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The Rock vs. The Trail

Tonight at 9:00PM CST the Rockets take on the Portland Trailblazers. And yes, I refuse to call them "Blazers" because Trailblazers is much more bad ass. The good guys beat the men in black and red 89-80 on November 3rd. We have won 12 of the last 16 meetings with 5 of the last 8 being on the road.

Portland has been extremely streaky this year up until the last 7 games. Here's a quick breakdown:
3 Losses - 4 Wins - 5 Losses - 1 Win - 4 Losses - 14 Wins - 1 Loss - 4 Wins

After that they have gone LWLWLWL in the last seven. That entire 3-4 stretch was on the road. Not a good trend going into their game with the Rockets as they are due for a win and are 17-3 this season at home. Those three losses came at the hands of New Jersey, Orlando and Indiana. Two bad teams and one pretty good but young team from the East (The Magic is who I'm talking about in case you haven't watched any basketball this year). So they haven't lost once at home to a West team. Oh, and they've managed to beat New Orleans (twice), Dallas, Golden State (twice), Utah (twice), and Denver so it's not like they haven't played anybody. One more point: They haven't lost at home since November 28th, also known as 2 months ago when they were 5-10. It all adds up to a 25-17 record, and the current 7/8 playoff seed, 2 games above the Rockets.

The Rockets have been on a pretty good run themselves lately, 11-5 in their last 16, and a current three game winning streak. On the road we've been a semi-respectable 6-4 , with 4 wins in a row.

What's my prediction for the game? I honestly don't have one, the Trailblazers could be hitting a wall and the Rockets could be coming in at just the right time. They also could be happy to be home and show it on the court. Team vs. Team I think the Rockets have the more complete package today, though in 2 years the Trailblazers have the talent to be the best team in the West. With a team average of 23.9 years of age the future is bright in Portland. Let it be noted that Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye, Greg Oden, and Martell Webster all only have 2 years left on their contracts after this year. They will need to do something to keep those guys together and it remains to be seen if that is possible.

One good piece of information is that Raef LaFrentz at 12MM a year comes off the books at the same time as the others become restricted free/free agents. Seriously though, WTF was Dallas thinking when they gave him 7 years, $70MM? The NBA is luckily not as stupid with money anymore, but damn, that was dumb. He was averaging 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds the previous year, why oh why would you sign that contract??? That's dumb on the level of parachuting without a parachute.

So, let's go Rockets, time to kick a little 23.9 year old ass!! Oh, and make up some ground on the playoffs while we're at it