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Mike D'Antoni's isolation adaptation: 'With James and Chris, why not?'

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D'Antoni found himself in familiar territory after his Houston Rockets lost at home to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. This time he got ripped for the Rockets' reliance on isolation plays. Houston ran 45 isos in Game 1, according to Second Spectrum data, cheap authentic nfl jerseys china the most by any team in any game in the past five years.

But D'Antoni dismissed the criticism as "noise," wondering whether those whining about isos had watched the top-seeded Rockets all season.

"We are who we are, and we had to be who we are," D'Antoni said after the Rockets' victory in Game 2, in which Houston ran 46 isos. "We just did it better, longer. Guys believe it, and we're not going to change anything up. That would be silly on my part to panic. ...

"We can beat anybody anywhere at any time playing the way we play. Some people might not like it, you know? Hey, sorry. You know, it might not look good to some people. But it's effective. It's efficient."256

It's kind of funny that D'Antoni has become the great defender of iso ball. Isos were a last resort for his Suns, with Steve Nash running pick-and-rolls to rip apart defenses. And D'Antoni clashed with superstars at his next stops -- specifically Carmelo Anthony with the New York Knicks and Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers -- because they didn't see eye-to-eye on how often to attack one-on-one.

No, this isn't a case of an old coach being too stubborn to change. In the past decade, D'Antoni helped revolutionize the league, serving as a pioneer for the pace-and-space style that makes those Suns seem conservative by modern-day standards.

The Rockets have taken 3-point shooting to historic extremes since D'Antoni arrived in Houston, but he has drastically adapted his system to suit his personnel, particularly probable MVP James Harden and his future Hall of Fame backcourt partner, Chris Paul.nfl jersey cheap china

"If the best that we have is an iso, or if my personnel on my team dictates that that is really good, then that's what we're going to do," D'Antoni said during a visit in his office late in the regular season. "I've had trouble in the past because really good players weren't real efficient [on isos]. They weren't real efficient, so I'm looking at the numbers and going, 'Somehow the efficiency has got to go up.'

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