Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

Numbers Preview: Western Conference Finals Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors

#Steph CP3

It's the series we've been waiting for all season. The Golden State Warriors are the defending champs. The Houston Rockets are the best team in the league, with the second most wins of any non-Warriors team in the last five years.

They had the two of the five most efficient offences in NBA history. The Rockets set an all-time record for 3-pointers, while the Warriors were the league's best shooting team both inside the paint and out.

And they've been the two best defensive teams in the playoffs, holding their four opponents to at least five points per 100 possessions under their regular season marks.

Both rosters have star power and versatility. And only one will advance to The Finals.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Western Conference finals, with links to let you dive in and explore more. Game 1 is Monday (9 p.m. ET on TSN 1/4/5).

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

HOUSTON ROCKETS (65-17, 8-2)

First round: Beat Minnesota in 5 games.
Conf. semis: Beat Utah in 5 games.
Pace: 98.3 (9)
OffRtg: 111.1 (1)
DefRtg: 102.1 (2)
NetRtg: +9.0 (2)

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Golden State: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Rockets playoff notes - General:

  1. The Only team that hasn't lost a game that was within five points in the last five minutes in the playoffs. They're 2-0 in those games.
  2. Have outscored their opponents by 13.8 points per game on 3-pointers. That's more than twice the next biggest differential (Boston's +5.5 points per game) in the playoffs.
  3. Have had both the No. 1 offense and the No. 1 defense on the road (where they're 3-1) in the postseason.
  4. Starting lineup has played 153 minutes together, second most in the playoffs. It has outscored its opponents by 18.3 points per 100 possessions, the fifth best mark among 17 lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together.

Rockets playoff notes - Offense:

  1. Have taken 46 percent of their shots from 3-point range, the highest rate in the playoffs, but down from 50 percent in the regular season. Their 18.2 pull-up 3-point attempts per game are 5.7 more than any other team has averaged in the postseason. They've had five games in which they've made at least 16 threes. Only one other team (Philadelphia - 2) has had more than one.
  2. Turnover rate of 9.8 per 100 possessions is the second lowest postseason rate in the 41 years since the league started counting turnovers. The only lower rate (9.6 per 100) belonged to the 2006-07 Washington Wizards, who were swept in the first round.
  3. Have seen the biggest drop in free throw rate (FTA/FGA) from the regular season (0.298, third in the league) to the playoffs (0.251, 11th).
  4. Have averaged 52.0 drives per game, most in the playoffs.
  5. Lead the playoffs with 14.0 screen assists per game and 9.4 points per game scored from pick-and-roll ball-handlers.
  6. Rank last in the playoffs in both player movement (5.6 miles travelled per 24 minutes of possession) and ball movement (252 passes per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking.
  7. 14.1 percent of their possessions, the second highest rate in the playoffs and the highest among the four teams still playing, have been isolations. But they've scored just 1.00 points per possession on isolations, down from a league-high 1.12 in the regular season.
  8. See more play type data from the Rockets and Warriors in the NBA.com/stats preview.

Rockets playoff notes - Defense:

  1. The only team that has been better than the league average in each of the defensive four factors in the playoffs.
  2. Disregarding opponent, were the most improved defensive team from the first round (105.1 points allowed per 100 possessions) to the conference semifinals (99.1).
  3. 14.5 percent of their opponents' possessions, the highest rate in the playoffs, have been isolations. And on those isolations, they've allowed just 0.78 points per possession, tied for the lowest rate in the playoffs.
  4. Have allowed their opponents to take 39 percent of their shots from the restricted area, the highest opponent rate in the playoffs.
  5. 31 percent of their opponents' 3-point attempts have come from the corners. That's the highest opponent rate in the playoffs.

Rockets playoff notes - Individuals:

Regular season: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Houston: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs: Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Warriors playoff notes - General:

  1. Have outscored their opponents by 26.9 points per 100 possessions in the third quarter, the best mark in any quarter among the four teams that are still playing.
  2. Best rebounding team of the four remaining, having grabbed 53 percent of available rebounds.
  3. Lineup of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant and Green has outscored its opponent by 41 points per 100 possessions in its 54 minutes, the best mark among 17 lineups that have played at least 50 minutes in the playoffs. It leads those same lineups in assist percentage (having assisted on 75 percent of its field goals)and DefRtg (having allowed just 87 points per 100 possessions). It has also played at a pace of 114 possessions per 48 minutes, by far the fastest of any of those 17 lineups.
  4. Lead the playoffs in aggregate bench NetRtg (plus-5.1 points per 100 possessions).

Warriors playoff notes - Offense:

  1. Rank 11th in the playoffs in player movement (6.5 miles travelled per 24 minutes of possession) and first in ball movement (390 passes per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking.
  2. Have assisted on 70 percent of their field goals, the highest rate in the playoffs. Have had five games of at least 30 assists, more than all other teams combined (four). Also lead the postseason in secondary assists(3.9 per game) and assist/turnover ratio (2.15). The Rockets (2.12) are the only other team above 2.0 in the latter.
  3. Rank 15th in 3-point percentage at 32.9 percent, and have seen the biggest drop in 3-point percentage from the regular season, when they led the league at 39.1 percent.
  4. Have scored 1.26 points per possession in transition, the highest rate in the playoffs. Their 17.6 fast break points per game are 7.4 more than any of the other three remaining teams have averaged in the playoffs.
  5. Have averaged only 4.6 shots per game in the last four seconds of the shot clock, fewest in the playoffs.
  6. Have averaged just 20.5 drives per game, fewest in the playoffs. Their 37.6 points in the paint per game is tied for last in the postseason.
  7. Have averaged a postseason-high 25.1 mid-range shots per game and have been the best mid-range shooting team in the playoffs by a wide margin at 51.0 percent.
  8. 12.4 percent of their possessions, the highest rate in the playoffs, have been via cuts.
  9. See more play type data from the Rockets and Warriors in the NBA.com/stats preview.

Warriors playoff notes - Defense:

  1. Have allowed 4.9 fewer points per 100 possessions than they allowed in the regular season (104.2). That has been the biggest DefRtg drop from the regular season to the playoffs. They held the Pelicans to 16.2 fewer points per 100 possessions than the Pelicans scored in the first round (114.7). That was, by far, the biggest offensive efficiency drop for any team from the first round to the conference semis.
  2. Rank first in opponent 3-point percentage (32.0 percent) in the playoffs.
  3. Have allowed their opponents to take only 58 percent of their shots from the restricted area (26 percent) or 3-point range (30 percent), the lowest opponent rate in the playoffs.
  4. Have allowed 0.87 points per possession in transition, the lowest rate in the playoffs.
  5. Have allowed 0.60 points per possession on isolations, the lowest rate in the playoffs.

Warriors playoff - Individuals:

  1. Stephen Curry leads the playoffs with 7.8 fast break points per game. He has averaged 5.19 miles per hour on offence, the highest rate among players who have played at least 20 minutes per game.
  2. The Warriors have averaged 111.2 possessions per 48 minutes with Curry on the floor. That's, by far, the highest on-court mark for pace among players who have averaged at least 15 minutes per game in the postseason.
  3. Neither Curry (19-for-19) nor Klay Thompson (16-for-16) have missed a free throw in the playoffs. Those are the most attempts among players who have been perfect at the line.
  4. Kevin Durant and Thompson lead the postseason in mid-range field goal attempts. Durant has shot 53-for-87 (61 percent) from mid-range, the best mark among players with at least 25 mid-range attempts in the playoffs. He has taken 42 percent of his shots from mid-range, up from 32 percent in the regular season.
  5. Durant and Thompson have taken just 11 percent and 10 percent of their shots in the restricted area, respectively. Those are the fifth and third lowest rates, respectively, among 85 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs.
  6. Durant has shot just 28 percent from 3-point range, the worst mark among players with at least 50 3-point attempts in the playoffs and a drop from 42 percent in the regular season.
  7. Draymond Green has seen the biggest increase in rebounds per game (from 7.6 to 11.5) among players who have played at least 40 games in the regular season and at least four in the playoffs.
  8. Green has also seen the fourth biggest increase in assists per game (from 7.3 to 9.0) among that same group of players. He has recorded assists on 37 percent of his possessions, the second highest rate in the playoffs.
  9. Green leads the playoffs in defensive win shares.
  10. Andre Iguodala has shot 38 percent from 3-point range, up from 28 percent in the regular season. That has been the second biggest jump among 56 players with at least 100 3-point attempts in the regular season and at least 25 in the playoffs.
  11. The Warriors have allowed just 95.4 points per 100 possessions with Iguodala on the floor. That's the lowest on-court mark for DefRtg among players who have averaged at least 15 minutes for one of the four teams still playing.
  12. Shaun Livingston has taken only 29 percent of his shots from the restricted area or 3-point range, the lowest rate among 85 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the playoffs.
  13. Thompson has attempted 22 more catch-and-shoot jumpers (94) than any other player in the postseason.
  14. Thompson has attempted just nine free throws per 100 shots from the field, the lowest rate among 50 players with at least 75 field goal attempts in the postseason.
  15. See Warriors-Pelicans preview for first round notes and Warriors-Spurs preview for regular season notes.

REGULAR SEASON MATCHUP

Season series: Rockets won 2-1 (1-1 in Houston)
Oct. 17 @ Golden State - Rockets 122, Warriors 121
Jan. 4 @ Houston - Warriors 124, Rockets 114
Jan. 20 @ Houston - Rockets 116, Warriors 108

Pace: 103.6 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Houston OffRtg: 111.8 (5th vs. Golden State)
Golden State OffRtg: 115.1 (2nd vs. Houston)

Individual matchups:Houston offense vs. Golden State defense | Golden State offense vs. Houston defense

Matchup notes:

  1. The first meeting was on the first night of the season and the second meeting was the second game of a back-to-back for both teams.
  2. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Luc Mbah a Moute all missed the second meeting (the Warriors' win), which was the only game vs. Houston that Andre Iguodala played in, so the Warriors' "Hamptons Five" lineup didn't play together in any of the three. Trevor Ariza missed the third meeting for the Rockets.
  3. No Houston lineup played more than 13 minutes vs. the Warriors.
  4. Both teams made 46 3-pointers over the three games and the Rockets made one more free throw (46) than the Warriors (45). The Rockets outscored the Warriors by 10.7 points per game in the restricted area, while the Warriors outscored the Rockets by 11.3 per game on other 2-point shots.
  5. The Warriors' effective field goal percentage of 61.8 percent was the second highest mark against the Warriors this season. The Rockets' effective field goal percentage of 56.0 percent was the third highest mark against the Warriors.
  6. The Warriors grabbed just 13.9 percent of available offensive rebounds, their lowest rate against any opponent and the second lowest rate of any Houston opponent.
  7. The Rockets were outscored by 21 points in 43 minutes with Harden and Chris Paul on the floor together and were a plus-30 in 89 minutes with one on the floor without the other.
  8. Houston was a plus-26 in 78 minutes with P.J. Tucker on the floor and a minus-27 in 66 minutes with Tucker off the floor.
  9. Draymond Green played 87 of his 102 minutes against Houston at power forward (with Zaza Pachulia, Kevon Looney, David West or Jordan Bell also on the floor). The Warriors were a plus-22 in those minutes and a minus-4 in his 15 minutes at center.
  10. Green totalled 47 points, 32 rebounds and 29 assists, one assist shy from averaging a triple-double over the three games. He shot 58 percent, his best mark vs. any Western Conference opponent.
  11. Nick Young shot 18-for-26, including 13-for-19 from 3-point range. His effective field goal percentage of 94 percent was the highest mark among 106 players with at least 25 field goal attempts vs. the Rockets this season.
  12. Ryan Anderson, who ranks 10th on the Rockets in total minutes (67) in the playoffs, played the third most minutes (88) against the Warriors in the regular season.
  13. Eric Gordon shot 21-for-30 (70 percent) on 3-pointers and 2-for-24 (8 percent) on 3-pointers.
  14. Klay Thompson was the primary defender on Harden (77 of 144 possessions). Harden shot less than he usually does, but the Rockets scored efficiently on those possessions.
  15. Houston scored just 89 points on 94 total possessions with Curry or Thompson as the primary defender on Paul.
  16. Gordon defended Curry for more possessions (51) than any other Rockets player, and Curry took just six shots on those 51 possessions. Curry shot more against Paul, but was just 5-for-13 (1-for-5 from 3-point range) on those 48 possessions.
  17. No Rockets player defended Durant for more than 32 possessions.

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