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NBA scout believes Houston has ‘no accountability’ on defense, won’t win in playoffs

Russell Westbrook, Rockets

The Houston Rockets have looked undeniably weak on defense to start out their 2019-20 season, with signs of their porous consistency on that side of the floor becoming evident from the onset. An NBA scout has taken notice of that deep flaw, arguing this team won’t win in the playoffs if they don’t show any signs of accountability.

“There is no accountability,” the scout told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “They switch everything (which has been the case for years now), and so there’s no (sense of) ‘Ok, I’m going to fight (through screens) and try to really get back in front.’ No, they just switch. They stare at the ball. They get beat backdoor so many times. James (Harden) takes a bad shot, and he jogs back. The two (good) defenders they have can’t guard everybody. P.J. (Tucker) can’t guard everybody. And Austin (Rivers), who can guard at times, can’t guard everybody. They’re just horrible defensively. They get beat off the dribble so easily. (Center) Clint Capela is pretty good protecting the rim, but they switch and he’s caught on a guard so much of the time and the guard goes right by him.”

To make matters worse, the Rockets traded one of their best perimeter hounds in Chris Paul for an all-out offensive machine in Russell Westbrook, which has only compounded the problem for Houston.

“I don’t think he has any impact defensively,” the scout said of Westbrook. “His only impact defensively is as a rebounder, where he’s terrific. We all know that. But he’s a gamble defender. He’s another guy who switches easily. I’m telling you, their off-ball and their weakside defense is awful. …They just shoot so careless, and the turnovers and the bad shots. I don’t know, man. I don’t know if I see this thing getting fixed. Now those two guys coming at you with a full head of steam, that’s a problem, with Russ and James. That’s a problem. When they’re making 3s, they’re ridiculous. But they’re not going to win in the playoffs.”

Part of where the Rockets shoot themselves in the foot is their susceptibility to taking corner threes. Those often result in long rebounds and players being way out of position to get back in transition.

Houston has been pounded on the fast break, despite possessing a point guard with demonic speed that excels on just that at the other end of the floor. Westbrook simply doesn’t have the same urgency to recover on defense as he does to take the ball coast-to-coast on offense, and that says a lot about what this team will struggle with through the rest of the way unless there is a change of attitude.

The post NBA scout believes Houston has ‘no accountability’ on defense, won’t win in playoffs appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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