The Houston Rockets‘ highly anticipated WOW lineup (John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Christian Wood) made its debut tonight and came out against the Portland Trail Blazers completely cold, shooting 28 percent from the field, and 12.5 percent from three to go down by as many as 20 points before ending the opening quarter 32-17. It seemed like the team’s sixth nationally televised game was going to end in a large blowout against a shorthanded Blazers team that was shooting lights out.
Having John Wall and Christian Wood combine for zero points at the end of the first quarter was a big part of why the Rockets fell behind. In the past, having the top-two Rockets scorers end with zero points after the first quarter was basically a guaranteed loss.
But these Rockets are not from the past and showed that by playing a style of basketball that is conducive to winning: team basketball. The team’s intense effort and resilience was on full display as the Rockets came back immediately and ended the first half up 53-50.
The second half went similar to the second quarter, with the Rockets putting in elite level of effort and smart basketball to stay in the lead despite the Blazers’ hot shooting from 3 point range. For the game, the Rockets went 13-of-47 (27.7 percent) from beyond the arc while the Blazers shot a blistering 17-of-41 (41.5 percent).
After looking at the 3-point percentages for both teams for the game, the Rockets won this game for several reasons and it all starts with a united and committed team.
Next: Key #3