Friday Film is a regular feature where I highlight a few interesting pieces of film from recent games.
Down 13 with seven minutes left in the third quarter, their 17 game winning streak on the line in Toronto, the Rockets broke out their emergency lineup: PJ Tucker at center, Luc Mbah a Moute at power forward, and three switching, shooting, ball handling players around them. As I wrote about in Rocket Launcher, it’s a lineup that Houston has only gone to in specific situations, but it has been deadly.
The effect wasn’t immediate — the Raptors actually expanded the lead in the first few minutes after the lineup change — but Houston stuck with their small group and eventually narrowed the deficit, pulling within four with 11 minutes left in the fourth.
And that’s when Fred started VanVleeting.