Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Thunder vs the Blazers…
Where: Moda Center, Portland.
When: Thursday October 30, 02:30 (UK time)
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
The Portland Trail Blazers host an injury-hit Oklahoma City Thunder in their season opener on Wednesday night hoping to pick up where they left off last season.
After making their deepest playoff run in 14 years, the Blazers will hope to build on that momentum this season and continue to shine in the packed Western Conference.
Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge were huge in that run last year, with the latter averaging career highs of 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds while Lillard had 20.7 points per game and emerged as a real star of the NBA with his ability to produce in pressure moments.
A key part of that success was also their ability to stay healthy, and that will vital again this year as coach Terry Stotts hopes to have familiarity and stability in his starting five for a second consecutive season.
While the hosts appear ready, the visitors do not with an injury crisis deepening this week as Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb were sidelined ankle and back injuries respectively.
Anthony Morrow, Mitch McGary and Perry Jones are already in the treatment room, but of course the biggest blow that Scott Brooks has suffered this pre-season is the loss of Kevin Durant for six to eight weeks.
The reigning league MVP underwent foot surgery to repair a fracture earlier this month, and he will be a huge loss for the team given his leadership and 32 point-per-game average last season.
Point guard Russell Westbrook is expected to step up in his absence, but even he conceded that he would not be able to do it alone and that the entire roster needed to contribute.
Serge Ibaka will undoubtedly answer the call as he emerged as genuine third option last season, but it remains to be seen if they can get the support elsewhere with so many injuries to start the campaign.