Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns

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Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#1 » by RealGM Wiretap » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:25 pm

Joe Johnson and Mike D'Antoni both feel like this year's Rockets have a more potent offensive game than the peak Suns of the mid-2000s. 


“By far,” Johnson told said on Sunday when asked if this was the best offense he's played in. “In my 17 seasons, by far.”


The Rockets lead the NBA in offensive efficiency in Chris Paul's first season playing with James Harden.


“With the ballhandlers we have with C.P. and James, I think the dynamic on this team is so much different,” Johnson said. “And we’re so much deeper. We have great ball movement — everybody gets a chance to touch it and feel like they’re a part of it.”


Said D’Antoni: “When one guy has to make all the plays all the time, it wears them out. That’s what happened to us in Phoenix with Steve, and it happened to James last year. You combine the two and it makes a big difference — I hope. We’ll see.”

Via Marc Stein/New York Times

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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#2 » by MaxRider » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:23 pm

Great ball movement??
I thought Rockets is bottom 5 for passes and #1 with most ISO
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#3 » by MartinToVaught » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:34 pm

"With the ballhandlers we have with C.P. and James, I think the dynamic on this team is so much different," Johnson said. "And we're so much deeper. We have great ball movement — everybody gets a chance to touch it and feel like they're a part of it."


Great ball movement? Since when? D'Antoni's Rockets have always relied on antiquated, stagnant isoball. Nobody moves off the ball. Harden and now CP3 spend an inordinate amount of time dribbling. Houston runs iso sets over 14% of the time this year, which is absurd in this era. They're 29th in the league in passes per game, 23rd in assists per game, and 29th in secondary assists per game. This is just a flat-out bizarre statement.

IMO, the Rockets' offense is great in the regular season (hard to argue with the historic offensive rating), but I think I'd rather have the 2000s Suns' offense in the games that matter. It's easier to guard one or two guys dribbling and isolating all game over the course of a seven-game series than it is to guard a less predictable team offense where everyone eats.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#4 » by macNcheese3 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:38 pm

I think it definitely is better than the Suns back then.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#5 » by og15 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:46 pm

MaxRider wrote:Great ball movement??
I thought Rockets is bottom 5 for passes and #1 with most ISO
Rockets are an iso heavy team, they also don't make multiple passes just for the sake of it. They do have great ball movement when needed because the two ball handlers generate ball movement out of their isolations and pick and rolls. Everyone on the team is willing to make the extra pass, so after the initial attack to break down the defense, the ball zips and moves and there's are lot of read and react and quick drive and kick. The thing about their team is that they don't waste too much time, if you're open you shoot, if not, you pass or drive. It isn't pretty, but if you have the personell, it works.

There's a nostalgia about the past when it comes to the Phoenix teams.They were very similar, the ball movement was based on the initial playmaker breaking down the defense. Diaw helped add another element to them as another playmaker, but Nash similarly would handle the ball a lot and make a majority of the plays and he also did a lot of attacking the big man on the switch. There was a reason their bench always looked so stagnant without a playmaker to consistently do the initial breaking down of the defense.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#6 » by gordoncatrell » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:13 pm

JJ is right. they're deep. his addition is similar to Diaw/SAS - he just adds a few layers that HOU was missing.
that being said. GSW will win.

NASH'S PHO were deep/young/fast/long/athletic: Nash, Barbosa, JJ, Marion, Stoudamire, Bell, Diaw, James Jones, Kurt Thomas, Q.

HARDEN HOU is deep/old.

once the postseason starts, DAntoni's teams are running on fumes by the semis.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#7 » by ChokeFasncists » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:28 pm

Would have been interesting if it was MDA instead of McFail when Harden was first traded to the Rockets.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#8 » by commentatorer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:15 pm

If D'Antoni wants to see great ball movement, he should apply for an assistant coach job with Philly.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#9 » by Psubs » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:21 pm

MaxRider wrote:Great ball movement??
I thought Rockets is bottom 5 for passes and #1 with most ISO


There's is a penetrate/shoot/lob/kick-out and then make the extra pass team.

The Raptors offense is like the Globe-Trotters weave at the top until they find a good P&R then pass around. It works well with the 2nd unit because they are quicker.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#10 » by Pickled Prunes » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:15 pm

og15 wrote:
MaxRider wrote:Great ball movement??
I thought Rockets is bottom 5 for passes and #1 with most ISO
Rockets are an iso heavy team, they also don't make multiple passes just for the sake of it. They do have great ball movement when needed because the two ball handlers generate ball movement out of their isolations and pick and rolls. Everyone on the team is willing to make the extra pass, so after the initial attack to break down the defense, the ball zips and moves and there's are lot of read and react and quick drive and kick. The thing about their team is that they don't waste too much time, if you're open you shoot, if not, you pass or drive. It isn't pretty, but if you have the personell, it works.

There's a nostalgia about the past when it comes to the Phoenix teams.They were very similar, the ball movement was based on the initial playmaker breaking down the defense. Diaw helped add another element to them as another playmaker, but Nash similarly would handle the ball a lot and make a majority of the plays and he also did a lot of attacking the big man on the switch. There was a reason their bench always looked so stagnant without a playmaker to consistently do the initial breaking down of the defense.

The same in concept but different in execution. When I hear the term ISO I think "clear out" where your teammates move away from you to pull the help defense away. Nash handled the ball as much as Harden but he worked better in traffic with multiple screens rather than in a clear out. He spent a lot of time inside the 3pt line (and inside the defense) letting the defenders get knotted up and running into each other.

Harden is stronger on his drives and he looks for that first. He also forces up a lot of three's. Nash had better court vision and was a better shooter but he was more likely to force a pass than a shot. He was constantly playing the angles and would often probe the defense for passing lanes rather than looking for his own driving or shooting opportunities. Nash was looking for the pass first and took what the defense gave him as far as his own offense was concerned. Because of this there was a lot more player movement off-ball and a lot less standing behind the 3pt. line with your hands up.

D'Antoni is required to praise Harden and his current team: that's what coaches do. And maybe this current team is more efficient in some ways. Having CP3 certainly helps. But the Suns were definitely more fun to watch... and I'm not even a Suns fan.

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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#11 » by MartinToVaught » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:43 pm

gordoncatrell wrote:JJ is right. they're deep. his addition is similar to Diaw/SAS - he just adds a few layers that HOU was missing.
that being said. GSW will win.

NASH'S PHO were deep/young/fast/long/athletic: Nash, Barbosa, JJ, Marion, Stoudamire, Bell, Diaw, James Jones, Kurt Thomas, Q.

HARDEN HOU is deep/old.

once the postseason starts, DAntoni's teams are running on fumes by the semis.

I don't really see the Diaw comparison here. Diaw was significantly younger than JJ is now when he joined the Spurs. And Diaw contributed on both offense and defense. JJ can get you some buckets, but that's it.

IMO, Diaw was the greatest buyout market addition of all time and it's not even close.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#12 » by gordoncatrell » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:56 pm

MartinToVaught wrote:
gordoncatrell wrote:JJ is right. they're deep. his addition is similar to Diaw/SAS - he just adds a few layers that HOU was missing.
that being said. GSW will win.

NASH'S PHO were deep/young/fast/long/athletic: Nash, Barbosa, JJ, Marion, Stoudamire, Bell, Diaw, James Jones, Kurt Thomas, Q.

HARDEN HOU is deep/old.

once the postseason starts, DAntoni's teams are running on fumes by the semis.

I don't really see the Diaw comparison here. Diaw was significantly younger than JJ is now when he joined the Spurs. And Diaw contributed on both offense and defense. JJ can get you some buckets, but that's it.

IMO, Diaw was the greatest buyout market addition of all time and it's not even close.


it's not a Position-to-Position comparison. it's a filler of gaps within the Team's weaknesses. Diaw's 2014/2015 SAS tenure was multi layered and he filled a bunch of gaps in SAS team.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#13 » by og15 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:14 am

Pickled Prunes wrote:
og15 wrote:
MaxRider wrote:Great ball movement??
I thought Rockets is bottom 5 for passes and #1 with most ISO
Rockets are an iso heavy team, they also don't make multiple passes just for the sake of it. They do have great ball movement when needed because the two ball handlers generate ball movement out of their isolations and pick and rolls. Everyone on the team is willing to make the extra pass, so after the initial attack to break down the defense, the ball zips and moves and there's are lot of read and react and quick drive and kick. The thing about their team is that they don't waste too much time, if you're open you shoot, if not, you pass or drive. It isn't pretty, but if you have the personell, it works.

There's a nostalgia about the past when it comes to the Phoenix teams.They were very similar, the ball movement was based on the initial playmaker breaking down the defense. Diaw helped add another element to them as another playmaker, but Nash similarly would handle the ball a lot and make a majority of the plays and he also did a lot of attacking the big man on the switch. There was a reason their bench always looked so stagnant without a playmaker to consistently do the initial breaking down of the defense.

The same in concept but different in execution. When I hear the term ISO I think "clear out" where your teammates move away from you to pull the help defense away. Nash handled the ball as much as Harden but he worked better in traffic with multiple screens rather than in a clear out. He spent a lot of time inside the 3pt line (and inside the defense) letting the defenders get knotted up and running into each other.

Harden is stronger on his drives and he looks for that first. He also forces up a lot of three's. Nash had better court vision and was a better shooter but he was more likely to force a pass than a shot. He was constantly playing the angles and would often probe the defense for passing lanes rather than looking for his own driving or shooting opportunities. Nash was looking for the pass first and took what the defense gave him as far as his own offense was concerned. Because of this there was a lot more player movement off-ball and a lot less standing behind the 3pt. line with your hands up.

D'Antoni is required to praise Harden and his current team: that's what coaches do. And maybe this current team is more efficient in some ways. Having CP3 certainly helps. But the Suns were definitely more fun to watch... and I'm not even a Suns fan.


Agreed, Nash and Harden are different players. Nash would screen, re-screen and do it over and over if he had to and he was superior at handling through traffic and keeping the dribble alive. Harden, on the other hand, has more of a scorers mentality and is a superior iso player and if he gets the right matchup he wants, he will just isolate against them and dribble, dribble. You are also correct that Harden's shot selection is quite different from Nash. Nash and Paul are obviously the ones that are more similar in a comparison. Personnel of course also plays a factor, the Suns main screeners were different types of players. Amare was a high volume scorer coming out of that pick and roll who could do much more than Capela can. Diaw was a playmaking big that could create out of those sets that the Rockets don't have. Marion before Nash was an elite off-ball player and a guy who could score in volume without doing too much on ball action, leak outs, cutting, diving, etc. The defensive strategy changes in the league also play a part in it somewhat as well as the D'Antoni Suns being a much more free flowing, fun and paced team compared to the rest of the league while now every team basically plays at a faster pace than they did.

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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#14 » by rocketsfan100 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:21 am

Harden is easily the best player he has ever coached and you add Houston’s second best player in Chris Paul is also better then anything he had in Phoenix then yeah the offense is more prolific with the current roster of dead eye shooters
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#15 » by lonea » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:07 pm

maybe you are forgetting kobe, carmelo

rocketsfan100 wrote:Harden is easily the best player he has ever coached and you add Houston’s second best player in Chris Paul is also better then anything he had in Phoenix then yeah the offense is more prolific with the current roster of dead eye shooters
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Re: Mike D'Antoni, Joe Johnson Believe Rockets' Offense Superior To 2000s Suns 

Post#16 » by rocketsfan100 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:20 am

Kobe was a shell of his former self by the time mike got there and Harden is a much better player or overall player then Melo

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