Rockets News

Houston Rockets Game Day: Blazing Toward the Top

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Houston Rockets Game Day:

Record: 41-20,  Western: 4,                                               Record: 43-20,  Western: 3,

Northwest: 1st, last ten 7-3                                                     Southwest: 2nd, last ten 7-3

Houston Rockets vs Portland Trailblazers

Wed Mar 11, 10:30 PM EST – ESPN, CSNH, KGW, RTSW

Moda Center at the Rose Quarter – Portland, OR

Recent Matchups

Feb 9 POR 109-98 HOU          Dec 23 POR 95-110 HOU          May 3 HOU 98-99 POR

May 1 POR 98-108 HOU           Apr 28 HOU 120-123 POR

Latest Results:

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Stats:

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Walking Wounded:

Blazers:

  • Wesley Matthews out for season with ruptured tendon (targeting opening day for return)

Rockets:

  • Kostas Papanikolaou remains day to day with an ankle sprain
  • Dwight Howard continues his off court training  of swimming, weight lifting and tread mill running. As per Houston Chronicle:  underwent an examination Wednesday with the Rockets’ team physician, who confirmed that the center’s recovery is “on schedule”(projected to miss 6-8 weeks)

Each day is another day closer. @DwightHoward going through drills after practice in Portland. https://t.co/T3gb3SE9ya

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 9, 2015

Bench Mob:

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We’ve touched on this repeatedly that Houston’s reserves have experienced a steady upward climb in their bench production. Expect the consistent energetic approach from  Corey Brewer and Josh Smith to spearhead the Rockets bench over the low performing Blazer bench.

Key Match-up:

For my money the Blazers had the best starting-5 unit in the Association. While All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard lead the way for the team it’s truly the intangibles of Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum which separates this team from their competition. With the loss of Matthews it certainly puts extra pressure on  Arron Afflalo to not only pick up the slack but to bring the kind of energy Matthews was known for. Additionally it once again highlights the lack of depth for the Blazers who had added Afflalo and Alonzo Gee at the trade deadline to make a championship run.

Obviously James Harden represents the biggest challenge for Portland, but where they could make a dent in the game will be their bench who have progressively been climbing the reserve ladder in terms of their output

Leaders:

Blazers:

Rockets:

 Keys to Winning:

  • Ball and player movement will be key against the Blazer’s defense.
  • Slow the production of Lillard with a focus to building a sizable lead margin, this is one team you don’t want to let smell a chance or they’ll see blood
  • Use bench depth to build a lead
  • Control the pace and the ball (i.e. keep the turnovers low)

The Pick:

The odds makers favor Portland by 2.5 points I would assume because the game is being held in Portland. This will be a lock down drag out fight and I’d guess whoever controls the pace, their turnovers and literally holds the ball last will be the victors.

 

Next: Who has the power in week 18?

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