2019 NBA Playoffs
2019 NBA Playoffs

Numbers preview: Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Houston Rockets (4)

Everything hidden in the numerical matrix for the Western Conference semifinal

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

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Apr 28, 2019 12:57 AM ET

James Harden and Kevin Durant are locked in as the Rockets-Warriors series looms.

It's time for the rematch.

The Houston Rockets wanted another chance at the Golden State Warriors, and they got it. In the Warriors' first two postseasons with Kevin Durant, no team has had them on the ropes nearly as much as the Rockets did in last year's Western Conference finals, when Houston held a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 at home.

The Rockets had a 17-point lead in Game 6 and a 15-point lead in Game 7, but couldn't finish the job. Now they have a second chance, as well as a healthy Chris Paul.

The Warriors have home-court advantage this year, though the Rockets were waiting in the Bay Area while the champs were playing Game 6 in Los Angeles on Friday night.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Western Conference semifinals, with links to let you dive in and explore more. Game 1 is Sunday at 3:30 ET on ABC.

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

Golden State Warriors (57-25, 4-2)

First round: Beat LA Clippers in six games.
Pace: 103.1 (3)
OffRtg: 120.5 (1)
DefRtg: 111.5 (10)
NetRtg: +9.0 (5)

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 postseason notes - General:

  1. Have lost more home games (they were 1-2 at home in the first round) than they lost in the last two postseasons combined (19-1).
  2. Warriors-Clippers was the most efficient offensive series in the first round, with the two teams combining to score 116.0 points per 100 possessions.
  3. Have been at their best in the first quarter, outscoring the Clippers by 31.6 points per 100 possessions, and progressively worse with each ensuing quarter: plus-17.0 in the second, plus-4.4 in the third, and minus-18.5 in the fourth.
Warriors playoffs shot profile
AreaFGMFGAFG%Rank%FGARank
Restricted area10714474.3%227%12
Other paint276541.5%712%14
Mid-range5713243.2%725%2
Corner 3163941.0%37%11
Above-break 36115240.1%128%7
%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Warriors postseason notes - Offense:

  1. 69.8 percent of their field goals, the highest rate in the playoffs, have been assisted. Rank first in the playoffs in ball movement (376 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and ninth in player movement (11.2 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession).
  2. Rank second in both 2-point percentage (56.0 percent) 3-point percentage (39.9 percent), and lead the postseason in free throw percentage (86.4 percent).
  3. Lead the postseason with 16.5 post-ups per game. Have passed out of post-ups 56.6 percent of the time, the highest rate among teams that have posted up more than one time in the playoffs.
  4. Have averaged 22.7 drives per game, fewest in the postseason.
Warriors efficiency and four factors - Offense
SeasonOffRtgRankeFG%RankOREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season114.9156.5%125.7%2313.9%160.22728
Playoffs120.5157.4%228.6%513.9%70.2888
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained.
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions.
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Warriors postseason notes - Defense:

  1. The Clippers saw the second biggest drop in the percentage of their shots that came from the restricted area from the regular season (35 percent, 8th-highest in the league) to the first round (29 percent, 10th).
  2. The Clippers scored 1.50 points per possession, the postseason's best rate, on roll-man possessions.
  3. The Clippers drew fouls on 9.8 percent of their drives, the second highest rate in the playoffs. They rank second in overall free throw rate (FTA/FGA), averaging 32.3 attempts per 100 shots from the field, though that was right around their league-leading mark in the regular season (32.6).
Warriors efficiency and four factors - Defense
SeasonDefRtgRankeFG%RankDREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season108.51150.8%372.7%1713.2%190.26621
Playoffs111.51051.1%770.7%1314.6%70.32315
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
DREB% = Percentage of available defensive rebounds obtained.

Warriors postseason notes - Lineups:

  1. Two lineups - Curry, Thompson, Durant and Green, with either Iguodala or Bogut - both recorded assists on 75.0 percent of their field goals. That is the highest rate among lineups that have played at least 35 minutes together.
  2. The Warriors' "Hamptons Five" lineup - Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant and Green - has been outscored by 1.2 points per 100 possessions in its 41 minutes. It was a plus-23.9 per 100 in 129 minutes in last year's postseason.
  3. The team's best postseason plus-minus belongs to Kevon Looney. The Warriors outscored the Clippers by 87 points in his 108 minutes on the floor and were outscored by 28 in his 180 minutes on the bench.
  4. The Warriors have averaged 108.2 possessions per 48 minutes with Looney on the floor. That's the third highest on-court pace mark among players who have averaged at least 15 minutes in three or more playoff games.

Warriors postseason notes - Individuals:

  1. Andrew Bogut has grabbed 23.7 percent of available rebounds while he's been on the floor, the second-highest rate among players that have averaged at least 10 minutes per game in three or more playoff games.
  2. Stephen Curry (12-for-24) is one of two players (Damian Lillard is the other) that have shot 50 percent or better on at least 20 pull-up 3-point attempts.
  3. Curry has a free throw rate of 42 attempts per 100 shots from the field, up from 21 in the regular season. That's the biggest increase among 46 players with at least 500 field goal attempts in the regular season and at least 50 in the playoffs.
  4. Kevin Durant leads the postseason in scoring at 35.0 points per game. He had three of the seven highest scoring games in the first round (50 points in Game 6, 45 in Game 5, 38 in Game 3).
  5. Durant's nine turnovers in Game 2 vs. the Clippers were the most for any player in a game in the first round.
  6. Durant ranks third with 7.2 mid-range shots per game. He's 25-for-43 and the only player that has shot 50 percent or better on at least 20 total mid-range attempts.
  7. Curry and Durant are two of four players that have averaged 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in the postseason.
  8. Curry and Durant have shot 36-for-37 (97 percent) and 56-for-59 (95 percent) from the free throw line, respectively. Those are the two best marks among players with at least 20 postseason free throw attempts.
  9. Draymond Green is one of three players that have averaged at least seven rebounds and seven assists per game in the playoffs. He has recorded assists on 35.3 percent of his possessions, the fourth-highest rate among players that have averaged at least 15 minutes per game in three or more playoff games. Andre Iguodala has the seventh-highest rate (32.0 percent).
  10. Klay Thompson has a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 0.105, the lowest mark among players with at least 50 field goal attempts in the postseason.

Houston Rockets (53-29, 4-1)

First round: Beat Utah in five games.
Pace: 98.7 (9)
OffRtg: 108.3 (9)
DefRtg: 99.2 (4)
NetRtg: +9.1 (4)

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 postseason notes - General:

  1. Outscored the Jazz by 18.0 points per game from 3-point range, the biggest discrepancy in the first round.
  2. Rockets-Jazz was the least-efficient offensive first round series in the Western Conference, with the two teams combining to score just 103.8 points per 100 possessions.
  3. Have been at their best in the first quarter, outscoring the Jazz by 15.3 points per 100 possessions, and progressively worse with each ensuing quarter: plus-13.4 in the second, plus-8.6 in the third, and minus-0.8 in the fourth.
Rockets playoffs shot profile
AreaFGMFGAFG%Rank%FGARank
Restricted area7111661.2%828%11
Other paint287537.3%1118%7
Mid-range71936.8%125%16
Corner 3205536.4%1013%2
Above-break 35715437.0%837%1
%FGA = Percentage of total shots

Rockets postseason notes - Offense:

  1. Have taken 50.1 percent of their shots from 3-point range, the highest mark in the postseason by a wide margin, but down from 51.9 percent in the regular season.
  2. Rank 15th in the playoffs in ball movement (256 passes per 24 minutes of possessions) and last in player movement (10.0 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession), according to Second Spectrum tracking. They also rank last with just 1.2 secondary assists per game.
  3. Have averaged 58.8 drives per game, second most in the postseason.
Rockets efficiency and four factors - Offense
SeasonOffRtgRankeFG%RankOREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season114.8254.2%426.9%1613.4%90.2796
Playoffs108.3952.6%625.8%1315.4%120.2907
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained.
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions.
FTA Rate = FTA/FGA

Rockets postseason notes - Defense:

  1. The Jazz scored less than a point per possession in three of the five games, after scoring less than a point per possession just twice in their final 46 regular-season games.
  2. Utah saw the biggest drop in 3-point percentage from the regular season (35.6 percent, 10th in the league) to the first round (26.3 percent, 16th).
  3. Utah took 77.5 percent of their shots from the restricted area or 3-point range, the second-highest rate in the postseason and only slightly lower than that of the Rockets (77.7 percent).
Rockets efficiency and four factors - Defense
SeasonDefRtgRankeFG%RankDREB%RankTO%RankFTA RateRank
Reg. season110.11852.5%1870.0%2915.2%70.27425
Playoffs99.2445.5%369.5%1515.4%40.29612
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
DREB% = Percentage of available defensive rebounds obtained.

Rockets postseason notes - Lineups:

  1. Starting lineup outscored Utah by 20.0 points per 100 possessions, the fourth-best mark among lineups that have played at least 35 minutes together (and best among those in the Western Conference).
  2. James Harden and P.J. Tucker have played 34.1 minutes per game together, most among two-man combinations.
  3. The Rockets have scored 109.1 points per 100 possessions in 113 minutes with Paul and Harden on the floor together, 111.0 per 100 in 68 minutes with Harden on the floor without Paul, and just 80.2 per 100 in 51 minutes with Paul on the floor without Harden. Paul has shot 24-for-46 (52 percent) with Harden on the floor and 9-for-27 (33 percent) with Harden off the floor.
  4. Have gotten only six minutes, fewest in the postseason, from rookies or second-year players.

Rockets postseason notes - Individuals:

  1. Clint Capela is 8-for-19 (42 percent) from the free throw line, the worst mark among players with at least 15 attempts. Chris Paul (15-for-16) has the third best mark.
  2. Eric Gordon has scored 0.481 points per touch, fourth-most among players with at least 100 postseason touches. He has shot 18-for-37 (49 percent) from 3-point range, the third-best mark among players with at least 25 postseason attempts.
  3. James Harden has averaged 27.8 points per game, down from 36.1 in the regular season. That's the second biggest drop among 163 players who have played in at least three playoff games after playing in at least 40 regular season games.
  4. Harden has averaged 12.0 isolation possessions per game, most in the playoffs, but down from 16.4 in the regular season. He has scored just 0.88 points per possession on those isolations, the seventh-best mark among players that have averaged at least three isolation possessions per game and down from a league-best 1.11 in the regular season.
  5. Harden has taken 115 shots in the playoffs (tied for second-most), 55 in the paint and 60 from outside the paint. None of the 115 have come from mid-range (between the paint and the 3-point line).
  6. Harden also leads the postseason with 27.6 drives per game and 5.4 assists per game off of drives.
  7. Danuel House Jr. has recorded assists on just 2.6 percent of his possessions, the lowest rate among players that have averaged at least 15 minutes per game in three or more playoff games.
  8. Chris Paul has averaged 2.8 steals per game, most in the postseason.
  9. Paul has shot 21 percent from 3-point range, the worst mark among players who have averaged at least five 3-point attempts per game. He has taken 38.4 percent of his shots from 3-point range, down from 49.3 percent in the regular season. That's the second-biggest drop among 46 players with at least 500 field goal attempts in the regular season and at least 50 in the playoffs.
  10. Harden and Paul are two of six players that have averaged at least eight points per game on drives and eight points per game on pull-up jumpers.
  11. P.J. Tucker leads the postseason with 2.8 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per game. He also leads the postseason with 12 corner 3-pointers, having attempted 10 more than any other player.

Regular season matchup

Rockets won, 3-1 (2-0 in Houston)
Nov. 15 @ Houston - Rockets 107, Warriors 86
Jan. 3 @ Golden State - Rockets 135, Warriors 134 (OT)
Feb. 23 @ Golden State - Rockets 118, Warriors 112
Mar. 13 @ Houston - Warriors 106, Rockets 104

Pace: 95.9 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes
Golden State OffRtg: 111.2 (13th vs. Rockets)
Rockets OffRtg: 118.1 (3rd vs. Golden State)

Individual matchups: GSW offense vs. HOU defense | HOU offense vs. GSW defense

Matchup notes:

  1. These two teams have split their 18 games over the last three seasons (including last year's conference finals). The Rockets are 7-4 against the Warriors in games Chris Paul has played over the last two years.
  2. The 95.9 possessions per 48 that they averaged was the slowest pace that the Warriors played against any opponent this season.
  3. Kevin Durant played in the Rockets' three wins, but missed the Warriors' win on March 13. Stephen Curry missed the first meeting and Andrew Bogut didn't play in any of the four. DeMarcus Cousins started for the Warriors in the last two meetings.
  4. The Warriors' lineup of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Durant and Green was a plus-14 in 14 minutes (and had an assist/turnover ratio of 13/2), but they lost both games that the lineup appeared in.
  5. 18 different players played for Houston against Golden State this season, but Clint Capela, Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker are the only Rockets that played in all four games. Chris Paul and Eric Gordon both missed the second meeting, and James Harden missed the third meeting.
  6. The 33.3 points Harden averaged were the most any player averaged (in at least two games) against the Warriors this season. The 44 points Harden scored in the Rockets' Jan. 3 win were the most scored in a game against Golden State.
  7. Harden took only 30 percent of his shots (23/78) in the paint. That was his third lowest rate against any opponent this season and his 16 restricted-area points were tied for the fewest he had against any Western Conference opponent. His free throw rate against the Warriors (33.3 attempts per 100 shots from the field) was below his average of 44.9.
  8. Most assists in a game vs. Golden State this season: Chris Paul (17) on February 23 and Harden (15) in that January 3 game in which he scored 44 points. That game from Harden was one of seven 40-point triple-doubles in the league this season.
  9. Draymond Green had 16 turnovers against Houston, five more than he had against any other opponent this season.
  10. The 111 minutes that Andre Iguodala played against Houston were the most he played against any opponent in the regular season. The Warriors were 18.4 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor (plus-1.2) than they were with him off the floor (minus-17.2)..
  11. Klay Thompson was the Warriors' primary defender on Harden (as he was in last year's playoff series) and kept Harden from scoring as much as he usually does, but the Rockets scored 88 points on those 71 possessions (124 per 100).
  12. The Rockets scored 99 points on 73 possessions (136 per 100) in which Green was the primary defender on Clint Capela.
  13. Austin Rivers was the primary defender on Curry. Eric Gordon was the primary defender on Curry in last year's playoff series.
  14. In last year's playoff series, Trevor Ariza was the primary defender on Durant and kept him from scoring as much as he usually did. This year, P.J. Tucker was the primary defender on Durant.

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