I wrote earlier in the year how we really haven't seen much of Rick Adelman's princeton-styled offense with most plays going through the PNR and isolations. With the Rockets on a 10 game winning streak, I thought I should check out the Rockets to see what they are doing well.

The biggest improvement has been defense actually. The Rockets have been using a lot of zone with Yao in the middle to slow teams down and make them shoot over top. On offense, I have seen more sets with Yao in the high post. Here are just 2 such plays from their win over the Heat,

There are a lot of reasons why bringing your big man out of the lane can be a good thing. Most importantly, you bring the low post defense, mostly shotblockers, out of the lane where they can't come on help defense to block and contest shots.

Next, it is easier to get the ball to a big post like Yao Ming at the high post because they're so tall.

In this screencap from the video, you can see that Yao can make a really easy post-entry to a guard. Then clear out for the 1v1 (which unfortunately Battier misses),


By no means am I saying that the Rockets are better off without Yao down low. Yao still scores most of his points the traditional way, posting up on the low block. But if he is being doubled before the entry pass, it is better to move him away from the basket to the high post, where you can use his passing skills for skip, backdoor and post-entry passes. Then he can look to get offensive rebounds for putbacks.

For more video info on the high post offense, take a look at Dana Altman's DVD on the Complete Guide to the High Post Offense. Coach Altman is the head coach of the Creighton. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.