The Houston Rockets clearly aren’t one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. They derive much of their success from their potent offense and ability to control the pace in games. However, their defense employs somewhat of a bend-don’t-break style of play that actually suits them well in terms of their system.
Though he’s not been a particularly great individual defender, Chandler Parsons is a big part of what the Rockets like to do defensively, particularly on the perimeter. Considering the defensive shortcomings and lack of defensive effort from James Harden, Parsons’ length and quickness helps to sure things up on the perimeter for the Rockets when they are defending.
However, Parsons has been out for the past two games and on Wednesday night, the young and talented Phoenix Suns backcourt was able to exploit the short-handed Rockets and take advantage of poor perimeter defense.
The Suns’ starters at the point guard (Eric Bledsoe) and two wing positions (Goran Dragic and P.J. Tucker) combined for 57 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds on the night while shooting a combined 21-38 from the floor and 7-11 from long-range. They were able to get pretty much whatever they wanted on the perimeter all night and it landed them an impressive 97-88 win over Houston.
The Suns have clearly been one of the biggest surprises of the year as they now sit at a solid 10-9 on the young season and their backcourt has been a huge reason why. Bledsoe has been every bit as good as advertised and Dragic has emerged as a solid compliment to Bledsoe as his sense of familiarity with the new guard has grown. Though many people didn’t give Phoenix much respect heading into the year, the Rockets found out what a lot of people have already learned: this Suns team has the young talent to make things happen if given the opening to do so.