NBA Playoffs – Small Bowl Houston Rockets and Quest for the Unexplained Opening Tip

NBA Playoffs - Small Bowl Houston Rockets and Quest for the Unexplained Opening Tip

James Horden CROUCHED, Referee Ed Malloy waiting for the ball to be released into the air. Dallas Mavericks forward Christophea porcine sinusitis Stood three feet across the middle circle.

The superstar of the Houston rocket is 6-foot-5. Porcinosis is one of the tallest and longest players in the league, listed at 7 ft-3.

Something is not added. This opening tip was lost before it came out of Malloy’s fingertips.

Hardon has long arms – he has 6-foot-11 wings – but that was never enough. Harden and Porcinosis’s hands hit the ball, but Porcinosis got there first with a pure verticality. J. J. Baria. Maws ball.

January 31 was the first game where small ball test rockets were tested. Their starting point, 6-ft-11 Clint Chapel, Was out with a heel problem, and was replaced by coach Mike de Antony instead of hiring another big man. A week later, the Rockets went everywhere and traded the cappella to the Atlanta Hawks.

The rockets are now fully committed to the small ball, and the Guardian and their offense are unlocked. Russell Westbrook, Who have more space to work than ever before.

They are also committed to permanently losing the opening tip.

For the rocket, it has become more of a ritual than an effective part of the game. This is the first play, the first match, and they effectively lose it.

Rockets head coach Mike de Antony said when asked if he was interested in gaining or losing opening tips. “Sometimes when the second half starts I think, ‘Oh, we’re going to start the second half if we’ve lost the jump ball.’

“But analytically I think it’s two or two. It’s not really a problem.”

With nine games this season, Houston have not won an opening tip, and they have a good chance of not getting on board against things like the Los Angeles Lakers 7-foot center. Javel McGee In the Western Conference semifinals.

But the Rockets received defeat with each game, connecting them to the defensive attitude from the first game.

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If they ever overcame obstacles in center court, it would lead to celebration.

“We laugh about it because we never beat them,” De Antony said. “When we win, he usually gets a lot of respect.”


When he jumped The hint against Maws is that this is the first time he can remember doing this at any level of his basketball career.

“Maybe high school? I still don’t know,” Harden said after Rocket’s 128-121 victory.

As the short full time goes by, Horden and the Rockets are 5-29 on the opening tips, and The Bird wins the center-court battle twice:

It’s interconnected, but the Rockets went 1-4 in those games.

This is not always about the player standing on the center court. A jump ball is as much a team thing as an individual thing. It involves positioning, anticipating, reading angles, hitting someone with the ball, and wrestling.

So maybe the Rocket’s five opening-tip winners, go ahead PJ Tucker Always the one who comes with it.

I do not know [to try it] One time, but he was … “Covington said, shaking his head.” But we don’t really focus on the jump ball. It’s good to get a little, but it’s usually hard to go against 7-footers. But I got a couple. It is an important space throughout the game. “

Covington, who has taken all the opening tips this season, became the designated jumper of the rocket, and De Antony said it was up to the players to choose.

You do not need an analytics to understand why – Covington is the tallest person out there.


In the beginning During the 2013-14 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder and then-head coach Scott Brooks were impressed with the opening tips – because they could not.

Thunder started the season 3-12 for the opening tips, so Brooks decided the team should practice them.

Every opening jump ball determines who gets the ball to start the game and who gets it to start each quarter – the winner of the opening tip gets the ball to start the fourth – so why waste energy seems to make no sense at the moment?

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Brooks saw a tactical element, hiding extra points on the edges of each NBA game.

“I want a chance to hit a 3 to end the third [quarter] Get the ball [to start the fourth] Get another 3 runs and get there 6-0, ”Brooks explained.

Thunder staffer Mark Simpson even did a study on jump balls. Simpson, who now works for the Washington Wizards under Brooks, declined to discuss his “ownership” findings.

The transition from third to fourth quarter is when assets become important. If you can do a successful 2-for-1 engineering to finish third and gain possession to open the fourth, the other team has a chance of a holding 9-0.

Unbeknownst to them, this season’s Thunder Squad Brooks’ old strategy was completed in the first round against Houston in Game 4: Nerlens Noel Complete a layout, then Dennis Schroeder Press a 3 on the buzzer. To open the fourth quarter, Schroeder hit a driving light.

The 93-89 Rockets lead to a 94-93 Thunder Edge in a flash, and Occident only gets one stop to do this. Thunder won the game 4, 117-114.

The Rockets somehow won the series as they went 0 -7 for the opening tips against the Thunder Center. Steven Adams, Even a 7-footer Learning referee tossing techniques. Against McGee, Covington are 0-2, but the Houston Lakers are 1-1 up.

This is a very high order for Covington, but every time he takes a position in the center circle, he jumps in with the intention of winning.

“of course. I definitely have that hope, ”Covington said. “But the guys have been doing it for a long time, they’ve only got a few tricks of the trade, I picked a few things, but it’s still not right.

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“If I was their height, I would be [9-0]. It would be the exact opposite. “


The rockets opened Avoid the idea that they are “small”. Because they are Play Large.

It does not contain any more players than Westbrook. Take on Thunder’s match-up against the Phoenix Suns on December 14, 2014, when Westbrook lined up against a 7-foot-7 center. Alex Len.

Westbrook won, and he has a reputation for bringing out great players (sometimes even his own teammates) in jump balls and rebounds.

Why not do so He On opening-tip duty? As with many things in Westbrook, this has become the norm.

“You know, I thought about it once,” he said with a laugh. “I’m ready to sit down and hold the defense first.”

That’s part of the evolution of the rocket mentality. They are third in defense in the post-season 103.6 points for 100 properties. The Rockets get three consecutive stops to start the game, and they enter the game thinking about the first game by giving the opening tip.

Rockets lost nine tipoffs in the postseason; They got seven opening holding stops.

“Set the tone early, win the first quarter and keep them under 25,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve trying to talk about all these things.”

Rockets want to succeed in mathematics, and Houston can fight the traditional trees of the NBA, playing bigger than the heights listed by all, including Horden, Tucker, Westbrook and Covington.

Size is important on a basketball court, but rockets do not move. The floor is extremely far away, and there are no defensive assignments through their switch-all approach. They are known for scoring, but every player on the roster focuses defensively on their post-season success.

“We know we have a chance to stay in the game and win the game,” Rockets Guard said. Eric Gordon “Defense is first,” he said.

Literally from the jump.

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