Blazers vs Rockets – Game 4 Picks

Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Game 4

Sunday 9:35 pm EST

April 27, 2014

Line: Portland Trail Blazers -2

Down 0-2, no team in NBA history has come back from an 0-3 deficit.

So desperately needing a win, in the closing seconds of overtime in Game 3, the Rockets didn’t turn to James Harden or Dwight Howard for the victory. Nor could they get help from Chandler Parsons who had fouled it. Head coach Kevin McHale turned to former D-league star, Troy Daniels, who not only hit the biggest shot of his career but also saved the Rockets season. Well, at least for now.

That was not McHale’s only bold decision of the game. Deciding to start Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, who have never started a game together this season, could potentially turn into a series changing move. After Aldridge put together consecutive 40-plus point performances, something had to be done to slow him down. Asik played 27 minutes and totaled just seven points and eight rebounds, but he helped hold Aldridge to just 23 points on 8-of-22 shooting (36.3 percent)—20 points less than he scored in their previous meeting. Expect the same lineup in Game 3 now that the Rockets know it can work.

But even if the Rockets are able to contain Aldridge in Game 4, they will not survive if Harden continues to struggle. Yes, he scored 37 points, but when they come on 35 shots, he’s still struggling. Harden is shooting just 36.5 percent for the series and has been bothered by the Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews, and Damian Lillard.

As the Blazers look ahead to Sunday night, hoping to take a 3-1 series lead, rather than banking on the struggles of Harden, depend on Aldridge and Lillard to lead the way. Proven during the first two games of the series, that when both play well, Portland is a threat to win the Western Conference. That’s how good this duo can be.

Playing as poorly as they did, the Blazers still had a tremendous opportunity to put a stranglehold on this series by winning Game 3. Don’t worry Rip City, your Blazers are still going to be heading back to Houston with a 3-1 series lead. Houston got lucky with a Game 3 victory. Their luck runs out in Game 4.

My Pick: Trail Blazers -2

April 27, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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