NBA: 8 trends to watch post-All-Star break

NBA Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NBA Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Russell Westbrook
Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Eight trends to watch as the action continues after the NBA All-Star break

With the NBA stretch run just around the corner, here are some trends throughout the league that I believe will play a part in defining the 2019-20 season.

The Houston Rockets’ defensive turnover rate

Now that they went all-in on small ball, the only way that the Houston Rockets can survive defensively is to junk up the game by forcing heaps of turnovers. They need to avoid playing shot defense at all costs because chances are opposing teams will either a) get easy looks close to the rim, or b) bludgeon them on the offensive glass.

In the four games since the trade, Houston has made its opponents cough up the ball on 17.1 percent of their possessions, which would rank second in the NBA over the full season. This is an encouraging sign. We will see if they can continue to leverage their advantages – lower center of gravities, quick hands, strong instincts in help defense – into forcing turnovers as the season goes on.