3 Pointers: Takeaways From The Rockets\' 118 95 Win Against The Pacers

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Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 2 of 14

Houston Rockets' James Harden reacts after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' James Harden reacts after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 3 of 14

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni argues a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni argues a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 4 of 14

Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan argues a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan argues a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 5 of 14

Indiana Pacers' Darren Collison (2) puts up a shot against Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Houston won 118-95. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Indiana Pacers' Darren Collison (2) puts up a shot against Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Houston won 118-95. (AP

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Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) dunks against Houston Rockets' Clint Capela during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Houston won 118-95. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) dunks against Houston Rockets' Clint Capela during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Houston won 118-95. (AP Photo/Darron

... more Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 7 of 14

Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) shoots over Houston Rockets' Tarik Black (28) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Houston won 118-95. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis (11) shoots over Houston Rockets' Tarik Black (28) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. Houston won 118-95. (AP Photo/Darron

... more Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 8 of 14

Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10) shoots against Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 9 of 14

Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10 goes to the basket against Indiana Pacers' Cory Joseph during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' Eric Gordon (10 goes to the basket against Indiana Pacers' Cory Joseph during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 10 of 14

Houston Rockets' Tarik Black (28) dunks against Indiana Pacers' Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' Tarik Black (28) dunks against Indiana Pacers' Bojan Bogdanovic (44) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 11 of 14

Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) is defended by Houston Rockets' Luc Mbah a Moute during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) is defended by Houston Rockets' Luc Mbah a Moute during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 12 of 14

Houston Rockets' Clint Capela (15) dunks as Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' Clint Capela (15) dunks as Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo (4) watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 13 of 14

Houston Rockets' James Harden reacts after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Houston Rockets' James Harden reacts after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press Image 14 of 14 3-pointers: Takeaways from the Rockets' 118-95 win against the Pacers 1 / 14 Back to Gallery

The Rockets could not help but be concerned with fatigue after the rapid turnaround following their win in Houston on Saturday. As if to remove that from the equation, they brought the same energy to the opening minutes as they had against the Grizzlies with the same results.

 The Rockets had a few rocky stretches along the way. Since he will need something to trouble him, Mike D’Antoni will no doubt point those out to seek greater consistency. But for the second-consecutive game against a team that has given them trouble, the Rockets won in a start-to-finish rout with neither team reaching 100 even in the bench-clearing stretch against them.

 1.   Here’s where the adjustment with Chris Paul’s return will have to be made. The Pacers sent double team help against James Harden. Harden went to full playmaker mode to start the game. The Rockets offense took off. Will he be able to do that when sharing the backcourt with another playmaker? Will he even have to? Opponents might not be willing to send an extra defender to him if he can pass to Paul and have Paul run a second pick-and-roll on the other side. As difficult as the Rockets were to stop going four-on-three when Harden gave up the ball, taking two defenders out of the mix, they should be that much tougher when Paul is the ballhandler working against those numbers. While Paul waited through one more game before he can come back, Harden dominated again, this time without the shooting touch from the five-game run that inspired the Pacers to pay him so much attention. Harden’s 15 assists were a season high. In the six-game winning streak, he has averaged 35.8 points and 11.5 assists, while making 49.2 percent of his shots and 44.7 percent of his 3s. He will have to adjust a bit to sharing the backcourt with another point guard, but if his shot stays sharp, he could get even more good looks. Either ways, teams might need to come up with something other than the double-teams the Pacers tried.

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 2.   To be effective, Clint Capela must play with great energy. He can’t be bigger than most centers. He is not going to rely on stand-still jump shots when he can’t run effectively. He must be quicker off his feet and from baseline to baseline. That had slipped once he played more than a half game, leading to Mike D’Antoni’s calls for him to improve his strength and conditioning so that Capela could start and play starter’s minutes. There have been signs all season that had been accomplished. Capela’s playing time had been limited to 25.9 minutes only by play of the Rockets backups. But the weekend offered a different sort of test. After playing 34 ½ outstanding, active minutes against the Grizzlies, many against the muscle of Marc Gasol, he had to bring the same energy a night later against the young legs of Miles Turner. He was even better. Capela made 9 of 12 shots, finishing deftly, to score 20 points. He grabbed 17 rebounds, many by relentlessly hitting the boards. He played for 31 ½ minutes that surprised even him with how strong he felt. It was never about how long Capela could play. It was about how long he could play the way he must to be effective. This weekend, the Rockets might not have gotten the answer, but only because they could not find his limit.

 3.   The Rockets offense came around as they always expected to key the six-game winning streak. But the subtler improvements have been to their defense, with the switching now more effective, more well-timed and more cohesive. There are still stretches in which the Rockets, especially in transition, let up. But in the halfcourt, they have become a strong defensive team with signs they can be even better. Prior to the winning streak, the Rockets ranked 14th defensively. In the six games since, they have had the fifth-best defense, moving them up to eighth overall. They lead the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage, generally holding teams to one shot, with the improvement defensively and strength on the boards allowing their defense to trigger the offense. The goal had been to be a top 10 defensive team. That now seems to have improved from goal to an expectation, with top five a more appropriate aspiration.

Source : http://www.chron.com/sports/rockets/article/3-pointers-Takeaways-from-the-Rockets-118-95-12352922.php

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