Hey guys, I am primarily a Houston fan but the last few years I have also watched alot of Blazers Basketball. Our two teams have had alot in common and i really feel for y'all when Roy and Oden had promising futures cut short because of injuries. It reminded me of our own T-MAC and Yao situation in Houston and I know it sucks losing great players and what seems like a road to the championship. You guys have rebuilt around Aldridge amazingly well and could make a really nice playoff run this year. Your team kind of reminds me of the Rockets from last year although obviously you have a superior record. You've got a great garbage man/ defender at the 5 and the rest of the team can really light it up. If you guys get hot from outside, no one wants to play you.
That being said, I want to say a few things about last nights game. I though the refs were horrible, BUT they were horrible for both sides. When one looks at both the Houston blog and this blog... and both blogs are heavily criticizing the officiating, it is safe to say that it was a horribly reffed game. I think if you ask any Rockets fan, the Rockets were the team that was hurt more by officiating. I consider myself pretty unbiased and I definitely noticed several makeup calls for us. But by the nature of being make up calls, it means that there was a previous botched call in favor of Portland. These calls I'm referring to are not the ones that would have been influenced by a flop. Ill get to those in a second
Houston, is by play style an extremely aggressive team. We are built to get to the line often. Howard is hacked/fouled more than any player in the league due to his skill and due to his poor free throw shooting. Harden is one of the premier players when it comes to getting to the line and he does this by getting legitimate contact ( although sometimes it is embellished). I hate flopping , even when the Rockets gain benefit from it. Our biggest flopper is probably Lin. However, in his defense it seems that he literally has to flop to get a call. He constantly gets hacked hard when he drives and draws a relatively low percentage of fouls even when there is contact... unless, of course he flops.
I would like to also address some of the complaints I've seen about Beverley. Alot of you guys have been referencing the "Beverley flop." Beverley is probably the least likely player on our team to flop. The play in which he gets fouled, replay clearly shows Lilliard hitting hitting him in the face with his arm. You can see his mask move. The guy broke his nose less than a week ago, any contact to the face is gonna make him react in pain. The guy is not a dirty player and though he plays very physically i dont think he tries to hurt anyone. There is a clip of Westbrook attempting the same sort of play that Beverley did to him.
One other note from the game is that i was really impressed with Robin Lopez and his outstanding Defense. He really made it hard on some of our guards and was able to defend effectively without fouling. He reminds me of a younger, more athletic Omer Asik and i think he has the potential to become a top 5 defensive center if he is not there already.