Preview: Houston Rockets At Portland Trail Blazers

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets haven’t played since defeating the Orlando Magic on Sunday night, and now head on a west-coast trip to face the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. The Blazers are a surprising 18-4 this season and have shown no signs of slowing down. They have played the same starting lineup in all 22 games this season and have shown the ability to beat the premiere teams in the NBA.

The Rockets are a bit different since the last time they met in early November, when they defeated the Blazers 116-101. The Rockets starting lineup featured Lin at PG, Howard at PF, and Asik at center, but it will be different tonight with Beverley and Jones now in the lineup. The Rockets will also be without Kevin McHale tonight. McHale lost his mother this week and we offer our condolences to the entire McHale family. Kelvin Sampson will be the coach for the time being. Tonight’s game is at 9:300 PM and can be seen on TNT and CSN Houston.

 

The Matchups

Point Guard: Patrick Beverley v.s. Damian Lillard

For those that thought Lillard would slow down, he has not. Lillard is averaging 20.7 ppg and 5.6 apg while shooting 41.7% from beyond the arc. Beverley’s peskiness could be a big factor in this game.

Edge: Trail Blazers

 

Shooting Guard: James Harden v.s. Wesley Matthews

Matthews has been shooting lights out this season, averaging 16.2 ppg on 52.9% from the field and 48.3% from three-point land. Harden has been playing well the last two games and this three-day hiatus should benefit him.

Edge: Rockets

 

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons v.s. Nicolas Batum

It seems like Parson’s back injury will linger for a little bit and it could hinder his performance tonight. Batum is a great all-around player, and is a little better version of Parsons himself.

Edge: Trail Blazers

 

Power Forward: Terrence Jones v.s. LaMarcus Aldridge

Going from Andrew Nicholson to LaMarcus Aldridge should be interesting. LMA is doing his thing this season, averaging 23/10 for the red-hot Blazers. Jones is playing well but has a tough matchup tonight.

Edge: Trail Blazers

 

Center: Dwight Howard v.s. Robin Lopez

It would have been a lot more interesting if this matchup read “Center: Dwight Howard v.s. Omer Asik.”

Edge: Rockets

 

Bench

Rockets - Francisco GarciaOmri CasspiAaron Brooks, Jeremy Lin, Donatas Motiejunas

Trail Blazers - Mo WilliamsJoel FreelandDorell WrightThomas Robinson

Edge: Rockets

 

Injuries (Players Listed As Out):

Rockets – Omer AsikGreg Smith

Trail Blazers – C.J. McCollum

 

Prediction –  Blazers 109 – 101

 

Topics: Houston Rockets

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