Rockets don’t block shots, they draw charges

2010 February 5
by durvasa

If you’ve watched Rockets television broadcasts this year, you’ve probably heard this line frequently. The Rockets don’t block shots, they draw charges. Below, we see where the Rockets fall with respect to the rest of the league in blocked shots and drawing offensive fouls (per 100 possessions):

Histogram for blocks per 100 possessions.

Histogram for drawn charges per 100 poss (from

Kyle Lowry leads the team in drawing offensive fouls (and is second in the league), but most of the fouls he draws are from illegal screens away from the basket. Last year, the Rockets drew about 2 offensive fouls per 100 possessions and had a block rate of 4.6, which would put them in the middle of the pack in both categories this year.

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  • echu888
    Interesting, thanks.

    As a related discussion, I wonder which has a greater statistical impact on the game -- the blocked shot or drawing offensive fouls. With classic shot blockers, you get intimidation factor and a number of altered shots that are unaccounted for in the traditional box score. On the minus side, there is no guarantee of a turnover -- a blocked shot may end up in the hands of the offense for a putback or a second possession. With the offensive fouls, you get the obvious get-to-the-bonus quicker (resulting in more free throws, foul trouble for the opposing team, etc), but also the potential to get called for a blocking foul. Although I suppose the risk of fouling the scorer exists whether you set up for the charge, or you go for the blocked shot.

    I'm sure it has much to do with our current personnel, but it seems to me that Morey highly favors drawing fouls and the impact that has on the game. His personnel acquisition track record suggests that shot blockers may be somewhat overrated according to his calculation.
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