Andrew R Tonry | Friday, January 22, 2010 at 9:21PM
Time for an awkward talk with the Pistons' equipment manager.
The flight from Boston to Detroit takes about 90 minutes, so it's foreseaable that the Blazers will be able to get a decent amount of rest before the second night of a back-to-back.
They're going to need it.
Falling in an overtime heart-breaker to Boston Friday night, 98-95, several Blazers logged ridiculous minutes. Andre Miller played 47, as did LaMarcus Aldridge. Juwan Howard powered through 41, his most since 2007 (when he was STILL considered an aged vet).
Furthermore, the Blazers will need a little extra juice as they may well be without Jerryd Bayless, who sprained his ankle late in the first-half Friday at Boston. And of course, the Trail Blazers will miss Brandon Roy, who's back in Seattle getting a second opinion on his strained hamstring.
(And for all you conspiracy theorists, wondering why Roy went home, just stop--we can all agree on two things: 1.) there's no point in Roy huffing around with the team, traveling on back-to-backs when he needs rest. 2.) he's a bit of a prima donna in the Blazer world, and sending him back to his home-town of Seattle is almost like a mini-vacation, not a cause for concern.)
Luckily for the Roy-less (and perhaps Bayless-less) Blazers, Detroit played the night before as well. And they're terrible. Friday the Pistons were shellacked by listless Indiana Pacers, 105-93.
Indeed, the ups and downs of the Pistons under General Manager Joe Dumars is a case study in multiple identity theory. Has there ever been a GM so equally praised and condemned? He built a superstar-less team that won an improbable championship, yet drafted Darko. He signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to laughably atrocious deals, yet has continually found talent deep in the draft. Dumars is like no other--at times brilliant, at others a drooling sloth.
Whatever the history books finally decide, in the immediate, this is an important game for Portland. Finishing two-and-two on an east coast swing without Brandon Roy has got to be seen as a success (even if that loss at Washington still brings up bile in my throat). One and three, on the other hand, is not what playoff teams do.
TV: CSN 37