Jason Whitlock: Rockets have no answer for Kevin Durant

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Chris Broussard and Jim Jackson join Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock to discuss Houston's chances of competing with Golden State after losing Game 1.

- All right, no doubt KD was great, but Houston didn't take my advice and played iso ball all night. Cowherd, what was the bigger reason for the Warriors win, Kevin Durant or the Rockets iso ball?

- The Rockets iso ball. This is why I picked Golden State in five. The Rockets are like preparing for a spelling bee. The teacher gives you 50 words on Friday-- she gives you 50 words on Friday. You've got to memorize a few, then you come out Monday and take the test. Houston, they do some iso ball. Figure that out, you beat the Rockets. Warriors are an SAT. You've got to do math, you've got to do reading, you've got to do writing, you've got to have an essay. Layers, layers-- last night, Steph wasn't good. Rockets got off to a great start. CP and Harden were both great, and it wasn't close. This is what makes a dynasty. Golden State's best shooter can have an off night on the road, fall into a 10 point hole early, and they're cruising by the end of the third.

- It was the culture clash I kind of expected. One team playing a very iso ball style, four guys standing around, and the Warriors in constant motion. Having said all that-- and I do think the Rockets played the wrong way and they overdosed on the iso ball-- having said that, though, watching this 7 foot Kevin Durant be a problem that has no solution, the only thing they could have done is stacked PJ Tucker and Eric Gordon on top of each other. That's the only double team would work. The guy's 7 foot and he can hit every shot on the court. Once you cross the half court line, every shot's makeable. And when you're 7 foot tall and they've got midgets guarding you, they just didn't have-- there was no solution.

- Here's the thing. If it wasn't KD, it would have been somebody else. Steph would have had the big game or Klay would have had even more points. I'm not taking anything away from KD. He was great. But I'm with Colin. It was more the clash of cultures. And you said they should take your advice and change. They can't change. That with a nice cute and funny quote by Mike D'Antoni, but that might be what he does. Don't score 55. I mean, they're not going to adjust. Look, and it wasn't just iso versus team basketball. It was also the philosophy that stems from Daryl Morey, the GM in Houston, all the way down. 3-pointer or at the rim versus a variety of ways to score. Durant isn't shooting a lot of 3's. He took six, but he was killing you with the mid-range. During the season, the Warriors shot 20 mid-range shots per game. The Rockets shot less than seven.

JIM JACKSON: How many of that was Chris Paul?

- Exactly. If it wasn't for Chris Paul, it would be about two per game. And that's real talk. So that's it, too. That makes you harder to guard when you might take a 3, you might go mid-range, you might go backdoor, you might go at the rim versus a 3-pointer or a dunk by Houston.

- I'm going to say both because, one, you don't have an answer for Kevin Durant. And the beauty of what Golden State does is they spread you out. So Kevin Durant has space to work in, not like a lot of other superstars who are always seeing a body, a front of the jersey when they're trying to drive. With Golden State, because they move the basketball, they move bodies, it opens up lanes. And when you're 7 foot, you can jump over the top. Keep in mind, this is a different D'Antoni offense. The one I played in Phoenix, totally different. We shot a lot of 3-point shots, but it came off of passes. Steve Nash, he dribbled with purpose. He had the ball with purpose. The pick and roll with Amare at the free throw line, it was tough to guard. As soon as the ball touched somebody, didn't have a shot, it moved. With this team, keep in mind you contrast the two teams. Houston's three best players, OK-- Eric Gordon, you talked about Chris Paul, James Harden-- iso players. Three best players for Golden State-- Durant, Steph, Klay. Shoot off the dribble, shoot off pick and rolls, they cut you back door. You can't guard that.

- Is that because-- because I've been wondering, this is the beautiful D'Antoni whose offense in Phoenix was beautiful.

JIM JACKSON: Yeah, but it's totally different.

- But is that because Harden is a scorer? Because Steve Nash, like you say, he dribbled. He dominated the ball dribbling, but he was passing. Is it because Harden's looking to score, not just pass?

- I think he makes an interesting point. What Jim is saying is what I said to start my radio show today. I watch Harden, I see a little Westbrook with a beard. I mean, seriously guys. Now, Harden is a better shooter, and I like Harden better. But I'm watching Houston last night and I'm like, OK, this is a little Golden State where Paul George and Chris Paul-- by the way, how's Eric Gordon played in the playoffs? He's become a spectator. How's Trevor Ariza played in the playoffs? They become spectators.

- I think to some degree-- and I agree with everybody's points-- but are we overlooking the fact that Kevin Durant was a problem for them on the offensive end, but he was also a problem for him on the defensive end? And when you compare him and the way he played defense to someone put together a nice collage of how many times James Harden was lost completely on defense, a non-participant, and then the impact it had on the rest of the defensive players on the Houston Rockets. And again, that's why I say, Kevin Durant on both ends of the court is a problem for these guys that I just question, is there any solution?

- Here's the thing, go back to your SAT. You've got a little bit more to download to get prepared for, OK? Houston's offense was so simple. It was a pick and roll. And then whoever Steph's guarding, we've got to guard. So now as a defensive team, all I got to do is sink in a little bit more. If you want to get your 50, bro, go ahead. You got it. Everybody else is not beating me. In the two games that Houston won, Eric Gordon had 30 and 31, OK? Green had 29, guys participated. You didn't see that last night. You didn't see that at all.

- Almost like Golden State wanted Harden to score 40.

- Exactly. Go for it.

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