Stats & Info: LaMarcus Aldridge

Keys to victory: Spurs 114, Trail Blazers 97

May, 9, 2014
May 9
1:23
AM ET

Soobum Im/USA TODAY SportsTim Duncan and Tiago Splitter carried the defense against LaMarcus Aldridge in Game 2.

The Spurs held off a fourth-quarter rally to take a 2-0 series lead against the Trail Blazers. San Antonio's lead grew as high as 20 points as the Spurs shut down LaMarcus Aldridge and rode another strong bench performance to a dominant win.

Riding the pine
The Spurs' bench outscored the Trail Blazers' reserves by 31 in Game 2 as the bench made half of San Antonio's 12 three-pointers Thursday. San Antonio's bench has averaged 50 points per game this series, nearly three times as many as the Trail Blazers' reserves.

During the regular season, the Spurs led the NBA in bench scoring. The Trail Blazers averaged the fewest bench points in the league.

Splitter, Duncan lock down Aldridge
Aldridge was held in check and struggled against the Spurs' post defenders in a 6-of-23 shooting night. Aldridge was 2-of-14 with Tiago Splitter as his primary defender and 0-of-5 when guarded by Tim Duncan. Aldridge shot 54 percent (7-of-13) when defended by Splitter in Game 1.

Aldridge particularly struggled in the paint Thursday, shooting 2-of-14. His 14 percent shooting in the paint was Aldridge's second-lowest in his career (minimum 10 attempts).

Duncan, Spurs approach history
Duncan netted 10 points in Game 2 to give him 4,757 points in his playoff career, sixth-most all-time. Duncan is five points shy of passing Karl Malone for fifth on the all-time list.

Along with the scoring mark, Duncan is chasing a different record with teammates Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The Spurs' trio earned their 107th playoff win together Thursday. They are three shy of tying Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper for the most playoff wins all-time by a trio.

Who can stop LaMarcus Aldridge?

April, 25, 2014
Apr 25
11:18
AM ET

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY SportsNo matter whom the Rockets have thrown at LaMarcus Aldridge, he has dominated in this series.
LaMarcus Aldridge became the third player in NBA postseason history with at least 40 points in Games 1 and 2 of a series on the road (Tracy McGrady in 2003 and Michael Jordan in 1986 are the others), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Though he certainly had success in both games, his success came in much different ways.

Game 1
Aldridge took advantage of the Houston Rockets' smaller defenders in Game 1. The 6-foot-9 Terrence Jones drew the Aldridge assignment more than any other Rocket in Game 1, guarding him on 16 of 40 possessions.

Against the smaller Jones, Aldridge went inside, posting up on 10 of those 16 possessions. Aldridge's average field goal attempt distance was 6.5 feet and he went 7-for-13 (18 points) from the floor when guarded by Jones.

Aldridge scored a total of 16 points on post-up plays in the game, doubling his season average (8.3) on such plays.

Game 2
The Rockets came out with a different defensive scheme against Aldridge for Game 2. Houston used 7-footer Omer Asik the majority of the time, as he guarded Aldridge on 17 of 33 plays, while Jones drew the assignment on only five possessions.

But Aldridge still had his way on the offensive end. Against Asik, Aldridge went 7-for-14 (19 points) from the floor. He didn’t miss the paint a bit, instead turning to his midrange game, with an average field goal attempt distance of 13.6 feet when guarded by Asik.

Aldridge has basically had his way this entire series, no matter the defender. Dwight Howard has logged time against Aldridge as well in both games, but he has done the worst at limiting him. Aldridge is averaging 14.5 points per game against Howard, and went 6-for-7 against him in Game 2.

What should the Rockets do now?
Houston may have to start doubling Aldridge when he touches the ball. Through the first two games, the Rockets left defenders on an island when guarding Aldridge, hardly ever sending any help.

For example, in the first two games of the series, the Rockets sent a hard double-team at Aldridge in the post on only six of 25 plays. On those six plays, Aldridge went 3-for-5 (six points), but was blocked twice and forced to kick the ball out once.

Obviously there is a very small sample size of when Aldridge was double-teamed in the post. However, the Rockets have tried going small and tried going big against him, to no avail. Aldridge has had success against virtually every defender the Rockets have thrown at him and he's done it from all over the court.

Houston must make life more difficult for him on the catch and send help in Game 3.

Picking the most clutch in NBA playoffs

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
6:53
PM ET
With the NBA playoffs starting Saturday, we’re bound to see tight games and pressure-packed situations. The question then becomes, whose hands do you want the ball in?

The top chart above shows each playoff team’s leader in clutch-time usage percentage this season, along with his true shooting percentage (which weighs three-point field goals greater and accounts for free throw shooting). Clutch-time is defined as situations in which the game is within five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.

The bottom chart shows each of those 16 players’ overall Player Efficiency Rating along with his PER in clutch-time situations.

Kevin Durant less efficient
Kevin Durant
Durant
First, no playoff team leans more on a player in clutch time than the Oklahoma City Thunder do with Kevin Durant. He’s the only one of the 16 who has a clutch-time usage percentage over 40 percent, and Durant’s is nearing 46 percent. However, his efficiency numbers drop off in crunch-time, as his PER drops from nearly 30 in all situations to just over 25 in crunch-time. That's still above league average, but it's below average among these 16 "go-to" guys.

His main opponent for league MVP, LeBron James, increases his already-high efficiency numbers in crunch-time, despite the Miami Heat leaning on him heavily.

Harden: Mister Clutch?
James Harden
Harden
Watch out for the Houston Rockets and James Harden. Harden has the highest clutch-time efficiency rating of the 16 players, with the second-highest usage rate. Mike Conley also ups his performance in crunch-time, which could put the Thunder on upset alert if the Memphis Grizzlies point guard gets hot late in their series.

Sticking with the Western Conference, Stephen Curry has hit all 31 of his crunch-time free throws this year, but has shot just 28 percent from 3-point range for the Golden State Warriors in those situations.

Who could struggle
Despite the Brooklyn Nets second-half surge, their clutch-time leader, Joe Johnson, is the worst of the 16 team leaders in terms of PER. LaMarcus Aldridge has also struggled in crunch-time for the Portland Trail Blazers, with an effective field goal percentage of 33 percent.

One of the main takeaways is that the crunch-time leader for the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks is not former NBA season and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, but instead Monta Ellis, who has taken possessions at a slightly-higher rate than Nowitzki.

Wednesday a big night for the big men

February, 5, 2014
Feb 5
10:36
AM ET
Last season, for the first time in NBA history, there were no players who averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.

We have seen a resurgence of promising young big men, with four players averaging such numbers this season, all in the Western Conference. And that’s not including Blake Griffin, who is on the cusp.

All five are playing on Wednesday night. Here’s a number to know for each:

LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers
LaMarcus Aldridge will be facing the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (8 PM ET, ESPN). Aldridge is averaging a career high 24.3 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season.

Aldridge has made an NBA-high 272 mid-range jumpers (54 more than next player – Dirk Nowitzki) this season on 43 percent shooting.

Aldridge also is averaging 8.6 post-up points per game this season, third most in the league behind Al Jefferson and Zach Randolph.

Blake Griffin, Clippers
Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers host the Miami Heat (10:30 PM, ESPN). Griffin is just shy of averaging 20 and 10 this season, but right now, he is on pace to be the first player to average at least 18 points and eight rebounds per game in his first four seasons since Elton Brand from 2000 to 2003.

The Clippers are even relying on Griffin to handle the ball in transition with Chris Paul out. Griffin has 37 assists in transition this season, two shy of his total from last season.

Anthony Davis, Pelicans
Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans host the Atlanta Hawks. Davis is averaging more 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks this season. The last player to do that for a full season, at age 20 or younger, was Shaquille O'Neal in his rookie season (1992-93).

Kevin Love, Timberwolves
Kevin Love enters his matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder with an NBA-high 41 double-doubles this season. Love is averaging more 25 points and 13 rebounds per game for the year. On Tuesday, Love had his 25th game with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds, surpassing Kevin Garnett for the most in team history.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings host the Toronto Raptors. Cousins is averaging career highs in points and rebounds this season. He has the highest usage percentage (33 percent) in the league (a stat that is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he is on the floor). On top of that, he's shooting a career-high 49 percent from the field.

Durant continues a 40-point barrage

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
12:04
AM ET
The 40-point game has become a rather ordinary NBA occurrence in the past week.

Kevin Durant’s amazing 41-point effort in the Oklahoma City Thunder's comeback win against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday was the eighth such game in the past seven days.

The Elias Sports Bureau shared that it was the first time there have been this many 40-point games in a seven-day span since the first week of November 2009.

Let’s review this week in 40-point excellence.

Tuesday: Kevin Durant, 46 & Rudy Gay, 41
Durant started this run with a 46-point game in a 105-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was actually the fourth time in a 10-game span that Durant scored 46. The Elias Sports Bureau noted that Durant and Kobe Bryant are the only two players since the NBA and ABA merged (1976-77 season) to have such a streak.

Gay tallied 41 in a 114-97 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. He joined Chris Webber as the only Dallas Kings players in the past 25 seasons to have a game with at least 40 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Wednesday: DeMar DeRozan, 40
DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan
DeRozan set a career high for points in a game, as his 24-point second-half helped propel the Toronto Raptors past the Sacramento Kings, 93-85.

DeRozan entered the day shooting 40 percent from the field in his past eight games, but he was 15-for-22 in this one.

Thursday: LaMarcus Aldridge, 44
Aldridge outscored the Denver Nuggets 15-8 by himself over the final 6:33, lifting the Portland Trail Blazers to a 110-105 win. Aldridge finished with a career-high 44 points, along with 13 rebounds and five assists. The last Trail Blazers player to have at least 44 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game was Clyde Drexler, against the Knicks in 1989.

Friday: Carmelo Anthony, 62 & Marcus Thornton, 42
Anthony’s 62 points were a Knicks record, a Madison Square Garden record and the most in a game since Kobe Bryant scored 65 on March 16, 2007, against the Trail Blazers.
Marcus Thornton
Thornton
Anthony became the first player to finish with at least 60 points and play a turnover-free game since turnovers were first recorded in the 1977-78 season.

Less heralded were Thornton’s 42 points for the Sacramento Kings in their overtime loss against the Indiana Pacers. Thornton’s game was an unlikely one. He had scored 33 points on 13-of-47 shooting in his previous nine games entering the day. But the unlikelihood of this game would be surpassed a day later.

Saturday: Terrence Ross, 51
Ross tied a Raptors record with 51 points in a 126-118 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Elias noted that he became the first player to score at least 50 points in a game, at a time when he was averaging less than 10 points per game for the season.

Ross’ 51 points were nearly double his career-best in two seasons in the NBA (he had 26 against the Trail Blazers on Jan. 2, 2013) and 19 more points than he had in any college game at Washington (where he averaged 12 points per game).

Monday: Kevin Durant, 41
Durant didn’t just score 41, he almost single-handedly carried the Thunder to this win.

Durant scored the last 13 points of the game, including two go-ahead shots in the final 30 seconds.

Durant entered the game shooting 12-of-45 (27 percent) in his career on go-ahead field goal attempts in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

The last basket gave him three times as many 40-point games as anyone else this season.

Fans missed not voting in Aldridge

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
1:45
PM ET
Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty ImagesLaMarcus Aldridge ranks in the NBA's top five in scoring and rebounding.
Thursday night, LaMarcus Aldridge led the Portland Trail Blazers over the Denver Nuggets with a dominating effort, prompting teammate Wesley Matthews to say,

"What can you say? He's an MVP candidate. Best power forward in the game. I've been saying that for two years now. He put it on display again tonight."

Aldridge finished with a career-high 44 points on 15-of-29 shooting with 13 rebounds in the five-point win.

Aldridge’s outburst happened to come the same night the All-Star starters were announced – his name was not included. Though Aldridge said his performance had nothing to do with the omission, he provided further evidence as to why the fans got it wrong.

Here is why Matthews was right and Aldridge should be an All-Star starter:

Versatility
Aldridge is enjoying his best season, averaging career highs in points (24.2), rebounds (11.6) and player efficiency rating (23.9).

He has reached those marks by doing a bit of everything. Aldridge is one of the best post-up players in the NBA. He is second in the league in points on post-up plays with 351 (8.4 per game).

But what has made Aldridge such a tough cover for big men is his mid-range game. According to NBA.com, he has taken 582 mid-range shots this season, by far the most in the league, forcing defenders to venture outside the paint to contest his jumper. He is shooting 43.6 percent from the floor from that range, ranking 18th this season among players who have taken at least 150 shots from that range.

Often, Aldridge creates those mid-range looks by being the pick-and-pop man. He is averaging 5.1 points per game as the pick-and-roll man, most in the league.

Team success
Aldridge has helped lead the Blazers to a 32-11 record, good for third in the Western Conference and just one game behind the conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder.

The team’s success, both offensively and defensively, has much to do with Aldridge. The Blazers are scoring nearly 11 more points per 100 possessions offensively with Aldridge on the court and giving up about 6 more points per 100 possessions defensively with him off the court.

Clutch
Aldridge has also been his team’s go-to-guy when it has mattered most, and Thursday's game was a perfect example.

The Blazers trailed by as many as 15 in the third quarter, but pulled off the come-from-behind win. Aldridge scored his team’s final 15 points and outscored the Nuggets entire team 15-8 over the final 6:33.

Aldridge has become one of the most relied on clutch players in the NBA this season. In clutch time (the last five minutes of a game with the score within five points), Aldridge has attempted 61 shots, making 21 for 77 points.

Aldridge became the third Blazer in the past 25 seasons with a 40-10-5 game on Thursday. Whether his performance was in response to his omission as an All-Star starter or not, it was just another example of why he deserves to be in the starting lineup on February 16.

Big night for big men in NBA

January, 21, 2014
Jan 21
1:04
AM ET

AP Photo/Carlos OsorioDeAndre Jordan was one of many big men to put up big numbers on Monday.
Big men stole the show Monday night, as five players went for 15 points and 20 rebounds.

Just how rare is that? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time since Feb. 24, 1978, that five players had at least 15 points and 20 rebounds on the same day. The players who did it that day were Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Artis Gilmore and Swen Nater -- the first four of whom are in the Hall of Fame.

Let’s look at the five “15-20” performances from Monday.

LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
27 points, 20 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

This was the third time this season Aldridge has had at least 25 points and 20 rebounds in a game. That’s as many as the rest of the NBA combined, and no player has done it more than once.

Monday was Portland’s 41st game of the season, marking its halfway point. In the past 25 years, the only players with more 25-20 games in the first half of a season are Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.

Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
23 points, 20 rebounds, 10-19 FG, 3 assists

Randolph had his first 20-20 game of the season, rebounding after two poor performances. He had more points and rebounds than in his two previous games combined. Randolph was a beast on the offensive glass, scoring 10 points off putbacks. He came into Monday averaging 2.4 PPG on putbacks this season. It was his third career game with at least 20 points, 10 offensive rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds, most among all active players.

Joakim Noah
Noah
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
17 points, 21 rebounds, 6 assists

Noah became the first NBA player this season to record at least 15 points, 20 rebounds and 5 assists in a game. It’s his second career game reaching those thresholds, having also done it last season. Prior to Noah, no Bulls player had done it since Charles Oakley in 1986-87.

It’s also his 13th straight game with double-digit rebounds, the longest streak by a Bull since Tyson Chandler did it in 13 straight in 2005-06.

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
16 points, 21 rebounds, 4 blocks, 8-11 FG

Jordan continues to own the boards, recording his 20th straight game with at least 10 rebounds, the NBA’s longest active streak. When it comes to hitting the glass, Jordan has elevated his consistency. He has four separate streaks this season in which he recorded double-digit rebounds in four or more straight games. He only had one such streak in his first five NBA seasons.

Anderson Varejaoe
Varejao
Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
18 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists

The Cavaliers lost by five but don’t blame Varejao as Cleveland outscored Dallas by 12 points with Varejao on the floor. This was the third time over the last three seasons the Cavaliers lost a game in which Varejao had at least 15 points and 20 rebounds. The only other player with as many such games in a losing effort over that time span is Nikola Vucevic.

Honorable Mention:
Anthony Davis: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 steals
First player 20 or younger to hit those numbers in a single game (according to the Elias Sports Bureau)

Pau Gasol: 20 points, 19 rebounds, 5 blocks
First Lakers player to hit those numbers in a loss since Shaquille O’Neal in 1998-99

Al Jefferson: 22 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists
First player in Bobcats history to hit those numbers in a single game

Why Trail Blazers are title contenders

December, 26, 2013
12/26/13
1:59
PM ET
Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty ImagesLaMarcus Aldridge and the Trail Blazers are tied for the best record in the NBA.
The 20-10 Los Angeles Clippers visit the 23-5 Portland Trail Blazers tonight at 10:30 ET in a meeting of Western Conference division leaders.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be the first meeting between the teams in which each entered with at least 10 more wins than losses.

Thanks to a deep, balanced and efficient offense, as well as emerging star LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers are legitimate title contenders.

Improved Efficiency

Last season, Portland ranked 15th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and 27th in defensive efficiency. So far this season, the Blazers have improved both numbers dramatically while also playing at a quicker pace.

If they continue their offensive consistency, the Blazers could become the first team since the three-point line was introduced in 1979 to shoot at least 45 percent from the field, 40 percent on three-pointers and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Balanced Attack

Portland’s starting lineup of Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard, Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews outscore their opponents by 13.7 points per 100 possessions. That’s third best in the league among lineups that have played at least 150 minutes together.

Portland's starters average 84.4 points per game, the most in the NBA. The Blazers are one of five teams to have two players average 20 points this season and one of seven to have four with at least 14 points per game.

Aldridge’s Emergence

Aldridge is enjoying the best season of his career, averaging highs in points (23.1) and rebounds (11.0) per game as well as usage percentage (28.5 – the percentage of team plays used by a player while he is on the floor).

Aldridge gives the Blazers a force down low. He is averaging 8.3 post-up points per game, fourth among players with at least 50 post-up plays this season (Zach Randolph is first with 9.2).

What has made Aldridge such a tough cover for big men is his midrange game. According to player-tracking data on NBA.com, he has taken 353 midrange shots this season. That easily leads the league from that range, forcing defenders to venture outside the paint to contest his jumper.

He is shooting 43.9 percent from the floor from midrange, eighth among players who have taken at least 150 shots from that range this season.

Aldridge often creates those midrange looks by being the pick-and-pop man. He is averaging 4.9 points per game as the pick-and-roll screener, first in the league among players with at least 50 such plays this season.

Not to be overlooked is his impact on defense as well. The Blazers are scoring nearly 10 more points per 100 possessions with Aldridge on the court while giving up around nine more points per 100 possessions with him off the court this season.

20-point streak ends for James in Heat loss

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
3:00
AM ET
Following a pair of Dwyane Wade free throws, the Miami Heat led the Portland Trail Blazers by 12 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter Thursday. Unfortunately for the Heat, the Blazers took control in those final eight minutes and hung on for a two-point win at the Rose Garden. The loss was the second straight and third in the last four games for Miami.

Miguel Cabrera
James
During that stretch to end the game, Portland outscored the Heat 24-10 despite almost identical shooting from the floor by hitting free throws and three-point shots. The Blazers went 11-for-15 on free throws and 3-for-4 on three-pointers during the run while Miami went 1-for-2 and 1-for-5 on those same shots, respectively. Among them was the potential game-winning three by Mario Chalmers that rimmed out as time expired.

But perhaps even more notable than the loss, LeBron James scored a season-low 15 points on just six field goals. The six made shots were the fewest he’s had in a game since March of last season.

Entering the night, James had reached the 20-point plateau in each of the 33 games he played this season, the longest streak by any player to start a season since George Gervin went 45-straight games in 1981-82 and the second-longest by any player since the 1976 merger.

What caused the run of 20-point performances to come to an end? Struggles in the half court. James scored just seven points on 2-for-11 shooting in half-court sets on Thursday (18.1 percent), both of which were season lows. James entered the night having scored over 20 points per game and was shooting 51.0 percent in the half court this season.

On the other end of the floor, the Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge and his 20 points and game-high 15 rebounds. It marked his fifth double-double over the last six games and his second “20-and-15" of the season.

Also chipping in for Portland was Nicolas Batum who scored a team-high 28 points. It was his sixth game of the year with least 25 points and with the win, the Blazers improved to 5-1 when he reaches the 25-point plateau this season.

Bobcats are not at odds with NBA lottery

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
4:55
PM ET
With the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday (8 ET on ESPN), each non-playoff team’s fans are hoping that the ping-pong balls come out in their favor, giving them the No. 1 overall pick and a chance to select likely top choice, Anthony Davis.

Given each team's probability of winning the top pick in the lottery, here is a similar event related to that team that has approximately the same frequency.

Charlotte Bobcats (25.0 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Bobcats losing a game last season by at least 25 points. In 2011-12, the Bobcats lost 16 of 66 games (24.2 percent) of their games by at least 25 points.

Washington Wizards (19.9 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: John Wall scoring at least 24 points in a game last season.

New Orleans Hornets (14.8 percent, includes their own pick and the Timberwolves' pick)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Hornets winning a game by at least eight points last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers (13.8 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Kyrie Irving scoring more than 10 points in the fourth quarter of a game.

Sacramento Kings (7.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins combining for 50 points in a game last season.

Brooklyn Nets (7.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Deron Williams scoring at least 25 points and also having 10 assists in a game last season.

Golden State Warriors (3.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Stephen Curry scoring at least 25 points and also having 10 assists in a game last season.

Toronto Raptors (3.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Andrea Bargnani scoring at least 35 points in a game in 2011-12.

Detroit Pistons (1.7 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Greg Monroe having a 30-point, 15-rebound game last season.

Portland Trail Blazers (0.8 pecent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a half last season.

Milwaukee Bucks (0.7 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Brandon Jennings making five 3-point field goals in a half in 2011-12.

Phoenix Suns (0.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Steve Nash making 50 straight free throws during his career.

Houston Rockets (0.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: NBA team finishing two to four games above .500 and missing playoffs in three straight seasons (which the Rockets have, in fact, done the last three seasons).

SPONSORED HEADLINES