Rockets vs. Trail Blazers preview: Battle of the backcourts

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 27: James Harden
PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 27: James Harden /

The Rockets are in Portland to take on the Trail Blazers tonight at 9 p.m. CT.

The Houston Rockets (19-4) are rolling right now. They currently hold an 8-game winning streak and took the title of the best record in the league away from the Celtics last night when they lost. With a .826 winning percentage, the Rockets are tops in the NBA.

The Trail Blazers (13-11) are coming off of a loss to the Washington Wizards. They allowed Bradley Beal to drop 51 points on them. They still are playing pretty well this season and hold the 3rd best defensive rating in the league. The Rockets sit one spot behind them at No. 4.

Let’s look at the injury report:

Injury Report

For the Rockets, Nene is available after missing last game with a left corneal abrasion. Troy Williams is still out with a knee sprain and Zhou Qi is out with a sore left calf.

The Trail Blazers will be without starting center Jusuf Nurkic tonight. He has a sprained right ankle that he suffered in the loss to Washington. Maurice Harkless is questionable tonight as well for the Blazers with a left quad contusion.

Projected Starting 5s


Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Clint Capela

Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard/C.J. McCollum/Pat Connaughton/Al-Farouq Aminu/Meyers Leonard


This will be a nice battle of the backcourt with both teams sporting top-10 players at their positions. The Rockets have the advantage in the backcourt, but both Lillard and McCollum certainly have the ability to go off on any given night.

Clint Capela will have to guard the perimeter if the Blazers decide to start Meyers Leonard in place of the injured Nurkic. Good thing he has the ability to do just that. There’s also a chance that they start Noah Vonleh to counter Clint down low.

The Trail Blazers have had multiple starting lineups this season. If Harkless is out, Pat Connaughton will likely fill the role in the lineup like he did early when Mo was hurt.

This is a game that the Rockets should win. If they at least contain Lillard and McCollum and win the battle on the boards, they should do just that.

You can watch the game on AT&T Sportsnet SW at 9 p.m. CT. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook! We will be live-tweeting the game as always.

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