For the Houston Rockets, it all comes down to Friday night.
Struggling star James Harden said as much in the locker room after their Game 2 loss Wednesday, declaring that "Game 3 is our season." Indeed, the Rockets have their backs against the wall after dropping two home games to the Portland Trail Blazers to fall behind 2-0 in dramatic fashion.
History paints a grim picture for the Rockets. Entering this postseason, just 19 teams have gone down 2-0 with home-court advantage, and just three of those teams (16 percent) rallied to win the series. Making matters worse, the Blazers were 31-10 at home in the regular season and have lost only one game at the Moda Center in the past month.
No doubt the Rockets are aware that the odds are not in their favor. Harden's assessment of Game 3 might seem overly dramatic, especially coming off the heels of his "must-win" Game 2 characterization. But no NBA team has ever come back to win a series after being down 3-0, so the Rockets and coach Kevin McHale will sense the urgency to make the right adjustments.
Here are three big questions heading into Portland-Houston Game 3. Let's get into it.