James Harden could be suiting up for the Rockets in their season opener if the team manages to produce more than 8 fit guys against the Blazers.
The Rockets’ scheduled season opener against the OKC Thunder was cancelled Wednesday. This came in the wake of a Covid-19 trace emerging within the roster. The likes of John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins are both unavailable for today’s game with the Covid threat.
This means that Harden will likely have to face the Blazers with basically a motley crew of fringe NBA players. The Blazers, on the other hand, are expected to have almost their full complement of players. Only Zach Collins and Nassir Little are currently on the injury list.
The Blazers will definitely be fancied going into the game. Their guards Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Gary Trent Jr are likely to prove too much for the makeshift Rockets defense.
James Harden listed as available for Rockets’ season opener against Portland Trail Blazers
The Beard will be available for the Rockets playing in Portland against the Blazers tonight. The game is scheduled to start at 10 PM ET.
NBA source: James Harden has continued to test negative and will play tomorrow night in Portland. The Rockets charter is leaving for Portland tonight.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) December 25, 2020
Harden will be asked to carry a similar kind of load that he had to in the 2018-19 season. This was in December and January, when both Chris Paul and Clint Capela were out with injuries. Harden is one of the 3-4 players in the league capable of leading any roster to a playoff berth on his own.
Trade rumors are still circulating around the league, linking James to a host of franchises. The likes of the Celtics and Blazers have recently been ‘added’ to Harden’s list of preferred destinations according to various rumors.