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Rockets don't like "in-between" shots
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durvasa is offline Old 11-25-2012, 02:44 AM   #1
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I was taking a look at some stats at HoopData.com, and something jumped out at me.

http://hoopdata.com/teamshotlocs.aspx

The Rockets, by a very wide margin, take the fewest shots that aren't at the rim or beyond the arc. So far this season, as a percentage of their total field goal attempts, only 25.2% coming from this in-between range. This is a staggeringly low number. Because we lack a consistent post-threat, and our go to scorer does not like taking pull-up 2-point jump shots, such shots end up being relatively rare for us.

To illustrate how far outside the norm we are, I plotted this statistic (%FGA not at rim or outside 3-point line) for every team since the 06/07 season. I've highlighted data points for the Rockets over the years:



Interestingly, just last year we shot 47.9% from this in-between range. Without Scola and Martin its no surprise that this number would drop. But even for returning players, there seems to be a pattern of shooting less mid-range 2-point shots this year. Parsons, for example, took 25.3% of his shots from this mid-range last year, compared to only 16.1% this year. Patterson took 80% of his shots from the in-between range last year, but this years its dropped down to 49.5%. Of course, having Harden and Asik (who pretty much only takes shots at the rim) makes a big difference too.

Is this a conscious effort by the Rockets to focus on what are, by the numbers, the most efficient shots on the floor?



Update: Results in tabular form for all teams, 06/07 through 2012 (11-24-12):

Code:
Year    Team    FGM     FGA     %FGA
2013    HOU     64      184     25.2%
2009    NYK     892     2293    32.4%
2012    DEN     695     1832    33.9%
2010    ORL     922     2173    34.0%
2008    ORL     908     2247    35.0%
2012    ORL     624     1813    35.1%
2013    NYK     78      199     35.3%
2010    NYK     993     2461    35.8%
2013    DEN     115     310     36.3%
2008    GSW     1085    2686    36.7%
2013    CLE     100     275     37.2%
2011    DEN     950     2462    37.3%
2009    ORL     948     2396    37.5%
2010    CHA     903     2398    38.0%
2010    HOU     1052    2632    38.0%
2012    NYK     722     2040    38.3%
2007    GSW     1048    2667    38.3%
2007    NYK     923     2461    39.1%
2009    DEN     989     2547    39.3%
2013    SAS     132     302     39.5%
2011    ORL     1022    2538    39.6%
2013    LAL     96      279     39.7%
2007    NJN     1030    2511    39.8%
2009    NJN     1007    2599    40.0%
2007    PHO     1179    2748    40.1%
2008    MEM     1074    2677    40.3%
2008    DEN     1121    2797    40.4%
2013    MIN     91      246     40.5%
2007    DEN     1058    2743    40.8%
2013    DET     109     317     41.0%
2008    LAL     1145    2755    41.0%
2007    LAL     1149    2741    41.2%
2011    NYK     1091    2831    41.3%
2010    CLE     1062    2626    41.3%
2009    CHA     1046    2593    41.4%
2013    BKN     84      205     41.4%
2013    POR     120     303     41.5%
2013    NOR     92      254     41.6%
2009    PHO     1188    2777    41.6%
2012    MIN     806     2265    41.7%
2010    DEN     1111    2785    41.7%
2013    MIA     149     341     41.8%
2013    CHA     103     282     42.0%
2008    HOU     1131    2783    42.1%
2010    PHO     1249    2864    42.2%
2012    CLE     743     2264    42.3%
2007    MIL     1144    2815    42.3%
2009    HOU     1146    2757    42.5%
2008    NJN     1072    2706    42.5%
2013    MEM     124     310     42.6%
2007    HOU     1129    2747    42.6%
2010    UTH     1157    2799    42.6%
2013    MIL     113     289     42.7%
2008    NYK     1135    2870    42.7%
2013    OKC     118     308     42.8%
2008    PHO     1287    2901    42.9%
2010    LAC     1128    2829    42.9%
2009    LAC     1087    2867    43.0%
2008    BOS     1158    2686    43.0%
2012    OKC     903     2252    43.1%
2012    SAC     867     2479    43.4%
2012    POR     923     2355    43.5%
2009    MIN     1132    2932    43.5%
2012    SAS     959     2376    43.5%
2011    LAC     1057    2838    43.6%
2010    IND     1212    2973    43.6%
2010    BOS     1180    2746    43.7%
2008    CHA     1121    2857    43.7%
2007    MEM     1145    2808    44.0%
2013    TOR     117     316     44.1%
2011    HOU     1203    3080    44.2%
2007    MIA     1123    2728    44.5%
2009    PHI     1125    2902    44.6%
2012    NJN     924     2372    44.6%
2010    NOR     1262    3052    44.6%
2009    UTH     1195    2944    44.6%
2010    SAS     1243    2979    44.7%
2008    IND     1225    3123    44.8%
2012    ATL     925     2363    44.9%
2013    ATL     118     278     45.1%
2013    LAC     137     307     45.1%
2008    CLE     1109    3011    45.1%
2010    LAL     1299    3086    45.2%
2009    BOS     1213    2859    45.3%
2009    IND     1306    3196    45.3%
2010    MIL     1266    3145    45.3%
2013    GSW     120     297     45.3%
2012    LAC     955     2432    45.4%
2008    UTH     1268    2989    45.5%
2009    LAL     1351    3165    45.5%
2009    POR     1198    2946    45.5%
2011    SAS     1240    3014    45.5%
2008    SAC     1217    2968    45.6%
2011    GSW     1224    3215    45.7%
2007    SAS     1194    2864    45.7%
2012    MIL     971     2588    45.8%
2007    SAC     1130    2805    45.9%
2011    CHI     1176    3020    45.9%
2009    SAC     1200    3064    46.0%
2013    SAC     115     359     46.1%
2013    PHO     145     414     46.1%
2011    PHO     1261    3157    46.2%
2013    IND     132     374     46.2%
2009    CLE     1212    2976    46.3%
2009    ATL     1209    2972    46.5%
2007    CLE     1156    3093    46.5%
2011    CHA     1154    2965    46.6%
2013    UTH     145     420     46.7%
2010    SAC     1271    3219    46.7%
2007    WAS     1249    3185    46.7%
2011    CLE     1147    3104    46.8%
2011    POR     1153    3085    46.8%
2013    DAL     163     400     46.8%
2007    CHA     1194    3068    46.8%
2010    NJN     1132    3071    46.9%
2010    PHI     1255    3143    46.9%
2012    DAL     992     2531    46.9%
2009    NOR     1210    2977    46.9%
2011    DAL     1312    3034    47.0%
2007    UTH     1239    3011    47.1%
2008    NOR     1315    3194    47.1%
2010    MEM     1310    3252    47.3%
2013    WAS     115     308     47.3%
2012    GSW     996     2579    47.4%
2008    MIL     1317    3190    47.4%
2009    MIA     1309    3142    47.4%
2008    WAS     1200    3138    47.4%
2009    CHI     1307    3237    47.5%
2007    ORL     1124    2885    47.5%
2012    MIA     986     2474    47.5%
2010    OKC     1273    3149    47.6%
2010    GSW     1405    3371    47.6%
2012    HOU     1019    2646    47.8%
2012    CHI     1011    2610    47.9%
2010    ATL     1341    3258    47.9%
2007    ATL     1154    2992    47.9%
2009    MIL     1296    3235    48.0%
2011    OKC     1204    3171    48.0%
2007    BOS     1192    3067    48.1%
2009    DAL     1417    3237    48.1%
2012    DET     923     2519    48.1%
2011    IND     1262    3265    48.1%
2010    TOR     1408    3196    48.2%
2013    PHI     103     355     48.4%
2007    SEA     1304    3207    48.5%
2009    MEM     1248    3053    48.7%
2011    BOS     1232    3035    48.8%
2010    DAL     1401    3299    48.9%
2009    SAS     1374    3176    48.9%
2013    BOS     160     370     48.9%
2010    POR     1287    3148    49.0%
2011    DET     1237    3257    49.0%
2011    UTH     1269    3227    49.0%
2009    GSW     1372    3449    49.1%
2008    PHI     1252    3268    49.2%
2008    SAS     1290    3151    49.3%
2012    WAS     949     2698    49.3%
2008    ATL     1221    3186    49.3%
2007    NOR     1228    3256    49.3%
2011    TOR     1370    3330    49.4%
2007    TOR     1351    3190    49.4%
2010    DET     1308    3264    49.5%
2007    DET     1304    3181    49.6%
2012    PHO     1079    2700    49.6%
2008    CHI     1347    3401    49.7%
2012    TOR     967     2560    49.7%
2011    MIA     1347    3139    49.8%
2011    LAL     1358    3378    50.1%
2010    MIA     1326    3265    50.1%
2008    MIN     1377    3412    50.2%
2008    TOR     1438    3361    50.3%
2011    MIL     1267    3293    50.4%
2007    IND     1297    3308    50.5%
2009    WAS     1324    3360    50.6%
2012    IND     1043    2721    50.7%
2007    DAL     1398    3235    50.8%
2010    CHI     1429    3478    51.0%
2009    OKC     1262    3418    51.1%
2007    CHI     1402    3360    51.1%
2012    LAL     1103    2721    51.2%
2011    MIN     1373    3590    51.2%
2012    BOS     1042    2613    51.4%
2008    MIA     1274    3247    51.4%
2008    DAL     1453    3324    51.4%
2010    MIN     1382    3559    51.4%
2007    POR     1341    3252    51.5%
2011    SAC     1335    3627    52.0%
2012    MEM     1060    2814    52.0%
2011    ATL     1428    3363    52.3%
2011    NJN     1384    3492    52.7%
2008    DET     1427    3450    52.7%
2009    TOR     1475    3495    52.9%
2011    MEM     1421    3597    52.9%
2012    UTH     1084    2886    53.3%
2012    CHA     1001    2823    53.3%
2011    PHI     1405    3617    53.4%
2011    WAS     1344    3678    53.4%
2013    ORL     125     345     53.6%
2010    WAS     1425    3588    53.6%
2013    CHI     146     387     54.2%
2009    DET     1475    3559    54.4%
2007    PHI     1359    3489    54.5%
2011    NOR     1428    3528    55.0%
2012    NOR     1110    2810    55.1%
2007    MIN     1508    3584    55.8%
2008    POR     1522    3657    56.1%
2008    LAC     1453    3630    56.6%
2012    PHI     1218    3157    57.2%
2008    SEA     1581    4021    57.4%
2007    LAC     1526    3715    59.4%

Last edited by durvasa; 11-25-2012 at 07:45 PM.
 
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iconoclastic is offline Old 11-25-2012, 02:49 AM   #2
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Just staying ahead of the curve in the NBA and exploiting market inefficiencies. If rim/threepointer players become overvalued and in-between players start becoming undervalued, then I think we would go in the other direction.
 
A_3PO is offline Old 11-25-2012, 02:52 AM   #3
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As discussed in the other forum, lack of an "in-between" game is one of Harden's two biggest weaknesses on offense.

On a team level, this imbalance will make the Rockets very easy to defend for opponents that play smart defense.

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DAROckets is offline Old 11-25-2012, 02:54 AM   #4
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Team needs to put in a few workout's with Murphy "stop and pop baby"

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Carl Herrera is offline Old 11-25-2012, 02:56 AM   #5
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I think they do try to take as many efficient shots (at rim, 3s and FTs) as possible. However, the extreme numbers we see now may be partially a matter of small sample size.

There are some values to these "in between" shots. The threat of them being made helps open up other opportunities. Also, sometimes these are the only shots being conceded by the defense so taking, say, an open 18 footer is better than forcing a drive and turning it over.

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Carl Herrera is offline Old 11-25-2012, 02:58 AM   #6
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As discussed in the other forum, lack of an "in-between" game is one of Harden's two biggest weaknesses on offense.

On a team level, this imbalance will make the Rockets very easy to defend for opponents that play smart defense.
Harden seems to hit a decent # of midrange pull-up Js as far as I can tell. Doesn't shoot them frequently, but hits a good enough % of them.

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Patterson is the only person who takes these in between shots on a consistent basis.
 
durvasa is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:01 AM   #8
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I think they do try to take as many efficient shots (at rim, 3s and FTs) as possible. However, the extreme numbers we see now may be partially a matter of small sample size.
This is likely true. I'd expect this number to trend up towards 35% as the season progresses. Especially if Lin finds his shot and starts taking more mid-range jumpers like last year, and if one of our PFs becomes a bigger part of the offense. Harden may also start becoming more comfortable with the mid-range shot.
 
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Without looking at the data I would imagine Patterson, Lin and Morris take the most in between shots.

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sidestep is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by durvasa View Post
I was taking a look at some stats at HoopData.com, and something jumped out at me.

http://hoopdata.com/teamshotlocs.aspx

The Rockets, by a very wide margine, take the fewest shots that aren't at the rim or beyond the arc. So far this season, as a percentage of their total field goal attempts, only 25.2% coming from this in-between range. This is a staggeringly low number. Because we lack a consistent post-threat, and our go to scorer does not like taking pull-up 2-point jump shots, such shots end up being relatively rare for us.
Nice post. I think it's worth differentiating between different 'in-betweens.' The number that jumps out at me is that Houston shoots the fewest long 2s (9.7 attempts) per game -- in HoopData, that's the 16-23 ft shot, which is the least efficient. (As expected, Boston is on the other side of the spectrum: 28th in the league, 24.8 attempts from 16-23 ft per game.) I think that's very positive and it is in line with how the coaching staff have wanted the team to play, and partly why Lin has been shooting less midrange and more 3s this season.

Aside from the efficiency difference between the long 2 and post-up, the latter also gives more FTs (the most efficient type of shot of all), and can get opposing defenders into foul trouble. In other words, the categories of shots should not just be differentiated by distance to the basket but also by the kinds of shots that lead to FTs, since FTs are just money and have other benefits.

An interesting detail from the Knicks game was that when Melo got into foul trouble and had to sit -- which led to a run by Rox -- that was not because he fouled while playing defense but because he committed an offensive foul by pushing off. The overall outcome of the game would prolly not have changed if that hadn't happened, but it's a very glaring weakness that the starting 4 is so poor at drawing fouls and getting to the line -- Ppat has only shot 9 FT after 12 games.

Harden is amazing at drawing fouls, and Asik should be getting more FT than he has -- his reverse layups at the rim don't really get that job done. Lin getting more screens and quality screens would also generate more FTs. So far it's a skill of his that hasn't given the sets to fully play out, besides the lack of driving lanes bc of his poor shooting.

Nevermind the distance to the basket, it's really FTs that are the most efficient. This is why Lin shooting 3s isn't necessarily more efficient. He's best when he gets to the line often, esp given his shooting woes.

Last edited by sidestep; 11-25-2012 at 03:17 AM.
 
lfw is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:10 AM   #11
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I saw a post game interview with Lin and he basically said that the team considers good shots to be shots at the rim or 3 pointers. Looks like the team is getting better at getting the shots they want.

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OremLK is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:24 AM   #12
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I expect Lin to take more "stop and pop" shots as his confidence improves, and Harden to do the same as he is forced to expand his game to match increased defensive pressure. These shots are important at very least to keep defenders honest.
 
mike_lu is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:30 AM   #13
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Harden and Parsons both prefer 3pt shots and shots at the rim. Lin prefers shots at the rim and mid-range jump shots (off the dribble), but the team's offensive concept has him taking more 3pt shots and less mid-range jump shots. Asik has no game outside the basket area. 2Pat started the year playing on the block, but is now back to shooting these 12-18ft jump shots. Morris gets his baskets mostly on 3pt shots and put backs at the rim. Greg Smith also only shoots at the rim, as does Aldrich. Cook is mostly a 3pt shooter. Douglas can only put up 3pt shots and drive at the rim, he has no in-between game.

The result? Very little in-between shooting. A big part the players we have, and I think also somewhat by design.

2Pat is really the only mid-range shooter right now. I think Morris has it in him, but isn't used that way at the moment.
 
Dei is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:36 AM   #14
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Isn't the rank backwards?
 
Mathloom is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:43 AM   #15
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Given that you can force 3-pters, mid range shots or drives to the rim - it's probably a good idea to look for mid-long range 2's less frequently. Have never liked those shots and from our roster make-up it doesn't seem we have anyone particularly good at them anyway.

It does, however, make me wonder what Patterson is doing since he's neither taking a significant number of 3's or driving to the rim.
 
cbk41 is online now Old 11-25-2012, 03:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mathloom View Post
Given that you can force 3-pters, mid range shots or drives to the rim - it's probably a good idea to look for mid-long range 2's less frequently. Have never liked those shots and from our roster make-up it doesn't seem we have anyone particularly good at them anyway.

It does, however, make me wonder what Patterson is doing since he's neither taking a significant number of 3's or driving to the rim.
He's stretching the floor or posting up.
 
leebigez is offline Old 11-25-2012, 03:59 AM   #17
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That really sucks, man. I feel for you. I've only seen 2 games in the NBA (one to see Jordan and another to see Yao), but I worry about paying big bucks to see Lin play with McHale as coach. I'll just have to wait it out. There's no way I'm driving all the way to Portland to sit in the cheap seats or watch Mr. 4th Quarter sit in the 4th quarter.
 
AFS is offline Old 11-25-2012, 04:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by flamingdts View Post
Patterson is the only person who takes these in between shots on a consistent basis.
Pretty much all he takes anymore.
 
meh is offline Old 11-25-2012, 04:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by A_3PO View Post
As discussed in the other forum, lack of an "in-between" game is one of Harden's two biggest weaknesses on offense.

On a team level, this imbalance will make the Rockets very easy to defend for opponents that play smart defense.
Why is that easy to defend? If our players are making 3s at a solid clip, it only helps things because defenders have to stretch all the way out to the 3 point line to defend. I mean, the entire Rudy T offense for our first championship was the Hakeem post up and 3 point shooting. If players can make open 3s, there are literally no better jumpshot in the entire game.
 
roslolian is offline Old 11-25-2012, 04:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by A_3PO View Post
As discussed in the other forum, lack of an "in-between" game is one of Harden's two biggest weaknesses on offense.

On a team level, this imbalance will make the Rockets very easy to defend for opponents that play smart defense.
I disagree, you don't really need an in between game, in fact the in-between game is bad for any team. I mean, just look at the NY-Houston game, we walloped NY with Melo having one of his best "in-between" games ever.

It sounds strange to the "eye-test" guys who always see Iverson break someone's ankles and then launch a mid-range jumpshot, but if you think about it, the mid-range shot is the worst shot because a shot at the rim has a higher chance of going in+chance of fouls, while the shot at the 3 is worth 50% more and is just a few steps away. Even worse, as we saw in the NYC game, mid-range shots tend to kill a team's efficiency, that's because all the other players stop moving and watch the iso-person going to work. This is the reason why the Iverson/Melo/Starbury/Francis lead teams never went anywhere, despite those guys putting up major stats. Sure, AI/Melo has had a lot playoff of success, but most of those came on the backs of their Defense, with the offense part dragging the team down.

OTH, if all you do is drive to the basket or shoot 3s, then that means everyone will need to cut to the basket and look for passes. More movement=more involvement=more energy from the squad. It's also harder to defend, with everyone moving there is an infinite possible attack scenarios which could happen, instead of some dude massaging the ball while the clock ticks down. I'm not sure why you think not having a mid-range shot makes you easier to defend, there is no defense that can defend the post and yet cover all the 3 pt areas simultaneously, there are only 5 guys who need to cover the entire area. on the other hand, there are multiple zone defenses which can cover the mid-range and post rather effectively, just ask the C's or Thibs how it's done.

Last thing on mid-range prowess: When did LBJ win his ring? When he was trying to be like Mike and launched fade aways left and right? Or when he said "**** it", moved to the PF spot and started abusing everyone on the planet?
 

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