NBA: Detroit Pistons at Portland Blazers Preview & Picks Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Tuesday, 13 November 2007 13:00
NBA Headline News

Pistons in Portland

Since the Portland Trail Blazers traded away Rasheed Wallace, they've yet to beat him or the Detroit Pistons at the Rose Garden.

Wallace and the Pistons will go for their fifth straight win in Portland on Tuesday, looking to continue a streak that began about two weeks after Wallace arrived in Detroit in February 2004.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Detroit -5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 189 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 94% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Blazers dealt Wallace to Atlanta that month, and the Hawks sent him to Detroit about a week later. Since then, Portland (3-3) has given its roster a complete makeover, and its current starting five has an average age about seven years younger than Detroit's.

Even with two of their big names - Greg Oden and Darius Miles - recovering from microfracture knee surgery, Portland's young group will be looking for its fourth straight win Tuesday. The Blazers only had one winning streak of four or longer all of last season.

After starting 2007-08 with road losses at San Antonio, New Orleans and Houston, the Blazers have allowed just 90.0 points per game in winning three straight at home.

Brandon Roy has averaged 23.7 points during the run, and on a night when he officially received his Rookie of the Year trophy from last season, Roy scored a career-high 32 and had seven assists in a 91-82 win over Dallas Saturday - Portland's first over the Mavericks in 14 tries.

"I think Brandon had one of his better games from wire-to-wire. I didn't think he forced it," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "I thought he developed a flow to his game throughout."

Second-year forward LaMarcus Aldridge has also emerged as a force during the homestand, averaging 20.0 points per game. Aldridge, a 6-foot-11 forward who averaged 9.0 points last season, matched a career high with 30 against Memphis last week.

Thirty has a different significance for Detroit - it's the average age of the Pistons' starting five, compared to 23 for Portland. But they've been churning out wins regardless, including a 3-1 mark on the road to start this season.

The Pistons are in the midst of a five-game West Coast swing, which they started with a 107-103 win at Seattle Sunday. Detroit (5-1) squandered a 23-point lead, but still held on for the win behind 32 points from Richard Hamilton and 15 points and 15 rebounds from Antonio McDyess.

"We had spurts of great basketball," Hamilton said. "Early in the season, it's really tough to put 48 minutes together. But I thought we did a great job."

Hamilton, Detroit's scoring leader the last five seasons, again tops the Pistons' balanced attack. After missing the first two games of the season to tend to a family matter, he's averaged 20.3 points.

Five other Pistons average at least 9.0 points per game, including Wallace (15.3) and Chauncey Billups (17.5).

Portland and Detroit are two of the better-shooting teams in the NBA. The Blazers are making 46.7 percent of their shots from the field to rank sixth in the league, just ahead of the Pistons' 46.4 percent.

The Blazers are 2-6 in their last eight games against Detroit, with both wins coming on the road. Wallace has averaged just 11.5 points in four visits to Portland since being traded.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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