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Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni once again defended his team’s style of play following a dominant 127-105 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night.
“You’re not going to come in and change the way you play,” D’Antoni told reporters. “That’s the way we played all year. Sometimes we get bogged down, but usually because we can’t get out in transition, can’t get that force and then the ball—seems like all we do is keep it. But again, we are who we are, and we had to be who we are. We just did it better, longer, guys believe it and we’re not going to change anything up. That would be silly on my part to panic. You don’t do that.
“We’re very comfortable about who we are. We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play. Some people might not like it. Sorry. You know, it might not look good to some people, but it’s effective, it’s efficient.”
D’Antoni’s response came two days after the Rockets caught flack for the way their offense performed in a 119-106 Game 1 loss.
While the Warriors made 283 passes in the series opener, according to Second Spectrum data, the Rockets were limited to 226.
Plus, Houston pounded the air out of the ball Monday and finished with 1,105 dribbles compared to Golden State’s 812, as Bleacher Report’s Tom Haberstroh noted.
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Harden is dribbling…A LOT https://t.co/rW99epuxb1 https://t.co/hRBI7GUBff
But in Game 2, the Rockets looked like a well-oiled machine while the Warriors sputtered.
Specifically, the Rockets drilled 16 threes at a 38.1 percent clip, outscored the Warriors in the paint, 56-50, and poured in 21 points at the free-throw line. In other words, 125 of Houston’s 127 points came in the paint, at the charity stripe or from beyond the arc.
That’s the Rockets way.
Now that the series is tied at one game apiece, the Rockets can tamp down concerns about them having to adjust their scheme as the Warriors prepare to host Games 3 and 4 at Oracle Arena.