The Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers are scheduled to meet at the Moda Center in Portland on Saturday night. The Pistons are on the road for two more games to complete this five-game road trip. They have two wins in three games with victories against the OKC Thunder, 132-108, and Sacramento Kings, 113-101.
Sandwiched between those two wins was a 134-119 loss against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. It was a nice response for the Pistons to come back on Thursday night for an impressive performance against the Kings in Sacramento. Cory Joseph scored a season-high 24 points against the Pistons in that game.
The Pistons acquired Joseph from the Kings in a deal that saw Delon Wright go to Sacramento. When Cory Joseph is your go-to player, you know that things aren’t going too well for a team. Jerami Grant has been the go-to option for the Pistons this season, but he missed the Kings game with a knee injury. Grant has become the focal point of the Pistons, and would certainly look great on a contender right about now.
Grant isn’t scheduled to play against the Trail Blazers in Portland tonight. He has been ruled out because of his knee. There is no reason for the Pistons to rush him back and aggravate the injury even more. The Pistons should be content with tanking and damaging their record of 16-36 some more. They are currently third from last in the NBA, so their chances of winning the draft lottery isn’t too bad.
The Trail Blazers are coming off a couple of tough spots against the LA Clippers, 133-116, and Utah Jazz, 122-103. Those were two big tests for the Trail Blazers, and they failed in both instances. The Blazers weren’t close in those attempts to beat top-ranked opponents like the Clippers and Jazz. That measuring stick didn’t go according to plan for the Blazers.
Including those two losses, the Blazers were 127-109 losers against the Milwaukee Bucks four games ago. They did beat up on a bad Thunder team, 133-85, and will look to do the same against another inferior challenger tonight. Note that Jusuf Nurkic will not play for injury management. Head below for our free Pistons vs. Trail Blazers pick on April 10, 2021.
Detroit Pistons vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Betting Odds:
Pistons vs. Trail Blazers Prediction:
The Pistons didn’t need Jerami Grant to beat the Kings. They had Cory Joseph coming through with his best game of the year in a “revenge” spot against the team that just traded him to Detroit. However, Joseph is not a player that you can count on to show up like that every night. Grant is not making his return in Portland tonight. In other words, I think somebody else is going to need a season-high performance to pull off the upset.
That guy could be Saddiq Bey who has been coming on nicely for the Pistons. The 22-year-old scored 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting against the Nuggets, so he is capable of having a productive outing. The problem for the Pistons is that they are likely going to be seeing a hungry Trail Blazers team this evening. Portland just had really poor performances against the Clippers and Jazz.
I’m sure they are looking to take their frustration out on somebody, and the Pistons present the perfect opponent to blow out. The Pistons are 25th in the NBA with 107.6 points per game on 44.8% shooting. Without Grant in the lineup, the Pistons are a sub-105 point per game team. Like I said, depending on a player like Joseph to come up with another big performance isn’t realistic.
If the Pistons are going to keep this game close, it’s going to have to happen against a beatable Portland defense. However, I don’t believe they have the firepower to pull it off tonight. The Blazers are 27th in the NBA with 115.3 points against per game, but scoring 115 points per game for fifth in the league. In their last five, they’ve registered 117 points per game. With Grant on the shelf for the Pistons, and the Blazers likely focused after two losses, this one should turn into a blowout in Portland.