Game tips at 7:00 pm ET (note: NBA League Pass is Offering a Free Trial through January 24)
Detroit Pistons: 15-26 (11-9 home, -4.6 margin)
Indiana Pacers: 14-28 (4-18 road, -5.5 margin)
As a result of some bizarre offseason moves, the Pacers are sitting near the Eastern Conference basement. In many ways, their season has been reminiscent of the Pistons, only they can't blame injuries.
To some degree, the Pacers have fallen victim to the increased emphasis on defending the three point line. None of their shooters rates above 40%, and they are only shooting 33% as a team.
The Pacers have also been plagued by injuries. Mike Dunleavy, one of the teams most potent offensive threats, was injured to start the season, and has failed to regain his shooting stroke since. As such, Danny Granger remains the lone offensive weapon, a fact reflected by his reduced TS% of 54.5 (his lowest in four seasons).
The Pacers organization had made a concerted effort to avoid any sort of drama. They are now the most boring team in any sport.
Keys for Detroit
Force the outside game - Granger averages 8.3 attempts from outside the three point line. I don't see any reason to deny him the opportunity.
Feed it to Charlie V. inside- This is not specific to Indiana, but for crying out loud, the dude is unstoppable from 15 ft. in. I say this as a guy who never bought into the notion that Rasheed Wallace was unstoppable from the inside. Stuckey should refuse to pass to him unless he is inside the three-point line. Tough love wins.
Stop Roy Hibbert - I've got an inkling this guy is about to go nuts. When he enters the game, stop him. 15 rebounds from Hibbert = lose.
Question of the Game
Detroit is a substantial favorite in this one. Coming off a difficult victory, can Stuckey % Co. pick off a weaker opponent?
Go visit. Indy Cornrows. Don't worry, it's not an AI fan site.