. He finally got opportunities to shoot free throws, as he was 77 percent in that area. Green is still struggling to find his shot in the NBA, but he did manage to have a career night versus the Boston Celtics with 30 points and eight made threes, which surpassed the Rockets' rookie record. In due time, Green will be able to make the most of his shots. He shot 3 of 16 (18.7 percent) from the field against Utah.
The things that I adore about Green is his aggressive nature, as he is averaging 14.2 points per game on 34.7 percent shooting from the field. He is averaging 15 attempts per game and doesn't care if he is missing or making. Green doesn't want to depend on the free throw line, as he wants all his strengths to come from his shooting. He creates great space between him and the defender because of his step backs and elite first step towards the rim. After his one-on-one session with John Wall, Green discussed the missed calls on him.
"I understand I'm a rookie and I'm not going to get calls like that. It's a man's league, anyway. I just have to be strong and keep playing aggressive."
As for this Rockets team, it's one step at a time.