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Houston Rockets: PJ Tucker quietly leading the league in corner 3-pointers

By Anthony Duckett
BROOKLYN, NY - NOVEMBER 1: PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on November 1, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - NOVEMBER 1: PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on November 1, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets love the 3-point shot, as they’re shooting the league’s most triples per game. Here’s an interesting stat about Rockets’ corner 3-point specialist P.J. Tucker!

The Houston Rockets shoot the 3-point shot at a record pace, as the Rockets broke the NBA record for the most 3-point attempts during the 2018-19 season. The interesting thing about that stat is that the Rockets are on pace for even more 3-pointers this season, as the Rockets are currently shooting 46.4 triples per game, which is more than the 45.4 treys the Rockets attempted during the 2018-19 season.

What’s even more interesting is that the Houston Rockets have set the single season record during each of the last three seasons, and their number of attempts have actually increased year-over-year during each of the last four years, including the 2019-20 campaign. Part of this is because the Rockets have an analytics-based approach which detects the most efficient and effective shots on the floor.

The data suggests that the corner 3-point shot is the most efficient shot, and the Rockets have four players who are shooting at least 38.5 percent on the corner three. Those players include P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, Austin Rivers, and Thabo Sefolosha. Among those players, there is only one who is shooting greater than 55 percent from the corner: P.J. Tucker.

It’s no secret that Tucker is one of the league’s best corner specialists, as he’s a career 38.9 percent shooter from that area on the floor. Tucker has an even higher average during his Rockets’ tenure, as he’s shooting 41.2 percent from the corner during his time in Houston.

But the most impressive feat about Tucker’s efficiency from the corner is taking place this season, as Tucker leads the league in corner 3-pointers. Tucker has made 26 corner triples, which are nine more than the next best corner 3-point shooter. This isn’t the first time Tucker has been in the lead for the most corner treys, as he actually finished with the most 3-pointers from the corner during both the 2017-18 season and the 2018-19 season, but this season is a bit different.

Tucker is shooting an astounding 57.8 percent on the corner 3-ball, which has him on pace for a career high by more than 16 percentage points. In each of the previous two seasons, Tucker shot 39.4 percent and 40.3 percent from the corner, which is significantly lower than he’s shooting this year.

It’s no surprise that Tucker is having such an efficient season from the corner, as Russell Westbrook has the ability to get out on the break and kick out to the open shooters. Westbrook and James Harden also have the ability to drive to the lane and kick out to the open shooters, and Tucker is great at identifying his spots on the floor and getting open.

Interestingly enough, Houston Rockets’ sharpshooter Danuel House is actually eighth on the list of the most corner 3-point field goals, as he’s made 12 corner triples and is shooting 44.4 percent from the corner, which furthers the point of how Westbrook and Harden have the ability to create open shots for others.

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A big part of the Rockets’ early success has been P.J. Tucker’s efficiency from the corner, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he finishes the season with the most corner triples. Hopefully he can continue to shoot this well over the course of the season!

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