Portland Trail Blazers vs Houston Rockets: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch – Trail Blazers vs Rockets

Where: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

When: Monday, 18 November 2019, 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBATV, NBCSNW/Blazers Pass, AT&T Sportsnet – Southwest | Rip City Radio 620, 790 KBME & 740 KTRH / 850 KEYH & 101.7 FM

Portland Trail Blazers (Away)

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time 445-425 | ATL, MIL, POR}

Season Record: 5-8

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damian Lillard – (G) CJ McCollum – (F) Rodney Hood – (F) Nassir Little – (C) Hassan Whiteside

Top Performers

  • (G) Damian Lillard – 38.5 MPG | 29.8 PPG | 6.8 APG | 4.8 RPG
  • (G) CJ McCollum – 37.6 MPG | 21.0 PPG | 4.5 RPG | 3.4 APG
  • (C) Hassan Whiteside – 28.2 MPG | 15.3 PPG | 12.2 RPG | 1.8 BPG

The Portland Trail Blazers are officially in panic mode. At 5-8 on the season, the Trail Blazers are losing ground in the Western Conference and the improvement of other sides is forcing them to make some drastic changes.

While the Blazers defeated a talented San Antonio Spurs team late, they haven’t shown enough quality on a consistent basis. After an early-season losing streak of four games and poor showings against teams of a class they thought they shared, GM Neil Olshey hopes Carmelo Anthony will make the difference.

They won’t have time to put it all together as Anthony won’t be available for this match. A third scorer in Carmelo Anthony is welcome, but whether or not they can function as a unit in time to beat the Rockets will determine their success.

Houston Rockets (Home)

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni {All-Time 638-502 | DEN, PHX, NYK, LAL, HOU}

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

Season Record: 10-3

Top Performers

  • (G) James Harden – 36.9 MPG | 39.5 PPG | 7.8 APG | 5.6 RPG
  • (G) Russell Westbrook – 32.8 MPG | 21.0 PPG | 6.8 APG | 8.0 RPG
  • (C) Clint Capela – 30.2 MPG | 13.4 PPG | 12.5 RPG | 2.2 BPG

The Houston Rockets look unstoppable. They are undefeated in their last seven games, despite having a large number of players in and out of the lineup due to injury. They take on a desperate Trail Blazers team that needs to get back on the right track.

The Houston Rockets’ seven-game win streak is no fluke. They are being led by James Harden, who in that time is averaging 43.0 points, 7.9 assists, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.3 steals on 44.9% shooting from the field and 41.4% shooting from three.

It doesn’t look like their foot will be on the brake as they take on a struggling Portland Trail Blazers team. If they can build enough of a lead early, Portland hasn’t shown the capacity to catch up.

What’s at Stake?

The Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets are two-storied NBA franchises. After 192 regular-season meetings, the Rockets lead the Blazers 106-86.

A win for the Trail Blazers would bring them within two games of the .500 mark.

A win for the Houston Rockets would push them above the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference table.

Questions to Answer

Can the Blazers hold on until Melo arrives?

Who can stop the Rockets’ roll?

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

Anfernee Simons can be a Difference Maker

A month into the season and the Trail Blazers’ slow start is putting them into a deeper and deeper hole. Now near the bottom of the Western Conference table, they’ve found themselves a shining light in young guard Anfernee Simons.

He’s currently in the running for Most Improved Player of the Year. After a rookie season in which he averaged only 3.8 points in 20 appearances, Simons is averaging an impressive 11.4 points per game on .559 an effective field-goal percentage.

Simons hasn’t shown the ability as a lead guard quite yet, but his scoring ability has been a lovely surprise for Portland. He has excellent size for a guard but isn’t up to the task defensively. Every point he contributes will be welcome against the scoring-adept Rockets.

Houston’s Depth Is Showing Value

If you went into the NBA season thinking a 49 point night by James Harden was eclipsed by names like Isaiah Hartenstein, Chris Clemons, and Ben McLemore you are likely one in a million.

Luckily for the Rockets, those three were brilliant in a shorthanded effort when they took a win from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hartenstein was a monster on the glass, outrebounding Towns 16 to 15. Meanwhile, McLemore and Clemons contributed 20 points and 19 points respectively in the evening.

It isn’t often that Houston receives such contributions from their reserves but it is certainly welcome. Such a showing only bodes well for a future in which Mike D’Antoni needs to ride his stars less and rely on his squad.

Energy is the Key for Portland

The Trail Blazers will be facing off against one of the NBA’s most high-powered offenses. Portland’s backcourt isn’t the most defensively adept, so stopping Houston’s backcourt will take hustle and energy from all parties.

One key player for the Portland Trail Blazers is Nassir Little. The rookie wasn’t expected to have a big role going into this season, but injuries and poor performances have pushed him to the forefront and starting lineup.

He was crucial in their last win over the San Antonio Spurs. Collecting eight rebounds to go along with five points, Little’s energy was perfect beside McCollum and Lillard. If more Blazers can offer the same energy defensively and on the glass as Little, they may have a chance to take one from Houston.

The Houston Rockets Will Score

The Portland Trail Blazers are, at best, a middling defensive team. They hold their opponents to a respectable three-point shooting percentage (33.9%) and do their best to limit opportunities knowing Hassan Whiteside patrols the paint.

James Harden has done an excellent job exploiting big men in the pick and roll this year. He tuned up Karl-Anthony Towns for 49 points, despite 39% shooting from the field.

With Russell Westbrook expected to be back in the fold, the Rockets have even more weapons at their disposal. The Lillard-McCollum backcourt has failed defensively all year, forcing Whiteside into difficult defensive duties. Houston must take advantage.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

(F-C) Zach Collins – 12 Nov 2019 – Out (Left shoulder dislocation) – Collins said he plans on playing this season, according to Casey Holdahl of Trailblazers.com. He’s expected to miss at least the next four months after having shoulder surgery.

(C) Pau Gasol – 25 Oct 2019 – Out (Foot) – Gasol isn’t practicing yet and there is no timetable for his return, according to Casey Holdahl of Trailblazers.com.

(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.

Houston Rockets Roster Notes

(C) Clint Capela – 16 Nov 2019 – Day To Day (Concussion) – Capela did not play in Saturday’s (Nov. 16) game against Minnesota.

(F) Danuel House – 16 Nov 2019 – Day To Day (Back) – House did not play in Saturday’s (Nov. 16) game against Minnesota.

(C) Nene Hilario – 13 Nov 2019 – Out (Abductor) – Nene is still away from the team and there is currently no timeline for his return.

(G-F) Eric Gordon – 12 Nov 2019 – Out (Knee) – Gordon will have surgery to repair his knee and will miss at least 6 weeks.

(G-F) 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.

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

This isn’t just one of the most exciting matchups in the Western Conference, it is one of the most exciting matchups in the NBA. There is some bad blood between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook, it is sure to spark some brilliant performances.

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

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 29 POR 13 38.5 29.8 4.8 6.8 .462 .366

Nothing seems to heat Damian Lillard up like a matchup against Russell Westbrook. Despite coming off of a bit of a redemption game against the San Antonio Spurs, he still has a lot to work on if he hopes to take down the Rockets.

Over the last two matches Lillard has shot 6-31 from the field and 3-16 from three-point range. Lillard will have to be playmaker and scorer in this match as Portland hasn’t proved able to provide him sufficient support.

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

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 31 HOU 11 32.8 21.0 8.0 6.8 .431 .218

Russell Westbrook has taken a backseat to James Harden, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous. Westbrook now has the running mate he’s dreamed of having since Durant left Oklahoma and the Rockets are soaring.

Over his last three games Westbrook is averaging 20.0 points per game, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. He’s shooting 35.5% from the field and 19% from three. Scoring efficiently is essential for Westbrook if the Rockets hope to beat the Blazers.

Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets Predictions

Why the Portland Trail Blazers Will Win

All hands need to be on deck if the Portland Trail Blazers hope to win this match against the Houston Rockets. Damian Lillard has made his contributions, but the Blazers supporting cast must show up if they hope to take down the high-scoring Rockets.

Why the Houston Rockets Will Win

James Harden is one of the best scorers that the NBA has ever seen. If he can score as well as get his teammates involved, the Portland Trail Blazers won’t be able to keep up on either end of the court.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Houston Rockets – Game Odds

The odds for the Trail Blazers vs Rockets are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, bet365 NJ and Caesars NJ.


Sportsbook Blazers Rockets
DraftKings +205 -250
Caesars NJ +220 -260
bet365 NJ +215 -260

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