The Houston Rockets have been blowing teams out with their endless offense, but if you dive deeper into their stats, there’s a very interesting fact about them. The Rockets lead the NBA in first-quarter scoring at 32.4 points per game. But at the other end of the show, they check in dead last in fourth-quarter efforts with only 22.8 points.
You could think about that, and say that those stats mean absolutely nothing, or they just collapse under the pressure of the fourth quarter. But not Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. He’s cracked the code and it’s a much simpler reason: “You know why that is?” he said via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “Because they’re up by 30 going into the fourth quarter. That’s the only reason.”
If you look at their wins and losses, 5 out of 13 victories have come by 20 points or more, including a huge 27-point blasting to the Utah Jazz. The Rockets sit at the top of the Western Conference, with 14-4, and this offense is coming from their entire team. Take a look at Luc Mbah a Moute, (yes that’s his full name), who was +57 for the Rockets on Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets. That’s the best plus-minus by any player in a game over the last 20 seasons, including playoffs.
With this scoring power, and the entire team getting involved, then why wouldn’t they take a quarter off?
🦃 Happy Thanksgiving and catch you Monday.