After a promising start, the Indiana Pacers (5-6) have fallen back down below .500 following last night’s 117-112 home defeat against the New Orleans Pelicans. That’s now the Pacers’ third straight loss after winning three in a row. The Pacers got a solid performance from star big man Myles Turner who put up 21 points and 12 rebounds, but Victor Oladipo was disappointing with just 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting in 29 minutes of play.
The Detroit Pistons (7-3) are finally back in action following a lengthy three-day layoff. The last time they were on the court, they disposed of the Sacramento Kings, 108-99. Andre Drummond dominated in the paint with 16 points and 19 rebounds. Avery Bradley continued his recent scoring binge with a team-high 24 points, while Tobias Harris snapped out of his shooting funk to drop 20 points.
Three keys to the game
Freshness factor – Obviously, the Pistons will have the significant freshness factor over the Pacers, who will be on the second night of a back-to-back. Stan Van Gundy should have his team well-prepared for this matchup after so many days off.
Frontcourt battle – Drummond has been incredible recently. He’s averaging 14.6 points, 16.2 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks over his last five games. Oh, and he’s also shooting 77 percent from the line! After seeing DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis run the Pacers ragged last night, he and Harris will get their shot at an Indiana frontcourt which could still be shorthanded if Domas Sabonis isn’t able to recover from a calf contusion.
Bench production – Neither team possesses much in the way of depth, although the Pacers have a potential X-factor in Lance Stephenson. The Pacers guard has struggled offensively for much of the season, but he did come up with 14 points and 8 rebounds last night against the Pelicans. If Sabonis misses out once again, Stephenson will be crucial in providing at least some production from the Pacers’ second unit.
Matchup to watch
Victor Oladipo vs Avery Bradley – Bradley has been on quite a roll recently, dropping at least 23 points in three of his last four games. However, his defense will also be required to silence the Pacers’ main man, Oladipo, who has shot just 13-of-38 over his last two games.
Pacers projected starting lineup
PG – Darren Collison | SG – Victor Oladipo | SF – Bojan Bogdanovic | PF – Thaddeus Young | C – Myles Turner
Pistons projected starting lineup
PG – Reggie Jackson | SG – Avery Bradley | SF – Stanley Johnson | PF – Tobias Harris | C – Andre Drummond
After seeing how helpless the Pacers were against both Cousins and Davis, it’s hard not to see Drummond doing similar damage against them, especially on the second night of a back-to-back for Indiana. Anything less than 15 points and 15 rebounds along with some steals and blocks should frankly be considered a disappointment.
The Pacers will bounce back and break their losing skid eventually, but they likely aren’t going to do it in Detroit with all the things going against them. The Pistons should do just enough to keep their impressive run going at home.
The Pistons score their third-straight home win, 108-98, over the Pacers.
This game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit and Fox Sports Indiana. Tip-off at Little Caesars Arena is at 7:00 pm Eastern.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?