Portland Trail Blazers (30-21) vs. Detroit Pistons (16-36)
The Portland Trail Blazers are at home in the Moda Center tonight, taking on the Detroit Pistons. Portland is coming off two tough losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz. It seems the Blazers are struggling when it comes to contending teams, which may end up hurting them considering a large majority of the remaining schedule has the team facing major contenders. But tonight they’re looking for a win against the Pistons who are currently ranked 15 in the Eastern Conference.
Saturday, April 10 - 7:00 p.m. PT
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW, NBA League Pass or see games all season on fuboTV
Blazers injuries: Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out)
Pistons injuries: Mason Plumlee (day to day), Jerami Grant (day to day), Wayne Ellington (day to day), Rodney McGruder (out)
SBN Affiliate: Detroit Bad Boys
What To Watch For
- Dame and Norm. Adding Norman Powell to Portland’s roster has proven to be a good move — he has been bringing a lot to the team night after night. It’s also been a fun move for Portland fans as Powell is a dynamic player with a bit of fire. Powell seems to be a great fit with Blazers star Damian Lillard and that duo is one to watch going forward.
- Pistons’ Rookies. Killian Hayes and Isaiah Steward are proving to be solid pick ups for Detroit. In their last game against the Sacramento Kings, the two played like they’d been in the league for years. But will they be able to keep that up against Portland’s veterans?
- An “easy” win. Portland is currently ranked 6th in the Western Conference. The Pistons are currently ranked 15th (last) in the Eastern Conference. The Blazers have been winning the games they’re supposed to, and this is a game that by all accords, they should win.
What Others Are Saying
Piston’s rookie, Killian Hayes is back after a tough injury and, according to Enbiejowiec of Detroit Bad Boys—he’s better than before:
In his seventh game, Killian injured his hip, and there was a chance his rookie year was already over. Now, Killian is back, and he is showing some welcome improvements along with some regression.
The ability to create separation and shake his defender off the dribble is still there. But now it’s matched with much better finishing. In three games since coming back from injury, Hayes is 7-of-10 on shots from the lane.
The Trail Blazers have been struggling against contending teams, and they know it. Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian quoted Lillard and head coach Terry Stotts:
“This is one of our best years winning the games that we feel like we’re supposed to win,” Lillard said. “But when we play against the top-level teams, we don’t play well. We get put away.”
Portland coach Terry Stotts said the Blazers simply are not where they need to be in order to compete against the top teams.
“There’s obviously a gap where we need to close between now and the playoffs,” Stotts said. “And it’s going to be a challenge. But that’s part of what we have to do.”