Something to which some thought should be given. It’s been said by Morey himself that, requisite to contention are both a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. This team has achieved both distinctions since the deadline.
Can they reproduce those efforts over the course of an entire year?
Here at Red94, I have linked to and lauded the work of Ian Levy and his sleek, robustly informative blog Hickory High prior to this post, so I almost feel embarrassed to focus so strongly on an article that he posted more than a week ago; however, as always, my capacity for handling shame is unparalleled, allowing me to talk about this great observation of Levy’s. After March 20th’s Rockets victory over the Utah Jazz, Levy wrote a piece focusing on the brilliant free-throw shooting of one Kevin Martin. Those in the Rockets fold have been keenly aware of Martin’s ridiculous efficacy at the charity stripe for the last year, but maybe all of us in the Rockets know may not quite comprehend the depth of the performance Martin has put on from the line in the 2010-11 season. From Levy:
The other thing which seems to make Martin so unique is his pattern of development. To the consternation of basketball coaches, trainers and analysts, free throw shooting is a skill which tends to stay fairly static over time. Over the past ten seasons the league average FT% has never dropped below 75.2%, and never risen above 77.1%. Over the course of a player’s career their FT% tends to stay fairly similar as well.
Despite entering the league as a very good free throw shooter, Martin has seen his FT% rise substantially. He shot 81.7% his last season at Western Carolina but just 65.5% as an NBA rookie. Even if we dismiss his rookie season as a blip we still see steady improvement. He’s increased his FT% almost every season, and is shooting 89.0% from the stripe this year. Even more impressive is he’s done that while substantially increasing his number of attempts. As a rookie, Martin averaged 4.4 FTA/36. This season he’s averaging 9.6. Read More
Houston Rockets vs. New Jersey Nets
Tuesday, 6:00pm CST @Prudential Center
All in-game and post-game discussion goes here.
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I think it’s interesting to look back. When Hayes burst on the scene as a rookie in 2006, several of us noticed his defensive talents and nose for the ball. But he was undoubtedly an offensive liability, unable to capitalize on the opportunities afforded to him by the presence of Yao and McGrady. This continued the next few years.
When Adelman arrived, this offensive futility landed Hayes out of the rotation with the emergence of Scola and Landry. It was only the injury to Yao during The Streak that brought Hayes back. Adelman’s acceptance of the defensive stalwart was almost begrudging.
Posted in columns Tagged Huq's Pen