Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs continues on Sunday night and we will see Houston Rockets travel to the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon to take on the Portland Trailblazers in game 4 of their best-of-seven series. The game has a start time of 9:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Vegas odds have the Blazers listed as 3 point favorites, while the total sits at 214.5.
Stat Packs: The Houston Rockets came into the series as the 4th seed in the West, but after 3 games they are now in a 2-1 hole. Houston has won just 3 of their last 8 games and are 22-20 on the road this year. This has been a good venue for them of late as they are 6-1-1 ATS the last 7 meetings in Portland. The Rockets are a high scoring team that averaged 107.8 ppg on 47.1% shooting during the regular season and have put up 115.3 ppg in the playoffs so far. In the playoffs it has been Dwight Howard that has led the offense, with 27.7 ppg, while James Harden is close behind at 27.3 ppg. Defensively the team has struggled this year and the playoffs have been no different, as they have allowed 116.7 ppg to the Blazers so far.
The Portland Trailblazers came in as the #5 seed, but they proceed to take the first 2 games in Houston, before the Rockets got one back last in the last game. Portland is now 31-11 on the year at home and they have won 12 of their last 13 games overall. Portland comes in averaging 107.1 ppg overall, including 107.9 ppg on their home floor this year, while scoring 116.7 ppg in the playoffs. Lamarcus Aldrige has been awesome in the playoffs so far, leading the team in scoring at 37.3 ppg. Damian Lillard (26.3 ppg), Wesley Mathews (10.7 ppg) and Nicolas Batrum (15.3 ppg) and Mo Williams (11.0 ppg) round out the DD scorers for the team. During the regular season, the Blazers rank 22nd in points allowed (102.8 ppg) 11th in defensive FG% (45.1%) and 11th in 3pt defense (35.5%) and have allowed the Rockets to score 115.3 ppg in the playoffs so far.
Pick: Boy these teams have put up some points in this series, but two of the games have gone into OT, so that does help the scoring a bit. Portland does average 107.9 ppg on their home floor, but they also allow just 100.1 ppg at home and Houston is not shooting the ball all that well right now, hitting 42.3% of their shots in the series. Both teams want to push tempo, but on their home floor the Blazers can slow it down some and I see them doing that here. Houston is taking way too many shots and not hitting a whole lot of them. I look for them to look for the good shot in this one, and that should slow the game down some as well. They have to play conservative a bit or they just may find themselves heading back to Houston ihn a 3-1 hole. Look for under 210 poinst to be scored in this one.
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LVH Super Contest Update
Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com gives an update on the LVH Super Contest with a prediction on how many entries he feels there will be.