Iso vs pick and roll
The Rockets were the most isolation heavy offense in the league last season by a gargantuan margin. The Rockets ran isolations on 19.6-percent of their possessions which nearly doubled the frequency of the second-place Portland Trail Blazers at 9.9-percent.
The Mavericks meanwhile, ran isolations on only 6.3-percent of possessions which ranked 11th in the league. With Stephen Silas at the helm expect the Rockets to once again lead the league in isolations, after all, they averaged the most points per possession on isolations, but for that lead to shrink considerably.
The Rockets ranked dead last in both pick and roll handler and roll-man plays last season. Their aversion to the pick and roll is largely the reason that Clint Capela became disposable. The Mavericks, while not league leaders in pick and roll usage, finished 11th in pick and roll handler possessions and 5th in pick and roll roll-man possessions.
The Mavericks weren’t just running pick and rolls for the sake of it, they finished 2nd in points per possession in both pick and roll categories. A large part of that was because of Luka Doncic’s individual brilliance, but James Harden, not too long ago, was an elite pick and roll maestro.
Flashback to 2015-16 and James Harden averaged .97 points per possession as the pick and roll ball handler, which placed him in the 91st percentile for all players that season. If Silas can reignite James Harden’s desire to run the pick and roll the Rockets could see their offense vault to the top of the league.
Next: Do the Rockets have the right players?