FanPost

Houston's Handicaps (front-row observations)

Last night a friend scored us almost front-row tickets to watch Houston play in Dallas. I knew that it would be an interesting game especially because of the playoff seeding implications... These are my blackberry pics and some light observations from the evening at American Airlines Center:

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Watching them warm up, I wondered: "Is Houston sitting McGrady with hopes that he won't jinx them yet AGAIN in the first round? Then magically release their secret weapon in the second round?" Fortunately for us Blazers fans, they won't have a chance to find out what damage he can do in the second round. There will be no second round this year for the Rockets.

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I seriously wanted Dallas to win, but I thought that Houston was going to be too much for them as I watched and hoped for some help in the first half...  This is what I saw:

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Yao is the difference

In the second quarter, Houston began to run away... Yao was too quick, too agile and too freaking tall. Oh yeah, and he can shoot. I thought "shame on you Dallas for not fronting him and just allowing the guards to dump it down low." Everytime down, they would cut him across to the ball, lob down low and he'd score. It was automatic.

By the end of the 3rd quarter, Dallas caught on... They limited the monster Ming from getting as many touches. Because of that, pressure was put on the outside shooters: Brooks, Lowry, Wafer, Artest and Battier to score. That's when they went dry and slipped. While they can all make shots, they aren't nearly as reliable as the ol' fire-breathing Chinese dragon.

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Ron Artest isn't cool

Artest also was getting rough and almost elbowed Kidd in the nose after a whistle... They showed the replay on the jumbo-tron and everyone was expecting a fight... HE WILL SNAP IF WE DON'T GIVE IN TO HIM. Also, he doesn't do a whole lot on offense, other than stand outside and wait for a jumper or feed Yao down low.

Along those lines, I saw Battier get frustrated and try to bully his way through on offense. When that happened, his shot was OFF. He seemed flustered and it affected his shot and his decisions. 


Pistas para Portland (Sergio and Rudy's way of saying: Tips for Portland)

  • Front Yao and deny him the ball but make sure you have good backside help D. Between Greg, Joel, LaMarcus and Channing we better be able to limit his touches and not get burned backdoor.
  • Force their wings and guards to shoot deep jumpers. It makes them literally a LONG SHOT for winning.
  • D-up the perimeters and don't allow easy looks. No easy shots, no easy passes. Their guards are not really solid. And with Brooks starting, he's only a SOPHOMORE... So none of this "we're young, we're unexperienced nonsense."  For : Trout, REX and Nicky Barnes - this has gotta be your focus. 
  • Play active and move off the ball... Rudy's specialty. Our guards need to drive to the hoop...
  • Work the post with whomever Yao is guarding. Get him to foul and we can take him out of a rhythm and literally the game. Be smart Portland, use the same trick that is always used on us with Greg.

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BLAZERS IN 5!!!

 

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