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The Rockets were right to keep firing 3s. Here’s the 37 they missed

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Houston had the looks. They just didn’t fall.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets have lived and died — but mostly lived — shooting the three-ball for their entire season. Firing a majority of shots from long-range is what produced the best offense of the regular season, and maybe of all time. That’s why coach Mike D’Antoni, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon and on and on didn’t change their ways despite the team missing the most consecutive three-point shots in NBA playoff history (27) in a Game 7 loss to the Warriors.

Shooting continuously from deep was the correct call, and looking back at all 37 missed attempts, you’ll see why.

A lot of the shots that didn’t catch net were semi- or completely open looks from guys who shot 35 percent or better from distance on the season — ok, except Joe Johnson, but we can forgive him. In fact, only 12 of the misses should be classified as “bad” shot attempts. Four attempts that didn’t fall were completely wide open.

D’Antoni’s team went down in an absolute pit of flames that was then trampled on by a herd of elephants and sumo wrestled into oblivion, but it did so by sticking to its guns. That itself was admirable, and looking back at the film, the Rockets did play just as they had all season. Sure, some looks would probably be taken back, but Houston missed shots it usually makes, and that made the difference.

This was just a combination of miserable luck and pure exhaustion.

Here are all THIRTY-SEVEN misses the Rockets had on 44 attempts, graded as Good, Fine, or Bad tries from the field.

First Quarter

Miss: Team’s first, Eric Gordon’s first

Distance: DEEP

Contestedness: Kinda

Shot Clock: Plenty of time

Warriors status: It was really early, and nobody had pulled ahead

Would he take this shot again?: Without knowing what would come later, probably

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss: Team’s second, Eric Gordon’s second

Distance: DEEP (Again)

Contestedness: Extremely — and by Kevin Durant

Shot Clock: Plenty of time

Warriors status: On the decline

Would he take this shot again?: I sure hope not

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s third, Trevor Ariza’s first

Distance: Perfect

Contestedness: Semi

Shot Clock: No rush

Warriors status: Feeling the pressure

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

Miss: Team’s fourth, Gerald Green’s first

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Semi

Shot Clock: Off an offensive rebound, so plenty

Warriors status: Trailing small

Would he take this shot again?: Lol yes, Green never passes up a shot

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss: Team’s fifth, Gerald Green’s second

Distance: Corner 3s are perfect

Contestedness: A little

Shot Clock: No rush

Warriors status: Slumping

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

Miss: Team’s sixth, Trevor Ariza’s second

Distance: Just outside the arc

Contestedness: Very

Shot Clock: Plenty of time, and there was no reason to chuck. This was off an offensive rebound

Warriors status: Still finding themselves

Would he take this shot again?: Meh

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s seventh, Eric Gordon’s third

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Less than semi

Shot Clock: No rush

Warriors status: Finishing a bad quarter

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

First quarter results: 7 missed shots

  • 3 misses off good shots
  • 2 misses off fine shots
  • 2 misses off bad shots

Second Quarter

Miss: Team’s eighth, P.J. Tucker’s first

Distance: Corner 3, so good

Contestedness: Poor effort at it

Shot Clock: Plenty of time, off an offensive rebound

Warriors status: Slipping

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

Miss: Team’s ninth, James Harden’s first

Distance: Little deep

Contestedness: Very, but he makes these

Shot Clock: Getting late

Warriors status: Trailing by 12

Would he take this shot again?: Probably, although it’s not great

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fair

Miss: Team’s tenth, James Harden’s second

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Extremely, and it got blocked

Shot Clock: Late because Harden wasted time dribbling

Warriors status: Losing by 11

Would he take this shot again?: No

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s 11th, Eric Gordon’s fourth

Distance: Real deep

Contestedness: Very

Shot Clock: Was about to expire

Warriors status: Looking real bad

Would he take this shot again?: No choice

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine. (Though, the previous Harden shot forced this)

Miss: Team’s 12th, Eric Gordon’s fifth

Distance: Fair

Contestedness: Very

Shot Clock: Plenty of time

Warriors status: Melting

Would he take this shot again?: Meh

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad, but not awful

Miss: Team’s 13th, James Harden’s third

Distance: Step-back and off balance from deep

Contestedness: Very, but he got hacked

Shot Clock: Winding down

Warriors status: Shook

Would he take this shot again?: Yeah

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine (he makes these and got fouled though it wasn’t called)

Miss: Team’s 14th, James Harden’s fourth

Distance: DEEP

Contestedness: VERY

Shot Clock: Plenty of time, he just wanted the foul

Warriors status: Withering

Would he take this shot again?: No

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s 15th, P.J. Tucker’s second

Distance: Good

Contestedness: Hardly

Shot Clock: Running down, but plenty of time to fire

Warriors status: Lost

Would he take this shot again?: Hell yeah

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

Miss: Team’s 16th, James Harden’s fifth

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Open, KD didn’t try

Shot Clock: Plenty of time

Warriors status: Losing

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

Miss: Team’s 17th, James Harden’s sixth

Distance: Deep

Contestedness: Very (and by Durant’s forever long arms)

Shot Clock: Late

Warriors status: Out of sorts

Would he take this shot again?: No

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Second quarter results: 10 missed shots

  • 3 misses off good shots
  • 3 misses off fine shots
  • 4 misses off bad shots

Third Quarter

Miss: Team’s 18th, James Harden’s seventh

Distance: Fine

Contestedness: Very

Shot Clock: Early

Warriors status: Still trailing

Would he take this shot again?: It was fine. Harden threw Thompson off balance, but the Warriors guard recovered quickly

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine (a bit better than bad)

Miss: Team’s 19th, Trevor Ariza’s third

Distance: A bit deep

Contestedness: Very

Shot Clock: Early

Warriors status: Still trailing

Would he take this shot again?: No

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s 20th, Eric Gordon’s sixth

Distance: Fair

Contestedness: Kinda

Shot Clock: Early, but he was in rhythm

Warriors status: Not in this yet

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss: Team’s 21st, James Harden’s eighth

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Very, he couldn’t shake off Kevon Looney and jacked up a bad shot

Shot Clock: Late

Warriors status: Creeping back in

Would he take this shot again?: Hope not

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss No.: Team’s 22nd, P.J. Tucker’s third

Distance: Perfect corner 3

Contestedness: SO OPEN

Shot Clock: Doesn’t matter

Warriors status: Lurking

Would he take this shot again?: A million times

Rate (Good, fine or bad): GREAT

Miss: Team’s 23rd, Eric Gordon’s seventh

Distance: Perfect

Contestedness: SO OPEN AGAIN

Shot Clock: Doesn’t matter

Warriors status: Back in the picture

Would he take this shot again?: YES

Rate (Good, fine or bad): GREAT

Miss: Team’s 24th, Trevor Ariza’s fourth

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Extremely

Shot Clock: Fading

Warriors status: Minutes from taking the lead

Would he take this shot again?: Had no choice this time, but no

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s 25th, Trevor Ariza’s fifth

Distance: Corner 3 = good

Contestedness: Semi

Shot Clock: Fading, but there was time to set his feet

Warriors status: Creeping back in

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss No.: Team’s 26th, Gerald Green’s second

Distance: Normal

Contestedness: Open, but off balance

Shot Clock: Plenty of time

Warriors status: Right back in it

Would he take this shot again?: Always a yes for Green

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss: Team’s 27th, Trevor Ariza’s sixth

Distance: Just behind the line

Contestedness: So open

Shot Clock: No rush

Warriors status: Back on top

Would he take this shot again?: Heck yeah

Rate (Good, fine or bad): GREAT

Miss: Team’s 28th, Eric Gordon’s eighth

Distance: A step deep

Contestedness: So open

Shot Clock: Plenty of time to set his feet

Warriors status: Pulling away

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Good

Miss: Team’s 29th, Trevor Ariza’s seventh

Distance: Perfect corner 3

Contestedness: NOBODY THERE

Shot Clock: All the time in the world

Warriors status: On fire

Would he take this shot again?: Oh yeah

Rate (Good, fine or bad): GREAT

Miss: Team’s 30th, James Harden’s ninth

Distance: Just outside the arc

Contestedness: Very

Shot Clock: Early

Warriors status: Completely back in it

Would he take this shot again?: Hope not

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s 31st, Joe Johnson’s second

Distance: Corner 3, excellent

Contestedness: SO OPEN

Shot Clock: Plenty of time

Warriors status: Scorching

Would he take this shot again?: YEP

Rate (Good, fine or bad): GREAT

Third quarter results: 14 missed shots

  • 5 missed good shots
  • 4 missed fine shots
  • 4 missed bad shots

Fourth Quarter

Miss: Team’s 32nd, Eric Gordon’s ninth

Distance: Right above the arc

Contestedness: Barely

Shot Clock: Plenty of time left

Warriors status: Being mean

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): GREAT

Miss: Team’s 33rd, Trevor Ariza’s eighth

Distance: Fair

Contestedness: Slight

Shot Clock: Early

Warriors status: Taking over

Would he take this shot again?: Yep

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss: Team’s 34th, Eric Gordon’s 10th

Distance: A bit far off a step-back

Contestedness: Pretty contested by Durant

Shot Clock: Late

Warriors status: Not gonna lose

Would he take this shot again?: Meh

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad (but not awful)

Miss: Team’s 35th, James Harden’s 10th

Distance: At the line

Contestedness: Extremely

Shot Clock: Early

Warriors status: Ready to celebrate

Would he take this shot again?: No

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Bad

Miss: Team’s 36th, James Harden’s 11th

Distance: At the line

Contestedness: Pretty bothered

Shot Clock: Early, but the game clock wasn’t

Warriors status: So gonna win

Would he take this shot again?: Yeah

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Miss: Team’s 37th, Trevor Ariza’s ninth

Distance: Fair

Contestedness: Semi

Shot Clock: Early, but the game was almost over

Warriors status: Ready to party

Would he take this shot again?: He had no choice, but yeah

Rate (Good, fine or bad): Fine

Fourth quarter results: 5 missed shots

  • 1 miss off a good shot
  • 2 misses of fine shots
  • 2 misses off bad shots