The Detroit Piston have a surprisingly good one-two punch at point guard. Rodney Stuckey (17ppg) and Will Bynum (14ppg) are both very capable of scoring but not especially good at distributing. We'll have to work hard to stop these guys offensively but I like Andre Miller in this game thanks to his veteran mentality. Bayless probably needs to get some run just for defensive purposes. I'm going with the Piston tandem.
With Rip Hamilton out, Ben Gordon gets full time duties at shooting guard (22.4ppg). He's very short for a shooting guard which bodes well for Portland's three guard starting line-up. Steve Blake has no chance of stopping him though. This could be a struggle. Will Bynum will also back-up Gordon, and as I said, he's a great scorer. I just hope Rudy and Steve can spread the floor and hit their shots to make these Pistons work hard defensively.
Brandon Roy had a relatively tough time in Atlanta on Monday. The Hawks focused in and held him under 20 points. Tonight they'll throw different guys at him but I see Roy being successful no matter what. The very lanky Austin Daye (Go Zags!) and much bigger Jonas Jarebko will try to defend our all-star. I just hope Martell will keep rounding into game shape, he hasn't looked quite right yet.
|LaMarcus has been a bit inconsistent in his play this year; offensively he's hot and cold but the effort on the boards seems to be there. Tonight is a great opportunity for 20 and 10 at home. Charlie Villanueva is usually a machine in the scoring department (16.7ppg), so I expect him to score plenty. But the combination of LA and Howard should be enough tonight.|
Greg Oden played well throughout the last 5-game road trip. He was confident and I think he'll finally bring that little bit of swagger back to Portland. With the aging Ben Wallace in the game, he'll be dealing with a tough defender but he should be able to rebound the heck out of the ball. I also like Przybilla to destroy the worst number one pick of all time in Kwame Brown. Blazers get this win at home!