Game Preview: Pistons look to sweep season series against the Portland Trail Blazers
On Saturday night, the Detroit Pistons (30-28) will fly into Portland to take on the surging Trail Blazers (42-26) at 10pm EST / 7pm PST at the Moda Center.
For comparison, the Trail Blazers have won 12 straight games while the Pistons have lost nine of their last 11 games. For the Blazers, this will be the first game of a back-to-back while the Pistons are coming off a 120-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Last time these teams two faced each other at the beginning of February, Detroit was still in the honeymoon phase of the Blake Griffin era. The Pistons defeated the Blazers 120-113 and Griffin led the Pistons in scoring with 20 points while grabbing 9 boards and dishing 6 assists. Andre Drummond posted a monster double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Drummond also had 5 assists.
For the Blazers, Damian Lillard had solid game, posting 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists but the rest of the Blazers struggled from the floor. CJ McCollum only had 14 points while the rest of the starters combined for only 25 points.
In 11 career games against the Pistons, Lillard has averaged 22 points, 6.9 assists, and 4.8 rebounds while CJ McCollum in 6 career games has averaged 19.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.5 rebounds. As usual, the Pistons will need to limit the dynamic duo but that is easier said than done.
As a team, the Blazers have an offensive rating of 109.1 (13th of 30) while they boast the 6th best defensive rating in the league at 106.3. However, the Blazers also operate at a slow pace (18th of 30) so this helps skew this static. Either way, the Blazers are playing some of their best basketball of the season and the struggling Pistons will have their work cut out for them.
Probable Starting Lineup
PG: Ish Smith
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: James Ennis III
PF: Blake Griffin
C: Andre Drummond
Portland Trail Blazers
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: C.J. McCollum
SF: Maurice Harkless
PF: Al-Farouq Aminu
C: Jusuf Nurkic