The Blazers are on a serious slump heading into Friday night's contest against the Rockets.
Part of this has to do with injuries. The team's been without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge (21 ppg, 8.9 rpg) for the last four games with a sprained right ankle, and all four games without Aldridge resulted in losses. Noted Rockets killer Nic Batum (25.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.3 spg, 3.3 bpg) also missed the Blazers' most recent game, a 94-76 loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday. That was the Blazers' six straight loss and eighth over their last 10.
In their absence, the Blazers, a team whose depth has been a weak point this year, had to insert rookies Meyers Leonard and Victor Claver into the starting lineup.
The good news for Portland is that Aldridge is expected to play Friday against the Rockets. Batum, however, is expected to miss the contest. He has a labral tear in his right shoulder.
The Blazers were once in the heat of the playoff mix. With seven games left, however, heading into Friday action, they are six games back of the eighth-seeded Lakers.