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Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers game preview

The Rockets look to stay in the playoff hunt when they head to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Apologies for the late preview. It's completely my fault.

We saw the 2015-2016 Houston Rockets in a microcosm last night in their loss to the Golden State Warriors. There was the awful start that arose from terrible defense and poor shooting. There was the glimpse in the middle quarters of a team that, when playing at its best, can play with anyone in the NBA, including the champions.

Then there was the fourth quarter, where Houston lost yet another game that they seemingly always pulled out last season. The Harden magic couldn't save them and the defense that has been this team's bugaboo all season reared its ugly head once again.

Tonight, Houston will look to not only prevent themselves from dipping under .500 yet again, but the 8 seed in the Western Conference is on the line. A loss would put Houston behind Portland and send Houston to the 9 seed. The PTSD is kicking in for pre-Harden era Rockets fans.

Finally, I know that the NBA is attempting to cut down on back-to-backs this season but I feel like Houston isn't getting that benefit as often as other teams. Every time Houston plays a back-to-back it seems the other team had the previous night off. And the next time Houston plays a team on a back-to-back without being on one themselves isn't for over a month. Come on, NBA schedule makers. You guys need to be more fair about this.

Tip-off is at 9:30pm CST on ESPN.

Rockets vs Trail Blazers coverage

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