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Monday, July 13, 2020

Mike D’Antoni: Rockets’ offense ‘not changing much’ with Russell Westbrook

Mike D'Antoni

The Houston Rockets may have to make some changes now that Russell Westbrook will be sharing the floor with James Harden next season, but head coach Mike D’Antoni insists any adjustments will be minor.

D’Antoni discussed the acquisition of Westbrook in an appearance on “The Woj Pod” this week, and he said there will be no need to change Houston’s offense much with Westbrook. He noted how the Rockets had the second-best offense in the NBA behind the Golden State Warriors last season.

“We’re not changing much,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll tweak it, but to say you’ve gotta change and you can’t win that way, that’s BS.”

D’Antoni was referring to critics who say the Rockets play too much isolation ball, whereas teams like the Warriors spread it around more and never have one player dominating that side of the ball. Some think it could be even more challenging to play that style now with how ball-dominant both Harden and Westbrook are, but D’Antoni is not concerned.

“Do we sometimes go too much 1-on-1? Yeah,” the coach admitted. “Do we sometimes iso or not move enough? Yeah, we do sometimes. But I can also make the argument that sometimes teams over-pass. Sometimes they move too much or are too helter-skelter. You try to find the balance of what is best for your players.”

Westbrook and Harden obviously aren’t concerned about sharing the ball, as they may have been the ones who facilitated the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russ.

D’Antoni has been even more passionate in defending his offensive approach in the past, and we don’t expect that to change. From a pure talent standpoint, the Rockets should be much better off with Westbrook than Paul. As we know, there is often more to the story than that.

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