After losing a heartbreaker in Game 1, the Houston Rockets are going back to the drawing board for their Game 2 matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday, center Dwight Howard stated that he must demand the ball more in order to keep pressure on the defensive end for LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored a Blazers’ franchise playoff record 46 points in Game 1 while pulling down 18 boards:
“We have to play inside out, play their bigs and make it a long night for those guys. I have to demand the ball, get it and go to work. We have to go right back at him(Aldridge). You have to make him play defense and make him use his energy on defense. Make him have to run around and guard.”
Howard finished with 27 points and 15 rebounds, but was taken out of the game with under 4 minutes left in regulation. With the Rockets up 98-87 at the moment, he had just missed a pair of free throws after the Blazers implemented the Hack-A-Howard.
Chandler Parsons also shared the same sentiment, as he believes that playing through Howard in the low post should be the main emphasis:
“We have to dump the ball down for him. He has to make plays. He’s had a lot of success against [Robin] Lopez. We have to keep feeding him the ball. That doesn’t mean we have to slow down. We want to get out in transition and run.”
Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8:30 PM CT.