To no one’s surprise, no Houston Rocket made the NBA’s recently released All-NBA defensive team selections. The expected names were there like Draymond Green and Rudy Gobert on the first team and Kawhi Leonard and Joel Embiid wrapping up the second.
All in all, most of the selections came as no surprise to NBA fans; however, a closer in-depth look at the total voting provided some surprise to a certain NBA fanbase. The Houston Rockets.
How Christian Wood was the Houston Rockets’ defensive anchor
Houston’s prized free-agent acquisition this past offseason, Christian Wood, was awarded one second-team vote. For some Rockets fans, it came as a shock but the stats don’t lie and he thoroughly deserved it. And maybe another Rocket did too.
Now at first glance into most of the Houston Rockets box scores, you’d say, “No way he deserves that vote.” And you might be right after seeing over 120 points allowed, a rebounding disadvantage nearing double digits, and a measly defensive stat line production by Wood.
But when you look INTO the stats, you’d realize you’re wrong. According to basketball reference Wood is a major factor in this one category alone: rebounding percentage. Overall Wood carried -2.8 TRB% when he was on the court compared to -7.2-percent while off. Meaning the Rockets were near 5-percent better at rebounding when he was on the court which is insane.
Now, I know that’s just rebounding, but rebounding is a HUGE part of defense. Without it, teams would just get shot after shot after shot, and with him, we have nearly a 4.5% rebounding increase rate.
Look, I’m not saying he’s an all-world defender by any means, but stop acting like he didn’t deserve just one vote. When I see stats showing opponent field goal percentages and offensive ratings going up when he sits and that their total rebounding percentage increases as well, that shows me he’s a very important part of this defense. But so was that “other,” guy.
Houston Rocket Jae’Sean Tate deserved All-Defensive team love too
I don’t care what anyone says, Jae’Sean Tate deserved an all-defensive vote. If Christian Wood got one, then Tate should’ve gotten at least five. He played in more games and logged serious minutes once Silas knew what he was getting.
He led the league in steals most of the year while also having just as many blocks as well. All while expending loads of energy guarding everyone from Trae Young to Lebron James. Show that man some love!
Look in all honestly, I’m just glad to see some love shown our way in whatever way we can get it. Especially defensively. Ever since the “Analytical era,” we’ve had a tendency to forget about that end of the court. But that might be changing with Christian Wood and um *COUGH* Jae’Sean Tate *COUGH*.