clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pistons vs. Pacers preview: Two franchises battling injuries face off AGAIN

New, comments

Pacers have lost two to Detroit already but have won 4 of 5.

Indiana Pacers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s time for your weekly Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers game, but without most of the people fans were hoping to see! Feel the excitement. Detroit has bested the Pacers the two previous contests but Indiana looks like it’s righting the ship. Both teams, however, are dealing with a nearly comic amount of injuries to major players. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Indianapolis, Indiana
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit+

Analysis

This game is really all about the injury reports. You know the Pistons maladies well.

Blake Griffin — Out (Hamstring)
Reggie Jackson — Out (Back)
Derrick Rose — Out (Hamstring)
Tim Frazier — Doubtful (Shoulder)

Three point guards and the team’s best player. Just wonderful.

What you might be less aware of is just how banged up the Pacers are as well.

Victor Oladipo — Out (Quadricep)
Myles Turner — Questionable (Ankle)
Jeremy Lamb — Out (Ankle)
Goga Bitadze — Out (Concussion)
Edmond Summers — Out (Hand)

That’s their best player, starting center, key wing and their backup rookie center who has looked good. Plus Edmond Summers, which, shrug emoji.

Still, there will be SOME players on the floor for this game so it makes sense to breakdown who will be out their trying to carry their undermanned team to victory. For Detroit it’s all about Andre Drummond. He’s rebounding everything, blocking shots, scoring efficiently, deflecting passes and dishing assists.

Somehow, Dre being the sun by which the entire Detroit offense rotates around has worked. Detroit has the second-best overall shooting percentage and fourth-best 3-point percentage in the NBA. While few can create shots for themselves they have taken advantage of the catch-and-shoot opportunities given to them.

Tony Snell, following a nuclear performance against the New York Knicks, is hitting 45% of his 3s, Luke Kennard sits at 42% and Langston Galloway is at 41%. Even Markieff Morris, who I have been extremely critical of, is hitting a decent enough 37%.

They still rank just 13th in offensive efficiency because they can’t take care of the damn ball. And nobody outside of Drummond can grab an offensive rebound.

On the Indiana side of the ledger, Malcom Brogdon is carrying the offense, leading the team in shots, averaging 9.9 assists, five rebounds and sporting a spicy 59.2 true shooting percentage.

TJ Warren, who the Pacers were able to steal from the Suns, is also getting untracked after some serious early season struggles. With those two playing effectively on the perimeter Domantas Sabonis is feasting inside. The big man is averaging 12.3 rebounds with 53% of his shots coming within three feet of the basket (where he’s converting at a healthy 72.9% clip).

The Pacers also play stout defense and generate a lot of steals, which could pose serious problems for the mistake-prone Pistons. They also typically live in the paint, but we’ll see what Drummond is able to say about that.

Projected Starters

Detroit

Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard, Tony Snell, Markieff Morris, Andre Drummond

Pacers

Malcolm Brogdon, Aaron Holiday, TJ Warren, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner

Question of the Game

What can Markieff Morris and Tony Snell do for an encore after lighting up the New York Knicks?

Bonus Question

Poll

Will this be the final game before Blake Griffin returns to the lineup?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Yes
    (36 votes)
  • 57%
    Hell yes
    (48 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now