Lots of people are fired up about the Golden State-Denver series in the NBA playoffs. For good reason. Two uptempo, high-scoring teams. Denver leads the NBA in scoring, 106.1 points a game. Golden State is seventh, at 101.2. That’s a combined 207.8 a game.
The Thunder and the Rockets combine for 211.7. Houston is second in the NBA in scoring, 106.0 points a game. OKC is third at 105.7.
By any measure, the Thunder and the Rockets are among the NBA’s best offensive teams. Offensive efficiency, which is points per possession, the Thunder ranks second, with 110.2 points per 100 possessions. The Rockets rank sixth, with 106.7 points per 100 possessions. True shooting percentage, which is field-goal percentage but factoring in foul shots and the extra benefit of making a 3-pointer: the Thunder is second, at 58.0 percent; the Rockets are fourth, at 56.4.
These are elite offensive teams.
But the difference in these teams is defense. The Thunder is fourth in NBA defensive efficiency, giving up 99.2 points per 100 possessions. The Rockets are 17th, with 106.7 points per 100 possessions. The Thunder is 10th in points allowed, 96.5 points a game. The Rockets are 28th, with 102.5 points per game.
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