If you remember the days of Jeff Van Gundy, you no doubt recall how a 30-point Rockets win did nothing to brighten Jeff’s mood, and if you brought up how many turnovers or missed shots the team had, you were pretty much toast. Victory became defeat..
While Rick Adelman wasn’t quite to that extreme Thursday night, he wasn’t thrilled with what he’s seeing in the early going from the Rockets, despite the 90-87 win over the Spurs.
“We’re just not playing as a unit, I don’t think, at both ends,” said Adelman. “Offensively the most for me. We’re not moving the ball. We’re not playing together. We’re trying to do everything off the first option and we just stop. We can’t do it that way.”
In the first quarter, the Rockets defense was porous… at best. The Spurs put up 32 in the period, with DeJuan Blair, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan combining for 22. The Houston ‘D’ picked up from there, but Adelman credited that more to the change in personnel on the floor.
“They played their guys in the first part of that game, Ginobili, Parker and those guys, and then they shut them down a little bit,” said Adelman.
Kevin Martin agreed that the defense still needs work.
“We just have to keep on building chemistry, get on the same page with each other,” said Martin. “We’re veterans. We know what we have to do to get better for next game.”
Speaking of Martin, he led all scorers with 21 points and did it in just 24 minutes (See: Video: Kevin Martin highlights), in large part due to his uncanny ability to get to the free throw line (9-11 from the stripe).
Jordan Hill also played well, scoring 16 points on 6-9 shooting (See: Video: Jordan Hill highlights), and showed off a nice mid-range game, hitting 4 baskets from 12-17 feet out, plus a nice turnaround hook baseline for good measure.
“That’s what I do,” said Hill. “My shot has gotten a lot better so might as well put it up. If they do play close to me, get by and just try to use my quickness and go to the rim. This is preseason so it’s kind of a game that I can show off my repertoire.”
However, Adelman feels it’s consistency that Hill is lacking.
“I think he was OK,” said Adelman on Hill. “He’s got to be more consistent. He made some fouls he didn’t have to make. He gave the effort and he was effective [but] you just got to see growth in him.”