Home Loss Hurts Blazers Badly
The Portland Trail Blazers aren’t mathematically out of the playoff chase, but last night’s home loss to the Houston Rockets basically ended their hopes. Houston is one of the teams that Portland has to catch, so this one really hurt.
Houston 94, Portland Trailblazers 89
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, April 9, 2012
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Officials: #11 Derrick Collins, #10 Ron Garretson, #58 Josh Tiven
Portland fought back from an 11-point first half deficit to take a brief lead in the third quarter.
In the end, Houston pulled out a 94-89 victory.
Portland grabbed 13 offensive rebounds last night, while holding Houston to seven rebounds. J.J. Hickson had 5 offensive rebounds to lead the way for the team. Portland picked up 18 second chance points compared to Houston’s six second chance points.
2. Active Defense on Inside
The Blazers blocked seven shots last night. Houston had a difficult time getting to the rim. Luis Scola and former Blazer Marcus Camby had a long night thanks to the strong defense on the interior.
1. Three-Point Defense
The Rockets made 10 out of 19 three-point shots last night. It has been a recurring theme this year that the Blazers have struggled to guard opponents beyond the three-point line.
Goran Dragic hit 4 out of 6 from beyond the arc, and Courtney Lee made both of his three-point attempts.
2. Wesley Matthews
Wesley Matthews has been an extremely streaky shooter this season. Last night, he made just 3 out of 12 shots. He went 1 for 6 from three-point range. He also had zero assists and one turnover.
3. Transition Defense
For the second straight game, the Blazers transition defense let them down. Houston racked up 19 fast break points, while the Blazers only picked up 7 fast break points.
Allowing the opponent to get so many easy looks in the open court makes it very difficult to win close games like this one.
While the team is extremely unlikely to get a playoff berth at this point, it will be interesting to see if they keep fighting under Coach Canales.
Golden State will travel to take on the Blazers in the Rose Garden Wednesday night.