Rockets Assisting Rockets

2010 February 15
by durvasa

The following table illustrates scorer-assistant interaction between Rockets teammates. The rows refer to scorers, while the columns refer to assisting passers. For example, the cell for Trevor Ariza’s row and Aaron Brooks’s column indicates that Brooks assisted an Ariza made basket 51 times.

Scorer-Assistant Table. Shown for 9 Rockets rotation players before All-star break.

Perhaps a more telling way of representing this information would be to show assist-rates when two players are on the floor together. For example, instead of showing that Brooks assisted 51 Ariza baskets so far this season, I may want to know how many assists to Ariza he gets for every 36 minutes they share on the floor.  That’s what the following table shows:

Scorer-Assistant Per 36 minutes Table. Shown for 9 Rockets rotation players before All-star break.

A few comments:

  • Lowry does a nice job distributing to all his teammates when he shares the floor with them.
  • Landry is strictly a finisher.
  • It is interesting that, per-minute, Hayes assists more Brooks baskets than any player other than Lowry. Brooks has the ball in his hands quite a bit and has to create most of his shots, but he does get some easy looks from Hayes backdoor passes or hand offs from the high post
  • It is interesting that Brooks has a higher assist rate to Landry, while Lowry has a higher assist rate to Scola. Brooks does a pretty good of penetrating in half-court sets and finding Landry on the baseline. I think Lowry isn’t asked to create as much offense in half-court situations. Lowry does excel in transition, and Scola is a great running partner. Perhaps those pairs are better suited together?

Data in this post was tabulated from the play-by-play CSV files provided by Ryan Parker at

Bookmark and Share
  • Easy
    Good analysis. If indeed the Brooks-Landry and Lowry-Scola pairs are better togther, then maybe starting Landry is a good idea after all.
    Just a couple more observations:
    1. Hayes is the best passer among the bigs. (Or maybe the most willing because of his limitation in scoring himself?)
    2. Budinger and Andersen seem to feed off each other pretty well.
    3. The fact that Scola is better at the running game than Landry just shows that running is more about mentality than about athleticism. Most people assume that faster players run better than slower ones. That's just not necessarily true.
  • rahat_huq
    i completely agree with your analysis of the data. scola struggles scoring inside off the catch. i guess since he's a slow leaper, he has trouble gathering himself and going up in traffic. now that i think about it, i remember his rookie year, he was always getting blocked. he is also far better in the open court than is landry (which is weird.)

    and of course, with the pg's, lowry struggles with penetration in the halfcourt due to his lack of a shot.
blog comments powered by Disqus