Houston Rockets (0-0) at Portland Trail Blazers (0-1)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 10:00 pm (Moda Center at the Rose Quarter)
The Line: Portland Trail Blazers -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Portland Trailblazers play host to the Houston Rockets at the Moda Center on Saturday night.
The Houston Rockets are just one of two teams who have yet to play a game this season as they had their season opening game postponed due to an insufficient number of available players. John wall, Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins are the key signings for the Rockets, as well as Stephen Silas who suits up as the new head coach, but with Harden’s future still uncertain, the Rockets are stuck in limbo while other teams bargain for Harden’s signature.
Meanwhile, the Portland Trailblazers came into the season healthy and motivated, but that didn’t help them in their season opener as they lost to the Jazz in a 120-100 loss on Wednesday. CJ McCollum led the team in scoring with 23 points on seven of 19 shooting, Carmelo Anthony added 15 points, Enes Kanter scored 14 points while Jusuf Nurkic chipped in with 13 points. As a team, the Trailblazers shot just 40 percent from the field and 12 of 33 from the 3-point line, but a slow start really cost them as they found themselves trailing by as many as 31 points before a fourth-quarter run kept the final scores respectable. Damian Lillard had himself a night to forget as he finished with just nine points and seven assists on four of 12 shooting.
Out of all the teams in the NBA, the Rockets are coming into this season with the most question marks as they don’t even know what is going to happen to their best player. Harden has shown no interest in staying with the Rockets, but as it stands, he is currently available for Saturday, but the Rockets will be without a host of other players due to COVID contact tracing including John Wall, Kenyon Martin Jr, Jae-Sean Tate, Ben McLemore and DeMarcus Cousins. The Trailblazers looked like they were going to be one of the teams to hit the ground running this season, but they will have to go back to the drawing board after getting blown out in their last outing.
The Houston Rockets are a complete mess of an organization right now and who knows who's going to play for them due to the COVID-19 mess. It's hard to back the Rockets with any confidence right now given the Harden trade rumors and the roster shake up. The Portland Trail Blazers should be eager for a bounce back performance after not playing well against the Jazz, and you should expect Lillard to have a bounce back showing. Not the greatest line in the world, but I'll take the Trail Blazers and the chalk if forced to pick.