Trying to avoid becoming the third team to be eliminated from the 2014 NBA playoffs, the Rockets host the Portland Trail Blazers at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. An NBA April 30 report previews tonight’s first-round clash, which can be seen through TNT’s national TV broadcast or via free live stream online on TNT Overtime (click here).
Opening tipoff is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. ET (8:45 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. PT), with the (3-1) Portland Trail Blazers trying to close out the (1-3) Houston Rockets. The winner of this series moves on to the second round to face whoever advances in TNT’s earlier game between the (2-2) Dallas Mavericks and the (2-2) San Antonio Spurs.
For the fifth-seeded Trail Blazers, an ESPN report describes how the organization has decided to honor the late Dr. Jack Ramsay. Beginning tonight, Blazers players will wear a (plaid) patch on their jerseys that reads “dr. jack 77” in memory of the Hall of Famer.
The former Trail Blazers head coach died Monday at the age of 89 following a long battle with cancer. The plaid background signifies the type of suits he wore, while the No.77 represents the year Ramsay led Portland to its only NBA championship in franchise history.
“It’s a very unique patch that pays perfect tribute to who Dr. Jack is,” said Blazers GM, Neil Olshey. “It embodies his time in Portland, his vibrant personality, and ultimately all that he meant to the Trail Blazers and the NBA.”
For the fourth-seeded Rockets, this team is on the brink of one of the biggest disappointments of the 2014 NBA playoffs. After coming into the postseason with title aspirations, it seems that Dwight Howard & Co. will be fortunate to send the series back to the City of Roses.
Nevertheless, that didn’t stop former NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon from making some interesting comments prior to Game 5. According to “The Dream”, tonight should be an “easy” win for the Rockets. After preparing Howard foe his first elimination game in Houston, the two-time NBA champs spoke to reporters.
“It is deceiving if you look at the situation as 3-1,” Olajuwon said. “This is the Rockets’ chance not just to win a game, but to dominate, to take control of every play, every possession at both ends of the court and take over the series. If you think about it, this should be the most free, the most easy game the Rockets have played in the playoffs. Play that way and everything changes.”
Is the 12-time NBA All-Star delirious or is he simply trying to motivate D12 and his teammates? According to 2014 NBA playoffs oddsmakers, Olajuwon is on to something, as his Rockets come in as five-point favorites versus the Trail Blazers. The OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 215 points, and alternate (straight-up) betting lines go as follows: Portland +210 vs Houston -250.
ATS Betting Action Prior to TV Schedule Start Time
Portland spread: 59 percent.
Houston spread: 41 percent.
OVER wagers: 1,228 units.
UNDER wagers: 484 units.
Trends Prior to TNT-OT Free Live Stream Online
Trail Blazers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games versus a team with a home winning percentage of greater than .600.
Trail Blazers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games.
Trail Blazers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games against teams with winning home records.
Rockets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games versus the NBA’s Northwest Division.
Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Wednesday games.
NBA Playoffs 2014 Game 5 Blazers-Rockets Key Stats
OVER is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Houston.
OVER is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings.
Underdog is 15-5-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
Road team is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings.