Jalen Smith
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Pacers at Pistons

Monday, March 13 at 7:00 PM ET at Little Caesars Arena

Pacers at Pistons
Game Preview

After picking up a win on Saturday night in Detroit, the Pacers (31-37) will try to sweep a two-game set with the Pistons (15-53) when the two Central Division rivals meet again on Monday.

Both teams were shorthanded on Saturday. The Pacers were without three of their top four scorers and their top two point guards as Tyrese Haliburton (knee), Myles Turner (lower back), Bennedict Mathurin (ankle), and T.J. McConnell (back) were all sidelined. The Pistons were even more undermanned, missing five of their top six scorers.

In the end, the Pacers' depth prevailed in a 121-115 victory. Six Indiana players scored in double figures as the Blue & Gold tallied 64 points in the paint. With Turner sideline, the Blue & Gold's young bigs stepped up in a big way, as 21-year-old Isaiah Jackson and 22-year-old Jalen Smith combined for 39 points on 14-of-21 shooting, 20 rebounds, and four blocks to help lead the Pacers to victory.

The Pacers will need similar contributions to secure the sweep on Monday, as head coach Rick Carlisle already ruled out all of Indiana's injured players for the second game in Detroit.

It remains to be seen if the Pistons will get any players back on Monday. It's been a rough season in Detroit and a rough month in particular. The Pistons have dropped 11 straight games and haven't won since before the All-Star break (a double-overtime victory over San Antonio on Feb. 10).

Detroit currently has the worst record in the NBA and is all but a lock to finish in the bottom three of the league standings, an important distinction as the three worst teams all secure equal odds of landing the number one pick in the NBA Draft Lottery.

Projected Starters

Pacers: G - Andrew Nembhard,  G - Chris Duarte, F - Buddy Hield, F - Aaron Nesmith, C - Isaiah Jackson

Pistons: G - Killian Hayes, G - Rodney McGruder, F - Isaiah Livers, F - Jalen Duren, C - James Wiseman

Injury Report

Pacers: Buddy Hield - questionable (sore left foot), Kendall Brown - out (right tibia stress fracture surgery), Tyrese Haliburton - out (bruised left knee), Bennedict Mathurin - out (right ankle sprain), T.J. McConnell - out (sore back), Myles Turner - out (sore lower back)

Pistons: Marvin Bagley III - out (sore right ankle), Bojan Bogdanovic (out - left Achilles tendinopathy), Alec Burks - out (sore left foot), Cade Cunningham - out (left tibia stress fracture), Hamidou Diallo - out (right ankle sprain), Jaden Ivey - out (health and safety protocols), Isaiah Stewart - out (left shoulder impingement)

Last Meeting

March 11, 2023: Playing without three of their top four scorers, the Pacers showcased their depth in a 121-115 win in Detroit.

Jalen Smith scored 20 points off the bench, Isaiah Jackson had season highs with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrew Nembhard tallied 19 points and eight assists.

“Everybody stepped up, everybody played the role they had to play, everybody had a factor in this win,” Smith said.

Isaiah Livers had a team-high 18 points for the Pistons in the loss, while Killian Hayes (17 points and 13 assists) and Jalen Duren (16 points and 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles.

  • After losing 11 straight road games from Dec. 26 - Feb. 11, the Pacers have won four of their last five away from Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
  • With a win on Monday, the Pacers would win the season series with Detroit. The Pistons won three of four games against Indiana in 2021-22 and the two Central Division rivals have alternated who won the season series for the past six seasons.
  • Detroit is 0-12 in Central Division games this season, the only team in the NBA yet to record a division win. No team has ever gone winless in its division over an entire season since the league expanded to three divisions per conference in 2004-05.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)


The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>