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The Blazers’ Odds Of Getting Past Round 1

Tomorrow the NBA Playoffs will kick off.  The No. 4 Houston Rockets will take on the young No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday in Game 1 of their series. This is the series that many have their eyes on, because it features two teams who are very hungry for success.  The Rockets with James Harden and Dwight Howard are looking for redemption. The Blazers are looking for confirmation, as a young team looking to prove themselves as a championship-ready squad.

Both these teams boast a relentless offense.  Expect this series to be a shootout.

The Rockets hold a 3-1 victory over the regular season series and won by an average of 11 points in each of their victories.

In the series the Blazers struggled against the Rockets defense, of all things.  In the Blazers onlyvvictory of the season, the Rockets sill managed to hold Portland to 29 percent from behind the arc and picked up 14 turnovers.

In the first game of the playoff series, the Rockets will carry home-court advantage.  They are also favored to win with a point spread of -5 points.  This is not a good sign for the Trail Blazers.

The Blazers need a strategy to get past the fast-shooting Rockets.  In their sole win against them this season, Portland had one player step up to drag his team to victory.  LaMarcus Aldridge carried the Blazers with 31 points and 25 rebounds. The Blazer cannot simply rely on a one-man show happening like that in order to get past the Rockets in round 1 of the playoffs, as it likely will not happen.

The Rockets seem to be tailored made to beat a team like Portland.  Houston has the ability to hit the Blazers in the spots that hurt (stopping the three and forcing turnovers due to their slightly better defense).  Meanwhile, the Blazers just do not have the talent (defensive ability) to exploit Houston’s big weaknesses.

If we see both these teams performing at a standard level of play that we have grown accustom to, then the Rockets will take this series. This is the playoffs, though, so we can expect each squad to step up their game.

The Blazers need to find away to do something they failed to do in the regular season, limit the Rockets field goal percentage and force turnovers. Given their current stats in both areas, they are going to have to dig deep into a bag of tricks to pull this off..

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