6 takeaways from Blazers win over Rockets

Sports

Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard (0) handles the ball against Houston Rockets’ Jeff Green (32) and Austin Rivers (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Trail Blazers had a wild end to their game against the Houston Rockets, leaving them with a 110-102 win.

However, not all was rosy on the court Tuesday night. Here’s a break down of the good and the not so great from the game.

Too much ISO offense

The Blazers have some of the most elite scorers in the entire league with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Carmelo Anthony. With this many scorers on the floor, the Blazers have a tendency to turn the game into a one-on-one matchup. Sometimes when this happens with one of these players, they explode for 30 points and lift their team to victory. Other times, this leads to very stale and poor offense. The Blazers had a big lead over the Rockets, but the ISO offense let the Rockets come back into the game. If they want to make the playoffs, they will have to continue to play team basketball on both sides of the floor. 

Not converting on second chances

Portland out-rebounded the Rockets the entire game. This means the Blazers had many more opportunities than the Rockets did to walk away with a possession with points. The Blazers really struggled and could just not put the ball in the hoop when they had those second-chance opportunities. 

Blazers missed easy shots

The Blazers had a clear height advantage in this game over the Rockets with Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and Hassan Whiteside. The Blazers big men should have been absolutely dominating every time they had the ball in the paint. And while they didn’t have a bad game, they certainly didn’t have the dominant game that they could have. 

Blazers survive the third quarter

Something that has been a struggle for the Blazers all season long has been the poor play coming out of halftime. In the game against the Rockets, the Blazers came out competitive and fired up on both sides of the ball and did a great job of not digging themselves a hole and letting the Rockets take over the game. Instead, the Blazers survived and held off the Rockets scoring and held a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Blazers got James Harden in foul trouble

Harden is one of the most elite players in the entire NBA and has proven to be the league’s best scorer averaging over 30 points a game. The Blazers were able to attack him on the offensive side of the ball and put him in tough situations where he had to foul the guys he was guarding which then forced him to be very cautious while he played on the floor, which eventually forced him to the bench for a long period of time. 

Fourth quarter comeback style

The Blazers had a huge fourth quarter. They showed a ton of heart and fight in them. I thought when their back was up against the wall in the middle of the fourth quarter when the Rockets tied the game up, the Blazers focused up and responded well. They made the shots they had to and got some big-time stops when they needed it.

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