Houston Rockets vs Atlanta Hawks game preview - November 25

N.B. Lindberg
Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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Houston Rockets vs Atlanta Hawks: Stats to know

The Atlanta Hawks’ halfcourt offense is unsurprisingly built around pick and roll ball handler possessions. Their 26.5 pick and roll ball handler possessions lead the league, and they’re first in frequency. The Hawks pick and roll heavy attack makes a world of sense when you employ Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, who were first and sixth last season in pick and roll ball handler possessions.

While Murray has seen his volume decrease this season, he has made up for it with an uptick in efficiency. Young, on the other hand, is virtually running just as many pick and roll ball handler possessions but has seen his efficiency drop from 0.97 points per possession to 0.85. How the Rockets defend the Hawks’ pick and roll will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game, as the Hawks rank dead last in points per possession on spot up jumpers. 

Another key area for the Rockets will be preventing transition opportunities. The Hawks are around league average in transition possessions and frequency, but they rank second in points per possession. The Rockets, by virtue of their league-leading turnover rate, concede the most transition possessions and points per game. 

The Hawks surprisingly muted attack doesn’t stand out much outside of the pick and roll. They don’t post up much, rarely engage in handoffs, and won’t put a defense through a gamut of cuts. They do, however, run far more off screen actions than they have in years past. Their 5.9 off screen possessions is sixth in the NBA, up from 3.8 last season, but they’ve been wildly inefficient in those opportunities, scoring a 27th-ranked 0.84 points per possession.