Opponent Scouting: Indiana Pacers (preseason)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will be hosting the Indiana Pacers at the LCA. This will be the last preseason game at home for the Pistons before going on the road for 2 more and then the regular season opens.
The Pacers probably have a few too many NBA caliber players on the roster to be downright terrible, but they do not figure to be much good. Darren Collison will probably start at point for them and he is mostly capable, he has a killer midrange jumper. The expensive Victor Oladipo is the off guard and this is realistically the last season for him to prove that he is able to be anything remarkable as an NBA player, as of now he is still a inefficient scorer who needs the ball in his hands who also isn't a good passer. Bojan Bogdanovic can shoot the lights out and is able to create some buckets for himself and Thad Young will continue to click away as a efficient and effective scorer in the paint. Myles Turner now has the team pretty much put into his lap, and he is bursting with potential but is probably still too young and raw to really be fully ready for it. Cory Joseph is a really good backup point guard and Glenn Robinson III is a rock solid and versatile wing off the bench. Al Jefferson is alive, Lance Stephenson is a maniac, Damantas Sabonis is looking to bounce back after a rough rookie year where he was tossed into the fire of a win-now team in OKC. T.J. Leaf may end up being good but I don't know enough about him to say much there with confidence till I see him more.
In the end, the Pacers have got like 8 dudes who are definitely NBA caliber players even if none of them are very remarkable. If any of their question marks come together they will have a certain amount of competence, particularly given that this franchise is unlikely to tank, but they just don't have enough talent to really do anything beyond that basic competence.
Matchups To Watch:
REGGIE IS PLAYING: This is THE question mark for the team this season, and Jackson is slotted to play in limited minutes tonight. Unfortunately he will be without Drummond (who I think is still dealing with the pink eye I guess?) so it will be a little bit tough to say too much, but even so there are some specifics to watch for. Don't worry about if he is hitting shots, but worry about what kind of shots he is taking. If he goes 5 for 5 but they are all pull up jumpers it would be worse than him going 0 for 5 but all 5 shots coming at the hoop where he just blows the layup. There is almost certainly going to be some rust, but he is the guy to watch tonight.
Galloway vs Shooting guard: After spending the first two games getting minutes at backup point guard, Galloway is likely to be the starting shooting guard tonight with Avery Bradley getting the night off. Galloway has some serious limitations as a point guard and figures to get most of him minutes this year as the 2 guard. It will just be interesting to see how he does in the role he will be in most of the year.
Big man rotation: SVG has a lot of options up front and has already done some experimenting with who to play at what times. With Andre out again he will get to do some more and it will be interesting to see how it goes.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Jackson is getting into the paint at will and looks super comfortable
Galloway is thriving as an off ball gunner from deep
The Pistons continue to get some extra cohesion
Run for the hills if:
Jackson looks miserable
The Pistons start to turn it over a bunch again
The Pistons are taking a ton of long 2s again
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Jackson tries to do too much and has some bad misses and turnovers, but looks healthy and ready to go
Galloway hits like five 3 pointers
Anthony Tolliver plays significant minutes
What do you think? What will you be looking for from Jackson?