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Report: James Harden cleared for Rockets season opener vs. Blazers

Houston will begin its season on Saturday night in Portland, though the team won’t have John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins or Eric Gordon among other players.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets reacts during the fourth quarter of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 17, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden has been cleared to play in Saturday’s season opener vs. the Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday afternoon. Harden had to complete a four-day quarantine in order to be ready to play in the opener. The Rockets were initially set to open the season against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday before the game was postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests and too many players being forced into isolation.

The Rockets will be without John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore among a few other rookies sidelined. So Houston will have just enough players to be allowed to play an NBA basketball game. Along with Harden here’s the active roster heading into tonight.

PG: James Harden
SG: Sterling Brown, Brodric Thomas
SF: Danuel House Jr., David Nwaba, Jae’Sean Tate
PF: P.J. Tucker, Bruno Caboclo
C: Christian Wood

Christian Wood will be a very popular play on DraftKings at $5,900 considering he’s the only viable option on offense behind Harden, who is only $10,900. Normally in a spot when his entire team is sidelined, Harden would be around $12,000. If Harden is himself, this could make him the top GPP play on the slate. Tucker ($5,200) and House ($4,700) would be the other two players to target in terms of potential cash-game options. Both have safe floors because we can assume both will play around 36 minutes depending on how the game goes.

If you think it will be a blowout in favor of the Blazers, Caboclo ($3,700) and Nwaba ($3,000) are dirt cheap and would be decent GPP value plays.