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Rockets vs. Trail Blazers game preview: Houston’s season begins again

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Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s Game 1, Part 2!

After Houston’s season opener was postponed due to a lack of available players, the team will once again start its season. This game, the game is on the road in Portland against the Trail Blazers.

There isn’t much to say about the Rockets that hasn’t been said since Tuesday, but let’s quickly run down the available players for Houston. First off, the following players WILL NOT be with the team tonight:

  • John Wall
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Eric Gordon
  • Ben McLemore
  • K.J. Martin
  • Mason Jones

That means that the Rockets WILL have:

  • James Harden
  • Christian Wood
  • Danuel House Jr.
  • P.J. Tucker
  • Jae’Sean Tate
  • David Nwaba
  • Sterling Brown
  • Bruno Caboclo
  • Broderic Thomas

Tate and Thomas are rookies, so don’t expect much out of them, even if they both will probably get some run out of necessity. Stephen Silas is getting the raw end of the stick here in his first game as an NBA head coach. He’s likely to lose, and lose big.

With that unpleasantness out of the way, let’s look at the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers snuck into the eighth seed in the Bubble and even won Game 1 against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. Much like Houston, they were soundly defeated after that win.

Portland had one of the best offseasons in the league (each of those four links lead to a page of Blazers offseason praise), and the expectation is that the team from the City of Roses should be a top 5 seed in the Western Conference and advance to the second round. Anything less will be a failure after the moves made by GM Neil Olshey.

The Blazers brought in Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr., and Enes Kanter. Covington and Jones Jr. started in their opener, and Kanter was the first big off the bench. The team also got Rodney Hood back after he missed most of last season with a torn Achilles. Unfortunately, their first game of the season ended with a disappointing 120-100 loss at home to the Utah Jazz.

So an undermanned Houston team heads to Portland to play a Blazers team with:

  • Rockets killer Voldemort
  • Revenge Game candidates in Covington and Carmelo Anthony
  • a chip on their shoulder after getting blown out at home to the rival Jazz

I don’t care what the line is for the Blazers. Take it because they’re going to cover. This game should be over at halftime.

Tip-off is at 9pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest and NBA TV