The Portland Trail Blazers are tanking. There’s really no other way to describe it. Losers of five of their last six, their only win came in a squeaker against the similarly loss-minded Detroit Pistons.
Portland shut down Damian Lillard for the season, have sat Jusuf Nurkic for over a month with plantar fasciitis, and sat Anfernee Simons and Eric Bledsoe against the Spurs in a must-lose for the Blazers. They lost, 133-96 in front of their fans at the Moda Center (a nice building that I visited last weekend for Second Round action of the NCAA Tournament).
The Houston Rockets come into town with a tanking circus of their own. With the deck stacked in their favor, Houston still found a way to get blown out by the Dallas Mavericks. That task will be much more difficult tonight, as DraftKings actually has the Rockets as 3.5-point favorites tonight with the moneyline at -165. Basically, it would take a miracle for the Rockets to lose and stay two games ahead of Orlando and Detroit.
But this is March. And Madness happens all the time in March.
Tip-off is at 9pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest