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Portland Trail Blazers vs Houston Rockets: Match Preview and Predictions - 15th January 2020

Shubham Pant
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 15 Jan 2020, 11:22 IST

Houston Rockets face the Portland Trail Blazers at home
Houston Rockets face the Portland Trail Blazers at home

Match Details

Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers v Houston Rockets

Date & Time: Wednesday, 15th January 2020 (8:30 PM ET)

Venue: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

Last Game Results

Houston Rockets (26-13): Lost against the Memphis Grizzlies, 110-121

Portland Trail Blazers (17-24): Won against the Charlotte Hornets, 115-112

Houston Rockets Preview

The Houston Rockets had a rocky start to their 2019-20 NBA campaign but since then have righted the ship, fueled by a historic scoring season from James Harden. After trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook in the off-season, there are huge expectations from this team, with NBA championship within reach.

The Rockets are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a 26-13 record. They have won six of their last 10 games and will be looking to add another win by beating the Blazers in their next game.


Key Player - James Harden

James Harden has been in top form for the Houston Rockets
James Harden has been in top form for the Houston Rockets

James Harden has been unstoppable this season. Just when you think he has done something impossible last season, Harden has outdone himself again in the next one. This season, James Harden has averaged a massive 37.7 points per game, along with 7.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game.

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He has established himself as the best scoring guard in the NBA and the Blazers will have to work hard to keep Harden under the wraps. He has already had two 40 point triple doubles in 2020 and the Blazers need to guard Harden well to stop him.

Rockets predicted lineup:

Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Ben McLemore, PJ Tucker and Clint Capela

Portland Trail Blazers Preview

The Portland Trail Blazers have had one of their worst starts in recent memory, currently languishing out of the playoffs in the 10th spot, 1.5 games behind the 8th seed Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers have a 17-24 record this season and have won just 3 of their last 10 games.

While Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have been performing well for them, injuries to key players like Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic have left them short-handed. While Carmelo Anthony has been a welcome scoring respite, their defensive woes continue and they need a special performance to keep the Rockets at bay and come out with a win.

Key Player - Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers v Washington Wizards
Portland Trail Blazers v Washington Wizards

Damian Lillard has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA ever since he was drafted in 2012 by the Blazers. He has continued to grow as a player and has continued building on his progress.

This season, Lillard is averaging a solid 26.8 points, a career-high 7.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Yet, due to the defensive frailties of this roster, the Blazers have continued to struggle. If they stand any chance of winning against the Rockets, they need Lillard to come out and play hard.


Blazers predicted lineups:

Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony and Hassan Whiteside

Blazers v Rockets Match Prediction

The Portland Trail Blazers facing off against the Houston Rockets will be an evenly matched game for both teams that are looking to keep their winning streaks going. While the Blazers need this win, ultimately, the Rockets will be very difficult to stop, especially with a suspect defense.

Where to watch Blazers v Rockets?

You can catch the game live on the NBA League Pass.

Published 15 Jan 2020, 11:22 IST
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