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Pistons vs. Trailblazers: All the Achilles

Another late night rollercoaster.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Game Vitals

Where: Moda Center

When: Friday, March 13, 2015, 10PM EST

Watch: FSD, the inside of your eyelids (if you are wise and go to sleep)

Analysis of the Depressed Variety

Losing eight straight in a row is not fun, but at least the Pistons did not make a total mockery of themselves in a spirited performance in Golden State.  There was even a slight hint of "hang on, we can win this" before Klay Thompson woke up and started hitting ridiculous threes to key an 18-2 run after the Pistons were up 81-79 in the fourth.  Andre Drummond had a monster game, even despite the NBA's meddling, and finished with 22 points and 25 rebounds (15 offensive; the NBA took 2 away), while Greg Monroe added 20 and 9 rebounds.  Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27, but the Pistons put in a much better performance than the s**tfest they offered up in LA the night before.

The Pistons still had a chance in the last few minutes, but the point guard rotation has been ruthlessly exposed by opposing point guards.  Reggie Jackson, who has been playing around 35 minutes a night, is still only seemingly effective for 20 or so minutes, much like he was in Oklahoma City.  Either he is not used to/ready to be a starter yet, or he just doesn't have the conditioning, because it is usually his second halves which are his downfall.  It's no comfort that the options behind him are a rookie who shoots 13% from three, and a D-League veteran who makes D.J. Augustin look 6'5".  And tonight, they get to take turns guarding Damian Lillard, Steve Blake and maybe C.J. McCollum.  Fun.

Portland are on a one-game winning streak.  After being embarrassed in Minnesota, they took their frustrations out on the Houston Rockets, defeating them 105-100.  Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge both had monster games, the former finishing with 31 points whie LMA added 26 and 15 rebounds.  Portland now sit at 42-20, and despite Wes Matthews going down, their now fortuitous acquisition of Arron Afflalo has them primed for a strong ending to the season.

TRIVIA TIME!!! Greg Monroe leads the Eastern Conference in 20-point, 10-rebound games since the 2011-12 season.  How many games has he had, and who is second on the list?  Answer as always after the community question.

Players To Watch

Pistons: Reggie Jackson.

I'm starting to feel the same way about Reggie as I did with Josh Smith.  What I mean is that, every game I'm thinking, "Oh maybe this is the game he plays really well."  So far, no dice.

Blazers: Nicolas Batum

All the other positions have a relatively equal matchup, if Reggie decides to play defense against Damian Lillard.  The one position where there is an obvious mismatch is at small forward.  Nicolas Batum, despite having a down year statistically, is still a danger due to his versatility and ability to handle and make plays from the forward position.

Last Time We Met

9 December 2014, Trailblazers won 98-86 (season series 1-0 POR)

This game was the lowpoint of the season, the 13th straight loss and 10th straight home loss.  Luckily for the Pistons, not a lot of people cared enough to go to the Palace that night (just under 13,000).  Greg Monroe had 22 points and 10 rebounds while Andre Drummond added 10 and 15 boards.  LaMarcus Aldridge led the Raptors with 23 and 11 rebounds.


-- Pistons guard Jodie Meeks (2012-14) and Pistons forward Shawne Williams (2013-14)

played with Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake for the L.A. Lakers.

-- Meeks and Williams also played with Portland center Chris Kaman last season for the


-- Kaman was born in Grand Rapids, MI and played collegiately at Central Michigan

University from 2000-03.

-- Trail Blazers guard Arron Afflalo was drafted No. 27 overall by the Pistons in the 2007 NBA Draft and played for Detroit until 2009.

-- Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy coached Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright in Miami from 2004-06.

-- Wright also played with Pistons center Joel Anthony from 2007-10 for the Miami Heat

Score Prediction

Umm, win?  The 18 game win streak starts tonight.

Pistons 112 - 105 Blazers

Lineup Prediction

Pistons: Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, Butler, Monroe, Drummond

Blazers: Lillard, Afflalo, Batum, Aldridge, Lopez

Injured/In Doubt

Pistons: Jennings (Achilles)

Blazers: Matthews (Achilles)

Community Question

Do you believe in the 18 game win streak?

TRIVIA ANSWER: Greg Monroe has had 50 20-10 games since 2011-12 to lead the Eastern Conference.  LeBron James is second with 46.

For an enemy perspective please visit Blazer's Edge.