NBA Playoffs Roundtable is KJG’s daily column, in which our writers give their take on three of the hottest stories of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Oklahoma City Thunder demolished the Houston Rockets in game one. What adjustments do the Rockets need to make?
Vytis Lasaitis: They have to visit a church, temple or wherever the basketball gods reside and are worshipped, and pray for better 3-point shooting. It was clear from the get-go — the Rockets are outclassed in practically every department and will steal one game at most. And that is if they are hot from beyond the arc. Houston jacked up 36 3-point shots in game one, eight of which reached their target. That’s 22.2%. They will need to shoot close to 50% just to be within striking distance down the stretch of games.
Connor Cook: They need to stop making mistakes on offense after turning the ball over 15 times for 21 points off turnovers, and generally make their offense less predictable and stagnant. The problem with this request is that the team only has about two players that can create offensive opportunities in Jeremy Lin and James Harden, so their offense is bound to become stagnant, especially once the Thunder put good defenders on them.
Adam Lowenstein: The only adjustment that Houston can make is make more 3-pointers. The Thunder disrupted the Rockets’ shooting, forcing them to be 8-of-36 from deep on Sunday. For the most part, Houston’s strengths are the same as Oklahoma City’s, but the Thunder is just better at almost all of them. However, the Rockets can steal a couple games in this series if they get extremely hot from downtown. During the regular season, Houston was 7-3 when making at least 15 shots from 3-point distance. One of those seven wins was the Rockets’ 122-119 victory over the Thunder in Houston.
David Walker: Have a team-wide revelation of how to play perimeter defense? Other than that there is not much to do. OKC can match whatever Houston throws out on offense and does it with a much more stable defense. The narrative makes this interesting, as does having a superstar like Harden involved, but this series is really just a classic case of a second seed destroying a seventh.
Are the Warriors done?…