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Inside the Scope: Houston Rockets (28-25) x Golden State Warriors (30-21) Reviewed by Momizat on . Game Details Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT) Television: CSN-BA, NBA TV Houston Rockets Team Profile Offensive Efficiency: 106.7 (5th in NBA) Defensive Efficiency: 104. Game Details Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT) Television: CSN-BA, NBA TV Houston Rockets Team Profile Offensive Efficiency: 106.7 (5th in NBA) Defensive Efficiency: 104. Rating:
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Inside the Scope: Houston Rockets (28-25) x Golden State Warriors (30-21)

Game Details

  • Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT)
  • Television: CSN-BA, NBA TV

Houston Rockets Team Profile

  • Offensive Efficiency: 106.7 (5th in NBA)
  • Defensive Efficiency: 104.4 (21st in NBA)

Leaders

  • Points: James Harden, 26.1 PPG
  • Rebounds: Omer Asik, 11.5 RPG
  • Assists: Jeremy Lin, 6.1 APG
  • Steals: Jeremy Lin, 1.9 SPG
  • Blocks: Omer, 1.2 BPG
  • Field Goal Percentage: Greg Smith, 63% FG
  • 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Carlos Delfino, 39.4% 3PT FG

Scope the Opposition: Red94.

Preview: The Golden State Warriors are currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak that has seen them get blown out in three of those four contests.

The first game of this tailspin was on February 5th against the Houston Rockets on the road, where they were dismantled 140-109. Tonight the Dubs will try to bounce back against that very same Rockets team, but if they plan on doing so, they will have to learn from their mistakes and correct them.

Kevin McHale’s group owns the fifth best offense in the league because they do two things quite well: get to the rim and shoot 3-pointers.

Per Hoopdata, the Rockets attempt 30.5 shots at the rim per game (third most in the league) and also put up 28.2 treys per game (second most in the league).

Keep in mind, Houston converts 36.6 percent of their 3-point shots (10th in the NBA), which complicates the life of their opponents.

Indeed, the Rockets’ forays to the hoop lead to high percentage shots as well as a lot of free throws, but when teams converge on the interior, they kick out the ball to their shooters.

On February 5th, the Warriors were victims of this as their opponents just toyed with them and did whatever they wanted. Have a look at the advanced box score from that contest courtesy of NBA.com’s advanced stats tool:

Shot Area

FGM

FGA

FG%

Restricted Area

16

28

.571

Corner 3

11

17

.647

Above the Break 3*

12

23

.522

*Above the Break 3s are all non-corner 3-pointers.

The box score tells us that Houston essentially got the shots they wanted in that contest, scoring both at the rim and from long-range. In addition, James Harden and company attempted 35 free throws to go along with their 40 shots attempted from downtown.

Talk about alarming figures.

Golden State’s defense was quite possibly at its worst in their first encounter against Houston, as players routinely broke down their initial defenders and got into the paint without facing much resistance.

The Rockets’ perimeter players were able to get to whatever spot on the court they desired without the use of screens (!). Everything seemingly came via straight dribble penetration.

In an effort to corroborate that observation, we looked up the game information and compiled it into a graphic. Here is the breakdown of all the plays that resulted in a shot attempt or turnover that involved any screen action by the Houston Rockets on February 5th per MySynergySports:

Situation

FGM

FGA

Pick & Roll Ball Handler

3

8

Pick & Roll Man

2

5

Off Screen

0

2

Total

5

15

For context, Houston attempted 91 shots in the first game against the Dubs, and only 15 of those came off of screens. Every other shot in that game came either through cuts, offensive rebounds, transition or simple dribble penetration and spot ups.

If the Warriors are going to reverse their fortunes, it’s going to have to come on the defensive end where they’ve struggled since entering the New Year.

According to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool, in January they allowed 105 points per 100 possessions, a figure that would put them in the league’s bottom third; and in February the defense has slipped considerably with opponents scoring 115.1 points per 100 possessions; a stat that would easily be the worst in the league if projected over the season.

It’s worth noting that the adjustment the Warriors have to make isn’t schematic but rather playing with a higher level of effort when they take on the Rockets tonight. It’s one thing for Houston to simply execute better, but the Warriors haven’t truly forced them to do so just yet.

Tonight is a great place to start.

Quick Houston Rockets note: In February, James Harden is averaging 28 points, 7.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists on 59.5 percent field goal shooting in five games.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at JM.Poulard@Warriorsworld.net.

About The Author

JM.Poulard

J.M. Poulard is the Warriors World editor. He is also a contributor to ESPN TrueHoop sites Forum Blue and Gold (Los Angeles Lakers), Piston Powered (Detroit Pistons) and Raptors Republic (Toronto Raptors). He has a particular fondness for watching Eastern Conference ball games and enjoys the history of the sport. Feel free to reach out to him on Twitter (@ShyneIV).

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