Sombody, or many somebodies, are going to watch tonight’s game seeing the Detroit Pistons face the Indiana Pacers and use it as a reason that Dwane Casey should not return as head coach. Book it. That is, of course, despite the fact that the Pistons will be playing without Cade Cunningham, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jaden Ivey, Alec Burks, Isaiah Stewart and Hamidou Diallo.
Ivey’s absence, at least, should be a brief one, as he is caught up in health and safety protocols. We likely won’t see any of those other players for the rest of the season. The Pacers will also be without one of their top young player’s as Rookie of the Year candidate (and likely runner-up, don’t get me started) Bennedict Mathurin is out with a sprained ankle and expected these back-to-back games at Little Caesars Arena against the Pistons. All around, the whole thing is a bummer.
So why watch? Is that a rhetorical question? Seriously, though. It’s been sort of fun to see a funky and spry batch of Pistons do a little bit of something with a whole lot of nothing. Isaiah Livers is filling the wing reserve role capably on both ends. Marvin Bagley, James Wiseman, and Jalen Duren are having their struggles, but they’re also usually constantly doing stuff on the court. In the case of the latter two, those reps are also really important as we go into next year. RJ Hampton likely won’t be around long but at least he’s hitting some shots and playing some defense. And the hype train for Eugene Omoruyi is hilariously real. Dude can defend at a high level and plays his butt off, and that’s always a welcome sight in Detroit.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +6
Detroit Pistons (15-52)
Killian Hayes, Rodney McGruder, Isaiah Livers, Marvin Bagley, James Wiseman
Indiana Pacers (30-37)
Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Jordan Nwora, Andrew Nesmith, Jalen Smith