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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons Preview

The Blazers are back at home after a disaster of a road trip.

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (10-11) vs. Detroit Pistons (4-16)

After a rough three-game road trip without a single win, the Portland Trail Blazers look to bounce back against a struggling Detroit Pistons squad following a loss to the Utah Jazz 129-107. Anfernee Simons proved to be a bright spot for the Blazers against the Jazz, providing a season-high 24 points. Jusuf Nurkic also scored 24 points, alongside 10 rebounds and one assist. Detroit, meanwhile, comes to Portland after a close loss to the Los Angeles Lakers 110-106.

Tuesday, November 30 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: ROOT Sports, NBA League Pass
Blazers injuries: Norman Powell (out), Damian Lillard (out), Nassir Little (out)
Pistons injuries: Kelly Olynyk (out)
SBN Affiliate: Detroit Bad Boys

What To Watch For

The Record Says. The Blazers are 9-1 at home, while the Pistons are 2-8 on the road. Based on that fact alone, the advantage goes to the Trail Blazers. However, the Blazers are coming off of a road loss last night in Utah. That is not a lot of turnaround time or time for rest after a disappointing road trip.

Damian Lillard. After a pretty cold night in Salt Lake City, look for Damian Lillard to step up and take control of the game. He only scored 11 points in the game against the Jazz. While he has certainly had his struggles this season, he looked to be bouncing back from that. Being in front of a home crowd will likely help. Nevermind. Dame is taking the night off for rest, so look to see if CJ McCollum can step up in his absence.

Bench Spark. If all else fails, there will likely be energy from the bench to save the day. Anfernee Simons has shown he can be that guy, as has Nassir Little. Look for one or both to provide that extra juice the Blazers need on a night where they may not have any.

What Others Are Saying

Justin Lambregtse of Detroit Bad Boys notes that if Cade Cunningham gets hot, Lillard and McCollum will struggle.

For the Pistons, they are looking for Cade Cunningham to show some sign of life after a rough stretch shooting the ball over the last few games. He has also been plagued by turnovers during this stretch, which is the more concerning problem. If there is a game for him to break out of it, it is against the weak defensive backcourt of McCollum and Lillard. Neither player has the size to stop him from shooting over them and neither player is known for their defense. Both players will be a challenge for Cunningham and Killian Hayes on defense, but they shouldn’t have too many issues on offense.

Trey Lyles is stepping up for the Pistons, reports Steve Kornacki of the Detroit News.

Trey Lyles is draining treys from beyond the arc. The Detroit Pistons’ 6-foot-10 power forward has been playing some center, too, and grabbing big rebounds.

He’s been a valuable player coming off the bench since the start of the season, but his role has intensified on the team’s current five-game road trip that takes Detroit to Portland on Tuesday night.

Lyles has averaged 15 points, 6.3 rebounds and 18 minutes over the first three games in Milwaukee and Los Angeles against the Clippers and Lakers. He’s shooting .567 (17-30) from the field and .467 (7-15) behind the 3-point line in those games.

James L. Edwards III of the Athletic digs into the “good, bad and ugly” of the Pistons, noting their shooting efficiency is certainly not much to look at.

The ugly: Shooting efficiency

If you haven’t heard, the ball has refused to go into the basket for Detroit.

Per, the Pistons rank 27th in conversion on shots less than five feet from the basket; 26th in conversion on shots between five and nine feet; 30th in conversion on shots between 10 and 14 feet; 27th in conversion on shots between 15 and 19 feet; 29th in conversion on shots between 20 and 24 feet; and, last but certainly not least, 30th in the NBA in 3-point percentage (29.7).