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#pounditFriday, October 30, 2020

Kevin McHale takes shot at former team Rockets over analytics

The Houston Rockets are one of the most advanced statistic-reliant teams in the NBA, and their old head coach thinks it is somewhat to their detriment.

In an interview this week on ESPN 97.5 in Houston, Kevin McHale took a bit of a shot at his former squad over their fervent belief in analytics.

“You guys are caught up a little bit in Houston on numbers,” said McHale. “Numbers do not win games. The one number that wins the game is if you have one more point than the other team. That’s the biggest number. But numbers don’t win games.”

The Rockets and GM Daryl Morey, in particular, have been pioneers in the analytics movement that has swept the league in recent years. Most notably, their shot selection skews heavily in favor of taking three-pointers and shots at the rim, to the point that they shun the classic midrange shot almost entirely. However, critics point to the fact that Houston’s strategy has yet to earn them a championship or even an NBA Finals berth.

As for McHale, who played in the league for 13 years and won three titles with the Boston Celtics, he witnessed the movement firsthand. Serving as Houston head coach from 2011 to 2015, McHale arrived well into Morey’s tenure with the team. He also clashed with franchise star James Harden, so it obviously wasn’t a great match in Houston for more reasons than one.

H/T ClutchPoints

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