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Four Reasons the Houston Rockets Would Beat the Portland Trail Blazers in a Seven-Game Series

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by shlhl, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. shlhl

    shlhl Member

    Oct 11, 2007
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    From Yahoo Sports:
    COMMENTARY | On Thursday night, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Houston Rockets 111-104.

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    The teams are now 1-1 head-to-head this season, with both games being played in Portland. While it's easy to downplay the advantage of being at home, the truth is that in such a tough Western Conference, splitting the two road games against a top-tier opponent like Portland is a solid accomplishment.

    The Blazers have broken out this season for several reasons, the most publicized being LaMarcus Aldridge's new-found mean streak. However, improved depth (mainly Robin Lopez, Mo Williams and Dorell Wright), the maturation of second-year point guard Damian Lillard, and Wesley Matthews' improved shooting stroke have also been instrumental to Portland's early-season success.

    Despite last night's loss, I still believe that Houston would beat the Blazers in a seven-game series, which we could see in the first round (a very possible four-five matchup) or in the later rounds.

    Here are the four main reasons why I believe Houston would pull out the potential playoff series:

    1. Patrick Beverley's Ability to Disrupt Damian Lillard

    A lot of people tend to discount Beverley for his lack of offensive statistics, but there's no doubt he's one of the peskiest and best on-ball defenders in the game. On Thursday night, Beverley held Lillard to just eight points on 1-10 shooting, his second lowest scoring game of the season.

    Portland didn't need Lillard's offensive output Thursday night, but as the second-best player on the team, Lillard's offense will be needed come playoff time. If Beverley can take Lillard out of the game like he did Thursday night, Aldridge would be expected to carry too much of Portland's offensive workload, which would hinder the team's overall offensive abilities.

    2. Terrence Jones' Defensive Improvement

    Aldridge absolutely owned Jones last night, scoring 31 points and grabbing 25 rebounds, while Jones scored just 10 and grabbed just two boards. However, it's important to remember that Jones is just 21 years old, and has played in only 39 games in his NBA career. Over the course of this season, I believe Jones will improve dramatically, which will boost the Rockets from a playoff contender to a championship contender. Young players need to take all their early-career failings and learn from them, and the next time Jones faces Aldridge, I bet he puts up more of a fight.

    3. Jeremy Lin's Health

    Thursday night was Lin's first game back after missing about two weeks with a knee sprain. Lin played less than 15 minutes and scored just five points on 1-4 from the field. Williams, who plays a similar role for the Blazers as a sixth man and lead guard of the second unit, outscored Lin 13 to 5, but played about 10 minutes more.

    Once Lin shakes the rust off and gets back into his rhythm, I believe he'll outperform Williams. Both players are gunslingers who have trouble on the defensive end, but Lin's abilities as a playmaker could be the reason why Houston's second unit gives Portland fits. By himself, Lin averages almost as many points per game (18.1) as Portland's top three reserves (Williams, Thomas Robinson and Wright combine to average 19.3 points), and as the season drags on, bench play will become more important for both squads.

    4. James Harden's Success Against Portland

    Harden has played six games against the Blazers in a Rockets uniform, and he's averaged 29.8 points, 6.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds against them. Thursday night, Harden scored 25 points, dished out seven assists, and grabbed six boards. He was relatively efficient from the field (8-18 FG) and committed just three turnovers. It seemed like Harden was doing his best to let the game come to him, which put the ball in his teammates hands a little too much down the stretch.

    If these two teams were to go head to head in the playoffs, I believe Harden would take over the series with his scoring and playmaking. If Harden would have been a little more selfish Thursday night, I believe his penetration would have forced Terry Stotts to rethink his defensive scheme, which would have opened up the 3-point shot for Houston.

    M. De Moor is a basketball enthusiast and a graduate of Montclair State University. He often wonders why left-handed shooters have such pretty shooting strokes.
    Rumor: Kevin Love will trade for Blake Griffin soon
  2. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Houston only fan
    Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2009
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    Yea they probably would, but portland might be out of the playoff picture by the end of the season.
  3. shastarocket

    shastarocket Member

    Jul 18, 2006
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    Seriously? Why can't we block this m de moor crap already
  4. valorita

    valorita Member

    Feb 17, 2009
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    Also, if the playoffs started now and we still had Asik, he is a great defender on Aldridge.
  5. Scolalist

    Scolalist Member

    Jul 18, 2010
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    Pretty good read. Rockets could also benefit from having another stretch four defender taken from the Asik trade for when Aldridge steps out and they bring another 3 shooter in. Wouldn't hurt against really the Spurs, Clippers either.

    Greg Smith getting healthy and taking/continuing a desire to improve on D and be atleast half of Asik on the boards.
  6. Voice of Aus

    Voice of Aus Member

    Jun 28, 2013
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    This guy would fit in great here, this is an exert from his bio

  7. bws

    bws Member

    Jan 31, 2013
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    Again with the Lin's bad defense myth and BS but that's this writer's bias. The problem with the Rockets is as someone pointed out in the comments. The Rockets are not a good team-ball team and the Harden ISO and one-on-one nature, even shown by Casspi and Garcia sometimes, is going to hurt them later in the season and onto the playoffs if it continues. They have two great PnR guards, they need to play PnR, and they need to pass the ball around and get everyone involved in the offense. They need another playmaker playmaking besides Harden or sometimes Parsons forcing it, and that's Lin. They need to get more cohesion with the semi-second unit because right now when it is mostly second unit players out ther, they look like a bunch of freelancers. Portland plays solid team ball even if LMA is one of their top scorers and Lilliard runs the offense. Matthews also is a huge contributor. Maybe the Rockets can get by Portland, I'm not sure. But I don't enjoy watching the way the Rockets have played the past few games over how they played earlier in the season. McHale says the right things, but we're still seeing "sticky" ball.
  8. torocan

    torocan Member

    Oct 15, 2012
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    I don't buy the TJones shutting down LMA argument at all.

    LMA isn't just being defended by Rookies this season. Team after team puts their best players on LMA and he still puts up great numbers. TJones is far, FAR away from being the sort of defender that will seriously impact a player like LMA.

    IF Tjones ever develops into that caliber of defender, it won't happen over one season.
  9. ada32

    ada32 Member

    Dec 7, 2012
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    At the ping pong table, Daryl Morey said the following:

    D. Morey: If I beat you, would you like to write a nice article about us.
    M D. Moor: OK, you are on! Plus a dinner.

    5 minutes later:

    D. Morey: Thanks, the score is 21-9. I win. Don't be a sore loser now.
    M D, Moor: Where we going for dinner?

  10. cjstukenholtz

    cjstukenholtz Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    After I had seen that article on Yahoo early this morning, this was a thread I had ideas of starting. The only thing was that I just didn't have time to do it because I had to go to work.
  11. Aleron

    Aleron Member

    Jun 24, 2010
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    How many games have the Blazers had lost to injuries this year from their starting lineup and 9 man rotation. Do the maths on that, and it might give you an idea as to their performance.

    The only player on our entire rotation who hasn't had any injuries is Dwight
  12. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
    Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2005
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    M De Moor is just some random kid who blogs on the Yahoo "Contributer" Network. He's below every CF member on the totem pole of respectability.
  13. noone

    noone Rookie

    Aug 10, 2013
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    1. The blazers haven't been a playoff team for the last 15 years. A good regular season is their ceiling.

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