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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets Preview

The Blazers face a team with a worse record on the road — what could go wrong?

NBA: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (5-7) vs. Houston Rockets (1-10)

The Portland Trail Blazers continue their road trip in Houston taking on the Rockets. Portland has yet to win a game on the road, but all things must come to an end, and with Houston getting off to an even worse start, this could be the game that ends the streak of losing away games for the Trail Blazers.

Friday, November 12 - 5:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: ROOT Sports, NBA League Pass
Blazers injuries: Norman Powell (day to day)
Rockets injuries: John Wall (out), Kevin Porter Jr (day to day)
SBN Affiliate: The Dream Shake

What To Watch For

Injured Dame. In the last couple of games, Point Guard Damian Lillard has appeared to have irritated an old abdomen injury. It hasn’t kept him out of the games, or even seemed to limit his play time, but it does seem to be impacting his ability to play like himself. This match up seems like an ideal time to rest Portland’s star, but whether or not head coach Chauncy Billups will do so remains to be seen.

Visiting Team Difficulties. The Trail Blazers are one of only two teams left in the NBA with no road wins (ironically, the other team is Houston). While it’s been a seemingly large obstacle for the team, if ever there was a chance to break the streak, it’s against the Rockets who have only won one game all season.

Focus. With a new coaching staff, and a whole lot of turmoil currently within the franchise, there are a lot of distractions for the Blazers heading into this game. While there’s no way to tell if that’s impacted how they’re playing, it doesn’t seem to be helping. Hopefully things will settle down and the Blazers can start to get their groove back — maybe even tonight!

What Others Are Saying

There have been moments this season in which Portland’s defensive ratings have been significantly better than last season, but that’s not the case currently according to Yahoo! Sports.

Portland ranked 22nd in defensive rating entering Thursday’s games. Billups and his players frequently revisited previous conversations on defensive assignments Wednesday. While there is an acknowledgment that time is required for everyone to get on the same page in terms of expectations, that doesn’t make the missteps and blown coverages any easier to digest.

Houston Rockets rookie, Jalen Green, is one to watch. The up-and-coming guard has been one of the most exciting rookies from this season’s draft. In Houston’s last match up, he was a difference maker, although not quite enough to bring a win to the team. Raymond Lucas Jr. of the Dream Shake highlighted Green’s contributions to the previous game against another exciting rookie on the opposing team, Cade Cunningham.

Green finished with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists while Cuningham had 20 points and pulled down 4 rebounds but unfortunately for the Rockets, it was Cade’s team that walked away victorious - winning 112-104.