Mike D'Antoni: 'We can be really good defensively'

Mike D'Antoni: 'We can be really good defensively'

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Mike D'Antoni: 'We can be really good defensively'

Mike D’Antoni has never been known for his defense. Quietly, last year’s Coach of the Year put together a slightly above-average defensive unit in Houston and the team should only get better after adding Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute this offseason. Suddenly, D’Antoni can cycle between several solid defensive rotations.

In last night’s preseason debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets showed off their new wing acquisitions by making them defend All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Tucker and Mbah a Moute did well, coming off the bench and helping Trevor Ariza defensively.

“You can see our blueprint of what we want to do,” D’Antoni said after the win. “We’re going to switch a lot and have very dynamic guys coming off the bench… Eric came off the bench, Luc and P.J. [too]. Those three guys guarding people, we can be really good defensively. And that’s what it’s going to have to be if we want to be really good this year.”

D’Antoni was later asked about the effectiveness of Paul and James Harden while they were on the floor together. As anybody who watched the game could see, the two really sparked the offense once they started going and did a spectacular job distributing and getting other guys involved.

“I thought it was great,” he commented on the duo’s dynamic while sharing the ball. “Neither one has to make every play and both of them, when that ball is kicked, you’ve got a Hall-of-Fame point guard making that extra pass. It’s a softball team. The more point guards you can have on the floor, the better. We have a lot of guys that really just know how to play. I don’t see a problem whatsoever.”

For some reason, hearing D’Antoni say that having as many point guards on the floor as possible is a plus doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Luckily for Rockets fans, he’ll get the opportunity to trot out two of the best point guards in the league this season.

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