Mike D’Antoni says Rockets didn’t rebound well against Warriors

Coach Mike D’Antoni has had some time to digest the Houston Rockets’ semifinals loss to the Golden State Warriors.

The Rockets were eliminated from the playoffs two weeks ago when the Warriors beat them in Game 6 to advance to a fifth straight NBA Finals.

Sam Amick of The Athletic recently had a phone conversation with D’Antoni, and he talked with him about what went wrong for the Rockets in the series and the Rockets’ play style among other topics.

In discussing what went wrong for the Rockets, D’Antoni spoke of how the Rockets not rebounding well affected the outcome of the series.

“We gave them too many shots,” D’Antoni said in the interview with Amick. “You cannot give them extra possessions. We did that. We didn’t rebound the ball wel, so that means we weren’t in transition as much as we should’ve been.”

D’Antoni also mentioned how the Rockets didn’t succeed in the half-court against the Warriors’ quality defense. The Rockets weren’t able to get easy buckets in transition, averaging 11.5 fastbreak points per game in the series.

The Rockets were outrebounded in the first two games of the series, and they lost. In Game 3 and Game 4, the two games they won, they weren’t outrebounded. In Game 5 each team had 50 rebounds, but the Warriors had 12 offensive rebounds to the Rockets’ eight. During Game 6 each team also had 50 rebounds, but the Rockets had 12 offensive rebounds to the Warriors’ 10.

Though the Rockets won two games against the Warriors, Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson showed why the Warriors have been successful, even without Kevin Durant, who suffered a right calf strain in Game 5 of the series.

When Durant is on the floor, the Warriors don’t move on offense as much because Durant is one of the most gifted scorers the game has seen. Most times, the Warriors can simply give him the ball and let him go to work. But when he isn’t on the floor, the Warriors have more movement and more misdirection – their offense returns to what it was before Durant joined the team.

Making sure the Warriors don’t gain extra possessions regardless of whether Durant is on the floor, is an important part of defeating them.

The Warriors thrive off having as many possessions as possible, as they regularly make the most out of their possessions. They’re the best team in the league when it comes to moving the ball and taking advantage of opponents being out of position.

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