Opponent Scouting: Indiana Pacers. (45-32)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will be facing the Indiana Pacers on the road. The Pistons are on one day of rest after beating the Blazers while the Pacers are also on one day of rest after losing to the Orlando Magic.
Without Victor Oladipo they have been worse, but they continue to fight. As of now they sit with the 17th best offensive efficiency and the 3rd best defensive efficiency in the NBA.
In the absence of Oladipo, they are led on offense by Bojan Bodgadovic who is a great shooter, can get his own, and big enough to give trouble to smaller defenders. Bodganovic has really done a remarkable job as the #1 option since Oladipo went down. After Bojan, Wesley Matthews is questionable tonight but he can realy shoot. Thad Young is a good all-around offensive player and a tenacious defender, Myles Turner blocks a lot of shots and can shoot on offense. Darren Collison is a highly efficient point-guard but not likely to do a ton.
Domantas Sabonis is a beat inside off of the bench, Corey Joseph defends as a backup point guard, Tyreke Evans has not been good all season but is still liable to plow his way to the paint for tough buckets. Doug McDermmot can shoot, TJ Leaf is a do-it-all type.
The Pacers are in a tough stretch with a lot of losses against tough teams, but they are still a highly competitive team that will be tough, especially since the Pistons are also without Blake Griffin.
Matchups to watch:
Pistons vs. Not missing Blake: Blake will miss tonight’s game with the same knee soreness that cost him the last outing (not any of these season-long april-fools jokes) which means the team must be ready to get extra contributions from other places.
Pistons vs. Bojan: They did a good job on him last time around but Bojan is still, hypothetically, exactly the sort of big wing scorer that the Pistons will struggle with.
Reggie Jackson vs. Being the man: Despite a tough start, Jackson came through last time out against Portland and they will need that again, but this is a much better defensive team. The reality is that the Pistons will probably have to live and die by Reggie Jackson hitting shots without Blake, lets hope he hits them.
Andre vs. Taking more names: Myles Turner is yet another player who people insist is better than Andre Drummond and yet Andre slaughters him pretty much every time they play, lets hope this continues.
Pistons vs. Closing it out: The Pistons are very likely to make the playoffs but its still close. Just take care of business and get it done.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Andre is owning again.
Reggie Jackson is hitting shots.
The Pistons have great defensive intensity.
Run for the hills if:
They score like 12 points in the first quarter.
Bojan starts shooting over people.
The teams behind the Pistons win.