Rockets Free Throw Advantage

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Carl Herrera, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    After Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler getting angry at not getting whistles during the latest game, I decided to take a look at how the Rockets have done with scoring at the FT line and allowing the opponent to score at the FT line.



    One stat that basketball-reference.com tracks is FTs Made per FG Attempted, it's one one several ways at looking at how good a team is at getting to the line --or more specifically, scoring at the line-- and not allowing the opponent to do so. It's a decent measure of a team playing smart D since FTs are a very high efficiency way to score for most players.


    Anyway, here are the numbers:

    1. The Rockets rank 8th in the league in terms of highest FTs Made/FG Attempt (.236, league average is .216).
    2. The Rockets rank 3rd in the league in terms of lowest opponent FTs Made/FG Atttempt (.173, which is a virtual tie with the 1st and 2nd place teams, whose #s also round to .173).
    3. In terms of the difference between own FT Made/FG Attempt and that of the opponent, the Rockets rank 3rd in the league, at +.063, lower than only OKC and the Lakers (full list here:
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      <table class="tableizer-table">
      <tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th></th><th>Own FT/FGA</th><th>Opp. FT/FGA</th><th>Difference</th></tr>
      <tr><td>Oklahoma City Thunder</td><td>0.313</td><td>0.202</td><td>0.111</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Los Angeles Lakers</td><td>0.273</td><td>0.175</td><td>0.098</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Houston Rockets</td><td>0.236</td><td>0.173</td><td>0.063</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Minnesota Timberwolves</td><td>0.25</td><td>0.19</td><td>0.06</td></tr>
      <tr><td>New Orleans Hornets</td><td>0.212</td><td>0.173</td><td>0.039</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Chicago Bulls</td><td>0.23</td><td>0.192</td><td>0.038</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Brooklyn Nets</td><td>0.214</td><td>0.182</td><td>0.032</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Memphis Grizzlies</td><td>0.245</td><td>0.214</td><td>0.031</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Miami Heat</td><td>0.231</td><td>0.202</td><td>0.029</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Charlotte Bobcats</td><td>0.242</td><td>0.214</td><td>0.028</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Boston Celtics</td><td>0.241</td><td>0.222</td><td>0.019</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Utah Jazz</td><td>0.229</td><td>0.215</td><td>0.014</td></tr>
      <tr><td>San Antonio Spurs</td><td>0.203</td><td>0.193</td><td>0.01</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Indiana Pacers</td><td>0.205</td><td>0.198</td><td>0.007</td></tr>
      <tr><td>League Average</td><td>0.213</td><td>0.213</td><td>0</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Denver Nuggets</td><td>0.18</td><td>0.186</td><td>-0.006</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Golden State Warriors</td><td>0.221</td><td>0.228</td><td>-0.007</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Los Angeles Clippers</td><td>0.244</td><td>0.252</td><td>-0.008</td></tr>
      <tr><td>New York Knicks</td><td>0.198</td><td>0.209</td><td>-0.011</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Orlando Magic</td><td>0.161</td><td>0.173</td><td>-0.012</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Dallas Mavericks</td><td>0.217</td><td>0.235</td><td>-0.018</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Detroit Pistons</td><td>0.218</td><td>0.239</td><td>-0.021</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Philadelphia 76ers</td><td>0.173</td><td>0.199</td><td>-0.026</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Phoenix Suns</td><td>0.177</td><td>0.204</td><td>-0.027</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Cleveland Cavaliers</td><td>0.199</td><td>0.236</td><td>-0.037</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Toronto Raptors</td><td>0.217</td><td>0.254</td><td>-0.037</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Portland Trail Blazers</td><td>0.196</td><td>0.235</td><td>-0.039</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Atlanta Hawks</td><td>0.156</td><td>0.2</td><td>-0.044</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Washington Wizards</td><td>0.177</td><td>0.246</td><td>-0.069</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Milwaukee Bucks</td><td>0.155</td><td>0.253</td><td>-0.098</td></tr>
      <tr><td>Sacramento Kings</td><td>0.174</td><td>0.3</td><td>-0.126</td></tr></table>
      )


    I think these numbers are kind of interesting since fans (including myself) tend to think that (1) refs are biased against their own team, and (2) give established superstars favorable calls. It seems that the Rockets, despite having a very young roster, have gotten to the line plenty and haven't gotten jobbed on too many defensive foul calls, either (unless, that is, the Rockets are just so good in this aspect of the game that even after getting jobbed they still have the 3rd highest differential in the league).

    Also, we know Morey pays attention to free throw scoring. So these number are likely no accident. One of the best things Harden does is get to the line and one of the best thing that Asik does is preventing the other team from getting to the line. These guys are two of the Rockets big money acquistions.
    Lin has struggled so far this season, but when he was in "beast mode" last season, getting to the FT line was also one of his best attributes. Would be interesting to see if the Rockets keep up their advantages at the line all year, also would be interesting to see if they can stretch the advantage further if Lin ever gets his legs back.
     
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  2. Illegal Machine

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    Maybe I missed it, but this is for 2012-13 season thus far, correct?

    I'd love to see how it compares to previous years' teams.

    I think Harden has a huge impact on that number. I remember reading the ESPN comments during one of the games (game 1 or 2 when Harden was in full beast mode), one of the opposing team's fans typed "UGH. Rockets getting all the superstar calls!".

    *mind blown*
     
  3. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    1. Yes, the numbers for this season so far.

    2. As far as I can tell (I took a look at pretty much all of the better regular seasons for the Rockets), if the Rockets keep up this .063 differential in terms of FTM/FGA, this would be the highest in team history. Better than both the title years, better than 85/86, and any of the Yao+Tracy years). The most recent year in which they came close was 08/09, when the team had Yao, Battier and Artest.
     
  4. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

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    Yeah, Harden is #2 in the league. It is fair to say he gets the superstar calls.
     
  5. Easy

    Easy Contributing Member

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    So we got rid of two big floppers and got better at drawing fouls? Go figure.
     
  6. clutz

    clutz Member

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    In terms of FT Made/FG Attempted, I wonder how this compares to a hypothetical season in which Yao, Martin, and young bench brigade Lowry are all healthy.
     
  7. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    The Rockets did pretty well with free throws in 2010/11, when they ranked 6th overall (.239) in FTM/FGA and 8th overall (.219) in opponent FTM/FGA.

    They did not do a very good job scoring off free throws last season at all, when they ranked 27th overall in own FTM/FGA and 18th overall in opponent FTM/FGA.

    I think a big reason for the decline in their own FTM/FGA is the struggles (and later the absence) of Kevin Martin, the biggest foul drawer on the team. The absence of Chuck Hayes, a smart passer and defender likely hurt them on both ends of the FT equation, too.
     
  8. QazQay

    QazQay Member

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    Free throws are not only the most efficient ways to score, they have hidden benefits, such as getting the other team in foul trouble and improving defense by stopping the fast break and allowing teams to reset.
     
  9. lookabove

    lookabove Contributing Member

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    Lin losing weight in offseason seem to hinder ability take contact and finish.
    His hangtime & vertical seem definitely seem worst last year post surgery. I read that Chris Paul took almost half season get his performance back after getting similar surgery. I think going bit longer before we see his leg get back. Unfortunately FT seem to be one shot Lin can make at a very good/elite rate.

    Still this does not explain why his jumper is so piss damn poor.
     
  10. sugrlndkid

    sugrlndkid Member

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    Really part of the reason for this is primarily how adept Harden is at drawing fouls...by extending his arm out ...he invites a defender, often in a poor position, to swipe down and create contact...thereby putting the onus on the officials to call a foul(the correct thing to do if his arm is hit)...This is what makes Harden a special player, his ability to draw fouls and finish at the rim
     
  11. jocar

    jocar Member

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    Asik's free throw coach, whoever he is, deserves a Nobel or similar
     
  12. scolandry1

    scolandry1 Member

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    So Joey Crawford has officiated only one Rocket game this season?
     
  13. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    It goes hand in hand with durvasa thread about where the rockets are taking their shots. Refs reward attacking the basket, and the rockets attack the basket this year in away I have never seen them do before.
     
  14. iconoclastic

    iconoclastic Member

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    Moreyball ftw!
     
  15. Sym0™

    Sym0™ Member

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    Whats the record of the rockets, with Joey Crawford on the officiating crew? Also the record with Joey Crawford and rockets vsing the lakers?
     
  16. PASTORofMUPPETS

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    FIFY ;)
     
  17. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

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    Amazingly we are scoring a lot in the paint... That always leads to more free throws. It's when we spend half the night launching threes like last year that there is a greater discrepancy.... And why melo was getting no calls the other night.. Half his shots were three pointers
     
  18. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Update:

    The Rockets are still ranked 8th in FTM/FGA. They are also still 3rd in the difference between own FTM/FGA and that of their opponent. They have improved to 1st overall in opponent FTM/FGA, making them the most successful free throw defense team in the NBA.

    They had a substantial advantage in FTA every game since then Knicks game, even when they lost by 22 to OKC.
     
  19. mike_lu

    mike_lu Member

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    Rockets ranked 5th over in FTA per game, behind Oklahoma, LA Lakers, Minnesota and one other team I can't remember.
     
  20. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    I love watching Harden travel all over the place and get halo rule applied to him in the last two minutes of the game as if he was Chris Paul. Crab dribble ftw.

    The NBA is a crooked league, and if you can't beat em, join em.
     

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