Rewind: Pacers vs. Detroit 122611
Dec. 26, 2011 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 91, Pistons 79
THE FACTS: On a night when both teams shot below 37 percent, rebounding had to be the key. Indiana dominated the boards 53-40, pulling 18 offensive rebounds, and never trailed in posting a workmanlike 91-79 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons in the season opener for both teams Monday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The game marked the debut of free agent signee David West in an Indiana uniform and though he struggled through a 3-of-12 shooting night he posted 11 points, 12 rebounds and three assists and was one of three Pacers players to have double-doubles. Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 14 rebounds and Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points and 13 boards. Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey scored 17 apiece for the Pistons.
QUOTABLE: "The rebounding numbers are obviously why the score was lopsided. They played smash-mouth basketball and they were the better team tonight." -- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank
THE STAT: Both teams had higher percentages from the 3-point line than inside the arc. Indiana shot .467 from long range but .347 otherwise; Detroit shot .368 from the arc and .357 otherwise.
TURNING POINT: Detroit took advantage of a 4½-minute Indiana dry spell in the second quarter to put together a 9-1 run to cut the deficit to 35-32 midway through the period. But Paul George scored five and set up a Darren Collison 3-pointer in a 12-2 counter that pushed the Pacers' advantage to 47-34 and it remained in double digits the rest of the night.
QUOTABLE II: "I felt good. My timing is off and I’m a little rusty. But I am sure I will get it together. I love playing where I am and I feel it’s going to be a fun year with these guys." -- Pacers forward David West
HOT: Hibbert hit 6-of-11 shots and was just one rebound shy of his career high. Jerebko shot 7-of-11.
NOT: Danny Granger was 6-of-18, Darren Collison 3-of-11 and George Hill 2-of-7 for the Pacers. Ben Gordon was 4-of-14 and Tayshaun Prince 3-of-10 for the Pistons.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Moving to the second unit may not dampen Hansbrough's burgeoning value. He played 32 minutes off the bench and his double-double was a strong followup to a two-game preseason in which he totaled 43 points and 24 rebounds against the Bulls.
GOOD MOVE: Indiana coach Frank Vogel opted before the game to limit his frontcourt to a three-man rotation consisting of starters Hibbert and West and backup Hansbrough. Considering all three players recorded double-doubles, the move was a big success.
BAD MOVE: With Greg Monroe in foul trouble early and often, Pistons coach Lawrence Frank didn't have a lot of options up front but when he sent 6-7 Jason Maxiell out to guard the 7-2 Hibbert, the mismatch was painful.
ROOKIE WATCH: Detroit's prized rookie, Brandon Knight, played 16½ minutes off the bench and hit 3-of-6 from the 3-point line and scored nine points, but he had four turnovers and missed all of his two-point attempts.
NOTABLE: This was the Pacers' seventh straight home win over Detroit. … The game marked a number of firsts -- Vogel's first opening night, the first games in Indiana for West and George Hill, and Lawrence Frank's first game on the bench with the Pistons. … Indiana had nine steals and nine blocked shots, with all five starters recording at least one rejection. … Hill, who played high school (Broad Ripple) and college (IUPUI) ball in Indianapolis, played 24 minutes off the bench and had four points and four assists in his hometown debut.
UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Wednesday @ Toronto, Friday vs. Cleveland, Saturday at Detroit. For the Pistons, Wednesday vs. Cleveland, Friday at Boston, Saturday vs. Indiana.