If the Rockets entertain any hope of winning in the Rose Garden, they have to be ready from the get go. The teams are fairly evenly matched, and the Rockets have eked out victories by the strength of their poise, and everbody playing within their limits - even Ron Artest, for the most part.
They have to realize that, now that Nate has complained about officiating, the refs are going to swallow their whistle when Yao gets shoved around at the post. I hope Rick changes some things around for Yao - perhaps coming near the top of the key every now and then to set picks. I expect at least one or two fouls on Yao, in the first quarter, for something silly, e.g., setting moving screens, or touch fouls.
The key to winning for the Rockets:
1. Tenacious Defense, did I say, Tenacious?
2. Rebounds, and
3. Good Ball Movement
Rick Adelman, should drill this into Brooks's head:
Son, stop the side-to-side dribbling show, and start the offense early in the shot clock. We know you can outdribble Blake but can you get 8-10 assists in this game?
The sooner that the Rockets can put doubt in the collective heads of the young blazers that this is a unwinnable series, the better off they would be. The Blazers would not go without a fight, So the rockets be ready!