Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers on 12/12/2013

A lot has happened since the last time the Houston Rockets faced the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s only been a month since their last meeting, when the Rockets beat the Blazers on their home floor. At the time, nobody expected the Blazers to be this good or to attain this kind of record. The 15 point victory was just another pit stop on the way to contention. But now, November 5th’s events look quite a bit different. Now, the Rockets have something to prove in Portland.

With the season a quarter done already, the shape of Houston’s team is beginning to appear. The Rockets have given up on the “twin towers” experiment they were running initially, choosing to run Dwight Howard and Ömer Aşık separately instead of together. The change has been drastic and immediate. The more comfortable “1 in, 4 out” scheme of surrounding a defensive center with four three point threats is more Houston’s speed, and has resulted in a string of solid wins… and a couple poor losses. Now, the Rockets face off against a top-flight Western Conference team to prove that they’re in the contention conversation.

The Rockets’ victory over the Blazers came after a brutal loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the only team to have beaten the Rockets by double digits so far. Houston bounced back and looked locked in against a Blazers squad that was only beginning to come together as a surprise contender. The victory was keyed by efficient shooting from Dwight Howard and Harden, as well as solid defense on LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland’s resident post presence and mid-range assassin. The good news is that the Rockets didn’t even shoot their threes particularly well and still won by 15. The bad news is that the Blazers didn’t shoot well either.

In more good news, Jeremy Lin seems prepared to return to action tomorrow. Aaron Brooks has been holding the fort adequately in Lin’s absence, but the Jeremy is frankly on a different level. The only difference between Linsanity era Lin and his performance this season has been that he’s expected to do less, and he’s shooting better. Patrick Beverley’s defensive pedigree may have earned his the starting spot, but Lin’s scoring prowess and ability to play in the pick and roll are a huge part of this Rockets team. There’s a reason Lin finishes games, even if he doesn’t start them.

Speaking of the pick and roll, both Portland and Houston have trouble defending against them, which might be very interesting. Both teams are good at running them, and should be proactive in using them. This game might become something of a shootout, in which case there’s no telling who should win. Between Nicolas Batum, James Harden, Damian Lillard and Jeremy Lin, there’s a lot of firepower between a lot of shooters on that floor. If players start heating up, this game might resemble a round of NBA Jam.

Both teams have good reason to want this game badly, as both are seeking to cement themselves as elite not just in the standings, but in the eyes of the world as well. The trade rumors have quieted down about LaMarcus Aldridge, but the Ömer Aşık gossip mill is at an all time high. Both teams are expected to be on the fringes of contention at best, something which these two young teams are trying to make into a lie. In the cutthroat Western Conference, you’re only as good as the last team you beat. Whichever team wins in Portland on TNT is going to have a fine trophy to hang over the mantle.

Tip off is at 9:30 pm Central time at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

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Total comments: 50
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    Thenit, I get what you're saying and I pretty much agree with everything you said. I think Bev will evolve probably to around where Chalmers is--like RudyT said--and also agree that is a good thing. In time, I am confident he will be everything we want/need him to be. I don't feel like I am over-valuing him--I came to his defense because it seemed like he was getting raked over the coals a bit.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    I just looked up these stats at 82games, and you left out something very important.

    Beverley:

    percentage of the team's total minutes the player was at that position

    PG 46%

    SG 2%

    Lin:

    percentage of the team's total minutes the player was at that position

    PG 35%

    SG 29%

    Beverly plays almost all his minutes at PG while Lin just about splits his time. Beverley's minutes at SG are so few to be statistically insignificant and that sparkly 3.9 opponent PER is also insignificant.

    Lin's opponent PER at PG is actually better than Beverley's, and that's really the only one that you can compare directly.

    Which is precisely why I believe Lin will still get his usual minutes once he gets his game legs back.

    Lin's ability to play both PG and SG will give him ample time on the floor assuming he's effective. Cisco Kid may see some or all of his minutes reduced depending on individual game matchups and whether or not Coach McHale thinks the Rockets need a shot of energy during any specific game (could also come from AB).

    Both AB and Cisco Kid provide the Rockets good energy off the bench, effective offense (from AB), effective 3-point shooting from both and effective defense (from Cisco Kid).

    Some games it won't be necessary for either to play if Harden, Beverly and Lin areclicking on all cylinders. And no health issues from any. All 3 have missed games already this season and we can expect all 3 will likely miss additional games going forward.

    Depth plays a key role for the entire season but that doesn't mean that the Rockets have to go deep into their bench most nights.

  • thenit says 9 months ago

    I think Mario Chalmers is Beverley's ceiling. That's not a dis. I have a lot of respect for Chalmers' game.

    I agree, the guy has 2 rings as a starter and shoots great, and plays good D. Bev would be a smaller version of him if he improves his shooting.

  • RudyT1995 says 9 months ago

    I think Mario Chalmers is Beverley's ceiling. That's not a dis. I have a lot of respect for Chalmers' game.

  • thenit says 9 months ago

    JG

    I don't dislike the guy. I remember the shot against GSW but what I meant is I don't recall him doing it more than a couple of times with a big time basket to stop a bleeding etc. He is early in his career and I see him as a potential Chalmers type of player. A great fit to a great team but is nothing more than a solid player. Just a great fit to the team and system. I am not advocating a trade or upgrade on the starting PG. Bev is just the better fit for this team. What I was stating is that his shot isn't that good. Its average, compared to what Fisher and Chalmers shooting %.

    What I disagree is that his "pesky" defense is more of an illusion of great overall defense. He is a great on ball defender but he lacks certain qualities that may come with experience and coaching. He cantguard the players who uses the screen effectively and sometimes over commits to unnecessary fouls, which comes with the territory of that kind of style.I just think we are overvaluing his defense a little bit.

    He is above average and does a good job, but he has his flaws. Despite those flaws, I like his intangibles the energy and attitude he brings to the table, because most of our players are "nice" guys who doesn't have that edge. I do think with some experience for the team and maybe an addition to the rotation we can win the championship with Bev as a starter.

    I just think sometimes we overvalue our players and don't criticize enough. Maybe its just me who is overly negative.

    Lin - Confidence issues, he is either hot or cold. Needs to be more aggressive and stay consistent

    Harden - Turnover prone and bad D with too many isos sometimes, dribbling to the last sec and pass it off for a bad shot (shot clock mgt)

    Howard - Demands post ups but not really that great at it also turnover prone

    T Jones - Bad defensive rotation, needs to shoot better on 3s and more consistent

    I can keep going on all our rotations players. I think as indivduals they all have flaws, no one is a perfect player except LBJ. However we all need to improve all these little thing to become a contender. For me as a fan I know how hard it is to win a championship and our window is very limited, who knows when is the next time we have a good 3-4 years to go at it again.

  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    Let's remember Beverley has been in the NBA for less than 1 year. He has played 69 NBA games (including playoffs). He is 25 years old (two years younger than Chalmers) and is still a rookie for all intents and purposes. I think it is safe to say he will get better on both ends of the floor with more experience. While his experience overseas helped him there is no comparison to playing at the NBA level.

    The guy oozes intangibles and has shown high level abilities, albeit inconsistently so far, at every skill a guard can possess. As mentioned before, with more experience and high-level coaching I fully expect him to be a very solid player. He will never be a "star" and will probably never even sniff an all-star game.

    For those claiming he can't pass--I disagree. Check out his game logs from last season. He's got 10 games with 5+ (9 was his highest) assists and that was playing 20 minutes a night.

    His role on this team is different and he is usually on the floor with Harden, Lin, or Parsons who are the ones who direct the offense/create for our team.

    Beverley nailed a clutch shot against GSW just the other night. It's the last highlight on the video linked below and it was very. very nice.

    RECAP PAGE WITH VIDEO

    I just don't get the dislike for this guy.

  • thenit says 9 months ago

    I can't recall Bev hitting many clutch shots this season or last. But I agree that he might be a Mario Chalmers but with worse shooting and slightly worse D. Chalmers is really good at running through screens and reading the plays better than Bev.

  • RudyT1995 says 9 months ago

    He could be like Fisher or... Mario Chalmers. Tough, poised, clutch. That describes Chalmers Heat would not have won Game 6 of 2013 Finals, and therefore the 2013 Championship, without him.

  • Steven says 9 months ago

    Good point. Didn't mean to do that. For the record I like both of them on defense. I don't think either of them is Gary Payton reincarnate, but I think they are both capable. I will add that Bev spends more time against top tier talent than Lin does (there's a stat we would all love--time spent playing against starters vs. bench) which makes his low opp. PER more impressive in my book. Given that PER is primarily an offensive stat the net production is not very useful in analyzing a player's contributions to the team. It's not Bev's job to score so he will almost always lose a head-to-head PER battle against the likes of the elite PG's in the league (he might beat Chalmers :) ).

    I know Bev is not perfect on either side of the ball, but I like having him on the team...he could be our Derek Fisher :o

    (I'm laughing in my head imagining everyone's reactions to that comparison. I know 99% of us do not like Fisher very much)

    But seriously, tough, composed, D's up, doesn't make many mistakes, hits clutch shots. Every team wants a guy like that. Maybe I should have said Mario Elie...Yeah, we'll go with Mario Elie (similar stories actually...forget I mentioned Derek)

    For those who don't know, this is Mario's story: LINK

    If Bev hits a shot as time expires to win a game in the playoffs, he would defiantly be our D-Fisher. While I might hate the player, still respect his game.
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    Good point. Didn't mean to do that. For the record I like both of them on defense. I don't think either of them is Gary Payton reincarnate, but I think they are both capable. I will add that Bev spends more time against top tier talent than Lin does (there's a stat we would all love--time spent playing against starters vs. bench) which makes his low opp. PER more impressive in my book. Given that PER is primarily an offensive stat the net production is not very useful in analyzing a player's contributions to the team. It's not Bev's job to score so he will almost always lose a head-to-head PER battle against the likes of the elite PG's in the league (he might beat Chalmers :) ).

    I know Bev is not perfect on either side of the ball, but I like having him on the team...he could be our Derek Fisher :o

    (I'm laughing in my head imagining everyone's reactions to that comparison. I know 99% of us do not like Fisher very much)

    But seriously, tough, composed, D's up, doesn't make many mistakes, hits clutch shots. Every team wants a guy like that. Maybe I should have said Mario Elie...Yeah, we'll go with Mario Elie (similar stories actually...forget I mentioned Derek)

    For those who don't know, this is Mario's story: LINK

  • RudyT1995 says 9 months ago

    This is from 82games.com, which I still don't fully trust, but I think this is a fairly accurate reflection of what Bev does for us.

    2OB5sLh.jpg

    So, we can see his offense is not that great compared to league averages. Luckily, our team is built to generate offense from other positions.

    Meanwhile, check out what he does to his counterparts. That's the stuff. He takes stars and brings them down to his level or worse. It's not pretty, but it helps the team overall. He's not worried about his image, or his brand, or his numbers. He just wants to win.

    I agree that Lin is a better all around player, but let's not miss the forest for the trees. According to 82games, this is Lin's chart:

    YHbusFM.jpg

    Pretty much exactly what we thought. He does a good job, but it's not the same. I think what is most underrated about Bev's defense is the psychological effect it has on the opponent. All that energy he expends goes towards that and I for one believe it is worth it.

    I just looked up these stats at 82games, and you left out something very important.

    Beverley:

    percentage of the team's total minutes the player was at that position

    PG 46%

    SG 2%

    Lin:

    percentage of the team's total minutes the player was at that position

    PG 35%

    SG 29%

    Beverly plays almost all his minutes at PG while Lin just about splits his time. Beverley's minutes at SG are so few to be statistically insignificant and that sparkly 3.9 opponent PER is also insignificant.

    Lin's opponent PER at PG is actually better than Beverley's, and that's really the only one that you can compare directly.

  • RudyT1995 says 9 months ago

    I never said that Lin was ineffective. I think he's been really good. And that's kind of the problem. He's good and deserves more minutes than he's going to get.

    He was a good fit early in the season due in part to Bev's injury, Harden's injury, and because we sometimes played all three guards in a small lineup with Parson at 4. But now that Bev and Harden are healthy, and Jones is starting and playing a lot of minutes at the 4, Lin's minutes are going to get squeezed. There just aren't enough minutes to go around.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    All of these rotation issues will disappear if we just deal Lin and Asik and get downgraded versions of each one plus assets, because that's what we need. We need a scoring guard who plays 15 minutes a game and a defensive center who plays 10 minutes a game. Lin and Asik obviously deserve more minutes than that but they really won't be able to get them here. That has been painfully clear with Asik since the first game, and I think it will become increasingly evident with Lin even with all the improvements that he has made.

    I disagree with your take on Jeremy Lin. Seems as some members have forgotten the effectiveness of Lin's play earlier this season prior to his injury. I fully expect he will return to form after a couple more games once he gets his game legs back.

    I don't see AB as a long term solution to back up Beverly. And I shudder to think what would happen to the Rockets if Lin were traded and Beverly goes down with a Westbrook type injury.

  • RudyT1995 says 9 months ago

    All of these rotation issues will disappear if we just deal Lin and Asik and get downgraded versions of each one plus assets, because that's what we need. We need a scoring guard who plays 15 minutes a game and a defensive center who plays 10 minutes a game. Lin and Asik obviously deserve more minutes than that but they really won't be able to get them here. That has been painfully clear with Asik since the first game, and I think it will become increasingly evident with Lin even with all the improvements that he has made.

  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    :lol: I was being melodramatic with the blasphemy comment.

    Absolutely. Brooks is definitely last in the pecking order. It's not that I want more Brooks in my life--it is more that I think a little more rest for the others is a good thing and Brooks has proven he can contribute more often than not.

    Maybe McHale will take a page out of Pop's book and sit one of Harden, Lin, or Bev every 8-10 games or so and stagger it so that Brooks gets steady game action every 3 games or so. I used to think the whole "need to rest" thing was overblown because these are world class athletes who should be able to run all day everyday, but It's become apparent that a little rest goes a long way both in the short term and long term.

    I mean, a second unit that featured Lin and Brooks in the back court could provide huge offensive boosts for us. I don't even care what it would look like defensively (well, maybe a little :unsure: ). Those two would light it up more often than not.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    Thank you for making that point, but it is not exactly what I was getting at. My exact wording was to expand the guard rotation as Houston does not actually employ any standard PG's (Houston likes combo guards). This includes Harden. Giving Brooks 10 or so minutes on the court, as part of the backcourt (either pg or sg), would only need to reduce Lin, Bev, and Harden's minutes by 3 or so minutes each. That was all I was alluding to.

    Also, I do not find validity in the logic that "no one else is doing it ergo you are wrong". Again, I am not saying a 3-man rotation at point guard. We are essentially running a 3 man rotation at PG&SG right now. I believe Brooks could contribute in the way stated above and he is one of those unique players who can come in and find the flow of the game quickly--which is why he is ideally suited to come off the bench. (I'd have to check, but Garcia may get some minutes at SG...not positive about this)

    It was a passing notion and hardly the crux of that post. I think Brooks can be a solid scorer for us off the bench, help rest guys, and raise the overall energy levels for everyone. It's not blasphemy--it's just a logical opinion.

    I also just made a point and I don't believe I was accusing you of blasphemy!

    I believe that we are both correct and incorrect. It really comes down to matchups. I just don't see the Rockets splitting up the guard minutes amongst that many players in every game.

    True, playing AB more would allow more rest for Harden, Beverly and Lin.

    It probably really comes down to matchups and game situation (as the Rockets are vying for one of the top seeds and wins at times are more important than holding minutes down for certain players like Harden, Beverly, Lin and Parsons, etc.)

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    Denver has Lawson miller and Robinson that all play 15min+, if brooks is making shots he's worth having on the floor for a while if not his lack of size really hurts on defense.

    That's true. However, that is primarily because of Denver's shortcomings at SG. Foye only plays around 20-24 minutes a game and he is ineffective the majority of the time. Thus Denver is forced to play 2 PG's most of the time.

    Also, Harden averages a bit over 39 minutes for the season. That pretty much makes up the extra10-15 minutes that otherwise could arguably be for AB (Harden minutes - Foye minutes).

    I think there are some games during the regular season that AB could get more time off the bench to save the legs and wear and tear for our other guards. However, an every night rotation situation, I just don't think would be effective as long as Harden, Beverly and Lin are healthy and effective.

  • Cooper says 9 months ago Denver has Lawson miller and Robinson that all play 15min+, if brooks is making shots he's worth having on the floor for a while if not his lack of size really hurts on defense.
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    I can't think of another team in the NBA currently that is running a 3-man rotation at PG. AB has been effective some of the time and probably helped the Rockets win a couple of games they otherwise could have lost while Lin was out with injury.

    However,there's probably a good reason why NBA teams don't run a 3-man rotation at PG.

    Then factor in that Harden and Parsons make plays with the ball in their hands, too.

    Thank you for making that point, but it is not exactly what I was getting at. My exact wording was to expand the guard rotation as Houston does not actually employ any standard PG's (Houston likes combo guards). This includes Harden. Giving Brooks 10 or so minutes on the court, as part of the backcourt (either pg or sg), would only need to reduce Lin, Bev, and Harden's minutes by 3 or so minutes each. That was all I was alluding to.

    Also, I do not find validity in the logic that "no one else is doing it ergo you are wrong". Again, I am not saying a 3-man rotation at point guard. We are essentially running a 3 man rotation at PG&SG right now. I believe Brooks could contribute in the way stated above and he is one of those unique players who can come in and find the flow of the game quickly--which is why he is ideally suited to come off the bench. (I'd have to check, but Garcia may get some minutes at SG...not positive about this)

    It was a passing notion and hardly the crux of that post. I think Brooks can be a solid scorer for us off the bench, help rest guys, and raise the overall energy levels for everyone. It's not blasphemy--it's just a logical opinion.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    I actually agree with the idea of reducing Bev's minutes a little. I think giving Brooks 10-12 minutes of run and expanding the guard rotation would give them all more energy, help reduce injury risk, and give us a great change-of-pace to try and throw off the opposing defense.

    I'm cool with it either way. I like Bev's offense. He's a bit old school. Who didn't love that 20' dagger he shot in Curry's face in the 4th quarter last night. That was more than two points. It was a message. For those watching, you probably saw him stop and take a moment to let the whole GS bench know it too after he made it. I love that.

    As much as our team enjoys nice guys like Lin it needs some edge too. Bev brings it in spades. He's not an elite PG and probably never will be. Just remember, every team has to deal with the likes of Curry, Lillard, Bledsoe, Parker, Westbrook, Paul, and so on throughout the season. Bev is this team's version of Vernon Maxwell. He wants the challenge of shutting down the other team's best player and can actually do it.

    This is from 82games.com, which I still don't fully trust, but I think this is a fairly accurate reflection of what Bev does for us.

    2OB5sLh.jpg

    So, we can see his offense is not that great compared to league averages. Luckily, our team is built to generate offense from other positions.

    Meanwhile, check out what he does to his counterparts. That's the stuff. He takes stars and brings them down to his level or worse. It's not pretty, but it helps the team overall. He's not worried about his image, or his brand, or his numbers. He just wants to win.

    I agree that Lin is a better all around player, but let's not miss the forest for the trees. According to 82games, this is Lin's chart:

    YHbusFM.jpg

    Pretty much exactly what we thought. He does a good job, but it's not the same. I think what is most underrated about Bev's defense is the psychological effect it has on the opponent. All that energy he expends goes towards that and I for one believe it is worth it.

    (Disclaimer: I have no idea how they delineate who is playing PG/SG at any time--maybe it just depends on who they are guarding. I like to average the two together to get a better idea and to eliminate some potential stat-skewing problems.)

    The bottom line is both guys are doing their jobs and doing them well. What else matters?

    I can't think of another team in the NBA currently that is running a 3-man rotation at PG. AB has been effective some of the time and probably helped the Rockets win a couple of games they otherwise could have lost while Lin was out with injury.

    However,there's probably a good reason why NBA teams don't run a 3-man rotation at PG.

    Then factor in that Harden and Parsons make plays with the ball in their hands, too.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    you have to give brooks 5-10 minutes a game to see if he is ON. if he's hitting his shots, you give him 15-20.

    I would rather the Rockets stick with a 2 man PG rotation especially with Harden and Parsons also having the ability to penetrate and make plays with the ball in their hands.

    AB had a couple of nice games for us that helped the Rockets win games they otherwise likely would have lost. AB is a valuable 3rd PG, something that probably no other team in the NBA has currently.

    However, it is very difficult to have a 3 man PG rotation without affecting each of the player's games as it takes time to get into the flow of the game, etc. 48 minutes game time goes by very, very quickly!

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago I am very high on Jones and the direction he's heading in, but if we had Millsap we win this game by double digits.
  • miketheodio says 9 months ago

    you have to give brooks 5-10 minutes a game to see if he is ON. if he's hitting his shots, you give him 15-20.

  • feelingsupersonic says 9 months ago I don't know why we spend so much time talking about the point guard rotation here (I mean I know why). I do agree they could spell Beverley a little more with Brooks but that probably isn't going to happen.

    My question about this game is who is going to make Aldridge work in the next regular season matchups and potentially in the playoffs. Did the Rockets take down the Blazers in game 1 because of the twin tower defense? Can we get past the Blazers with Jones starting at the 4 this year?
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    I actually agree with the idea of reducing Bev's minutes a little. I think giving Brooks 10-12 minutes of run and expanding the guard rotation would give them all more energy, help reduce injury risk, and give us a great change-of-pace to try and throw off the opposing defense.

    I'm cool with it either way. I like Bev's offense. He's a bit old school. Who didn't love that 20' dagger he shot in Curry's face in the 4th quarter last night. That was more than two points. It was a message. For those watching, you probably saw him stop and take a moment to let the whole GS bench know it too after he made it. I love that.

    As much as our team enjoys nice guys like Lin it needs some edge too. Bev brings it in spades. He's not an elite PG and probably never will be. Just remember, every team has to deal with the likes of Curry, Lillard, Bledsoe, Parker, Westbrook, Paul, and so on throughout the season. Bev is this team's version of Vernon Maxwell. He wants the challenge of shutting down the other team's best player and can actually do it.

    This is from 82games.com, which I still don't fully trust, but I think this is a fairly accurate reflection of what Bev does for us.

    2OB5sLh.jpg

    So, we can see his offense is not that great compared to league averages. Luckily, our team is built to generate offense from other positions.

    Meanwhile, check out what he does to his counterparts. That's the stuff. He takes stars and brings them down to his level or worse. It's not pretty, but it helps the team overall. He's not worried about his image, or his brand, or his numbers. He just wants to win.

    I agree that Lin is a better all around player, but let's not miss the forest for the trees. According to 82games, this is Lin's chart:

    YHbusFM.jpg

    Pretty much exactly what we thought. He does a good job, but it's not the same. I think what is most underrated about Bev's defense is the psychological effect it has on the opponent. All that energy he expends goes towards that and I for one believe it is worth it.

    (Disclaimer: I have no idea how they delineate who is playing PG/SG at any time--maybe it just depends on who they are guarding. I like to average the two together to get a better idea and to eliminate some potential stat-skewing problems.)

    The bottom line is both guys are doing their jobs and doing them well. What else matters?

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    Yep tonight was probably the best game Beverley had all season.

  • Dayak says 9 months ago Bev did a great job on the both ends tonight. I hope he can hits the open 3s more often.
  • thenit says 9 months ago Bev played a decent game. I just think we should stagger his minutes to around 25 so he can go all out and being aggressive. I like rollingwave post in another thread regarding bevs minutes
  • thenit says 9 months ago Haha JG. I agree mostly with your assessment. Lin didn't shoot poorly tho. One was a last second launch at end of the quarter and one was when harden did his usual dribble the ball down to 2 sec left on the shoot clock and pass it to a rocket guy to get the tough last milliseconds heave.

    Lin didn't earn his minutes last night he was average so no complaints really on the minutes but he didn't really shoot poorly. Also I couldn't understand why he didn't run a single play in the first 2 min of the 4th quarter before getting subbed out. We just took random shots when Portland made a 8-0 run behind the arc.

    We just lost to a hotter team right now and LMA was a beast.
  • tombrokeoff says 9 months ago

    nice JG

  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    0.jpg

    "Ummm, I don't mean to rain on your parade, but it wasn't me "guarding" Aldridge and it wasn't me missing 15 out of 20 three pointers. I was the dude getting steals, rebounds, and a block. Nobody besides Dwight and Terrence Jones shot over 50% from the floor and only Harden got close (8-18). I took 10 shots out of the 94 total shots we took and only made 3. The fact that everyone outside of Dwight and Jones shot 18 of 52 (35%) has nothing to do with anything. Meanwhile, Lillard and Matthews combined to go 7-26 from the field (apparently no thanks to me). Sorry I ruined your night.

    Oh, and Jeremy was 1-4 for 5 pts, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes with 3 fouls. I can see how more of that would have tilted the game in our favor." :blink:

  • uojoe82 says 9 months ago

    As a lifelong Rocket fan living in Portland this game was so disappointing for me on many levels. This was my 15th time watching the Rockets play the Blazers in Portland (including the playoffs) and probably the most frustrating.

    All reports indicated that Lin was fully healthy therefore a minutes restriction didn't seem necessary. Lin has always shown great endurance so I doubt he was out of shape due to the 2 week absence from playing. So imagine my confusion when I realized that he would only play about 50% of his normal minutes.

    Im so confused why the rockets management (coaches) praise Lin in every interview then contradict themselves when it comes time to manage minutes. The Lin/Beverly argument needs to stop. Any astute viewer of the NBA knows who the better player is. Beverly is marginally better on defense. Lin is vastly superior on offense. Beverley offense would be average, in the D league. Looking at the box score at the end of the game only reinforced my thoughts throughout the game that Beverly wasnt producing at all. He shot 10 times for 9 points. Also, he had 2 assists. Yes he also had a great rebounding game for a PG. However he played 40 minutes. Advocates of Beverley will point out that he held lillard to 8 points. However Lillards +/- was an incredible 20. That means the Blazers were at there best when Lillard was in the game (and guarded by Beverly).

    If Lin was fully healthy why did his minutes get limited. Portland has the leagues best offense. Even against the best defenses in the league Portland scores a lot (Spurs and Pacers). To beat Portland you have to outscore Portland. Ive watched a lot of the Blazers games this year and one constant ive noticed is that scoring PGs or combo guards excel when the blazers lose. Monta Ellis destroyed the blazers. Lin's game is comparable to Ellis's. WHy was he not playing more?

    I though that with McHale out and Sampson at the helm that he would go with Lin more. Boy was I wrong.

    Theres a lot of articles out here about how good the Rockets starters are in regards to the advance stats. But they are that good in spite of Beverly., not because of Beverly.

  • Steven says 9 months ago Asik will not put on a Rockets uniform in a game again. He moped his way out of town. By next week he will be sent elsewhere. We can all complain about the lack of a backup center at the moment, or come to the realization that what is going to happen is going to happen and deal with it. For In Morey I Trust.
  • CanSayNOTC says 9 months ago

    I was attempting to stay within the flow of discussion which was Bev & Lillard. Though I did noticeJones' -26. When I see that, I see the effects of Asik'sabsence. I wanted to keep Asik initially but the more Asik sits, the more dubious his injury seems to me, the more it appears he has quit.. and the more I get angry. I loved him todeath last year. I'm try not to speculate since his injuries may be real, but the optics just look bad.

  • majik19 says 9 months ago

    The plus/minus numbers for Lillard and Beverly are pretty worthless - note that Lillard played almost all of his minutes with Aldridge.

    Also, I don't see anyone giving credit to Harden - he guarded Lillard some last night with Beverly switched up onto Matthews. He still did some ball-watching, and had one particularly terrible meaningless double team, but he seemed more locked in than a normal game and did fairly well on Lillard.

    Gotta give Aldridge some credit - some of those midrange shots he hit were tough. But, his play last night just proves that we need that backup true 5 who can guard guys like that. I was a little surprised, however, that D-mo didn't get some run last night with Jones in foul trouble - seemed like he would have matched up better with Lopez while Howard could guard Aldridge.

    The biggest disappointment I had last night was the number of offensive rebounds we gave up. We did an awful job boxing out, and while I hate the cliche, it looked like Aldridge just wanted the rebounds more.

    One thing I think last night's game put to rest - Aldridge could absolutely play with these Rockets. I know there was a lot of speculation in the offseason about him and the consensus is he doesn't fit... But he fits. He has the best midrange shot in the game (yes, I said it), he's a fantastic rebounder when playing next to a true 5, and he plays solid defense. He's obviously not available now, but he clearly could have played with us.

  • HazeWinkle says 9 months ago

    if the rockets lose asik this team will be idenitical of last years team. I say we keep him some team will get desprate next year and get greedy. Asik means to much to this team when dwight goes to the bench. Asik is an elite rebounder and post defender that something hard to replace god forbid dwight gets hurt then what would the rockets do put in D-mo lmao

  • feelingsupersonic says 9 months ago For an interesting view on the point guard rotation read RollingWave's post:

    http://www.red94.net/forums/index.php/topic/1753-an-analysis-on-patrick-beverleys-season-so-far/
  • datruth says 9 months ago

    how did we get on Lin. I thought we was talking about Beverly. So what happens when Lin is gone. Are we still going to make up excuses for having Beverly on the floor. It makes no sense.

  • feelingsupersonic says 9 months ago

    Not sure what to make of this.
    Beverley -15.. 9 pts 2 ast
    Lillard +20.. 8 pts 6 ast

    EDIT: rm90025 covered it, and more above


    All this talk of Lin starting makes little sense. The reason Lin has thrived this year is his sixth man role which is where he will stay in my opinion. If anything the plus/minus above says that Beverley and Lillard had minimal impact which had to be the goal (Beverley minimizing Lillard). Kevin Pelton tweeted something much more relevant in my opinion "In the 5:52 Dwight Howard has been on the bench tonight, the Blazers have outscored Houston 19-8." And this came a couple minutes into the fourth quarter. Not having Asik impacted the game considerably.

    Also, this game showed that Jones puts the Rockets at a major disadvantage when facing elite players on good teams. Sure Aldridge was going to get his but what he did was seismic. Why are you plus/minus guys not mentioning Jones' -26?
  • Cooper says 9 months ago Putting brooks on lillard is basically asking lillard to go off.
  • CanSayNOTC says 9 months ago

    Not sure what to make of this.

    Beverley -15.. 9 pts 2 ast

    Lillard +20.. 8 pts 6 ast

    EDIT: rm90025 covered it, and more above

  • rm90025 says 9 months ago

    I think this game was a good example of why Lin should be starting over Beverley. Beverley had a good game for him: a lot of hustle and loose ball plays, pretty good defense on Lillard, but when you look at the scoreboard he didn't impact the game. He was -15 for the game and Lillard was +20 or so. The obvious reason is that Beverley delivers little on offense. Defensively, he gambles a lot and frequently gets beat off the dribble and relies on his ability to recover and make the athletic play or on his secondary defensive help. That happened tonight as well, especially in the later half of the 4th quarter when Lillard started blowing by him. He also isn't big enough to guard the taller/bigger guards in the league.

    In contrast, in 15 minutes Lin had 4 FT attempts, 5 points, 2 rebs, 2 assists, 1 steal and 0 turnovers. He played 2 stints of 6 or 7 minutes where he helped the team cut a deficit. When he was on the floor, Portland could not set its defense because he and Harden were getting into the lane and the ball was moving. Lin disrupted Portland's strategy because he could get to the line. Terry Stotts remarked at the end of Q3 that Houston made a nice comeback in Q3 because their guys got to the line and got inside. He was referring to Harden and Lin. He's just a more talented offensive player who can generate points. Defensively, the stats show that he is no worse than Beverley. (I think he's actually better than Beverley because of his size, but I'd like to see him improve his reaction to when he gets clipped on a high pick before I spend time on that argument).

  • datruth says 9 months ago

    I guess we see things differently. I see that he hustles but I don't see him playing forty minutes on any other team in the league. Beverly shoots about 39% and averages 2 assists a game. He played hard tonight, but I think that's all he has to offer.

  • Buckko says 9 months ago

    It was his energy and his pesky D on lilard that kept him out of the game. He's not a great team or help defender but great 1 on 1 and star PGs which the west is filled with. Lin is the better player though but 6th man fits him better.

  • datruth says 9 months ago

    Did Beverly hit the rim after the second quarter. I know he hit three free throws, but I do believe he shoot at least three air balls. Still somehow played forty minutes. Brooks should have gotten some time. Not sure what everyone sees in Beverly.

  • Buckko says 9 months ago

    If we had asik, this would be a different game and nice job for P-Bev shutting down lilard the entire game.

  • Red94 says 9 months ago New post: Portland Trailblazers 111, Houston Rockets 104 - Aldridge dominates
    By: Eric Nielsen

    The Rockets played a pretty good game on the road, against the best in the West, and came away a short.  It was the defense that really let us down (we only had eight turnovers).  Aldridge had a career game of 31 points and 25 rebounds.  Jones got into foul trouble halfway through the second quarter and his youth showed against the hyperactive Aldridge.  Jones simply had no answer for the superstar.  When Jones got into foul trouble it was up to Parsons to guard him and that was even worse.  It all unraveled at the end of the fourth quarter. Finally, Sampson put Howard on Aldridge and it worked a little better, but a big 11 - 1 run toward the end of the quarter cemented it.

    Tonight was a battle of the bigs and the Rockets truly missed Asik and his defense (the veracity of his injury and complexity of his situation seems questionable, leading up to the Rockets preferred trade window).  Howard had another giant game with 32 points and 17 rebounds. He nearly carried the Rockets and is really rolling.  Still, Lopez and Aldridge were way too much for Howard and Jones.  Lopez played very well with a 16 and 10 double double. They really do have a twin towers that works.  Jones just got outplayed tonight by an elite player.  He got 10 points, but only two rebounds and his plus minus was an incredible -26, damn!

    Parsons struggled tonight and his back looked like it was really affecting his play.  At 37 minutes, he shot 6 for 18, and he wasn’t himself on defense or in transition.  One critical set of plays that included Parsons was in the third quarter, when it was close.  The Rockets were down two and the Blazers missed, Parsons fought Howard for a board and it went right to the Blazers for an easy bucket. Parsons looked like he could barely stand up and Howard and Parsons bitched at each other.  Parsons got a chance to take it to the hole on the next possession and gingerly drove in, missed it and demonstratively complained he was fouled.  The Blazers came back to hit a three. That took the Rockets down seven, as opposed to being down two, fostering an 11 - 0 run by the Blazers.

    Lin came back after missing seven games but played limited minutes and never really made an impact.  Kelvin Sampson has his work cut out managing the rotations in this stretch of games until McHale returns. The body language looked bad a few times for the Rockets when the game was really pretty close.  The first half was a virtual dead heat and the Rockets were definitely in this game with an opportunity to win it, but they often looked defeated and down.

    It still looks like the Rockets chemistry is in an early stage. With one quarter of the season in the books it’s a normal place to be for a team that is trying to integrate Dwight into the role he deserves.  In tonight’s game Howard was dominant on the offensive end and Harden and the Rockets looked better at getting him the ball in position to score.  Ultimately, it turns out that the Rockets are still learning how to close games and be in a position to win tough games, against great opponents, on the road.

    Early on in the game I knew it was going to come down to the fourth quarter and was worried.  The Rockets were nearly in a position to win the game late, but the Blazers dominated in crunch time.  It looks like it’s going to be this issue for the rest of the season and then the playoffs are on a whole other level, so we might as well take our licks now if it helps in the growth of the team.

    We definitely can play with the elite teams.  The question remains as to the Rockets will, resolve and toughness.  The Rockets are young, but the Blazers are as well and they were the better team tonight.

  • Buckko says 9 months ago

    They start out strong and then burn out. I really like their team, but they have been a major hot streak but when the shots don't fall, defense and statistics don't favor Portland.

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago A friend of mine is an avid Portland fan too, he hates it that I still don't see Portland as a true contender despite their current standing. The media has been gushing over their record and the road wins, but very rarely have I heard anyone mention how favorable their schedule has been. They haven't gone on a western road trip yet, and every back to back game they have played was also the back end of a back to back for the opposing team. If Portland wins tomorrow I will say they're a true contender, but I don't think they will.
  • Drew in Abilene says 9 months ago

    The guy I split the cost of League Pass with is a huge Portland fan. We weren't able to watch the first one together, but I'm excited for tomorrow night. Should be a great game, and I'm looking forward to Houston matching up against a top tier opponent with the nation watching.