The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Toronto Raptors 117-112 in their last game to register their third win on the trot. The win saw their season record improve to 28-18, further strengthening their hold on sixth spot in the West standings.
The Detroit Pistons also faced the Raptors in their last game and beat them 118-104. The victory saw the Pistons register just their 13th win of the season as they continue to be ranked last in the Eastern Conference standings.
Fixture: Portland Trail Blazers vs Detroit Pistons | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 31, 2021; 7:00 PM ET (Thursday, April 1st, 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers have been on a roll lately, winning 10 of their last 14 games.
The Blazers had to deal with several injury problems before the All-Star break, but much to their aid, they are now finally a much healthier-looking squad with the return of starters CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic to the lineup.
Both stars have hit the ground running since making their comebacks, providing talisman Damian Lillard with much-needed support. The recent addition of Norman Powell at the trade deadline has also bolstered the squad.
The Portland Trail Blazers have had the second-best offensive rating (119.1) post the All-Star break and have established themselves as one of the best teams on that front lately.
However, their defense has been the worst in the league during that stretch with a 120.6 rating, which is something they do need to improve going forward.
Key Player - Robert Covington
Robert Covington will be a crucial player for the Portland Trail Blazers for this matchup.
His performances on the scoring front haven't been that great this campaign, but he is still a vital cog in Terry Stotts' side because of his abilities as a defender.
His main challenge on the night will be to contain the Detroit Pistons' best player Jerami Grant as much as possible to make sure the Blazers don't slip to a shock defeat.
Covington is currently leading the Blazers in steals and blocks per game averages at 1.6 and 1.7 respectively.
Point Guard - Damian Lillard l Shooting Guard - CJ McCollum l Small Forward - Norman Powell l Power Forward - Robert Covington l Center - Jusuf Nurkic.
Detroit Pistons Preview
The rebuilding Detroit Pistons might not have the results to show for it, but they are doing an excellent job with the development of their young players so far.
In their last game against the Toronto Raptors, their rookies were on fire and were the architects of their win.
Rookies Sadiq Bey and Sabon Lee, along with youngster Hamidou Diallo scored 19 points each in that game, on a night where the likes of Jerami Grant, Wayne Ellington and Mason Plumlee all had quiet outings for the Detroit Pistons.
Head coach Dwane Casey will be hoping the whole squad clicks in the next game as it could help the Pistons pull off an upset over the mighty Portland Trail Blazers.
Key Player - Jerami Grant
Jerami Grant has been a revelation this season and is the the best performer on the Detroit Pistons roster so far.
The former Nuggets star is averaging a career-best 23 points per game this campaign and is also one of the frontrunners to land the NBA's Most Improved Player of the Year award.
He hasn't been in the best of form in his last two outings, though, and will be hoping to put up a better performance in the next game.
His performance will hold the key to the Detroit Pistons' chances of winning this tie, as the Blazers are a strong opponent.
Point Guard - Saben Lee l Shooting Guard - Wayne Ellington l Small Forward - Saddiq Bey l Power Forward - Jerami Grant l Center - Mason Plumlee.
Blazers vs Pistons Match Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers will head into this matchup as the overwhelming favorites owing to their recent form.
However, the Detroit Pistons are an unpredictable team and have beaten top sides this season despite being the underdogs on all occasions.
With both sides beating the same opposition in their respective last games, it will be interesting to see how they match up against each other next.
Where to watch Blazers vs Pistons?
The game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons will be televised locally on Fox Sports Detroit and NBC Sports Northwest. Fans can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.