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Trail Blazers In Detroit To Face Pistons

11/26/12
  1. Written by: erikgundersen  / avg. rating: 4.0

    After losing a tough game in Brooklyn on Sunday, where they led at halftime and had a lead in the second half, the Trail Blazers must now travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Monday. That game will start at 4:30 PM at the Palace of Auburn Hills. It will be shown on CSNNW and can be heard on 1190 KEX and 102.3 FM.

    In their previous game, the Trail Blazers were without their All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and they suffered offensively late in the game. The Nets were able to neutralize the Trail Blazers backcourt who had been doing a lot of damage. By not having to worry about Aldridge or even consider sending an extra defender into the post, the Nets were able to focus entirely on the Portland backcourt and it was a successful strategy. The Pistons are by no means a good defensive team, but if the Trail Blazers are without Aldridge, it will be tough for Portland. Aldridge told our own Casey Holdahl that he would "most likely" play against Detroit. He is still likely to be a game-time decision. That is good news for Portland for what is a very winnable game against three-win Pistons team.

        •    After losing their first eight games, the Pistons have gone 3-3 in the following six. This is the second game of a back-to-back for both teams and both teams are traveling to Detroit after having played in New York (the Pistons played the Knicks, Trail Blazers played the Nets). Two of the three Detroit wins have come on their home floor, against Boston and Toronto. The Pistons rank in the bottom third in the league in offensive and defensive efficiency. However, they do have many good players capable of causing the Trail Blazers a lot of trouble.

        •    Greg Monroe is one of the best centers in the league and also the league's best kept secret at that position. Lacking the personality of say, DeMarcus Cousins, Monroe quietly puts up All-Star type numbers for the lowly Pistons. Monroe is dangerous around the basket. According to HoopData, Monroe averages over 14 field goal attempts per game but eight of those come at the rim. That is troubling news for a Trail Blazers team that is 26th in the league in allowing shots at the rim. Hopefully for Portland they will have LaMarcus Aldridge, who is a capable rim protector and shot-changer. Not to mention, having Aldridge will provide the Trail Blazers with an answer offensively to whatever Monroe may give the Pistons.

        •    After losing a game they were in a position to win, the Trail Blazers are likely examining what went wrong. One of the things that the Trail Blazers didn't have was an efficient shooting night from Damian Lillard. Yes, Lillard was three of five from the three-point line but he was one for seven on all other shots from the field. The physical nature of Deron Williams and the type of game it was seemed to throw Lillard off. This sets the stage for Lillard to bounce back strongly against a below average defense in Detroit, who are coming off giving up 121 points to the Knicks on Sunday. Lillard, the Trail Blazers' leading scorer coming into the game, can ill afford to have more shooting nights like the one he had against Brooklyn. He should be in for a good game against the Pistons.

        •    Meyers Leonard got his second start of his career in the Brooklyn game. If Aldridge is going to play against Detroit, he will be moved back to the bench. However, his match-up against Detroit's back-up center will be one pitting lottery picks against each other. Detroit took Andre Drummond with the ninth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and Leonard was taken 11th. Drummond's per 36 minute numbers (15 points, 11 rebounds) give many a reason to believe he should be playing more than the 16 minutes he is currently averaging. Especially with Jason Maxiell getting 25. Other "advanced" metrics also like Drummond as he is currently 12th in the league in Player Efficiency Rating according to HoopData. Leonard played well early against Brooklyn, especially offensively, but the Trail Blazers need him to make an impact on the glass as well as defensively. Leonard going against Drummond will be the best match-up to watch when the second unit for each team is on the floor.


     

     



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