The Houston Rockets head to Oregon to take on the Portland Trail Blazers in their season opener. The Houston Rockets are the last team to start the season, as their initial opening game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed. They did not have an eligible eight players available for their Dec. 23 game due to COVID-19 issues.
Fixture: Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, December 26th, 10 PM ET
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
Houston Rockets Preview
The Rockets will be without John Wall and five other role players against the Portland Trail Blazers due to COVID-19 positive test sand contract tracing, via ESPN's Tim MacMahon,
The Rockets have been in the spotlight all off-season due to their superstar guard, James Harden, requesting a trade. He's been in the spotlight this week after photos of him involved at a social event without wearing a mask emerged.
The Rockets will need to put all their distractions behind them and come together as a team despite all the outside distractions to have a chance to keep the game competitive against the Trail Blazers.
Key Player - James Harden
On a short-handed Houston Rockets side, James Harden will have to play at his normal MVP level to give his team a chance at the win. Although Harden does not want to play for the Houston Rockets anymore, he will still have a lot of motivation going up against the Portland Trail Blazers, as that is one of the teams on his list of preferred trade destinations.
Houston Rockets Predicted Lineup
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers will look to bounce back and earn their first win of the season after being routed by the Utah Jazz 120-100 in their season opener.
Portland has no intention of hanging their heads on the loss. Here were Carmelo Anthony's postgame quotes,
This is definitely not something we will be hanging our hats on or holding our head down. We'll look at it, and get back in the gym tomorrow.
To bounce back against the Houston Rockets, Portland will need to get better support from their two All-Star guards. CJ McCollum and Damien Lillard combined for a -31 plus/minus against Utah.
Key Player - Damien Lillard
The key player for the Portland Trail Blazers is Damien Lillard. The five-time All-Star went scoreless in a half Wednesday for the first time in six seasons. Lillard finished with just nine points and will need to get back to his normal production for the Trail Blazers to come away with a win against the Houston Rockets on Saturday.
Portland Trail Blazers Predicted Lineup
Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers will win handily against the short-handed Houston Rockets. Expect big numbers for James Harden, but he will not have enough support against Damien Lillard and co.
Where to watch Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers
Local telecast of the game will be available on NBC Sports Northwest. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.Published 26 Dec 2020, 05:21 IST