Houston (CBS Houston) – The Houston Rockets know they won’t see the same Dallas Mavericks team they played in the opening game of their playoff series.
As is the key to all playoff series, especially for a team which suffered a loss, adjustments will be made.
“I’m sure they’re saying they got to get off to a better start,” said Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. “They don’t want to put themselves in a hole to start the game. I’m sure they looked at stuff that worked better than other things.
“You just try to go out there and do more of the stuff that works better, and then you make a couple of minor adjustments defensively and they’ll make adjustments, we’re playing the same team so you always make adjustments.”
One of the adjustments the Rockets might need to be ready for is zone defense. McHale said the team has seen it some this season and it is all about getting the ball to certain areas on the floor where the player can make a decision with the ball.
The Mavs will certainly need to make a change on defense as they played right into James Harden’s hand on Saturday night.
Harden said he likes when teams force him to be a distributor and he can get his teammates involved.
“That’s what gets me excited,” he said of teammates playing well and hitting their shots.
When Harden was asked if he was licking his chops when he sees team defend him that way he said “yeah because my teammates get confident” and said as the rest of the team “gets their confidence up that’s what makes our team right there.”
As much as the Rockets will expect to see different things from the Mavericks, the Rockets haven’t altered their approach for this game.
“I don’t think we’ve changed our mentality, our mindset” said Trevor Ariza who scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Saturday’s win. “Our mindset is still the same. Protect our home court and that’s the approach we’ve been taking.”
James Harden is similarly focused on the next game in the series tomorrow night.
“We’ve gotta protect home court. Game one is over with and we’ve gotta to focus on game two and what we need to do.”
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