While the Houston Rockets have been a great offensive team for years, there’s been one glaring problem that got even worse this season.
It should come as no surprise, but the Houston Rockets have finished in the top two in offensive rating every season since Mike D’Antoni took over as head coach in 2016-17. At 113.8 points per 100 possessions, the Rockets were on pace to finish second this season before play was suspended on March 11th.
Coach D’Antoni certainly deserves credit for being able to sustain such an offensively excellent team no matter the makeup of the roster. His admirable handling of stars like Chris Paul, James Harden and now Russell Westbrook has led to him having a winning percentage of 68.7 over his tenure with the Rockets, winning 213 out of 310 coached games.
Still, whether it be due to unfortunate circumstances like CP3’s untimely playoff injury or poor shooting when it matters, the Rockets have been unable to make it to the NBA Finals when they should have. Being in the bottom three of a major statistical category, however, has to also play a part in why Houston might not be having the success they should be having.
Over the last two seasons and through 64 games of this one, the Rockets have been in the bottom five in the league in assists per game.
2017-18: 21.5 AST (26th)
2018-19: 21.2 AST (28th)
2019-20: 21.5 AST (29th)
While H-Town has actually slightly increased their assists per game over last season, the league average also increased, so they’re ahead of only the Portland Trail Blazers when it comes to assisted buckets.
So, why are the Rockets so bad at tallying assists?