Rockets’ bench gets more minutes, produces minimal results in Game 1 loss vs. Warriors
The Houston Rockets’ bench did not produce as expected during Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Golden State Warriors.
Head coach Mike D’Antoni went with a nine-man rotation, using the likes of Iman Shumpert, Gerald Green, Nene and Danuel House Jr. However, they were unable to hold their own against a starter-heavy lineup from the Warriors, who had three of their starters play 40-plus minutes in this opening affair.
Green was a minus-16 in seven minutes, erasing the positive effects from the others, garnering only a minus-3 as a unit in 63 combined minutes of play.
The Rockets have depended on their bench, especially the inclusion of Austin Rivers, who was out due to illness and couldn’t make the game.
However a lot of the scoring brunt fell on James Harden, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon, who carried the team for most of the game.
Nene was a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor, but put Houston at a disadvantage defensively, as it was Stephen Curry who targeted the slow-footed big man in a switch to deliver this back-breaking 3-pointer to push Golden State’s lead to five with only a whisker more than a shot clock left in regulation:
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 28, 2019
The Rockets will need better results from their bench, as the Warriors have now taken nearly all the gas from theirs after inserting Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup.
Golden State’s bench was a minus-2 in 44 combined minutes, but this is certainly one weakness the Rockets could exploit if they get a heftier production from their second unit.
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