Houston Rockets: Breaking Down Jae’Sean Tate’s Historic Night

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets
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Houston Rockets, Jae'Sean Tate
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Houston Rockets: Jae'Sean Tate's Offensive Supernova

Jae’Sean Tate is not a knockdown shooter, but he is excellent at finishing around the rim. For his career, he has converted 71.7-percent of his shots within three feet of the rim. The league average over the past two seasons has been right around 67.4-percent. Tate, at 6’4, and not a consistent roll man in the pick-and-roll, is simply elite at finishing. 

If you look at Tate’s shot chart from his 32 point outburst, you’ll see a cluster of shots at the rim and two shots from behind the arc. Getting lay-ups is a great strategy for any player, but it's especially effective for Tate.

The other reason for Tate’s wildly impressive shooting is that he got the right type of shots at the rim for him. Nearly all of his shots came from the left side, which is exactly what you want from a left-handed player. 

The one constant, in Tate's two-minute highlight reel from last night, is his left hand. He was consistently able to get to it around the rim, and it paid dividends for his finishing, but also his passing. 

Tate’s playmaking has long been underappreciated and underutilized by the Rockets. He is adept at driving and finding cutters or shooters on the perimeter. However, he also has a knack for making simple, but highly effective reads, on dribble handoffs.  

In this clip, Tate gets the ball, holds it up, and waits for Garrison Mathews to curl around him. The decision to hand it off to Mathews is simple, but Tate executes it perfectly. He gives the ball to Mathews, bumps into his man, and creates a wide-open 3-pointer in the process. Little details like this are how Draymond Green became one of the best passers in the league. 

Related. Jae’Sean Tate needs to emulate Draymond Green. dark

Draymond and Stephen Curry work this two-man game all the time, and it’s one of the ways the Warriors can consistently get Curry open looks from three. On offense, Tate looked like Zion Williamson on the Atkin’s diet. However, his defense was just as stellar.