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How Has Houston’s Offense Fared So Far?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Red94

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

New post: How Has Houston’s Offense Fared So Far?
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#2 Johnny Rocket

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:16 AM

Nice post. A large part of the Rocket's problem on offense revolves around Asik. He's a great defender and great rebounder, but he turns the ball over at an alarming rate and has a very low true shooting percentage. Moreover, his usage rate is fairly high (the Rockets like to use him to set high screens), so this might be a problem until he settles down in his new role. The Miami game was promising--let's hope he continues to improve. The Rockets also need Parsons and Morris to become legitimate scoring threats that can create their own shots. They have been inconsistent so far, but show flashes of real talent.
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#3 NorEastern

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

I do not see a problem with where the Rockets offense is going. Obviously there are missing pieces, but not even Morey can assemble a team in one off season. And there is that max contract in his back pocket. The offensive spacing could be improved. Ideally you want the double on Harden to come from the player on Lin, a play maker and a drive to the basket guard. Also, when the double comes from the wing, the forward running the baseline and Harden have to be more in-sync. That will come with time. The shooting may be atrocious right now, but as the players learn each others tendencies and preferences shooting will improve. It is all a work in progress.
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#4 Sir Thursday

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:51 AM

The key thing I took from this post is that for all that Harden could do no wrong in the first two games, his struggles from beyond the three point line have been hurting the Rockets a bit since then. Here are his three point shooting numbers from the last 6 games:

vs Portland: 1-6
vs Denver: 0-5
@ Memphis: 1-6
vs Detroit: 2-6
vs Miami: 1-6
vs New Orleans: 1-7

Which averages out at 1-6. So if he makes even one more 3 per game, I think we're comfortably in the top half in terms of offensive efficiency and probably would have had a couple more wins. Scoring that extra three per game would make it a bit easier for him to drive as well, which he has been doing OK although not quite with the ease of games 1 and 2.

The second quarter against New Orleans shows what can happen when you get on a hot streak from range - a big part of scoring so many in that quarter was a function of Douglas and Morris burying their three pointers. I think that's the first time this season I remember seeing one of those, hopefully there will be a few more in later games. Once Harden comes out of his mini-slump (which I hope he will soon), it should happen more often.

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#5 thejohnnygold

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

I live in Austin with no way to see Houston play so take my analysis with a grain of salt. That being said, a quick glance at ESPN's team stats shows Houston's offense ranks 8th in scoring right now. Of the top 10 teams our shooting % is the lowest (.423). Also, our turnover rate is a little high (17.2/game). Our free throw % is fine and our rebounding looks solid. I feel that a small shift in both shooting % and TO rate will help a lot and those are the two things that time will bring as the players adjust and settle into the season. Asik and Harden are both guilty of too many turnovers. In short, I am optimistic and pleased thus far. We are top 10 with lots of room for improvement.
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#6 Sir Thursday

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:17 AM

I live in Austin with no way to see Houston play so take my analysis with a grain of salt. That being said, a quick glance at ESPN's team stats shows Houston's offense ranks 8th in scoring right now. Of the top 10 teams our shooting % is the lowest (.423). Also, our turnover rate is a little high (17.2/game). Our free throw % is fine and our rebounding looks solid. I feel that a small shift in both shooting % and TO rate will help a lot and those are the two things that time will bring as the players adjust and settle into the season. Asik and Harden are both guilty of too many turnovers. In short, I am optimistic and pleased thus far. We are top 10 with lots of room for improvement.


Houston is only in the top 10 in points per game because of the fast pace they play (and because they've played in two overtime games). You should always use points per 100 possession metrics in preference to points per game as they give a much clearer picture of how good an offence actually is. By that metric Houston are 15th in the league, which is a better reflection of where we're at right now. The offense is still basic and prone to shutting down late in games.

Even with that, it's still not worth reading too much into stats like this at this early stage in the season. Strength of schedule and a hot shooting night here or there can seriously distort the data. It's only when teams have played about 20 games that there's enough averaging for the numbers to become statistically significant.

Agree with you about the turnovers - there was an epidemic at the start of the season that was probably due in part to the players' lack of familiarity with each other. Seems to have settled down a bit over the last few games though, and hopefully that trend will continue as the season progresses. You're not going to eliminate Asik's turnovers - he is always going to be a little bit clumsy and these things happen. But Harden should see improvement.

ST
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