Houston Rockets: Tilman Fertitta talks MVP race and Harden in the postseason
Fertitta had the below to say regarding Westbrook’s tempo:
“..Russell is on a different level on the fast break. My basketball op shows me all these statistics of transition and everything and how he will truly change our team the way he brings the ball up so fast at times.”
Fertitta briefly spoke about one of the elements Westbrook brings to the Rockets, which is his tempo. He mentioned that he feels Westbrook will change the Rockets because of how fast he brings the ball up court, especially in transition. This is one of the many areas Westbrook excels in, as he’s an uber-athletic point guard who gets out and runs the break. It all starts on the glass though, as The Brodie finished last season with 9.6 defensive rebounds per game, good for fifth best in the league.
This is an interesting point Fertitta makes regarding the tempo, because the Houston Rockets are actually a slow paced team. To be clear, pace is defined as the estimate of possessions a team has per 48 minutes. The Houston Rockets finished just 27th in the 2018-2019 season and 13th in the 2017-18 season They did finish third in pace in the 2016-17 season, but obviously the team played a more half court game after acquiring Chris Paul, who isn’t a big finisher on the break.
On the flip side, Westbrook’s former Oklahoma City Thunder finished sixth in pace last season, which isn’t bad considering the fact that Westbrook has been the sole engine that pushed the tempo in Oklahoma City. Westbrook has always been able to play at a frenetic pace, which could lead to even more three point attempts off the fast break for the Rockets.
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