The Houston Rockets may have been thumped by the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, but the Rockets made history in the 110-98 loss. That history was setting the record for most three-pointers ever made in a season. Trevor Ariza hit the record 892nd three in the fourth quarter, breaking the old record held by the 2012-13 New York Knicks:
By the time the game was over, the Rockets were at 894 threes on the year and will end up going over 900 by the time the season is over. All these threes are part of an organizational strategy based on analytics, a strategy that emphasizes three-point shots and attempts at the rim to maximize efficiency.
Take a look at the Rockets’ shot chart this season:
Nearly 75 percent of Houston’s shots this year have come at the rim or from three, with less than 11 percent coming from mid-range, which is analytically the most inefficient shot in the game. The Rockets also get to the free throw line a ton thanks to James Harden and Dwight Howard.
While Houston’s strategy is analytically sound, the actual offensive results have been just okay this season. The Rockets rank just 11th in the league in offensive rating, per NBA.com, although that could simply be a function of the litany of injuries. Houston was fourth in offensive rating last year and sixth in 2012-13.