Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets - Game Two

Wednesday NBA grades: It’s LaMarcus Aldridge’s world and the Rockets have to live in it


Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while thinking some of those big local television contracts in the NBA may not be working out so well

source:  LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers. He has 89 points, 26 rebounds and five blocks in two games — Houston has absolutely no answer for Aldridge. None. And the Rockets are down 2-0 because of it. Wednesday night Aldridge had 43 points on 18-of-28 shooting. Houston didn’t double Aldridge much, which has been a problem as Aldridge can get to the rim but he also hit 13-of-19 from the midrange Wednesday — not many players should make a living from the midrange but Aldridge can and he is torching the Rockets from there. He’s also getting help from his teammates and Portland suddenly looks like a team bound for the second round.

source:   Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats. This man is just gutting it out. He had to leave in the first quarter to go back to the locker room and get some treatment on his sprained plantar facia — and he still played 40 minutes on the night. He’s not the same (18 points on 23 shots), he’s getting exposed on defense, but the Bobcats’ best player is fighting to stay on the court. It’s as good an effort as anyone is putting out in these playoffs.

source:   San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio turned the ball over on 26.2 percent of their possessions Wednesday night — it just didn’t look like the Spurs. They haven’t looked like themselves for about 7 of the 8 quarters in their series with Dallas. In Game 2 Wednesday Tony Parker couldn’t get into the lane (Dallas switched all the pick-and-rolls and it worked), Marco Belinelli is getting torched on defense, Kawhi Leonard has made almost no impact and only Manu Ginobili played well. For a to of teams you might have more questions, but none of us really question if San Antonio can turn it around. But they have not been the better team in this series and the Mavericks now have hope.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.

Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)

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Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.

His swagger certainly remains intact.