2. Creating opportunities in transition
Last season, the Rockets ranked 13th in points in transition, scoring 19.5 fast break points per game. That’s solid, but it would be nice to get in the top 10, as the best types of baskets to score are easy ones.
Russell Westbrook is one of the fastest players with the ball in league history, which makes him a fantastic option to lead the team’s fast break. With his rebounding prowess, he doesn’t have to wait for a big man to make an outlet pass, he can just grab the ball off the glass and go.
As a result, Westbrook averaged 6.0 points per game in transition last year, easily outpacing any player on the Rockets. He even led the league in transition possessions at 7.0 per game, but he only averaged 0.87 points per possession on transition opportunities.
While efficiency isn’t exactly Westbrook’s strong suit, the amount of open looks he can generate, both for himself and for his Houston teammates who will run to the wings and corners for open 3’s, will more than make up for his mistakes.
In the open court, Westbrook puts so much pressure on opposing defenses in a way that only a handful of other players, like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, can match. Just his presence alone will create a ton of space for the other players on the team.
Next: No. 1