Stat #6 to 8: Blocks, Free Throws and Steals…Oh My!
6. Blocks per game, NBA rank: 13th
When it comes to blocking shots, the Rockets currently rank 13th, averaging slightly more than 5 per game. Also of note, Clint Capela currently ranks seventh in the NBA with 47 blocked shots on the season.
7. Free throw percentage, NBA rank: 9th
Making free-throws with greater consistency can significantly aid the Rockets in close games. Consider this—seven out of nine Rockets’ losses were decided by ten points or less. And three of the team’s losses were decided by only three points or less.
A third of the way through the season, seven teams average a free-throw percentage of at least 80 percent. At the charity stripe, the Rockets currently average 78.9 percent, good for 9th in the NBA. However, shooting free-throws at an 80 percent-clip as a team should be a realistic goal for the Rockets to strive for.
You might be wondering how the 2017 NBA MVP is performing from the foul line. Russell Westbrook is a career 80.1 percent free-throw shooter; however, this season he is only averaging 76.7 percent. Meanwhile, Harden, an 85.9 percent career free-throw shooter, is currently averaging a stellar 88.4 percent from the line.
Harden is quietly on pace for a career-best with his current season free-throw percentage. Perhaps hardly anyone noticed, but Harden has become even more effective at making free-throws over his illustrious 11-year run, turning in a high-water mark of 87.9 percent from the foul line in his tenth year, just last season.
8. Steals per game, NBA rank: 4th
When it comes to pickpocketing the rock, the Rockets rank 4th in the NBA, averaging 8.5 steals per contest. Throughout the season, the Rockets have stolen the ball 230 times. In the Western Conference, only the Lakers and Warriors have secured more steals than the Rockets.