Saturday, January 21 2012
Portland TrailBlazers vs Detroit Pistons Live
7:30 PM ET
The Portland Trail Blazers definitely got back on the right track against the Toronto Raptors Friday night (Jan. 20), but now have to turn around and play the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night (Jan. 21). Such is the life of a long road trip and this will mark the sixth game that the Blazers have had on the current one.
Hopefully the game against the Pistons is a continuation of the LaMarcus Aldridge show that took place Friday night. Aldridge finished with 33 points and 23 rebounds, posting the first 30-20 game of his NBA career. He helped lead the Blazers to a pretty easy 94-84 win that helped the team improve to 9-6 on the season.
Now it's time to play a Pistons team that is struggling just as much as Toronto. The Pistons have a 3-13 record, including a four-game losing streak that got exacerbated by a blowout loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday (Jan. 20). It showcased the problems that the Pistons have had on offense, with the team only scoring 81 points on the night. Hopefully that's exactly what takes place against the Blazers.
Point guard Rodney Stuckey is out with a sore groin and Charlie Villanueva is inactive, shortening the depth that the team has to work with. The starters are likely Greg Monroe at center, Ben Wallace at power forward , Tayshaun Prince at small forward , Ben Gordon at shooting guard and rookie Brandon Knight at point guard. It is possible that Jonas Jerebko gets the start instead of Wallace, but Wallace was the guy on Friday night.
This is the only time that the Blazers and Pistons will play in the 2011-12 NBA season, with game time set for 4:30 p.m. PT. The hope is that the Blazers don't come out lethargic in the second game of a back-to-back and the sixth game of this road trip in just nine days. The team could look ahead to returning to Oregon for a game on Monday (Jan. 23) against the Sacramento Kings, but it's up to coach Nate McMillan to make sure that doesn't happen.
There is no aspect of the match-ups in this game that favor Detroit, as the Blazers are better at every starting position and have more depth and talent off the bench. This is absolutely a game that has to end up in the win column so that the Blazers can get back into the race for a Western Conference playoff spot.