2. Sharing the sugar
The city of Houston knows all too well how beneficial it can be to have a player who can carry the scoring load for your team on a night-in and night-out basis. Many throughout the league can singlehandedly take their teams on win streaks with a hot hand and timely scoring.
Take Anthony Edwards' current run for example. The Timberwolves have a league-average offense that can be elevated at any moment by his big-time shot-making and “give me the rock and I’ll take you to the Promised Land” attitude.
Maybe the Rockets’ brass envisioned a reclaiming of the heliocentric model beat into the ground during the Harden era and miserably attempted around Kevin Porter Jr. over the tanking years. Thankfully, Ime Udoka had something different in mind.
Each starter is averaging double digits on a per-game basis with Şengün, Green, and VanVleet coming in between 17 and 20 PPG. The bench scoring is the epitome of balance. From Aaron Holiday to Jeff Green, they’re putting up between 5.1 and 7.2 PPG with the ball flying around the court in search of the best opportunity.
While VanVleet, Jalen Green, and Şengün share usage rates around 25% per Cleaning the Glass, VanVleet and Şengün are each above average (93rd percentile for Şengün) in AST:Usg* with Jalen coming in around league average. The team as a whole is 13th in Assist% but 9th in AST Ratio**, which shows that even though they need some more shots to fall they are spreading the ball around to find the best look.
Udoka has preached unselfishness and it is coming to fruition on the floor. This kind of playstyle gives you a steady floor to keep you in every game so that the scoring outbursts can elevate you to the upper echelon when they come.
*How often did a player record an assist compared to how often they had the ball?
**Ratio of points scored on assists to non-assist scoring