Rockets Down 0-2 to Blazers: Here Are Six Reasons It's Okay to Panic
The Rockets have been a terrible defensive team all year long, but nothing compares to what has happened in this series. They have looked utterly befuddled on the defensive end of the court. It is one thing to allow LaMarcus Aldridge to go off for more than 80 points -- the last player to do that was Kobe Bryant -- but to be so out of sync, leaving Blazers wide open with regularity, is tough to swallow. It's ironic considering the only thing the Rockets players could seem to talk about in training camp was how important it was for them to be committed to defense. At this point, I think most fans would settle for effort.
And they can't shoot either.
It is a common adage in the NBA that a team that lives by the three, dies by it. When you consider the Rockets are shooting 27 percent from beyond the arc yet jacking up nearly a third of their total shots from distance, the math just doesn't work. Rockets GM Daryl Morey has said statistics show the best shots, percentage wise, are threes and ones taken in the paint. That may be so, but that is assuming they actually make some of those long-range shots. Some wondered early on how Harden and Howard would play together. Clearly, right now the answer is not well. They look as disorganized on offense as they were on defense and that is remarkable.
LaMarcus freaking Aldridge
When a player scores 89 points in two games in the playoffs, that is simply incredible. Yes, the Rockets did not defend him particularly well, but he is hitting from everywhere. Few players ever get on a roll like this one and it is possible the Rockets have simply run into a player who is playing at a historic level. If so, this series may end very quickly.