Rockets News

3 takeaways from the Houston Rockets’ 2022-23 opener

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Takeaway #3 Turnovers are still a problem, or are they?

New season, same problems for these Rockets. Last season, the Rockets led the NBA in turnover rate by a healthy margin. The gap between them and the second-most turnover-prone team was the same as the gap between second and twelfth.  

Against the Hawks, the Rockets committed 15 turnovers to the Hawks’ nine. The primary culprits were Alperen Sengun and Kevin Porter Jr., who combined for 10 turnovers. Sengun was particularly careless, with six turnovers in 22 minutes of action. 

The good news is that three of Sengun’s turnovers were on poorly executed dribble handoffs. On two of them, Sengun opted to not actually hand the ball off and instead threw the ball between his legs. Dejounte Murray, last season’s steals-per-game leader, nabbed the ball both times and turned defense into offense. 

No one should be turning the ball over three times on dribble handoffs. That’s correctable and needs to be addressed. If you throw those three turnovers out, the Rockets held onto the ball quite well and maybe could have won the game. 

It should be noted the Hawks were bottom three in defensive turnover rate last season. Murray will help them in that regard, but the Rockets will face tougher tests down the line. 

Takeaway #2