Serious season Rockets center Yao Ming said the team will quickly get over the disappointment of Wednesday's loss, largely because the players have to.
"I think everybody will get the mindset, the right attitude about the playoffs because this is the playoffs," Yao said. "I don't think anybody will go out there and not prepare themselves.
"We have to get our mindset into the playoffs, myself and my team to prepare for this. This is a serious season now starting. (The Blazers') first time in the playoffs since 2003, a lot of the guys are in their first time playing in the playoffs. A good side is that we can talk about playoff experience. Maybe we have a little more than them (Blazers). The flip side is they will maybe have more energy because it's their first time playing."
The Blazers have the NBA's longest active winning streak, six games, but Rockets coach Rick Adelman said the Rockets had been rolling before Wednesday.
"It seems like just before last night's game, we were going pretty good and everything was roses," Adelman said of a five-game winning streak before Wednesday's loss. "I'm not going to jump off the bridge because we had a tough game. They're the same way. They won 10 out of 11. The team that beat them was us."
Ready for Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers against the Rockets this season, averaging 23.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.33 blocked shots in three games. That has led the Rockets to use Chuck Hayes for 23.7 minutes per game against Portland, twice his average, to defend Aldridge. Hayes shut him down in the first game and slowed him in two.
"Certainly, we're aware of that, that he's played well," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We're going to give him a shot if things don't go well. When you get to the playoffs, you're going to be fine-tuning and changing things as you go."
Though the Rockets have little playoff experience for a veteran team, Kyle Lowry will be the only player in the rotation making his playoff debut.
"This is the first ever in my career," he said. "I never got close to this many wins in my NBA career. We talk about the whole level of play in the game changes to a different amount of intensity. You have to pick the intensity up. Everybody talks about it. I can't wait. I'm excited."