Houston Rockets

An anonymous NBA scout previews the Rockets for the 2017-16 season.
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"I thought it was an interesting approach to the off-season to say, 'Alright, f--- it, we're going all in on offense. F--- defense.' ... I don't know how much of it was Daryl or the owner. There's been some rumors that D'Antoni wasn't really Daryl's call. But D'Antoni makes them really hard to guard. He's a really good offensive coach, even as people have sort of caught up to him. And they signed guys who can really shoot. Finally Harden's going to have some legit shooting around him. They're gonna be awesome on offense. ... I gotta think they're gonna be atrocious on defense. D'Antoni, every time he's been a head coach he hasn't really cared about defense. And as these coaches get older, they just lose the desire to fight those battles every day. It's pain in the ass, you have to stay on these guys, and bother them about it, hold guys accountable over and over and over. … Like you watch George Karl's Sacramento team last year? Still a lot of the things that made George a good coach. A creative, hard-to-guard offense, interesting lineups. All that was still there. But he just didn't have the desire to make guys play defense and yank 'em out of the game if they weren't willing to. … As coaches get older, more and more they just focus on the area of the game they're really passionate about. D'Antoni's really passionate about spacing and ball movement, they'll be awesome at that ... Allegedly they have assistants who will handle the defense, and that helps to an extent, but if the head coach doesn't care, assistants can scream and show film all they want, but you won't get as much buy-in ... I think they can win 45 to 48 wins. They should be very, very good on offense. And in the regular season, they'll win more than half their games. ... I like Clint Capela, he's gonna be good. He's a very good rebounder, he's a good shot-blocker ... Ryan Anderson shoots it, and shoots it with confidence. In a couple years, that deal may not look very good, but they'll be hard to guard with him this year ... The one thing that could happen is teams guard Anderson with a wing, and then just switch when he screens for Harden. Some coaches would struggle with that, but D'Antoni is savvy enough to counter pretty effectively. He just won't use Anderson as the screener as much, and just use him to space the floor. ... It'll also be interesting to see if teams use a mobile four on Capela, because it's not as if Capela is really going to punish smaller guys in the post. ... The advantage Houston has is that Harden can really beat a switch. He's one of the few guys in the league that has the whole offensive package. You really gotta be careful if you're switching onto him, because he's so good with the ball."