Isaiah Thomas in the 4th

I couldn’t remember the last instance of an opposing player completely imposing his will upon the Rockets the way Isaiah Thomas did down the stretch of last week’s loss against Boston.  I wanted to go back and see what exactly happened, given that Patrick Beverley has been the second best defensive point guard in the league this season.  In watching all of Thomas’ made field goals and assists in the fourth quarter, I assumed I’d see a lot of defensive breakdowns.  In some instances, however, it was more a case of individual brilliance.

Here, Beverley plays Thomas perfectly, and he nails the ‘3’ after the fake.

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in musings

Slumping Rockets

Following their 9 game winning streak, Houston has gone 3-5 in its last 8 games, a stretch which dates back to January 11.

Slumping Rockets

 SeasonJanuary 11 - January 23
Points 114.5112.8
FG%46.845.4
3P%36.832.9
OREB10.89.8
DREB33.330.9
AST25.624.6
TOV15.515.0
OFFRTG112.0108.6
DEFRTG105.8107.2
AST%63.062.1
OPP PTS107.8111.1
OPP FG%45.848.0
OPP 3P%35.934.1
OPP REB42.744.1
Points off turnovers18.621.1
Second chance points14.614.5
Points in the paint46.447.8
Opponents' points off turnovers18.017.6
Opponents' second chance points13.211.9
Opponents' points in the paint47.251.8

Aside from the slip defensively, the number that jumps out is the decline in 3 point accuracy, from 36.8% to 32.9%.

in musings

At the time of writing, the Houston Rockets are on pace to win 61 games, a sum which would surpass the franchise record set in 1993 when the team finished 58-24 en route to their first NBA championship.  The team’s offense, ranked third overall in the NBA, is every bit as good as was expected, and the defense, now 19th, but sixth since in December, has been better than anyone could have ever imagined.  James Harden is the MVP and others (Mike D’Antoni, Patrick Beverley, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon) could be in consideration for the other awards.  To date, the 2016-2017 campaign has been a remarkable ride, and the most unexpected season perhaps in Houston sports history.

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