ROCKETS FALL TO BLAZERS
Important takeaways from Rockets' 104-92 loss to Trail Blazers
The Houston Rockets suffered their 10th loss on the season falling to the Trail Blazers 104-92 on Friday night. Nassir Little and Damian Lillard dominated throughout the game. Missed free throw attempts have destroyed the chances of winning games this season. Friday night, the Rockets shot 63 percent from the free throw line, which puts them dead last in the NBA. As they continue to miss free throws, it makes it harder for them to compete against other competitive teams.
Another thing that damaged the Rockets was turnovers in half court play. Jalen Green had 6 of 13 of turnovers versus the Portland Trail Blazers. Green got out muscled at times or went into the Trail Blazers defensive coverage, which resulted in fastbreak points. He is averaging 3.1 turnovers per contest and opponents are averaging 17.2 points per game on the season from Green's turnovers, as that needs to slow down. It was another up-and-down night for Green, when it came to scoring the basketball. Green is still trying to find that elite stride as a shooter in the NBA. He only shot the ball at 33 percent because of his nine attempts.
It's all about Green finding his rhythm instead of forcing passes and shots. Making the simple play is the best way for Green to impact the game. He missed his rim runner (Christian Wood) on a pick-and-roll opportunity, as a passing lane was open. Green will eventually find his shooting spots on the court and be able to read coverages better. These shooting slumps will not last for Green, as he is shooting 28.9 percent beyond the perimeter and 35.8 percent from the field. Green is a human microwave just waiting to explode because he has shot diversity and amazing first step. Damian Lillard was impressed with Green throughout the season.
"Obliviously, I think he [Green] is very super talented," Lillard said. "Don't listen to what people tell you. You're this pick, you go to be the man, and take over. Just show up, work hard. Stay humble. Be coachable. Listen to your teammates. Your talent is going to allow you to be the starter you're supposed to be. Just make sure that foundation is right when...you come into the league."
Kevin Porter Jr. had a good, elevated night, as he held the Rockets in a close margin throughout the game. The Rockets go as far as Porter takes him, as he can control the pace of his scoring and facilitation. Inside the first quarter, he found a little scoring and put his teammates in position to score. He had a 119 offensive rating in the first quarter, with a 24 net rating. As the game continued in the second quarter, Porter played 7:40 minutes, but sizzled down with in the quarter, as he only shot 33 percent with no assists.
The Rockets' offense struggled in the second quarter, as the team only scored 14 points. Porter makes the Rockets' offense flow because of his skill set with the basketball. Porter had one turnover and shot the ball 50 percent from the field. The three-point shot does need work, as he loves taking step-back and pull-up threes throughout the game. When Porter does a better job at controlling the pace with his passing and scoring, the Rockets will be successful, as they have Green and Wood as their other two weapons.
Coach Chauncey Billups and Lillard believe Porter can be a star within in the NBA as he learns the point guard position.
“First of all, You are a smart man because those are the only two teams I played good for (🤣). That dude is gifted (KPJ). He can dribble, he can pass, he make shots, he is athletic. It takes time" #Rockets pic.twitter.com/hHAACzMfA8
— Zach Allen (@RenzoTheDon) November 13, 2021
"He's kind of been judged and misunderstood, but the talent level is through the roof," Lillard said. "He can do everything, and personally, he's one of my favorite young players in the league."
Up next: The Rockets face the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at 6pm.