Houston Rockets way #1 to limit turnovers: Slow the pace, for now
The Rockets are playing at the fastest pace in the league. Pace is not a bad thing, but it might be worth slowing things down for a while to get the offense recalibrated. The Rockets are ninth in the NBA in transition frequency but are averaging the fourth-fewest points per possession. The main culprit is that they turn the ball over more than any team in the league at 17.8%.
The Rockets’ transition effective field-goal percentage is right around league average, so when they hang on to the ball they’re getting solid looks. Put another way, the Rockets attempt 20.4 transition possessions a game but because of turnovers it only leads to 14.6 field goal attempts.
The Rockets trying to push the pace isn’t leading to easy buckets, it’s just getting the ball back into their opponent’s hands more quickly. For a team led by young guards, it’s easy to become infatuated with the idea of playing at pace and killing teams in transition. It just isn’t happening right now.
The Rockets need to slow it down and pick and choose when to push it in transition. All pace does is mean more possessions for both teams. Mathematically, the better a team is, the faster pace they should play at. However, the same math says that the worse a team is, the slower the pace they should play at.
The Rockets playing fast simply means more turnovers every game. If their transition offense was highly effective it would be a different story. The Rockets need to slow things down and get their turnovers under control before they consider cranking the pace back to 11.