NBA

Silas Plans to Tweak Offense with Russ and Harden to ‘Play to Their Strengths’

Apr 8, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets assistant coach Stephen Silas reacts to a call in the second half against the Boston Celtics at Spectrum Center. The Celtics defeated the Hornets 121-114.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Silas was recently signed by the Rockets and is immediately looking to make changes. Silas pointed out the offense and how Russell Westbrook and James Harden can play to their strengths. Anthony Duckett of Space City Scoop reported this quote from the new Houston Rockets’ coach.

Silas was the offensive coordinator under Coach Rick Carlisle in Dallas this past season, where the Mavericks played at a historic level offensively. His quote recognizes two things. One that the Rockets are Harden and Westbrook’s team. The offense should be running through them. That’s what the roster is built out to do. However, the other important thing to note is that the Rockets should be moving away from isolation play. Year after year, Harden and Westbrook lead the league in usage. They hold three of the top four usage rates of all-time. This trend isn’t necessarily negative, but it can lessen both players’ burden by spreading out the attack. Based on Silas’s experience and what he said, that should change.

How Silas and the Offense Will Translate to Next Season

The Rockets’ roster will maintain Harden, Westbrook, Robert Covington, PJ Tucker, and Eric Gordon. After playing isolation ball for so long, it will be interesting to see if these standing still off the ball habits continue. Harden and Westbrook are naturally ball stoppers. Don’t expect the ball to fly around the court like the 2014 San Antonio Spurs. That’s not this team’s identity.

However, it’ll be beneficial for Harden, especially at the end of games. By varying the offensive looks, the defense can’t adjust as well. Silas’s style will wear out the defense more than isolation basketball and allow Harden to have an easier time picking apart defenses at the end of games. Silas and the Rockets will look to be atop of the stacked Western Conference once again.

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