NBA.com has unleashed a ton of new fun statistics. These SportsVU stats have been available to the Rockets for some time and a small amount of them are available to us now. While all the usual SSSC (small sample size caveats) apply there are some interesting things to see.
1. Twin Towers has not been Working
This looks at lineups that have played at least 50 minutes so far this season. I used 4 man lineups to get a few more minutes. The Asik - Dwight combo is a disaster. They play at a slower pace than the other Rockets lineups. The offensive ratings are horrific. The worst offensive team in the NBA is the Utah Jazz with a rating of 89.9. So not very encouraging signs at the moment. The defense has been all over the place.
When Dwight is on the court alone the Rockets average 1.181 points per possession. The opponent averages 1.059.
When Dwight and Asik are on the court together, the Rockets average 0.872 points per possession and allow 1.055.
Doesn't take much to see what the problem so far has been.
2. Looking at the Rockets individual performances
Casspi looks absolutely amazing so far in terms of net rating. Lin has been absolutely on fire the entire season so far. He's been money from deep. However, his turnover ratio is a problem. Both Lin and Asik have large turnover problems in the early going. Asik seems to have a huge positive impact on the defense. However, thanks to the minutes with Dwight he has been quite bad on offense.
3. SportsVU fun
- Lin, Harden, Parsons and Dwight are all in the top 50 in terms of distance travelled per game. Parsons is third in the NBA right now. The Rockets are a fast paced team that have a lot of movement on both sides of the floor. Generally there is a good balance of big men and guards in the top 50 so it isn't unusual to see these players there.
- In terms of frontcourt touches, Harden leads the Rockets. He is followed by Lin, Beverley, Parsons and finally Dwight. As the first three are the primary ball handlers, this is not very surprising. James Harden and Jeremy Lin also average twice as many touches per game as Dwight Howard. The next 4 names in the touches per game column after Dwight Howard are - Marcin Gortat, Serge Ibaka, Miles Plumlee and DeAndre Jordan. The common thread with these players is that none of them initiate offense.
- Lin and Harden are 25th and 50th respectively in points created by assists per 48 minutes out of players who play over 25 minutes per game. These are two ball dominant guards. Even combined they're creating less points than CP3, Deron Williams, Jeff Teague, Steph Curry and John Wall. I expected this number to go up as 3 pointers finally start falling.
- Lin is third in the NBA in points created by drives per 48 minutes. This confirms what we've been seeing. Lin has been getting to the basket at will. Harden is 7th. Both Lin and Harden have been shooting over 55% on drives to the basket. As this does not include transition it is quite impressive.