The Houston Rockets face the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night in Toronto. It will be their third game in a four-game road trip that is part of an opening stretch where the Rockets will play 11 of their first 15 games on the road. The game tips off at 6:30 central time.
The Raptors enter the game with a 6-5 record that has them fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Rockets are 2-9 and in last place in the Western Conference, although only a half-game separates them and the Los Angeles Lakers. In the preseason, the Rockets beat the Raptors 116-100.
Houston Rockets vs Toronto Raptors: Stats to know
The Raptors are the second most transition-heavy team in the NBA and pair that volume with excellent efficiency at 1.19 points per possession, the 6th best mark in the league. The Rockets, on the other hand, are the least transition-reliant offense in the NBA and are second-to-last in points per possession at 0.98. If the game becomes end-to-end and transition-heavy, it could be a long night for the Rockets.
The Raptors’ underlying metrics suggest they’re better than their 6-5 record. Their net rating of +5.5 is 6th in the league, and that’s after playing the second-hardest schedule. The Rockets’ net rating of -7.4 is ranked 27th, and they have also faced a difficult opening slate of opponents.
The Raptors’ 10th-ranked offense is powered by winning the possession battle. They’re eighth in offensive rebounding rate and have the third-best turnover rate on offense. The Rockets’ offensive is all about the glass, as they lead the league in offensive rebounding rate, but they’re 27th in turnover rate, 26th in effective field goal percentage, and 15th in free throws per field goal attempt.
On defense, the Raptors have a similar philosophy as they do on offense. They force a league-high turnover rate and are fifth in defensive rebounding percentage. The strategy has led to the 6th ranked defense, even though they’re in the bottom third in defensive effective field goal percentage and free throws per field goal attempt.
The Rockets’ defense is built around forcing turnovers and mitigating fouls. Unfortunately, they have allowed the highest opponent effective field goal percentage this season and are middle of the pack at defensive rebounding.