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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 #2 The Rockets won the shot chart battle

Back when analytics started becoming more prominent in the basketball community, team shooting maps were all the rage. The rationale was simple; some shots, on average, are more valuable, and the team that took more of those would have an edge. Unfortunately, that was close to a decade ago, and now everyone is doing it, making true shooting talent far more important than where you shoot from. 

However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It just means it isn’t as predictive of offensive success as it once was. In the season opener, the Rockets absolutely obliterated the Hawks when it came to the type of shots they were generating. 

The Rockets took far more shots at the rim (38 to 23) and from 3-point range (35 to 25) than the Hawks. The only problem was the Hawks were absolutely unconscious from midrange. They went 13 of 25 (52%) on shots in the lane, when the league average is 42%, and 10 of 17 (59%) on midrange jumpers, when the league average is 47%. 

The Rockets took the right shots and forced the right shots, but the problem is they couldn’t hit their shots, and the Hawks did. “It’s a make or miss league,” and the Rockets missed. However, over the course of a full season, the Rockets will score more points taking these shots and prevent more points forcing these shots than they otherwise would have. 

Takeaway #1

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