3. When their threes aren’t falling, the Rockets will lose.
It’s hard to find many more painful memories than the infamous 0-for-27 stretch of missed threes the Rockets had against Golden State a few years ago. The performance led to tons of criticism of Houston’s playing style and added fuel to the claim that it’s hard for jump-shooting teams to go all the way.
In Game 2, the Rockets had a stretch where they went 0-for-15 from downtown — something that probably would’ve been a death sentence for Rockets squads of the past. Still, the mantra of the Rockets has always been to keep shooting, which is what P.J. Tucker did when he ended that streak to start the third quarter and finish a perfect 4-for-4 from outside.
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Even if the streak continued for a few more attempts, however, I get the feeling that the defense the Rockets have been displaying so far in the playoffs would have kept them hanging around until they started nailing them again.
The Houston Rockets attempted a playoff record 56 shots from beyond the arc in Game 2, making 19 of them.
That 33.9 percent was lower than their season average of 34.5 percent, but that’s still 57 points of offense.
There’s no doubt that the Rockets will go through cold spells from the outside again — that’s just what happens when you shoot from farther away so often. The difference now, though?
Lockdown defense covers up a lot of mistakes.
The Rockets are proving just how dangerous their innovating playing style can be, and with each passing game, the NBA is becoming increasingly aware of the monster forming in H-Town.