Most basketball junkies, especially ones who follow the Houston Rockets, know of the importance of the free throw shot.  Moneyball or Moreyball eschews the mid-range long 2 pointer in favor of free throws and 3 pointers.  The latter gives the most reward when a shot is successfully made, and the former is the easiest shot in basketball, as most basketball players can shoot the ball at percentages which normally outclass the points earned per possession during a game.  There are exceptions to the rule, which is why the Hack-a-Shaq can be a viable tactic at times, but teams avoid giving up fouls for this very reason.  The Houston defense in particular emphasizes avoiding fouling and at times seems to prefer giving up layups to fouling, especially since the former means that they can still push the ball at their high pace.

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On prudence and excesses

Talk to people in Dallas and the object of their ire is the same man that brought back basketball to their town.  When two summers ago, Mark Cuban let Tyson Chandler walk to New York, he broke up a squad that had won the crown just a year before and would have challenged for it again in successive seasons.  But his reasons were not of the penny-pinching ilk that has led so many other owners to part ways with top tier talent.  While he knew he was crippling his team in the now, he thought even the chance at assembling a potential dynasty in the future was too good to forego.

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The Rockets came into New Orleans on a five game win streak, the wind to their backs and the eyes of a league on them. After 48 minutes, they left the court on a one game losing streak, looking winded. The Rockets put up their weakest scoring performance of the year as the Hornets showed tenacity and defensive prowess against a normally lethal offense. Unexpected hero Roger Mason Jr went off to bury the Rockets in the fourth quarter while James Harden barely kept his streak of 25-point games alive. [read more…]






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Comparing Houston to Other Young NBA Teams

According to Basketball Reference, Houston is the fourth youngest team in the league, with an average age of 24.5 years. Even among young teams, however, Houston’s is a special case: the Rockets are the least experienced team in the league, with the average player having just under two seasons of NBA play under his belt. How does Houston compare to other young teams in the league, both in terms of current status and future potential?

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