Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Injury Updates, Lineups, and Game Prediction

Published 12/26/2020, 7:00 PM EST
Dec 15, 2020; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball over San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and guard Lonnie Walker IV (middle right) and guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the first half. Mandatory Credit: Mike Wyke/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports


The Houston Rockets were set to start their season on December 23. However, due to an insufficient number of players available on the roster, their season opener against the Thunder was postponed.

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They now will start their season against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Rockets will hope that the depleted roster can step up, while the Blazers will hope that they can have a huge comeback game against the Rockets, after a disappointing loss against the Indiana Pacers.

Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers – Injury and Lineup Updates 

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Rockets

The Rockets had a rocky off-season ahead of the regular season. They made some great moves by bringing in DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall, but we won’t be seeing their duo anytime soon.

The Rockets’ reserve wing player Ben McLemore and rookie Kenyon Martin Jr. tested positive for coronavirus ahead of their game against the OKC Thunder.

Dec 15, 2020; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) passes the ball to forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) against Houston Rockets center DeMarcus Cousins (15) as guard James Harden (13) and guard Eric Gordon (10) look on during the second half. Mandatory Credit: Mike Wyke/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Owing to contract tracing protocol, center DeMarcus Cousins, guard John Wall, shooting guard Eric Gordon, and two-way guard Mason Jones will be in quarantine and will miss the game.

The Rockets see the return of their disgruntled star, James Harden. Harden was earlier found guilty of violating COVID-19 protocols and was fined $50,000.

All the eyes will be on Harden and his performance. The Rockets will be playing the game with a total of nine players available to play against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Possible Lineup

James Harden (G)

Sterling Brown (G)

Danuel House (F)

P.J. Tucker (F)

Christian Wood (C)

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers were off to a rocky start to their regular season as the Indiana Pacers humbled them in a 100-120 loss. They were in full strength, but their stars struggled massively against the Pacers.

Dec 23, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) catches a pass against Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) during the second half at Moda Center. The Utah Jazz won the game 120-100. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having a fully loaded roster, the Blazers failed to live up to expectations in the first game. Their debutants, Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington, were underwhelming.

The Blazers will hope that their superstar Damian Lillard can replicate his form from the Orlando Bubble. They will also hope that CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony perform to their real standards.

Possible Lineup

Damian Lillard (G)

CJ McCollum (G)

Derrick Jones Jr. (F)

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Robert Covington (F)

Jusuf Nurkic (C)

Prediction

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The Rockets are very short on personnel and will surely suffer because of the same. They will face off against a fully loaded Blazers side who will be determined to have a much better game than their season opener. Despite Harden’s return, the Rockets will surely lose, given the limited inexperienced players they have against a loaded Blazers team.

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Aditya Mohapatra

725 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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