Click for a full-sized interactive version
The above collection of charts shows how the Houston Rockets perform on four metrics during “crunch time,” defined as the last five minutes of a game in which the Houston Rockets are behind by five points or less, or tied.
On the x-axis are seven different periods of time. The first one, called “all,” shows performance in a metric for the entire game. The next six shows a team’s performance in a metric only when the team is behind by five points or less, or is tied, with a certain amount of time left in the game. The blue line represents the Houston Rockets. The orange line represents all teams. So, if we look at the first chart, it shows how the Houston Rockets and the rest of the NBA perform on defense in general, and how that performance changes when the game is close and less time remains in the game.
Like A Rock – On ESPN’s Insider’s list of most immovable contracts, Jeremy Lin’s deal didn’t make the top 5, which is Amare Stoudemire territory, but it did warrant an honorable mention:
Two years and $16.7 million remaining for an average point guard. Because Lin was signed under the Gilbert Arenas provision, he is actually owed $14.6 million in cash next year.
Turning Heads – On Sunday I wrote about where Dwight Howard’s game is in comparison to his L.A. and Orlando days, on Tuesday they wrote about it over at Hickory High, and now Greg Anthony is talking about it on Yahoo. It’s becoming pretty clear that Howard’s malaise in L.A. is not going to define the rest of his career.
Every Friday, I rank every active Rocket (who sees the floor) based on his performance from the previous week. If you missed the most recent installment, here you go.
Also, there were no rankings last week due to holiday traveling/celebration by yours truly. So, sincerest apologies for that. This week I’ll only be covering Houston’s past three games: A victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, followed by two bad losses against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sacramento Kings.
11) Ronnie Brewer (Last week: 12)
Brewer registered two (count ’em, two) defensive rebounds in six minutes of action this week. Onward and upward.
10) Isaiah Canaan (Last week: N/A)
The rookie makes his debut on the Red94 Player Power Rankings by scoring the first four points of his career in garbage time against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The first two were free-throws that bobbled above the rim before falling through. His first field goal came at the expense of Thunder second year forward Perry Jones, who tried but failed to ice a side pick-and-roll. Canaan saw the mistake and drove baseline for a nifty layup. I know very little about this player but have a strange feeling he’ll contribute in a meaningful way at some point this season. [read more…]