Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers: Predictions, Odds and How to Watch

WSN Picks: Portland Trail Blazers defeat Houston Rockets

How to Watch

What: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers

Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR

When: Wednesday, 29 January 2020, 10:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, AT&T Sportsnet – Southwest, NBC Sports Northwest | 790 KBME & 740 KTRH / 850 KEYH & 101.7 FM, Rip City Radio 620

Houston Rockets (Away)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time 656-516 | DEN, PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU}

Season Record: 28-17

Projected Starting Five: (G) Russell Westbrook – (G) James Harden – (F) Ben McLemore – (F) PJ Tucker – (C) Clint Capela

Top Performers:

  • (G) James Harden – 37.0 MPG | 36.1 PPG | 7.3 APG | 6.2 RPG
  • (G) Russell Westbrook – 35.7 MPG | 26.0 PPG | 8.1 RPG | 7.4 APG
  • (G) Eric Gordon – 29.6 MPG | 14.7 PPG | 2.0 RPG | .346 3P%

The Houston Rockets are jockeying for position in the Western Conference, but it will be a while before it takes them anywhere. With a record of 28-17, the Rockets are tied with the Dallas Mavericks in standing but rank sixth in the West due to tiebreaker. The Rockets have a 13-10 road record.

The Rockets have broken off from their four-game losing streak, but a loss to the Denver Nuggets humbled the confident Houston outfit. While the health of James Harden isn’t certain for his return, Russell Westbrook has more than shown his ability to carry a team.

The Rockets will take on a Portland Trail Blazers team that is desperate to find their legs in this Western Conference. Tenth in the West but 2.5 games out of playoff seeding, the Rockets will have to be careful as Portland circles their wounded team.

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Portland Trail Blazers (Home)

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time 460-444 | ATL, MIL, POR}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damian Lillard – (G) CJ McCollum – (F) Trevor Ariza – (F) Carmelo Anthony – (C) Hassan Whiteside

Season Record: 20-27

Top Performers:

  • (G) Damian Lillard – 37.0 MPG | 28.8 PPG | 7.7 APG | 4.2 RPG
  • (G) CJ McCollum – 35.6 MPG | 21.6 PPG | 4.0 RPG | 3.8 APG
  • (F) Carmelo Anthony – 32.4 MPG | 16.1 PPG | 6.5 RPG | .382 3P%

The Portland Trail Blazers are uncomfortably on the outside looking in at the Western Conference playoff race. With a record of 20-27, the Blazers are looking for some luck in their opponents run of form to go along with their own. The Blazers are 11-11 at the Moda Centre.

Portland showed some excellent resolve in their last match against the Indiana Pacers. In a tight affair, the Trail Blazers’ scoring chops won the day against the Eastern Conference contenders. It was a good test for the playoff hopefuls, as the Houston Rockets are certainly in the same league as Indiana.

There is no secret as to what the Houston Rockets want to do. Houston wants to score more, shoot more, and run more than the Trail Blazers. The season series is currently split between the two teams, as offensive efficiency has been the deciding factor.

What’s At Stake?

The Houston Rockets have been able to accumulate a sizeable lead over the Portland Trail Blazers in the all-time series. In 194 regular-season meetings, the Rockets lead the Blazers 111-87.

A win for the Houston Rockets would break their tie with the Dallas Mavericks and get them a second win in the Western Conference.

A win for the Portland Trail Blazers would bring them within half a game of the San Antonio Spurs who sit at ninth place in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

Can the Houston Rockets balance their play without Harden?

Will the Portland Trail Blazers continue their hot shooting streak?

We are going to compare the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

HOU: Stop the Ball!

The Houston Rockets rarely have an issue on the offensive side of the ball. However, in their loss to the Denver Nuggets, their issues on the defensive side came to light once again. Despite a strong start to the match, the Houston Rockets couldn’t sustain their quality.

After opening the match with a 36-27 first quarter against the Nuggets, the Rockets went on to lose every subsequent quarter which lead to their eventual defeat. Their biggest issue was their inability to get out on shooters and protect the paint.

After allowing the Nuggets to shoot 47.3% from the field and 39.3% from three, Houston can’t afford the same against a more offensively adept team in the Blazers. By opening up the perimeter, the Rockets would be playing a dangerous game against the Portland scorers.

POR: Win the Battle Inside

The Portland Trail Blazers will always be driven by their spectacular perimeter play. However, with their win over the Indiana Pacers, Hassan Whiteside is staking his claim as a capable post option once again.

Whiteside shot 9-11 from the floor and contributed a fantastic 21 points and 14 rebounds in the win. The Blazers centre is one of the best rebounders in the league. But his statistical splits in wins versus losses show a focused contribution in the paint is needed from him.

His scoring is mostly the same in wins versus losses, but he averages 2.7 more rebounds and has collected 21 more blocks in victories. Matching Capela will be no easy task, but Portland’s centre’s contributions are vital to beating the perimeter-oriented Rockets.

HOU: Who Can Support Westbrook?

With James Harden out, Russell Westbrook has been in the spotlight. No stranger to being the primary option, Westbrook was mostly brilliant on the evening against the Denver Nuggets. But there were some glaring issues.

Westbrook scored 32 points and contributed seven rebounds and seven assists. While he committed 10 turnovers, it was due to issues with having a capable outlet more than poor decision-making.

While the offence will always run through Westbrook with Harden out, they need more from the likes of Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon. Without the offensive danger of Harden on the court, they will have to provide more than a spot-up shooting option off of Westbrook’s attack.

POR: Will Their Shooting Sustain?

The Portland Trail Blazers were “en fuego” when they took on the Indiana Pacers late last week. Not only did they win, their three stars McCollum, Lillard, and Whiteside led the way with great efficiency.

The three combined for 99 of Portland’s 139 points and also shot 34-55 from the field. Whiteside, in particular, was aware and available in the paint, shooting 9-11 on the evening. While shooting 57.1% from range is rarely sustainable, the Blazers’ ability to generate spacing and good shooting opportunities is a good sign as they host the Rockets.

The Blazers had 27 assists on the evening, coinciding with Carmelo Anthony’s modest 5-12 shooting from the field. As the ball moves, he gets fewer opportunities. But with their incoming playoff push, the veteran star seems more than willing to sacrifice in order to win.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

(G) James Harden – 26 Jan 2020 – Day To Day (Thigh) – Harden did not play in Sunday’s game (Jan. 26).

(C) Nene Hilario – 22 Nov 2020 – Out (Adductor Strain) – Nene is still away from the team and there is currently no timeline for his return, according to Vincent Sung of Clutch Points.

(G) Gerald Green – 28 Oct 2019 – Out (Left Foot) – Houston Rockets G-F Gerald Green is expected to miss six months after having surgery, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

(F) Zach Collins – 17 Jan 2020 – Out (Shoulder) – Collins is on pace for a March return according to Jason Quick of The Athletic.

(F) Skal Labissiere – 8 Jan 2020 – Out (Knee) – An MRI revealed a left knee articular cartilage lesion and will be re-evaluated in four weeks, according to President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

(G) Rodney Hood – 10 Dec 2019 – Out For Season (Leg) – The Trail Blazers announced that Hood is dealing with a torn left Achilles. He’s out for the rest of this season and may miss the start of next season as well.

(C) Jusuf Nurkic – 23 Oct 2019 – Out (Leg Fracture) – There is no timetable for Nurkic’s return as he recovers from a leg fracture late last season, according to Joe Freeman of The Oregonian.

Head-to-Head: (G) Russell Westbrook vs (G) Damian Lillard

We’ll be looking at one of the NBA’s most exciting rivalries when Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook face off!

These two do not like each other. Considering their playoff history, expect both to step up in order to gain the upper hand for their team. Lillard is the more impactful scorer, but Westbrook is elite everywhere else on the court as well.

(G) Russell Westbrook (6-3, 200lb (190cm, 90kg) | UCLA | 11 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2031HOU3935.726.08.17.4.452.234

 

Russell Westbrook is one of the NBA’s most dangerous players. With a decreased role as James Harden owns the spotlight, Brodie has flourished as a second star. In the absence of Harden due to injury, Westbrook has reminded NBA viewers of his MVP-level performance.

There isn’t much about Westbrook that isn’t already known. He is an all-out competitor anytime he steps on the court. As the primary option for the Rockets, he will have to prove he can punish their paint defenders, despite his dreadful 23.4% three-point shooting percentage.

(G) Damian Lillard (6-2, 195lb (188cm, 88kg) | Weber State | 7 Years)

 

 

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2029POR4537.028.84.27.7.455.382

 

Damian Lillard is having another All-Star worthy season. Unfortunately, it isn’t translating into wins for his team. Despite his best efforts, the Trail Blazers’ roster deficiencies are too much for Lillard to make up for on his own.

Changing his game plan won’t be necessary against the Rockets, as Houston isn’t the most defensive-oriented squad. But for the Rockets to overcome an off-night from their stars, Lillard will have to be a playmaker as much as he is a scorer.

Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Odds

Why the Houston Rockets Will Win

The Houston Rockets need to show they can take care of the ball if they want to take a game from the Trail Blazers. Despite Portland’s interior presence, and efficient perimeter offense can break their defensive scheme.

Why the Portland Trail Blazers Will Win

Portland is just as offensively oriented as the Rockets. But controlling the glass and taking advantage of the paint are what will help them succeed against the Rockets. Lillard and McCollum can score with anybody, but getting their big men involved will help them secure the game.

WSN’s Pick

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off of an impressive win against the Pacers. With Harden out, Portland’s tenacity and motivation to close the playoff race gap may be enough to lead them over the Rockets.

WSN Picks: Portland Trail Blazers defeat Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers Odds

For more NBA odds visit DraftKings Sportsbook, 888Sport NJ, or William Hill NJ. If it is your first time wagering on the NBA then check out our comprehensive guide on how to bet on the NBA.

Money Line

SportsbookRocketsTrail Blazers
SugarHouse NJ-105-113
DraftKings-105-113
888Sport NJ-105-113

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