Overcoming the lack of size
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has elected to go with the small-ball approach, which has eliminated the need for the traditional big man. For this reason, Clint Capela was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, in favor of Robert Covington.
The Rockets were outrebounded on a nightly basis following the trade, which was really on display during their loss against the New York Knicks. But the Rockets main reason for having comfort in this new approach is their ability to nail 3-pointers, which Ayton explained during his match with LaVine.
Ayton stated, “The Rockets don’t have a big man bro. [They’re] good, [they] live and die by the three.”
The Rockets definitely live and dive by the three, which has led to many Rockets fans pleading for the Rockets to take more mid-range shots. If the Rockets are hitting their treys, they’re simply impossible to beat, as they can match baskets with anyone, by trading twos-for-threes.
But that’s a big if, as the Rockets rank 23rd in 3-point percentage, despite attempting 44.3 triples per game. In fact, the Rockets are hitting 34.8 percent of their treys this season, which is their worst long-range percentage since the 2015-16 season, in which they made 34.7 percent.
The Rockets have actually finished 12th, 13th, and 15th in that department in the past three seasons, while shooting 35.6 percent, 36.2 percent, and 35.7 percent from 3-point range. The Rockets have the ability to get hot in a moment’s notice, which is why they’d be dangerous if the playoffs went in favor of a NCAA approach, and made the postseason a single-game elimination format.
Granted it’s been reported that this would be a last resort for NBA commissioner Adam Slver, as reported by Mark Berman of the New York Post, but Berman also stated that everything is on the table at this point.
Next: Harden/Russ in OKC