TRAIL BLAZERS

JEROME KERSEY

6-foot-7 forward. From Longwood College in Farmville, Va., Kersey has emerged as the Trail Blazers' big scorer in the playoffs with a 21.3 average, up from 16.0 in the regular season. This will be his biggest challenge as he works the wings against the defensive master, Dennis Rodman.

BUCK WILLIAMS

6-8 forward. The former University of Maryland star has gone from the basement with the lowly New Jersey Nets to the finals with the soaring Trail Blazers. A consistent player defensively and offensively, he has reached double figures in rebounds and points in the playoffs six times. Also a member of the NBA's all-defensive team.

KEVIN DUCKWORTH

7-0 center. If Duckworth had missed the entire playoffs with a broken hand suffered late in the regular season, the Trail Blazers probably would be watching the finals from home. He returned for Game 7 against San Antonio and then scored 18 points in series-clinching Game 6 against the Suns.

CLYDE DREXLER

6-7 guard. After leading the Trail Blazers in scoring in the regular season (23.3), Drexler is struggling in the playoffs with a 19.8 average on 40.9-percent shooting. The rest of his game is fine with averages of 7.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.8 steals in the playoffs.

TERRY PORTER

6-3 guard. Porter showed that he is one of the most underrated and clutch players in the game, upping his scoring averrage from 17.3 in the regular season to 21.1 points in the playoffs. He can penetrate or effectively shoot the three-pointer. He will have the defensive task of harnessing Thomas, who also can beat the defense in many ways.

DRAZEN PETROVIC

6-5 guard. A rookie from Yugoslavia, Petrovic can score points in a hurry coming off the bench. In the Game 6 victory at Phoenix, he played nine minutes and scored 11 points on five-for-seven shooting. His playing time was limited against the Suns because of a bruised left thumb.

DANNY YOUNG

6-4 guard. As Porter's replacement, Young must run the show for 10 to 15 minutes a game. He's a good defensive player, but had zero-for-eight and zero-for-five shooting games against the Suns and is shooting just 38.6 percent for the playoffs.

CLIFF ROBINSON

6-10 forward. A rookie from Connecticut, he will relieve Williams or Kersey for short periods. He's not expected to score much, but he must rebound and keep the Pistons from big runs while the starters rest.

PISTONS

DENNIS RODMAN

6-foot-8 forward. The NBA's defensive player of the year will have the task of shutting down Jerome Kersey, the Trail Blazers' leading scorer in the playoffs (21.3 points per game). Offensively, Rodman is a transitional and base-line option player only, but he has provided 9.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs.

JAMES EDWARDS

7-1, forward/center. On offense, he's a post-up center. On the other end, he's an imposing defender. After an excellent second-round series against the New York Knicks (19.4 ppg), he struggled against Chicago and scored in double figures only three times in seven games.

BILL LAIMBEER

6-11 center. Opposing players and fans don't like him, but when he isn't whining to the officials or mixing it up in the lane, he draws his defender outside and is an effective long-range shooter. Buck Williams -- when guarded by Laimbeer -- will try to exploit Laimbeer's jumping ability.

JOE DUMARS

6-3 guard. Remember the finals last year? Dumars was the most valuable player, averaging 27.3 points against the Los Angeles Lakers. Known for his accurate jump shot and crafty drives, he had 20 or more points in five of seven games against Chicago. He's also a defensive specialist who gave Michael Jordan fits in the last series.

ISIAH THOMAS

6-1 guard. The best matchup of the series may be Thomas vs. Terry Porter. Thomas is explosive and exciting, Porter steady and consistent. In the playoffs, Thomas has averaged 18.7 ppg against Indiana, 18.4 vs. New York and 17.6 vs. Chicago.

VINNIE JOHNSON

6-2 guard. When Portland is worrying about Thomas and Dumars, "The Microwave" will be a concern. If he's connecting from long distance, look out. Lately he's been cold, going zero for 10 in Game 6 against Chicago and scoring less than 10 points in five consecutive games.

MARK AGUIRRE

6-6 forward. No longer prone to pouting, he has accepted a supporting role for the sake of playing for an NBA champion. Like Johnson, he is most effective when he is making the outside shot.

JOHN SALLEY

6-11, forward/center. After four seasons, Salley already is the Pistons' all-time playoff leader in blocked shots. He came off the bench for 14 points and five blocks in Game 7 against Chicago.