The NBA season is finally back in full swing. As we near the end of the eight placement games, today we’re taking a step back and looking at the Houston Rockets’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks from last Sunday. Houston wasn’t on their A-game, with Harden finishing the game with just 5-14 shooting, but the team still managed to take down the reigning MVP and league’s best team. So how did they manage to accomplish this? Well, that’s exactly what we figure out in today’s video breakdown.
On paper, the Bucks should be a nightmare matchup for the Rockets. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the NBA’s most unstoppable scoring threat at the rim, and the Rockets aren’t exactly known for stonewalling the paint. He and the rest of the Bucks’ finishers did have the success you’d expect in this game, but it wasn’t enough to match the NBA-record-tying 61 three point attempts the Rockets put up.
The Bucks have the NBA’s best defense by a wide margin, but their defensive scheme is built upon the foundation of elite rim protection, while sacrificing points from behind the arc. In fact, they allow the most three-point attempts per game from opponents in the whole NBA. Combine this with the Rockets’ famous love for the shots taken behind the line, and it’s no surprise that these 61 threes were taken.
This absurd volume of three-point attempts proved to be one of the most important factors for this win, but it’s far from the only reason the game ended the way it did. If only there was a handy 15-minute video on the internet dedicated to explaining the rest of the reasons, as well as elaborating more on why the 61 three point attempts mattered other than simply telling you they exist, that would be extremely helpful... Oh wait.