Grant, Simons Spearhead Trail Blazers win over Pistons

Behind two par-30s from Jerami Grant (36 points) and Anfernie Simmons (30 points), Portland Trail Blazers Put the young Detroit Pistons For an early bed at 135-105 Monday night crush.

Four Blazers scored in double figures. Shaydon Sharpe scored 10 or more points for the 14th time in his young 35-game career, and was a respectable competition for his contemporary rookie forward in Jaden Ivey.

Grant stole the show early and was a pillar of consistency from the whistle until the game got out of hand. Damian Lillard started very slow, but in all-star fashion he found a way to score 19 points in two quarters of play.

The Pistons looked like a young team, and while Bojan Bogdanovic and Hamidou Diallo gained early leads, the well-equipped Blazers took over and never looked back. The game actually ended long before the final whistle, and Portland picked up its second win in three games after a hard-fought loss to the shorthand team. Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

Highway to Reem

The Blazers and Pistons both successfully drove to the basket in the first half. Bojan Bogdanović has made a living hitting the baseline, finishing right and left powerfully and purposefully. It was their entire offense in the first 12 minutes of play. Detroit finished the half with 41 of their 52 points coming in the paint or at the goal line. Despite the traffic jam, the Pistons made sure to take responsibility for being aggressive, and most of their offense resulted from that. Unfortunately for them, the long ball didn’t fall, as they led 30 percent deep and weren’t assisted by a paltry 40.4 percent from the floor. Josh Hart pressed Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart in the transition and half of the field, worried that no man would be left in his quest for the rack. Portland had a multi-phase attack, but it was their hustle in transition that helped spur their comeback, as they scored 15 of their 61 points at the break.

Lemonade from a lemon

Portland finished the first half 15-0 behind heroics from Grant and Drew Eubanks. The defense led the offense, the ball was moving, and both players made great decisions with The Rock. Lillard went scoreless for the first 17 minutes of the ball game, but Rip City found a way to make plenty of lemonade out of their lemons. Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups went deep 11 years and found contributions from a handful of players.

I’m looking for a mustache

Sharpe caught a fake hit from Gary Payton second in the first period. Its tip was well above the tip, and the tomahawk delivered a hard dunk. This may be the highlight of his young career so far.

Grant from deb

Grant isn’t just a good indie season out of the post-arc. He was one of the best shooters in the NBA, with consistent production through and through. His 44% shot from long distance is No. 9 in the league, and he showed it tonight. Whether he was pulling up or catching and shooting—whether his fingertips were flush with the lining of the ball or he barely had a chance to set himself up—Grant was all his money from the 3-point line, and picked up from where he was left in the first half in convincing fashion.

hifi league

If you’re a Pistons fan who wandered into the wrong SB Nation outpost, or you’re a Blazers fan who appreciates talent from all over the league, you might have high expectations for Jaden Ivey. The up-and-coming talent showcased moments that made you go, “It could be that guy.” On one play, he went over 80 feet and was blasted by several defenders, even leaving Lillard in the dust, before sadly smoking the ball. All his tangibles – speed, strength, footwork – are all there. But he showed his rookie status. With time, if and when she starts to polish, Ivy should be an issue in the league. To the Blazers’ delight, they managed to contain him well, despite scoring in double digits. His -24 plus/minus value was a handicap for his team to cling to the lead or chip away at what they’ve lost, but it was fairly effective in catching contact and getting to the line.

Pouch alert

In less than five minutes, from the end of the third quarter into the fourth, Anfernee Simons had 11 points. They were crafty 11 points, too. Simmons continued a season long streak of owning the third quarter and coming up strong in the closing stages of the game.

traditional rules

There were no eye-catching training moves from either side tonight. Portland’s stunning dribbling on the flanks, plus screens in the middle of the floor and having guards like Simmons and Hart looping towards the basket, receiving passes from the ball handler on the powerful side wing. Detroit played passing passes fairly well, but this was one of the most used types of plays of the night for Rip City.

On the other end, Detroit fell in love with the position, as their two-center lineup dwarfed the Blazers’ front field. Almost everyone in the starting lineup seems to have found themselves with their back to the basket at one point or another in the game, and they’ve made the inside their priority.

Portland did not use their area all night. They had one play where Simmons camped low as a double-man, but in turn lost his man on the play, scrambling, freeing Bogdanovich for his easiest bucket of the night, a 26-footer.

within the numbers

Detroit’s six three-pointers reached their worst score from the range all season. Surprisingly, they’ve photographed just under 41.5 percent of their section of Earth eight times this year. Portland owned them in moving the ball, won the passing battle 29-16, and doubled them in steals, 16-8—a season high for the Blazers. Portland’s 57.1% field goal percentage was the third best in the 2022-23 campaign. This was also the 15th time they had a three-point percentage of 40 or better.


square score

Trailblazers have a date with Minnesota Timberwolves On the road this Wednesday, January 4th at 5:00 PM PST. Minnesota is 4-6 in its last 10 games and 10-9 at home. Portland will look to lose the Wolves again at the target position, and improve to 20-17 on the season. The Blazers are currently only two games out of the No. 4 seed Dallas Mavericks.

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