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Rockets vs. Blazers: 5 Questions with The Dream Shake

The Blazers continue their homestand Friday night against the Rockets.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers (4-1) are looking to return to their winning ways on Friday, and in order to do so, they’ll have to beat last year’s NBA cellar-dwelling Houston Rockets (1-4).

To learn more about the Rockets, we spoke with The Dream Shake’s Lachard Binkley to discuss tonight’s matchup.

1. The Rockets are rebuilding with Jalen Green, the recently-extended Kevin Porter Jr. and the No. 3 overall pick Jabari Smith. What can we expect from the Rockets this season?

I think you will have an improved team from last year that will be in many more games this season. They will still struggle at times, as we saw in their last game in the first half with the Jazz, but we also know how much more resilient they will be, as we saw in the second half.

2. What’s the biggest difference between the Rockets this season and last season?

The biggest difference this year is you have a power forward who can spread the floor. Last year especially at the beginning of the year, the Rockets ran out a lineup of Daniel Theis and Jae’Sean Tate neither player is putting fear in the defense from beyond the arch. Now you have Jabari Smith, a player who can help open up driving lanes for KPJ and Jalen Green.

3. What’s one thing people wouldn’t know about the Rockets after just looking at a box score?

That they are making progress. It is slow, like a dripping faucet, but they are slowly improving, especially on defense. Last two years, they have been the worst team on the defensive end, but now they are, at the very least, giving an all-out effort. They still have a lot of work to do, but it’s not a train wreck like previous seasons.

4. If the Rockets win tonight’s game, what would be the reason?

They limit turnovers because they have turned the ball over at a high rate, especially in the first half of games. Also, they have to get out on the fastbreak because they’re still not a great half-court team.

5. What’s your prediction for tonight’s game?

With no Lillard and the Rockets finally getting healthy, I think the Rockets will get their second win of the season, 112-104