Portland Trail Blazers (48-27) at Detroit Pistons (38-37)
March 30 - 4:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: CJ McCollum (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out)
Pistons injuries: None
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
How to stream: YouTube Live TV, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live TV, FuboTV, NBA League Pass (outside of Portland)
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Detroit Bad Boys
The Portland Trail Blazers take on the Detroit Pistons following a win over the Atlanta Hawks 118-98. The victory in Atlanta is the sixth straight win for the Blazers. Damian Lillard had 36 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 17 points alongside 11 rebounds. Though Atlanta tried to make a comeback, Portland pulled ahead and closed out the game with ease. The last time Portland took on Detroit, the Blazers emerged victorious; that said, the game against Detroit is the second in a travel back-to-back.
The Detroit Pistons host the Trail Blazers after a victory over the Orlando Magic 115-98. Wayne Ellington had a hot third quarter to put the Pistons in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the game, notching 17 of his 25 points. Andre Drummond had 18 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks, while Blake Griffin had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons. They could take advantage of a tired Blazers squad.
What to watch for
- Fatigue. Though the Blazers perked up a bit against the Hawks, this is the second game in a travel back-to-back. Energy is going to be key to a win against the Pistons.
- Scoring by committee. Due to the continuing absence of CJ McCollum and now Jusuf Nurkic, other players will have to step up. So far, it has been a rotating cast of players: everyone is getting their hands on the ball. Whoever lifts the Blazers up against the Pistons may be a surprise.
- Cookin’ Curry. Seth Curry has had some quite hot performances lately. He logged 16 points against the Detroit Pistons last time these two teams met up. Look for him to continue to contribute when given the opportunity. When Curry gets hot, it helps the short-handed Blazers’ chances of earning a win.
What they’re saying
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press looks at the contributions Wayne Ellington has made to this Pistons squad as they battle for an Eastern Conference playoff spot:
“We know what’s at stake,” Ellington said Thursday. “We know what we’re looking at. That was our mentality. Come out and hit first. The way we finished the Denver game was the way we wanted to come out tonight.”
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN examines the notorious Bad Boys who won the title for Detroit:
The notorious Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s rip on each other and laugh it up like they’re still on the team bus heading to Chicago Stadium. Only now they’re spread out all over the country -- or in Dennis Rodman’s case sometimes, the world -- and busting on each other in a group text.
Over at Detroit Bad Boys, Christopher Daniels and crew discuss the remainder of the schedule as Detroit approaches the playoffs:
Seemingly out of nowhere what seemed like an ESPN Playoff BPI lock is now a 5 team free-for-all for the last three spots with only 2.5 games separating the Brooklyn Nets in sixth and the Charlotte Hornets in 10th place. The Pistons have lost three straight — albeit to very tough teams on the road — and the other teams that are supposed to be helpful and lose their way out of contention like Charlotte and Orlando just aren’t cooperating.