We talk about adjustments all the time, basketball is a game of adjustments. An example of one of those positive adjustments is what Rick Adelman has retooled the Houston Rockets offense now that Yao Ming gone for the season. One would think that the Houston Rockets season would be done without their low post scorer and high-post passer, but the Rockets have regrouped with an offense centered around Tracy McGrady (no surprise). And they've keep on winning (17 in a row with the win tonight). And its the way they've done it that is most interesting.

The Rockets have morphed into a spread team. They spread the floor and allow Tracy McGrady to exploit the 1v1 matchup. Tonight, that offense was in full display against the Mavs, McGrady was sensational and nobody (Terry, Kidd, Howard) could defend him 1v1. Without Yao, McGrady has flourished mainly due to spacing. Yao usually occupies either the low post or high post and that takes a little away from driving opportunities especially from the top of the key because help is already there. Here are a couple of sequences from tonights game showing the Rocket's spread offense,

This screenshot sums up the Rockets new offense without Yao pretty well,

As you can see, Tracy has a huge space in which to drive. This would not happen with Yao in the lineup. So now the Rockets are much more of a drive and kick team and they like to spread you out to take advantage of the 1v1 matchups. In some ways, they've become much like the Shawn Marion version of the Phoenix Suns, but with less PNR, and more of just pure spread.

For the best spread offense video, check out Billy Donovan's DVD on the Spread Offense. Coach Donovan used it to win back-to-back national championships at Florida. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.