Trail Blazers 122, Houston Rockets 120 – A great game for the rest of the nation

The main thing you don’t want to do at the start of a playoff series is to lose game one. You also want to avoid having a key player suffer an injury, try to prevent the opposing star players from absolutely detonating and most of all don’t let double digit leads evaporate in record time. Unfortunately, the Houston Rockets went ahead and did all the things they shouldn’t have done, coughing up a huge loss in overtime and dropping home court advantage. The good news, if there is any, is that home court advantage seems to be meaningless so far, with road teams winning 5 of the 8 games this weekend.

The Rockets and NBA fans in general have a lot to be sore about in that game, mostly focusing on the confusing, inconsistent, frustrating officiating that seems to have taken over half of the playoff games so far. In the end, it was likely a wash for the Rockets, but the calls were seemingly random in frequency, legitimacy and direction. The NBA admitted to badly blowing a call at the end of the Clippers vs Warriors game on the 19th of April, and this game has a flagship call as well. Dwight Howard was called for his sixth foul late in overtime and the decision was questionable, to put it mildly. Replay showed Joel Freeland outright hugging Dwight, and a public admission of error is likely tomorrow. Whether that call would have helped or hurt the Rockets is frankly immaterial. The refereeing is obtrusive, distracting and disruptive, three things that are absolutely critical to avoid as a league.

To be frustrated at the officials does not absolve the Rockets of criticism, not even a little bit. Houston had the game in hand late in the 4th quarter, leading by 11 with just over 4 minutes remaining. The Trail Blazers countered with the Smite-a-Dwight strategy and the Rockets crumbled. Howard completely choked at the line repeatedly. The Blazers attacked the basket at will. The Rockets failed to move the ball on offense. All the specters and doubts that haunted the Rockets all season attacked in the last 4 minutes of regulation, and by overtime the damage was done.

Even after gaining a sudden 6-point lead at the start of overtime, the Rockets couldn’t close out at all. Their defensive gameplan for Damian Lillard seems to be “leave Beverley on him and hope for the best,” which is very similar to their plan to slow down LaMarcus Aldridge, a man who absolutely dominated Houston’s flimsy single coverage. Those two combined for 77 points on 50 shots, an obscene number. Aldridge added the biggest insult of the night by going 2-2 on three pointers after a season in which he went 3-15 in the regular season. In fact, the second three was a last second prayer at the edge of the court with Dwight Howard inside his jersey. When it rains, it pours in Houston.

On the one hand, Lillard and Aldridge aren’t likely to have career nights every game. Indeed, the Rockets were off and seemed unable to wake up or catch a break much of the game. They shot no free throws in the first half, missed piles of open shots, were inept from the charity stripe and just generally looked shell shocked. This was close to a worst case scenario, and they nearly won. On the other hand, the Blazers will continue to manhandle Houston if the Rockets can’t figure out a way to perform at a fundamental level. They continue to run a loose, iso-heavy offense that sputters at the drop of a hat. Their defense seems to have regressed, including such highlights as leaving Blazers totally open on the perimeter while somehow simultaneously not doubling anyone.

And that injury? Patrick Beverly went down hard late in the game and began to favor his previously injured right knee. He continued to play for a few minutes but was later helped to the locker room. The official release is that he suffered a sprained knee and will have an MRI scan tomorrow to asses the injury. Absolutely the last thing the Rockets need is to feed Jeremy Lin to Damian Lillard for the rest of this series and then to Tony Parker if they make it that far.

Lin, for what it’s worth, had a good game, playing aggressive ball and getting to the rack at will. His 5-11 shooting would have been better if he hadn’t caught a case of the layup misses along with the rest of the team. Harden had more shots than points, went 3-14 on threes and turned it over 4 times. Not his best game. The strategy of tiring and frustrating him with Wes Matthews post play may have worked, something the Rockets will need to worry about.

Dwight Howard looked like a zombie in the first half but ended up with 27 points and 15 rebounds. Chandler Parsons had a respectable 24 points on 10-21 shooting, but his 3-11 from deep wasn’t optimal. Terrence Jones’ 12 points and 13 rebound double double was a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre outing from the Rockets statistically. They couldn’t hit threes, they couldn’t execute, they couldn’t box out and they couldn’t find the open man.

The Portland Trail Blazers quite simply wanted the game more. If this game serves as a wake-up call for a groggy Rockets team, so be it. Their focus and intensity have waffled all season, and they need to get that under control now more than ever. There’s plenty of reason that the Rockets will be able to pull the series out and move on, but it will require a level of discipline they’re so far loathe to exhibit. The most important factor, however? Hoping that Patrick Beverley is okay.

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Total comments: 79
  • Steven says 4 months ago McHale not pulling Howard after he made the first two free throws in the hack-a-Howard strategy was the problem. Even if the Blazers had made the next three possessions with 3s and got stops on the defensive end, the Rockets would have been up a point going into the last 2 minutes with at least some rhythm on offense. But no McHale decided to let the game stall, and keep the JailBlazers in the game. If the Rockets lose this series, McHale will be gone.
  • Baller93 says 4 months ago

    Offense is not the problem. Defense and coaching was the major faults in game 1. Those should be (mostly) correctable mistakes and everyone should expect total victory!!!!!! I'll be the one in the Drexler jersey at Buffalo Wild Wings. The tall, blonde in the Olajuwon jerseyis my wife who thinks the Rockets couldn't defend boy scout troop 7, will be the one yelling at Dwight Howard.

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    To Mr. Wilk

    Not sure what you talking about, but please check

    Laimbeer was traded to Detroit in 1982 seven years before a championship.

    Your information is false. Detroit won back to back championship after Laimbeer had been there for seven years. 1989,1990

    I'am Laimbeer fan. Again Laimbeer is a four time all star .

    not sure if Beverly will ever be an all star

    and JLin is not my favorite player, but he is a rocket player currently, therefore me and my family will support him.

    For you to make up stuff saying things you don't know for sure and then calling people out tells me more about you than the people you trying to defend.. No hard feeling toward you

    but again Beverly is a very good role player that has been in a starting position

    he shoots 41% and averages 10 points a game 2 assist and 1.4 steal that is below average for a starting pg in the nba that plays over 31 minutes a game. Not sure why you think different, but again good luck to you .

    Go rockets

    Datruth,

    You stated that The Pistons won a championship only after Isiah Thomas learned how to be tough from Laimbeer, Mahorn, and Rodman. This is incorrect just like when you said MJ learned his toughness from Cartwright. Isiah was always tough. As I said the Pistons looked to get similar tough players like Isiah and the first player they targeted was Laimbeer. You can watch the 30 for 30 that played last week and see this.

    You state that you and your family support Lin because he a rocket and then you dish on Bev. So since Bev is a rocket shouldn't you and your family also support him? Also, when did I say anything about Bev being anything more than a role player? Please show me. Looks like you made this up, but no hard feelings and good luck to you.

  • Steven says 4 months ago

    We should force D-Mo to watch film of Bill Laimbeer in the playoffs Clockwork-Orange-Style. Then unleash him on Aldridge. :lol:

    Or McHale vs Rambus.
  • miketheodio says 4 months ago

    and a resounding "YES" was heard

  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    We should force D-Mo to watch film of Bill Laimbeer in the playoffs Clockwork-Orange-Style. Then unleash him on Aldridge. :lol:

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    I don't think they need to change up too much. Aldridge had a classic game, one of the best games by a big man in the last few decades, top and bottom that was the Lamarcus Aldridge game.

    I wouldn't mind seeing about 15 minutes from Motiejunas especially since he had some relative success defending Aldridge in games 2 and 3 of the regular season that I recently rewatched. I would like to see Motiejunas use those 5 fouls in a deliberate manner as I believe this team needs to get physical.

    Dwight is more of a patroller but he could use a couple of guys dishing out hard fouls, you have to toughen up during the playoffs. Beverly can't be the only crazy guy in the rotation and a crazy big would go a long way.


    Can't say I disagree with anything you said, FSS.

    Go Rockets!!
  • feelingsupersonic says 4 months ago Over the last 10 games of the season he shot .455 FG% and over his last 15 his AFG% was .448 so even though against the Rockets he may perform above his recent averages he still shouldn't approach what he did in game 1.
  • miketheodio says 4 months ago

    I don't think they need to change up too much. Aldridge had a classic game, one of the best games by a big man in the last few decades, top and bottom that was the Lamarcus Aldridge game.

    I wouldn't mind seeing about 15 minutes from Motiejunas especially since he had some relative success defending Aldridge in games 2 and 3 of the regular season that I recently rewatched. I would like to see Motiejunas use those 5 fouls in a deliberate manner as I believe this team needs to get physical.

    Dwight is more of a patroller but he could use a couple of guys dishing out hard fouls, you have to toughen up during the playoffs. Beverly can't be the only crazy guy in the rotation and a crazy big would go a long way.

    what does he avg? around 45% FG? and he shot 55%/ 100 from 3. true, that's probably not going to happen again. 15 minutes of DMO sounds good if they tell him to be physical.

  • datruth says 4 months ago

    To Mr. Wilk

    Not sure what you talking about, but please check

    Laimbeer was traded to Detroit in 1982 seven years before a championship.

    Your information is false. Detroit won back to back championship after Laimbeer had been there for seven years. 1989,1990

    I'am Laimbeer fan. Again Laimbeer is a four time all star .

    not sure if Beverly will ever be an all star

    and JLin is not my favorite player, but he is a rocket player currently, therefore me and my family will support him.

    For you to make up stuff saying things you don't know for sure and then calling people out tells me more about you than the people you trying to defend.. No hard feeling toward you

    but again Beverly is a very good role player that has been in a starting position

    he shoots 41% and averages 10 points a game 2 assist and 1.4 steal that is below average for a starting pg in the nba that plays over 31 minutes a game. Not sure why you think different, but again good luck to you .

    Go rockets

  • feelingsupersonic says 4 months ago I don't think they need to change up too much. Aldridge had a classic game, one of the best games by a big man in the last few decades, top and bottom that was the Lamarcus Aldridge game.

    I wouldn't mind seeing about 15 minutes from Motiejunas especially since he had some relative success defending Aldridge in games 2 and 3 of the regular season that I recently rewatched. I would like to see Motiejunas use those 5 fouls in a deliberate manner as I believe this team needs to get physical.

    Dwight is more of a patroller but he could use a couple of guys dishing out hard fouls, you have to toughen up during the playoffs. Beverly can't be the only crazy guy in the rotation and a crazy big would go a long way.
  • PhillyCheese says 4 months ago

    Since everyone has an opinion, I think they should leave Jones on Aldridge but bring a help defender hard a few times, or fake hedgea few times. Basically throw some variety of coverages at him. Play the TT a few minutes as well - maybe with Parsons, Harden and Daniels as shooters and keep it inside out since the driving lanes are not going to be there.

    I'd also play Lin and Harden more and tell both of them to attack the Portland guards, and incorporate the high screen pick and roll more with either Jones or Howard.

    Beverley might be cleared to play but judging from all the winces and grimaces that I saw last game, I'm not sure how much he has. At the beginning of the game he looked good but as he tired, there were more blow bys - even on his block it was because his man got by him easily. If I was McHale, I definitiely watch his minutes and not let Bev talk him into playing him more minutes. Please, no more Jones and Parsons on Lillard - Parsons is delusional if he thinks he can guard Lillard, plus you'll then have mismatch against Batum.

    Portland knows the Rox will focus more on Lillard and LMA so don't be surprised if they draw up more plays for Batum and continue to have Matthews post up Harden.

  • dbd says 4 months ago

    There is no good solution to guard LMA.

    Some already pointed out below:

    - Rim protection will be weak if Dwight defend him

    - TT didn't work in the past and potential issue for FT

    - Double teaming will open 3pt threat

    It is cliche, Rockets must shoot well. Find better looks to get good efficiency.

    In game 1, Harden went 8-28 and Dwight went 9-21 and 9-17 on free throws.

    Can you imagine who will win if a couple more shots or FT went in even if LMA had a record setting day?

  • miketheodio says 4 months ago

    I think if it weren't for foul trouble we would've seen more of Dwight and Asik together, with Asik fronting Aldridge and Dwight protecting the rim, especially when we had a lead and just needed stops. I agree that Dwight should guard LMA leaving Jones to protect the rim which he is a decent shot blocker but he'll have to make sure he boxes out Lopez and get boards.

    i wonder what would happen if you rotated fresh players on LMA throughout the game. a jones, asik, and dmo rotation.

  • BallSoHarden says 4 months ago

    I think if it weren't for foul trouble we would've seen more of Dwight and Asik together, with Asik fronting Aldridge and Dwight protecting the rim, especially when we had a lead and just needed stops. I agree that Dwight should guard LMA leaving Jones to protect the rim which he is a decent shot blocker but he'll have to make sure he boxes out Lopez and get boards.

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    One, the Blazers will absolutely attack the lane if D12 is out near the 3 point line guarding Aldridge.

    If I were the Blazers in this situation, simply attack the lane, end up with a 2 on 1 situation with T Jones (or Asik, etc.) guarding the rim and either go in for a layup or pass off to Lopez for the Dunk.

    I agree with rocketrick. I definitely would not put Howard on LMA. LMA would pull Howard away from the paint which would leave no rim protection and Lipez would get all of the boards.
  • RocketMansinceStevieFrance says 4 months ago

    I also feel like the Rockets will eventually run the Blazers down seeing as their bench only scored 7 points throughout the whole game.. Its worth noting that, especially if next game Matthews ends up being to aggressive on Harden and draws a few quick fouls this could REALLY help the Rockets during a game against a very thin bench.

  • RocketMansinceStevieFrance says 4 months ago

    Might just be an idiotic thought from me but I just noticed it and figured I would share it

  • RocketMansinceStevieFrance says 4 months ago

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/shotchart?gameId=400553097

    Hope you all can take a look at that. Look at LMA's shot chart and tell me why he didnt attempt a single shot from the right side of the floor? Am i sensing a weakness or is it just me? I really think the rockets should force him to that side of the floor and see if it makes a difference. I am not sure on his percentages from certain sides but it might be worth looking.

    Give me all your inputs on what you think about it please!

    GO ROCKETS

  • miketheodio says 4 months ago

    i understand the benefits of read and react. how sets get broken up. but you also have to think about a "play" not even getting off of the ground. when teams play good lock down defense, that's when it looks like the chickens are running around with no heads. overall, i like it, but i hope they adjust it a bit in the future. moreyball/read and react still feels a littlegimmicky. i like it as a foundation, but it doesn't feel like they've made an original play style yet. it will probably take time and growth, but i'd like to see them have a unique offense like the heat and spurs. look at all ideas, keep what is good and cut the bad. something they can call their own. more of an identity i guess.

    honestly, it's very disheartening to see your favorite team look incompetent on offense when you know the way the offense can potentially perform. i know this is silly, but you look at the spurs and they always find a way to make the smart decision. ex: in the second half, parsons taking a semi contested corner 3 when garcia was wide open on the wing. not making the extra pass bugs me to no end.

    mchale definitely made some mistakes, but the good news is he made some good adjustments last year vs okc. i hope he will do it again. still not sure about mchale as a championship coach, but i think you keep him next year for stability reasons. all the good teams have been stable for 3+ years.

    I wouldn't take an absolute stance on doubling LMA. somewhere in the plan, there has to be a green light for doubling in certain instances depending on the court positioning of all the players.

    i still think the rockets can take it in 6 with a strong performance in game 2. gain some kind of momentum to build on so the guys click a little bit better in the following games. it is refreshing to think about LMA and lilliard having great nights and barely coming out with a win while the rockets stars had a subpar night. there is something to be said about that.

  • Cooper says 4 months ago

    Its so hard to sit Dwight even if they are hacking him because without him our defense goes from mediocre to plain awful, sometimes your just going to have to roll with Dwight and hope he can knock down a few rather than being a layup line on the other end. Doubling LMA sounds great in theory but we don't have tony allen or iggy out there, parsons and harden struggle enough on defense already I would rather not have them trying to scramble around giving up open threes. Mchale might try Dwight on him when asik is in to play center or even let dmo play him for a few minutes and just let him be real physical and not worry about fouls. But really if harden goes 10-28 instead of 8 it wouldn't have mattered that Aldridge went off.

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago Two, repost Aldridge after swinging the ball back towards the free throw line as Aldridge works his way closer to the bucket as D12 is forced to sag and protect the rim because of One (see my prior post)
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    I don't think that doubling LMA is a good idea. The remedy for stopping LMA lies with D12. Although D12 is a center there should be no reason he can't try to guard LMA. Its not like LMA is a Dirk Nowitzki or a stretch 4 that runs around the court, LMA likes to get to his spots and work his way to the hoop or shoot elbow jumpers. LMA scored in a bunch of ways last game but it wasn't as if his elbow jumpers were falling like crazy.

    Both players are around 6'10'' or 6'11''. D12 has about 30 lbs on LMA however I don't think D12 gives up much quickness. If D12 wants to earn his salary this year he needs to be able to slow Aldridge down. Putting D12 on LMA leaves T Jones on Lopez which is also a mismatch so I'd consider playing Asik or DMO. T Jones doesnt need to play so much, his offense and rebounding are helpful but he's lost on the defensive end, and the Rockets troubles arent in scoring points.

    1 month ago Zach Lowe published a great article on Grantland about whats wrong with the Blazers. At the time the Blazers were playing 500 ball and had plummeted from their insane (not sustainable) start. The close games they used to win early in the season now became losses. To summarize the article the Blazers regression was due to LMA not being the same LMA from the first half of the season.

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/pdx-problems-what-exactly-is-wrong-with-the-blazers/

    Injuries slowed LMA down and this slowed Portland down. To summarize the article the Blazers offense isn't on point unless LMA see's double teams. Double teams lead to 3 point shots and Portland has 2 of the best shooters in the league. I don't know if the Rockets have the perimeter defenders to be disciplined enough to scramble to open shooters, they have enough trouble keeping an eye on their own man.

    I'd rather see D12 take on the challenge of guarding LMA. I realize this might open up the rim for Lillard but I'd rather deal with Lillard shooting layups then open three point looks. Although last game he was great around the rim for the season Lillard is actually below average around the rim.

    Step up D12,


    One, the Blazers will absolutely attack the lane if D12 is out near the 3 point line guarding Aldridge.

    If I were the Blazers in this situation, simply attack the lane, end up with a 2 on 1 situation with T Jones (or Asik, etc.) guarding the rim and either go in for a layup or pass off to Lopez for the Dunk.
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    Our system is to shoot early in the clock but I totally agreed that we should burn the clock a bit while leading well in late game.
    This poor clock management from us gave offensive team like Blazers got back in the game. Poor shot selections is on players but clock is on McHale.

    Not double teaming LMA and putting Parsons on Lillard was poor decision. I think losing defensive coach Sampson on the eve of playoffs was huge blow to us.


    As I recall, Parsons was on Lillard once or twice in the latter part of the 4th quarter due to switches on the screens.

    Double teaming LMA, well, that is an interesting take. So the Rockets double team LMA leaving wide open 3's for Damion Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Batum, et al??

    Pick your poison if you ask me.

    I'd rather be in Row 10 watching the game and rooting for my team (the Rockets) instead of making those devilish decisions.
  • uojoe82 says 4 months ago

    The guy in the video isn't wrong--I like his stuff a lot.

    McHale definitely made some decisions that are easy to second-guess. Should he have sat Dwight for a couple minutes? That's debatable. Should he have instructed them to burn more clock? This one I agree with. I'm willing to cut slack as they are learning and it has always been my interpretation that McHale lets his guys learn through failure. They saw first-hand how NOT to nurse a decent lead with 4 minutes left. (Again, without a miracle 3 by Aldridge and Lillard along with a terrible call on Dwight this doesn't happen).

    Parsons has said HE wants to be able to guard positions 1-4 on the court. McHale is giving him the opportunity to prove it. It looks like he is biting off more than he can chew as he just doesn't have the quickness to be effective against those guys. Still, I don't mind letting him prove himself wrong.

    McHale is anything but a micro-manager and people who are looking for that should just give up and wait because you will not be pleased with McHale's coaching.

    The bottom line is 90% of the complaints are clearly coming out of one camp--I'm doing my best to ignore these. The rest is fair, but I'm just not concerned. The read and react offense can work, but the guys have to improve their chemistry, ball movement, off-ball movement....everything really. Right now it looks ugly--because it often is. Portland played a solid game of team D against us. Does anyone think McHale is just going to sit on his hands all week and do nothing? Does anyone think Bickerstaff isn't giving everyone an earful while going over game tape?

    There was plenty to criticize in that game and the guy in that video did a great job of it (although, he certainly seemed to have a little man-crush on Lin. He gushed over his positives and dismissed his failures all too easily. Lin's turnover was not a by-product of the system....it was a by-product of dribbling in the lane too long and not getting the heck out of there.)

    Regarding LMA--the Rockets either need to seal off the rest of the court and force him to beat us by himself or double him and scramble around forcing contested 3's. I'd like to see them front him with Dwight with D-Mo (presumably guarding Lopez) able to rotate behind. This will make entry passes tough and eat up a lot of clock if they insist on doing it. Plus Dwight can quickly rotate back to Lopez or behind D-Mo for weakside help.....I don't know if it will work, but I won't be mad if they try it :) .

    I don't think that doubling LMA is a good idea. The remedy for stopping LMA lies with D12. Although D12 is a center there should be no reason he can't try to guard LMA. Its not like LMA is a Dirk Nowitzki or a stretch 4 that runs around the court, LMA likes to get to his spots and work his way to the hoop or shoot elbow jumpers. LMA scored in a bunch of ways last game but it wasn't as if his elbow jumpers were falling like crazy.

    Both players are around 6'10'' or 6'11''. D12 has about 30 lbs on LMA however I don't think D12 gives up much quickness. If D12 wants to earn his salary this year he needs to be able to slow Aldridge down. Putting D12 on LMA leaves T Jones on Lopez which is also a mismatch so I'd consider playing Asik or DMO. T Jones doesnt need to play so much, his offense and rebounding are helpful but he's lost on the defensive end, and the Rockets troubles arent in scoring points.

    1 month ago Zach Lowe published a great article on Grantland about whats wrong with the Blazers. At the time the Blazers were playing 500 ball and had plummeted from their insane (not sustainable) start. The close games they used to win early in the season now became losses. To summarize the article the Blazers regression was due to LMA not being the same LMA from the first half of the season.

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/pdx-problems-what-exactly-is-wrong-with-the-blazers/

    Injuries slowed LMA down and this slowed Portland down. To summarize the article the Blazers offense isn't on point unless LMA see's double teams. Double teams lead to 3 point shots and Portland has 2 of the best shooters in the league. I don't know if the Rockets have the perimeter defenders to be disciplined enough to scramble to open shooters, they have enough trouble keeping an eye on their own man.

    I'd rather see D12 take on the challenge of guarding LMA. I realize this might open up the rim for Lillard but I'd rather deal with Lillard shooting layups then open three point looks. Although last game he was great around the rim for the season Lillard is actually below average around the rim.

    Step up D12,

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    Obviously, either you didn't watch or you did watch but didn't see it.


    I paid to be on Row 10 on Courtside so yes, I obviously was watching. I don't make things up like you know who and whom that posts on this board.
  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    The guy in the video isn't wrong--I like his stuff a lot.

    McHale definitely made some decisions that are easy to second-guess. Should he have sat Dwight for a couple minutes? That's debatable. Should he have instructed them to burn more clock? This one I agree with. I'm willing to cut slack as they are learning and it has always been my interpretation that McHale lets his guys learn through failure. They saw first-hand how NOT to nurse a decent lead with 4 minutes left. (Again, without a miracle 3 by Aldridge and Lillard along with a terrible call on Dwight this doesn't happen).

    Parsons has said HE wants to be able to guard positions 1-4 on the court. McHale is giving him the opportunity to prove it. It looks like he is biting off more than he can chew as he just doesn't have the quickness to be effective against those guys. Still, I don't mind letting him prove himself wrong.

    McHale is anything but a micro-manager and people who are looking for that should just give up and wait because you will not be pleased with McHale's coaching.

    The bottom line is 90% of the complaints are clearly coming out of one camp--I'm doing my best to ignore these. The rest is fair, but I'm just not concerned. The read and react offense can work, but the guys have to improve their chemistry, ball movement, off-ball movement....everything really. Right now it looks ugly--because it often is. Portland played a solid game of team D against us. Does anyone think McHale is just going to sit on his hands all week and do nothing? Does anyone think Bickerstaff isn't giving everyone an earful while going over game tape?

    There was plenty to criticize in that game and the guy in that video did a great job of it (although, he certainly seemed to have a little man-crush on Lin. He gushed over his positives and dismissed his failures all too easily. Lin's turnover was not a by-product of the system....it was a by-product of dribbling in the lane too long and not getting the heck out of there.)

    Regarding LMA--the Rockets either need to seal off the rest of the court and force him to beat us by himself or double him and scramble around forcing contested 3's. I'd like to see them front him with Dwight with D-Mo (presumably guarding Lopez) able to rotate behind. This will make entry passes tough and eat up a lot of clock if they insist on doing it. Plus Dwight can quickly rotate back to Lopez or behind D-Mo for weakside help.....I don't know if it will work, but I won't be mad if they try it :) .

  • dbd says 4 months ago

    AMAZING, So the ROCKETS lose by 2 in OT and everything is f'g terrible.

    So the Rockets have like a 2 or 4 point lead with 3 minutes to go and somehow the Rockets are supposed to burn the clock (which by the way they did close to the rule) and simply run out the game clock? Really???

    Obviously, either you didn't watch or you did watch but didn't see it.

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago Does anybody else on this board even care (and are able) to respond to all this?
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    Our system is to shoot early in the clock but I totally agreed that we should burn the clock a bit while leading well in late game.
    This poor clock management from us gave offensive team like Blazers got back in the game. Poor shot selections is on players but clock is on McHale.

    Not double teaming LMA and putting Parsons on Lillard was poor decision. I think losing defensive coach Sampson on the eve of playoffs was huge blow to us.


    AMAZING, So the ROCKETS lose by 2 in OT and everything is f'g terrible.

    So the Rockets have like a 2 or 4 point lead with 3 minutes to go and somehow the Rockets are supposed to burn the clock (which by the way they did close to the rule) and simply run out the game clock? Really???
  • dbd says 4 months ago

    Our system is to shoot early in the clock but I totally agreed that we should burn the clock a bit while leading well in late game.

    This poor clock management from us gave offensive team like Blazers got back in the game. Poor shot selections is on players but clock is on McHale.

    Not double teaming LMA and putting Parsons on Lillard was poor decision. I think losing defensive coach Sampson on the eve of playoffs was huge blow to us.

  • miketheodio says 4 months ago

    any of you guys look at this?

    bad clock management (james harden shot selection). mchale- management of line ups and d12/timeouts. read and react offense ends up becoming disorganized leading to wasted actions. bad defensive rotations (jones)

    what are your thoughts?

    really feels like the offense often leads to ... not smart basketball.

  • rm90025 says 4 months ago

    Whether McHale has Lin or Beverley in the game, that player should be matched up with Lillard, not a forward like Parsons or Jones. When Beverley and Lin are both on the floor, they can decide between them who should guard him.

  • Baller93 says 4 months ago

    An example of McHale "cozying" up and trying to be a "buddy" to his players? :>O

    Bad shots all around, refusal to bench players no matter how bad they're playing, failure to get players to run back on D, can't get his best offensive players to move the ball, etc.... It's all there, man. You don't need to look at advanced stats or analytics to see he just won't bench a player no matter how bad he's playing. Dwight had no business being out there in that crucial stretch where Portland went to Hack-A-Dwight. His player loyalty was a big contributing factor as to why the Rockets lost last night.

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    Harden looked like he was too gassed to drive to the hoop and was settling for 3pt shots and jumpers. Looked like a man playing with a virus or something. Maybe having Matthews post him up in the 1Q had somethng to do with his energy level. Aswell as Lin played, I think he needs to do more of the heavy lifting. If your teammate is clearly gassed, Lin needs to take charge out there.While Matthews was attacking our worst defensive player, we did not attack their worst defensive player as much.

    I'mreally confused- I know Bev is valuable because he sets the tone for the starters. But with two superstars why doesBev need to set the tone? Bev is obviously not alright, even before the LMA screen. I think they need to sit him because he is hurting the team by playing, and hurting himself too.

    I think DMo should have some burn too. He's long enough to give LMA some trouble. Jones did a lousy job boxing out and not helping from the weak side when he should have. DMo should be ok chasing LMA around for a bit while Howard camps out underneath and be able to pick his spots to double down. Lopez is not much of a threat.

    Exactly how is Bev hurting the team? How is he obviously not alright?

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    Great offensive player > great defensive player

    Lillard is a top 5 PG in the NBA right now. If Rocket fans were counting on Beverley to lock down Lillard this series you either don't watch enough of Lillard (which is excusable since Blazer games usually start at 7:30 PST) or you think Beverley is better at defense than he really is.

    Beverley makes "showy" defensive plays but when he's not making those plays he's an average defender. I applaud and admire his tenacity and devotion to the team when its obvious he's not 100% but I wonder if he keeps playing if he's actually hurting the team. Lets keep in mind that he's only on the team for his defense and his "toughness" that he brings. Well if Lillard gets whatever he wants on offense with just a mild distraction that Beverley currently offers should he be playing starter minutes? On offense hes below average so he now ins't contributing on both ends of the court. Lillard has a killer instinct and with Bev's latest re-injury Im certain Lillard will go for the kill against Beverley. Really wish the Rockets kept Aaron Brooks because they could really use some depth.

    If Mchales/Rockets gameplan was for Beverley to cancel out Lillard and for Harden to score at will to offset the mismatch the Blazers have at the PF position I really hope they have a plan B.

    Im worried, and so should the rest of you.

    Yep, try to create panic that is how everybody will say lets give the ball to Lin and let him do whatever he wants whenever he wants.

    At the end of the 4q Lin was 2-7 for 7 points. Beverley was 3-8 for 9 points. You do realize that late in the game Bev denied Lillard from getting the ball twice? You do realize that is why the blazers had to set an off the ball screen at half court on Bev to try to get Lillard free fromBev's "showy" defense?Chris Paul got in foul trouble against Curry soaccording to your logic he is not an elite defender now? Tony Allen allowed 36 points against KD tonight so he played terrible defense?

    So what is your plan A and plan B?

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    You can name plays where someone gets beat by an all star player, it doesn't make them bad.

    Or when they slip. Slipping = bad player

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    I'm just amazed that Lillard completely lost Beverly to hit a 3 at the end of the 4th, and then again completely passed up Beverly and finished at the rim while fouling out Bev for the 3-point play and lead in overtime, yet Bev's defense is still immune from criticism. Last I checked, being 10 feet from your guy, leaving TJones to TRY to cover him in the final seconds is pretty horrible. Finding yourself behind your guy on a rim drive that was created without hitting a screen is pretty avoidable as well. Those are the 2 plays took the game for Portland. Just call it like you see it. Results.

    You are amazed that Bev slipped on a play? #7 never does that. Didn't #7 foul Lillard when he was shooting a 3? I am lost as to how that happens. When Bev was on the Bench in the 4q what did Lillard do against Lin? He did not miss a shot.

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    Well this was what they did to us. They were very physical from beginning and rough up everybody in sight.

    TRob came in and like he want to hurt somebody. They will do the same in game 2: attack Beard, physical game, and foul Dwight if they were behind.

    I might be wrong, but this is the problem PB.

    Pb is very aggressive on one end of the floor.

    He likes to hold, hack and do dirty tricks while on the floor.

    A good coach will adjust and do the same to our star players, like Harden and Howard.

    a good coach will send average players to do the same to our star players.

    If i was coaching i would do the same.

    The star players must have the same mind frame as the tough player like PBev.

    Chicago got over the hump when Jordan began just as tough as Cartwright.

    Same is said about the bad boys from Motown., Isaiah became just as tough as laimbeer, Rodman and Mahorn

    A good coach will protect his player, but they will never go after Pbev. It will always be your star player.

    I think the rockets win over the blazers, because of overall talent.

    None of this is the datruth. Bev is not a dirty player. I understand you are trying to promote your favorite player by dishing on Bev. The Blazers are not playing dirty against the rockets stars. This makes no sense.

    Lets look at the rest of this post. Chicago did not get over the hump when "Jordan became as tough as Cartwright" Chicago got over the hump when Pippen and Grant became as mentally tough as Jordan. Cartwright had nothing to do with anybody's mental toughness.

    Motown got over the hump when Isiah became just as tough as Laimbeer, Rodman, and Mahorn? No, Detroit traded for Laimbeer after figuring his toughness would fit in well with Isiah's toughness. Isiah was the only tough player on the Pistons before Laimbeer was added. Mahorn was added a couple years later and Rodman was added 5 years after Isiah joined the Pistons.

    Not sure what this post had to do anything about the last game.

  • thenit says 4 months ago Just saying harden had an off night and to argue that Lin should take over is just not going to happen. Unless Lin has 40points and 15 in the forth would they take the ball away from harden. There is a hierarchy in the nba so that won't happen. Harden will shoot better that's a given. Lin should not get the ball unless harden is injured and if that's the case, I go with whoever is hot.

    I'm more concerned about the so call D that was going to show up when it matters. Still looking hard. When you let LMA a big man post up on you and then just runs by you, I just can't see us winning the championship. This is a situation I want mchale to get into hardens face. I can live with getting backed down because he is just too big but not even trying when he runs pass you is just sad.
  • PhillyCheese says 4 months ago

    Harden looked like he was too gassed to drive to the hoop and was settling for 3pt shots and jumpers. Looked like a man playing with a virus or something. Maybe having Matthews post him up in the 1Q had somethng to do with his energy level. Aswell as Lin played, I think he needs to do more of the heavy lifting. If your teammate is clearly gassed, Lin needs to take charge out there.While Matthews was attacking our worst defensive player, we did not attack their worst defensive player as much.

    I'mreally confused- I know Bev is valuable because he sets the tone for the starters. But with two superstars why doesBev need to set the tone? Bev is obviously not alright, even before the LMA screen. I think they need to sit him because he is hurting the team by playing, and hurting himself too.

    I think DMo should have some burn too. He's long enough to give LMA some trouble. Jones did a lousy job boxing out and not helping from the weak side when he should have. DMo should be ok chasing LMA around for a bit while Howard camps out underneath and be able to pick his spots to double down. Lopez is not much of a threat.

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    One of the enduring images of the night to me was at the 1:01 mark of the first quarter. When McHale is yelling at Dwight and James to get back on D, that's a bad sign. Picture of his face was pure frustration that I know waaaaaayy too well. :-D


    An example of McHale "cozying" up and trying to be a "buddy" to his players? :>O
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    Maybe gutless is too strong of a word. Then again, I can't stand coaches that are cozy with players. Outside of Popovich, who I think is the greatest coach in the history of the universe, I can't see any other coach who gets players to do what he wants. I love the fact that Pops benches his stars when they don't do what he wants them to do. Love seeing that!

    McHale is just one of the many coaches who wants to be buddies with his players. Ugh... Guess I'm getting old. Rather have my players hate me and respect me, then be friends with me and can't get them to follow the gameplan, I suppose.


    So, what NBA Coaches have had success by being uncozy (the opposite of your choice of word, "cozy") with players?

    Even Popovich doesn't always get his players to do what he wants. Although I am in the camp that Popovich is the best Coach in the NBA today.

    I don't recall Popovich sitting one of his stars in the final seconds or minute of an important game. True, he has sat Parker and others in the past. But I think that's much more in the past than recent times as the Spurs are clearly the most veteran team in the league and their key players have been together for so many years now I have simply lost count.

    When you state "McHale just wants to be buddies with his players", just exactly what are you basing this on? Does he go out to the same clubs as Harden and Parsons and D12, etc. after the game and buy his players drinks, etc.? Or maybe invites everyone over for a BBQ?

    What NBA Coach has had success in this league with the simple strategy of being the boss and taskmaster and strict disciplinarian? Even successful coaches like Phil Jackson have their soft side.

    I get it, some people just don't like Coach McHale and don't believe he has what it takes to lead the Rockets. But some of the negative McHale conotations just simply leave me scratching my head in disbelief. McHale has been there, he knows what it takes to win an NBA Title. He has the rings to prove it. And I believe his players have bought in. The only dissension I hear is on these boards (and other boards) from fans who have absolutely no idea what goes on in the lockerroom and in those huddles, etc.
  • Baller93 says 4 months ago

    Maybe gutless is too strong of a word. Then again, I can't stand coaches that are cozy with players. Outside of Popovich, who I think is the greatest coach in the history of the universe, I can't see any other coach who gets players to do what he wants. I love the fact that Pops benches his stars when they don't do what he wants them to do. Love seeing that!

    McHale is just one of the many coaches who wants to be buddies with his players. Ugh... Guess I'm getting old. Rather have my players hate me and respect me, then be friends with me and can't get them to follow the gameplan, I suppose.

    One of the enduring images of the night to me was at the 1:01 mark of the first quarter. When McHale is yelling at Dwight and James to get back on D, that's a bad sign. Picture of his face was pure frustration that I know waaaaaayy too well. :-D

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    This will be dependent on McHale to see if he can really get Harden and company to move the ball though. Although, McHale a bit gutless in some ways to cater to his players needs.


    I just don't agree with some of the criticism of McHale, either. McHale is well known and regarded as being a player's coach. So somehow believing McHale is "a bit gutless in some ways to cater to his players needs" seems to be oversimplifying things in my opinion.
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    Basketball position is thrown out the window when it comes Harden. He is an offensive maestro and a great shot maker. It was just wasn't his night. He suddenly acquired a case of hero ball and Stevie Wonder shooting accuracy at the same night.


    I just disagree with the premise that Harden "suddenly acquired a case of hero ball..." which is always a major criticism of Harden as an individual and a major criticism of the Rockets play calling in the waning minutes of games.

    It would probably help if there was some off-ball movement to potentially open someone on the opposite side of the court when Harden has the ball and is looking to create. However, there is always the chance of a moving screen being called, etc. completely blowing the opportunity to take a shot. In the end, there is no chance to score if no attempt is made at the basket.

    Besides, Harden has shown time and again (although he is not perfect, nobody is, not even the all-time great MJ) the propensity to take a tough contested shot and make it or draw a foul, etc. in these situations. Even if he misses the tough contested shot, take it early enough in the clock to allow time for a rebound and putback.

    I've seen analytics arguments on both sides of the end of game isolation plays. I believe each situation is different and unique in terms of precisely the game situation, who the opponent is, how much time is left on the clock, where the ball is received from the in bounds play, etc. More often than not, the referees are going to swallow their whistles in the waning seconds and the best strategy is to have the ball in the hands of someone who time and again has shown propensity to take and make difficult shots. Yes, they will not always drop. And that's when the critics really come out howling.

    It's just part of the game, the second guessing and all.

    Go Rockets!!!
  • Baller93 says 4 months ago

    uojoe82, and others who feel the same way, please go back to the play by play breakdown (is right next to the box score on ESPN.com for each and every game). To more clearly make my point that Harden was doing anything but being a ball hog at the end of the game:

    In Overtime, here is the offensive possession by possession for the Rockets:

    Parsons misses 3 point shot. D12 rebounds and puts the ball in the bucket plus is fouled and makes his FT.

    Lin makes layup and is fouled and makes the FT.

    Parsons misses 5-foot shot.

    Lin misses 3-point shot.

    Lin makes 10-foot shot.

    D12 is fouled making a move to the basket and makes both FT's.

    Harden misses 2 point shot (1:10 left in OT, believe it or not Harden's first shot attempt in OT!)

    Lin makes layup.

    Harden misses layup. Lin rebounds, Parsons misses 3 point sht. Garcia rebounds and is fouled. Garcia makes 1/2 FT's. D12 rebounds Garcia's missed FT and is fouled and proceeds to make 1/2 FT's.

    Harden misses 3 point shot. D12 erroneously called for foul (his 6th) which the NBA earlier today said was clearly a blown call.

    Then it came down to the final play in the last 10 seconds. I heard some of Coach McHale's post game interview and that last play was clearly designed for Harden to drive to the basket. T Jones was in position to rebound (or possibly accept a pass from Harden if both players in the lane, assuming Harden drove hard to the basket at that moment, chose to concentrate on Harden). In the final 3-4 seconds after Harden inexplicably picked up his dribble and looked to pass, T Jones was covered in the lane and the passing lanes out to the 3-point line for either Parsons or Garcia was well covered leaving Harden's only option to shoot the off-balance 12 foot shot that was makeable. It just didn't drop.

    Never mind the fact Harden, as the Rockets SG, once again led the team in assists with 6.

    Basketball position is thrown out the window when it comes Harden. He is an offensive maestro and a great shot maker. It was just wasn't his night. He suddenly acquired a case of hero ball and Stevie Wonder shooting accuracy at the same night. When he shot the ball 3 minutes into the game after 6 seconds in the shot clock after dribbling it up, I had a bad feeling.

    However, He should revert to norm (I hope) so offensively the Rockets should be okay, aslong as the ball moves and they quit playing hero/iso ball. This will be dependent on McHale to see if he can really get Harden and company to move the ball though. Although, McHale a bit gutless in some ways to cater to his players needs.

    As for Bev, he's is a top 5 perimeter defender and all around super pest! I fully expect him to start a full scale riot against OKC in future series. Lin is also a good defender but he's not Beverly. Guys with that bulldog/super pest style of full court defense are rare. He may give up a layup or two (he's guarding NBA point guards, hardest to guard), but he makes life hella difficult for the other guy. Hope he's ready to go for game two!! LONG LIVE BEVERLY!!!

  • rocketrick says 4 months ago I forgot to mention that there were only like 2.3 seconds left in regulation when the Rockets inbounded the ball to Harden. It's not like the Rockets could set up an elaborate play in the huddle, then execute perfectly with multiple passes. Especially when there were 0 timeouts left and the Rockets had difficulty inbounding the ball and Harden ended up receiving the inbounds pass in a completely different spot on the court than envisioned in the huddle.

    Give it up to the Blazers. At times there team defense was spot on and this was one of those times.

    Leaving Harden with an off balance long jumper (maybe it was a 3 pointer, I was sitting on the opposite side of the court) that was contested. Still, it bounced off the rim.

    I'm just glad the Rockets have someone willing to take these kind of shots and is willing to deal with all the post-game criticism when the shot doesn't fall.
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    This was a typical game for the Rockets in regards to ball movement at the end of games. There isnt any, and this isnt unusual. However the Rockets have been skating by on Harden's late game heroics of late and in the playoffs against a good team it wont work. Harden would rather take a bad shot then let anyone else take a shot. This is crazy. Even Jordan passed the ball.

    Rockets fg% late in games is horrible because Harden takes every shot. He had a chance to win in regulation and to win or tie in OT, and both times he took heavily contested shots. And if these are the plays McHale is drawing up for final shots maybe he should let someone else draw up the play.


    uojoe82, and others who feel the same way, please go back to the play by play breakdown (is right next to the box score on ESPN.com for each and every game). To more clearly make my point that Harden was doing anything but being a ball hog at the end of the game:

    In Overtime, here is the offensive possession by possession for the Rockets:

    Parsons misses 3 point shot. D12 rebounds and puts the ball in the bucket plus is fouled and makes his FT.

    Lin makes layup and is fouled and makes the FT.

    Parsons misses 5-foot shot.

    Lin misses 3-point shot.

    Lin makes 10-foot shot.

    D12 is fouled making a move to the basket and makes both FT's.

    Harden misses 2 point shot (1:10 left in OT, believe it or not Harden's first shot attempt in OT!)

    Lin makes layup.

    Harden misses layup. Lin rebounds, Parsons misses 3 point sht. Garcia rebounds and is fouled. Garcia makes 1/2 FT's. D12 rebounds Garcia's missed FT and is fouled and proceeds to make 1/2 FT's.

    Harden misses 3 point shot. D12 erroneously called for foul (his 6th) which the NBA earlier today said was clearly a blown call.

    Then it came down to the final play in the last 10 seconds. I heard some of Coach McHale's post game interview and that last play was clearly designed for Harden to drive to the basket. T Jones was in position to rebound (or possibly accept a pass from Harden if both players in the lane, assuming Harden drove hard to the basket at that moment, chose to concentrate on Harden). In the final 3-4 seconds after Harden inexplicably picked up his dribble and looked to pass, T Jones was covered in the lane and the passing lanes out to the 3-point line for either Parsons or Garcia was well covered leaving Harden's only option to shoot the off-balance 12 foot shot that was makeable. It just didn't drop.

    Never mind the fact Harden, as the Rockets SG, once again led the team in assists with 6.
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    I love Bev's energy and intensity but sometime he went over the top. This is a playoff and showing emotion is fine but don't lose your cool and focus.
    To be really honest, Lillard's performance last night, his demeanor and plays, was excellent. He was like a seasoned veteran and went about his business quietly and lethally. I am not asking for passive. We must fire up the team, crowd, and all. But don't do unnecessary roughness.


    I've seen similar posts lately about Beverley supposedly being a "dirty" player, etc.

    I just want to point out to those fans who weren't yet alive or too young to remember, to DVR the ESPN 30 on 30 Special about the "Bad Boys" and the Detroit Pistons teams of the late 1980's and early 1990's.

    The NBA of today is called completely different from that era. I just find it laughable some of the criticism of Beverley on this board from those who think he play's dirty.

    As a Rockets TEAM fan, I don't understand the criticism of Beverley's play. However, I have a feeling certain critics of Beverley (and Harden, for that matter) have a much different agenda in mind. Something to do with the guy in the #7 jersey perhaps?

    I believe it was Cooper, or perhaps it was another member, who earlier today said for the Rockets to succeed this playoff season, it would be important for BOTH Beverley and Lin to be healthy and contributing on the floor with their unique talents.
  • uojoe82 says 4 months ago

    Perspective is not always easy to maintain. We faced a franchise record setting performance by LA, and lost by 2 points. Our performance up and down the lineup was not impressive, to say the least. Even so, the game could have been won on the last possession.

    Last night's game was not a typical game for Houston. For some reason, ball movement was almost non existent. We didn't get to the playoffs by taking long distance jump shots exclusively. Where were the cutters to the rim? Where were the extra passes to find a decent open shot? Why did Harden seem to avoid driving to the rim?

    In addition, must we shorten our rotation just because these are the playoffs? We have excellent depth, but you would not know it by last night's box score.Parsons and Harden were gassed towards the end of the game and should have been rested sometime in the second half of the game. That is a coaching mistake I don't expect to see repeated.

    Hopefully, game 1 was a wakeup call for us. I still expect us to win this series in 6 games. But, we won't do it on emotion alone. That is the one aspect of Bev's game that concerns me. As a team we need to be calm, cool, and collected to grind out playoff wins. Emotion is fun and can contribute, but winning is about more than pure emotion. A few more assists and improved spacing is a lot more valuable than one man's emotional highs...

    This was a typical game for the Rockets in regards to ball movement at the end of games. There isnt any, and this isnt unusual. However the Rockets have been skating by on Harden's late game heroics of late and in the playoffs against a good team it wont work. Harden would rather take a bad shot then let anyone else take a shot. This is crazy. Even Jordan passed the ball.

    Rockets fg% late in games is horrible because Harden takes every shot. He had a chance to win in regulation and to win or tie in OT, and both times he took heavily contested shots. And if these are the plays McHale is drawing up for final shots maybe he should let someone else draw up the play.

  • uojoe82 says 4 months ago

    Great offensive player > great defensive player

    Lillard is a top 5 PG in the NBA right now. If Rocket fans were counting on Beverley to lock down Lillard this series you either don't watch enough of Lillard (which is excusable since Blazer games usually start at 7:30 PST) or you think Beverley is better at defense than he really is.

    Beverley makes "showy" defensive plays but when he's not making those plays he's an average defender. I applaud and admire his tenacity and devotion to the team when its obvious he's not 100% but I wonder if he keeps playing if he's actually hurting the team. Lets keep in mind that he's only on the team for his defense and his "toughness" that he brings. Well if Lillard gets whatever he wants on offense with just a mild distraction that Beverley currently offers should he be playing starter minutes? On offense hes below average so he now ins't contributing on both ends of the court. Lillard has a killer instinct and with Bev's latest re-injury Im certain Lillard will go for the kill against Beverley. Really wish the Rockets kept Aaron Brooks because they could really use some depth.

    If Mchales/Rockets gameplan was for Beverley to cancel out Lillard and for Harden to score at will to offset the mismatch the Blazers have at the PF position I really hope they have a plan B.

    Im worried, and so should the rest of you.

  • dbd says 4 months ago

    I love Bev's energy and intensity but sometime he went over the top. This is a playoff and showing emotion is fine but don't lose your cool and focus.

    To be really honest, Lillard's performance last night, his demeanor and plays, was excellent. He was like a seasoned veteran and went about his business quietly and lethally. I am not asking for passive. We must fire up the team, crowd, and all. But don't do unnecessary roughness.

  • bob schmidt says 4 months ago

    Perspective is not always easy to maintain. We faced a franchise record setting performance by LA, and lost by 2 points. Our performance up and down the lineup was not impressive, to say the least. Even so, the game could have been won on the last possession.

    Last night's game was not a typical game for Houston. For some reason, ball movement was almost non existent. We didn't get to the playoffs by taking long distance jump shots exclusively. Where were the cutters to the rim? Where were the extra passes to find a decent open shot? Why did Harden seem to avoid driving to the rim?

    In addition, must we shorten our rotation just because these are the playoffs? We have excellent depth, but you would not know it by last night's box score.Parsons and Harden were gassed towards the end of the game and should have been rested sometime in the second half of the game. That is a coaching mistake I don't expect to see repeated.

    Hopefully, game 1 was a wakeup call for us. I still expect us to win this series in 6 games. But, we won't do it on emotion alone. That is the one aspect of Bev's game that concerns me. As a team we need to be calm, cool, and collected to grind out playoff wins. Emotion is fun and can contribute, but winning is about more than pure emotion. A few more assists and improved spacing is a lot more valuable than one man's emotional highs...

  • QNoir says 4 months ago

    Hey, I think he's a great defender. But he has bad games and makes missteps, which I think can be criticized. See, when you rely on someone to do something, and they don't, it warrants notice. Otherwise, your motto will be "If you're a defensive player, nobody can ever, ever, ever, criticize your performance." What happened yesterday was more like a missed layup than a missed hail mary, to put it in perspective.

  • Cooper says 4 months ago

    You can name plays where someone gets beat by an all star player, it doesn't make them bad.

  • QNoir says 4 months ago

    Bev did block his shot on the drive right before he fouled out. I guess selective memory always helps when trying to make a weak point.

    You're not denying what happened, but naming ... something else that happened. Yeah, that helps. :/

  • chantu says 4 months ago

    Bev is quite injured. See him limping in OT play. I not sure how long that torn meniscus will last. He made a tremendous effort on 80-90% capacity. I hope his career doesn't get blown.

  • Cooper says 4 months ago

    I'm just amazed that Lillard completely lost Beverly to hit a 3 at the end of the 4th, and then again completely passed up Beverly and finished at the rim while fouling out Bev for the 3-point play and lead in overtime, yet Bev's defense is still immune from criticism. Last I checked, being 10 feet from your guy, leaving TJones to TRY to cover him in the final seconds is pretty horrible. Finding yourself behind your guy on a rim drive that was created without hitting a screen is pretty avoidable as well. Those are the 2 plays took the game for Portland. Just call it like you see it. Results.

    Bev did block his shot on the drive right before he fouled out. I guess selective memory always helps when trying to make a weak point.
  • QNoir says 4 months ago

    I'm just amazed that Lillard completely lost Beverly to hit a 3 at the end of the 4th, and then again completely passed up Beverly and finished at the rim while fouling out Bev for the 3-point play and lead in overtime, yet Bev's defense is still immune from criticism. Last I checked, being 10 feet from your guy, leaving TJones to TRY to cover him in the final seconds is pretty horrible. Finding yourself behind your guy on a rim drive that was created without hitting a screen is pretty avoidable as well. Those are the 2 plays took the game for Portland. Just call it like you see it. Results.

  • amacbrooks12 says 4 months ago Not quite sure if anyone noticed, but Portland played their absolute best basketball they can ever play with their two best players filling up the stat sheet with career high numbers .. while our two best players played bad and we STILL almost won. All that in play, and we STILL were up by 10 with 3 minutes to go. The rockets cost themselves this game. So I am still confident about us winning this series in 5 or 6 games.
  • dbd says 4 months ago

    I might be wrong, but this is the problem PB.

    Pb is very aggressive on one end of the floor.

    He likes to hold, hack and do dirty tricks while on the floor.

    A good coach will adjust and do the same to our star players, like Harden and Howard.

    a good coach will send average players to do the same to our star players.

    If i was coaching i would do the same.

    The star players must have the same mind frame as the tough player like PBev.

    Chicago got over the hump when Jordan began just as tough as Cartwright.

    Same is said about the bad boys from Motown., Isaiah became just as tough as laimbeer, Rodman and Mahorn

    A good coach will protect his player, but they will never go after Pbev. It will always be your star player.

    I think the rockets win over the blazers, because of overall talent.

    Well this was what they did to us. They were very physical from beginning and rough up everybody in sight.

    TRob came in and like he want to hurt somebody. They will do the same in game 2: attack Beard, physical game, and foul Dwight if they were behind.

  • datruth says 4 months ago

    I might be wrong, but this is the problem PB.

    Pb is very aggressive on one end of the floor.

    He likes to hold, hack and do dirty tricks while on the floor.

    A good coach will adjust and do the same to our star players, like Harden and Howard.

    a good coach will send average players to do the same to our star players.

    If i was coaching i would do the same.

    The star players must have the same mind frame as the tough player like PBev.

    Chicago got over the hump when Jordan began just as tough as Cartwright.

    Same is said about the bad boys from Motown., Isaiah became just as tough as laimbeer, Rodman and Mahorn

    A good coach will protect his player, but they will never go after Pbev. It will always be your star player.

    I think the rockets win over the blazers, because of overall talent.

  • dbd says 4 months ago

    I never like Lillard but I was amazed by his demeanor last night. He was very composed, didn't show a lot of emotion and played like an assassin.

    Those type of guys are scarier than the one who scream, jump up and down, and cry.

  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    Things I learned reading this forum today:

    Jose Calderon, Mike Conley, Jamal Tinsley, Kemba Walker, Jrue Holiday and Ricky Rubio are all elite PG's.

    Allowing an "elite" PG to shoot 50% against you counts as shutdown defense

    Jeremy Lin has never played poor defense

    It is okay to lie/make up facts (whether out of ignorance or scorn I can't tell)

    Reading game commentary from people who aren't fans of the Rockets--as a team--is....interesting.

    ---------------------------------------

    Let's be rational people. This game was ugly and the biggest factor was the early foul trouble both Omer and Dwight suffered due to some referees that are currently on my naughty list. They were atrocious--so horrible that nothing more need be said (and it was bad for both teams).

    McHale wasn't being creative going super-small in the 2nd half. He was trying to save some big bodies for the 4th Q. I do wonder why D-Mo didn't get some run. I think we'll see him before this series ends. Somebody has got to body up LMA and not let him back all the way down to the rim. He's not THAT strong.

    Omer can do it....if the refs don't whistle him out of the game. He got 12 minutes of floor time and had 5 fouls. For a guy who knows how to play an entire season as the lone defensive anchor and not foul out of a game this is highly suspect.

    It seemed to me like the Rockets came out and wanted to see where they measured up sort of "as is"-- if that makes sense. Portland knew they had to make some moves in order to succeed...and they did (barely). Houston has the advantage now as Portland has already shown part of its hand in how they plan on attacking us. Bottom line is I don't think the coaches were ignorant or oblivious or out-done. It's just like a baseball player who always takes the first pitch--they want to see what they're up against first.

    While Harden's 3-14 from deep is ugly on paper I can live with it moving forward. Only two of those did I find myself thinking, "why?", and he will make better than 3-14 more often than not. Parsons' 3-11 should be the exception moving forward as well.

    The Rockets still shot 40 free throws (despite the first half) which is 1 better than Portland's 39. Both teams combined for 65 personal fouls. 65 fouls. 79 free throws. Must resist urge to skewer referees...... :angry: (even taking out the limited use of hack-a-howard that's a lot of whistles)

    I'm not concerned about this series yet. I expect just about everyone to play better moving forward. Adjustments will be made. More shots will fall. Now, about Patrick Beverley.....

  • feelingsupersonic says 4 months ago You're right rocketrick it was the Brit Freeland. Forest got his Blazer bigs mixed up.
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    New post: Trail Blazers 122, Houston Rockets 120 - A great game for the rest of the nation
    By: Forrest Walker


    The Rockets and NBA fans in general have a lot to be sore about in that game, mostly focusing on the confusing, inconsistent, frustrating officiating that seems to have taken over half of the playoff games so far. In the end, it was likely a wash for the Rockets, but the calls were seemingly random in frequency, legitimacy and direction. The NBA admitted to badly blowing a call at the end of the Clippers vs Warriors game on the 19th of April, and this game has a flagship call as well. Dwight Howard was called for his sixth foul late in overtime and the decision was questionable, to put it mildly. Replay showed Meyers Leonard outright hugging Dwight, and a public admission of error is likely tomorrow. Whether that call would have helped or hurt the Rockets is frankly immaterial. The refereeing is obtrusive, distracting and disruptive, three things that are absolutely critical to avoid as a league.
    To be frustrated at the officials does not absolve the Rockets of criticism, not even a little bit.


    That was actually Freeland that D12 was battling with when called for his 6th foul. From my angle, I'm not sure that was that questionable a call, particularly with the excessive number of fouls being called all game long.

    Worse to me, was the fact the Rockets seemingly didn't take any free throws (or at minimum, very few in comparison to Portland) in the 1st Half. However, I point to the fact the Rockets (and especially Harden) repeatedly failed to drive to the hole and instead seemingly kept tossing up one 3-point shot after another and missing for the most part. To get to the free throw line more consistently, the Rockets have to attack the basket relentlessly. This in turn creates better rhythm and wide open looks at the 3-point line.
  • rocketrick says 4 months ago

    New post: Trail Blazers 122, Houston Rockets 120 - A great game for the rest of the nation
    By: Forrest Walker


    Houston had the game in hand late in the 4th quarter, leading by 11 with just over 4 minutes remaining. The Trail Blazers countered with the Smite-a-Dwight strategy and the Rockets crumbled. Howard completely choked at the line repeatedly.


    If memory serves, D12 earlier in the 4th quarter (before Portland went Smite-a-Dwight aka Hack-a-Howard) had made his last 2 free throw shots. Then Portland hacks him twice in a row, D12 goes 0-4. Worse, Lillard goes down and hits a three point shot plus one on the foul. I forget who fouled him. Then McHale takes D12 out until the 2 minute mark when the opposing team is penalized for hacking a player on purpose.

    So stating that Howard "completely choked at the line repeatedly" especially after hitting all those key free throws down the stretch and in Overtime, seems a bit over the top to me.
  • goRockets says 4 months ago

    I guess when Rockets lose by 2pts, one could argue a myriad of plays could have made the difference. Rockets absolutely could have won it in regulation, but again, they falter at end of 4th quarter going too much iso. Give Portland credit for going to hack a Dwight (who shot FTs poorly during a stretch that let Portland make up ground). If he made just 1 or 2 more FTs, Rockets could have won. If Harden had taken a few less bad 3 pointers (he went 3/14) and let some of his other teammates make some plays, Rox could have won. Also Rockets coaching staff need to take some blame too, their plan for Aldridge, who clearly everyone knew Portland was running everything through, is to just play iso defense on him, no double team whatsoever for the whole game, and he torches them for 46pts. From a coaching standpoint, McHale lost round 1. Blazers coach clearly had a plan on how to deal with Harden, and Rockets clearly had none for Aldridge. Granted, maybe there is little Rox can do to minimize damage by Aldridge, but at least try, pretend he's Durant or something, let other Blazers beat you. Blazers obviously don't depend on their bench much at all (they score just 7pts from their bench vs Rockets 21pts from bench, but still won), so this game is going to come down to the starters between both teams. Losing PB to injury obviously is going to hurt. But if Jeremy Lin is to start against a team and not off bench, the Blazers might be the ideal opponent, since bench play seems unlikely to be the deciding factor, and Lin in the starting lineup hopefully will take a little offensive pressure off Harden, and also Rox should have Lin attack at Lilliard (who is a mediocre defender at best) to make him play some defense or even try to get him in foul trouble.

  • bladad says 4 months ago

    Wow you changed your identity again. So you list Jose Calderon, Jamal tinsley, Ricky rubio as elite PGs huh? Let us also remember that one of those Conley games, lin was benched for the 4th quarter.
    What happened when Lin guarded Lillard tonight? Why do you think Portland had to set a screen on Bev at mid court today? Besides Lin, who else do you think is an elite PG?

    Jesus, if that isn't overly aggressive, I don't know what is.

  • dbd says 4 months ago

    We can say whatever we want but Rockets must concentrate on this series in which we were a game down at home. We might not see Parker or Westbrooke but we surely face Lillard and he scored 31 points last night.

    I hope coaches won't use Parons against Lillard if Bev has to miss games. Lin will do no worse than Parson. Switching coverage on a position will create miss match on others. The best way to win a battle is learning from enemy. Looks, they helped Lillard by throwing a pick on Bev and result was good for them.Double team somebody if we need to.

    I am not worry about Lin guarding Lillard. I am more worried about that dude LMA. We had no answer for him every time we meet.

  • Willk says 4 months ago

    I hope Beverley heals well, don't wish anything bad on anybody. But I will be livid if McHale tries that BS Parsons defense on the point guard again, Lin has more than held his own this year against elite point guards.

    While Pat Beverly was hurt in December here are 4 straight stellar lock-down defense games Jeremy Lin had against elite point guards:

    Game Log starting 12/23/2013:
    espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/4299/jeremy-lin
    Jose Calderon: 6-12 fg 15 pts 5ast
    Tony Parker: 3-11fg 6 pt 4 ast
    Mike Conley: 4-14fg 11pt 6ast
    Jrue Holiday: 1-9fg 3pt 9ast

    Going back to when Beverly was hurt again in November, here is Jeremy Lin shutting down elite guards again:
    Game Log starting 11/20-23/2013:
    Mike Conley 2-14fg, 10 pt
    Ricky Rubio 3-9fg, 9 pt
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489079
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489065

    Going back further, the oft-injured Beverly was hurt again and here is Jeremy starting and shutting down Calderon:
    Jose Calderon 0-8fg, 0 pt
    Kemba Walker 5-10fg, 10 pt
    Jamaal Tinsley, 0-2fg, 0 pt
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400488898
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400488882
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400488911

    Beverly has not had ANY string of games this season where he has shut down any opposing guard like Lin has. Go through the game logs. I've seen every Rockets game. Beverly gets in PG faces with a lot of energy and arm waving, but he is regularly blown by and gets torched every single game. Opponent PG's against Beverly have GREAT games filling up the stat sheet against him.

    Wow you changed your identity again. So you list Jose Calderon, Jamal tinsley, Ricky rubio as elite PGs huh? Let us also remember that one of those Conley games, lin was benched for the 4th quarter.
    What happened when Lin guarded Lillard tonight? Why do you think Portland had to set a screen on Bev at mid court today? Besides Lin, who else do you think is an elite PG?
  • Willk says 4 months ago

    I do think Jeremy Lin held Tony Parker to his lowest scoring game of the season (6pts), so I'm not afraid of him guarding Tony Parker. His attacking style actually can get the opposing guards in foul trouble, something PB can't do. By the way, Rox were up 2pts with 7 seconds to go tonight, then Lillard ties it by scoring on PB, not JLin. Lillard had 31pts tonight guarded by PB most of the time, so please don't tell me he played great defense on Lillard, and please look at how many pts the guy Lin guarding had (3pts, Mo Williams).

    Lucy - nice to have you back. Did you watch the game today? How many times did Lin guard Lillard? And how many times did Lillard score? Lin's defense was very bad against Lillard. There was a reason Lin was playing against Mo Williams. Also the play you mentioned with 7 seconds never happened. Lillard did not score on Bev. Aldridge got an offensive put back and no Lillard was not the guy with the initial shot. So who do you think is an elite defensive PG?
  • goRockets says 4 months ago

    I do think Jeremy Lin held Tony Parker to his lowest scoring game of the season (6pts), so I'm not afraid of him guarding Tony Parker. His attacking style actually can get the opposing guards in foul trouble, something PB can't do. By the way, Rox were up 2pts with 7 seconds to go tonight, then Lillard ties it by scoring on PB, not JLin. Lillard had 31pts tonight guarded by PB most of the time, so please don't tell me he played great defense on Lillard, and please look at how many pts the guy Lin guarding had (3pts, Mo Williams).

  • LOFlcopter says 4 months ago

    I know this has already been said a couple times, but this part:"the last thing the Rockets need is to feed Jeremy Lin to Damian Lillard for the rest of this series and then to Tony Parker if they make it that far" puzzles me. Lin is not the best defender out there, but there are times, against certain guards, where he actually is quite decent, even better than Bev (I am NOT making any claims about him being better on D in general). And two players that he defends well against happen to be Lillard and Parker.

    You guys tend to be very observant about these kinds of things, so I am a bit surprised reading it.

  • metaman says 4 months ago

    Thank you for your reply, Observer57. The idea that Lin plays poor defense has grown to mythic proportions over the past year. I've watched almost all the games this year and have come to the same conclusion. Lin does play effective defense and can even shut down players, despite popular "opinion".

    Lines like "the last thing the Rockets need is to feed Jeremy Lin to Damian Lillard for the rest of this series and then to Tony Parker if they make it that far" are pretty unfair. Yes, Lillard and Parker are great players, but it's not like Beverley has proven to be able to stop either. And the article fails to mention that Jeremy played pretty solid D for most of the night.

  • RocketMansinceStevieFrance says 4 months ago

    My biggest problem is the defense, Houston obviously has a very good offense (even though they tend to iso a bit to much) they really need to step it up on the defensive end and focus on either Lillard or LMA. The Rockets will not win giving these 2 guys 50 shots a game. They need to either double LMA in the post or lock down Lillard and limit his opportunities. Even though they only hit 1 more 3 than the Rockets I really feel the closing out on 3's was horrendous along with the old term 'helping the helper', this is one of the Rockets biggest weaknesses not only this season but last season. Also another thing to note is that Harden really settled for the 3 tonight instead of really driving and looking to draw fouls and dish the ball. If he would focus on driving more early it will really open up his 3 game and help get him in a flow later in the game. But really the most important thing as of now is making sure Bev is okay, if not it will be Lin's time to really step up and also maybe we could see some Canaan balls going through the hoop?

  • Observer157 says 4 months ago I hope Beverley heals well, don't wish anything bad on anybody. But I will be livid if McHale tries that BS Parsons defense on the point guard again, Lin has more than held his own this year against elite point guards.

    While Pat Beverly was hurt in December here are 4 straight stellar lock-down defense games Jeremy Lin had against elite point guards:

    Game Log starting 12/23/2013:
    espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/4299/jeremy-lin
    Jose Calderon: 6-12 fg 15 pts 5ast
    Tony Parker: 3-11fg 6 pt 4 ast
    Mike Conley: 4-14fg 11pt 6ast
    Jrue Holiday: 1-9fg 3pt 9ast

    Going back to when Beverly was hurt again in November, here is Jeremy Lin shutting down elite guards again:
    Game Log starting 11/20-23/2013:
    Mike Conley 2-14fg, 10 pt
    Ricky Rubio 3-9fg, 9 pt
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489079
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489065

    Going back further, the oft-injured Beverly was hurt again and here is Jeremy starting and shutting down Calderon:
    Jose Calderon 0-8fg, 0 pt
    Kemba Walker 5-10fg, 10 pt
    Jamaal Tinsley, 0-2fg, 0 pt
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400488898
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400488882
    espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400488911

    Beverly has not had ANY string of games this season where he has shut down any opposing guard like Lin has. Go through the game logs. I've seen every Rockets game. Beverly gets in PG faces with a lot of energy and arm waving, but he is regularly blown by and gets torched every single game. Opponent PG's against Beverly have GREAT games filling up the stat sheet against him.
  • QNoir says 4 months ago

    This game was kind of a caricature of Houston's flaws. It's a shame because a couple of players really came to play. It seems the loss largely resulted from stubbornness and inflexibility.