The 4-Point Play looks at the four analytics-based storylines that will make you smarter when watching Wednesday’s game between the Houston Rockets (eighth in BPI) and the Portland Trail Blazers (fifth in BPI). Our BPI gives the Blazers a 53 percent chance of winning the game (10:30 p.m., ESPN):
1. BPI simulations suggest there is a 22 percent chance that the Blazers and the Rockets will face each other in the first round of the playoffs with each team having an 11 percent chance of hosting the series.
2. Both teams have top-10 defenses, but over the last 10 games, the Rockets have been allowing three fewer points per 100 possessions than their season average of 99.7. The Blazers in that span have matched their season average of 100 points allowed per 100 possessions.
3. The Blazers do better when LaMarcus Aldridge is scoring in the paint. In wins this season, he has scored 38 percent of his points in the paint, but in losses, he has gotten 32 percent of his points in the paint.
4. The Rockets are better when Trevor Ariza is shooting and hitting 3-pointers. In wins this season, he has taken seven 3s per 36 minutes and made 37 percent of them. In losses, he has taken six 3s per 36 minutes and made 26 percent of them.