McHale: 'We got to become way more resilient'
Despite the addition of Dwight Howard in the offseason, the Houston Rockets planned to change little about their offense from a year ago, especially their willingness to shoot 3-pointers. Last year, they were second in the NBA in 3-point shots per game (28.9). Through seven games, not much has changed as they rank fifth (25.1).
The real change, though, is the rate they are making those shots. Last season they ranked ninth in the league, converting 36.6 percent on 3-pointers. This year, however, they rank 23rd, making just 31.8 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Not so coincidentally, during their last four games as they’ve dropped three of those four, their long-range shooting has dipped dramatically. They’ve shot under 30 percent in each game, after shooting no worse than 36 percent during their season-opening three-game winning streak.
“We get all the shots we want. We have open shots, sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t,” guard Pat Beverley said. “That’s the nature of the NBA 3(-point shot).
“We are going to continue to shoot a lot of them.” Beverley said. “The coaching staff gives us great confidence to shoot the ball when you are open. Basketball is very fickle, especially on the offensive end.”
The team got a tremendous boost of the bench during the first three games from Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia with their 3-point shooting. Casspi was 3-of-5 (60 percent), while Garcia was 7-of-17 (41 percent) on 3-pointers.
But in the last four games, they have both struggled with Casspi making just 5-of-15 3-pointers and Garcia is just 4-18 (22 percent).
Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said the team was getting the shots they wanted in Saturday night’s game, but the shots were just not dropping.
“During that stretch where we didn’t score, we had four wide open three’s,” McHale said. “The guy got it, planted his feet, looked at the hole and shot it. If two of those go everything looks a lot different.”
One element of their long-range shooting that has remained constant is their attempts. They have taken no fewer than 22 and no more than 29 3-point shots in all seven games. Expect that to continue.