Given three days to lick their wounds and access their shortcomings in a loss to Oklahoma City, the Portland Trail Blazers will look to return on the winning side of things when they battle the Houston Rockets on primetime television.
After entering Monday as winners of six of their last eight, the Trail Blazers erred on the side of inconsistency, again reverting to the defense that opened the season. They allowed the No. 28-ranked Thunder offense to explode for a 125-point outing.
Which wouldn’t be as big a problem if John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, DeMarcus Cousins, and (potentially) Christian Wood weren’t hosting Thursday night’s game.
Just like those Thunder, the Rockets come in with more spunk than their overall record would show, something the Blazers likely know, given it took them an extra period to knock them off earlier this season.
The Rockets are a gritty, confident bunch with the types of players that can cause trouble for a short-handed Blazers team. They rank seventh in 3-pointers taken, contest shots brilliantly (No. 3 in blocks), and employ someone who can at least come close to matching the greatness of Damian Lillard in John Wall.
The Portland Trail Blazers open a six-game road trip, starting with a primetime duel with the Houston Rockets. Here’s what’s worth knowing about the game.
Wall likely has an added pep, seeing as though he defeated his former team one night ago, utilizing post-ups, catch-and-shoot buckets, and nifty dimes. The Rockets as a team come in as winners of their last three.
For the Portland Trail Blazers, goal No. 1 will be just to find enough healthy bodies. They had only eight healthy bodies in their latest loss.
Pair that with an injury report as long as a CVS receipt, and a six-game road trip on the way, and things could get rocky. Here’s what else there is to know about the game.
How to follow the action:
— Date: Thursday, January 28th
— Time: 8:30 pm PT
— How to watch: TNT
— How to listen: NBA League Pass Radio or Rip City Radio 620 AM
Injury report, per CBS Sports:
— (POR) — Zach Collins, ankle (expected out until Mar. 1)
— (POR) — CJ McCollum, foot (expected out until Mar. 10)
— (POR) — Jusuf Nurkic, wrist (expected out until Mar. 12)
— (POR) — Robert Covington, concussion (expected out until Jan. 30)
— (POR) — Rodney Hood, thigh (Game Time Decision)
— (HOU) — Dante Exum, calf (expected out until Mar. 3)
— (HOU) — Kevin Porter, personal (Game Time Decision)