Game Preview: Pacers at Pistons (Preseason)
Monday, October 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at Little Caesars Arena
Last Updated: Oct. 9 at 11:15 AM
The Pacers will look to remain undefeated in preseason action when they take on the Pistons on Monday night in Detroit.
After rolling to an 18-point victory on Wednesday in Milwaukee, Indiana ran into a stiffer test on Friday night in Cleveland, trailing the Cavs most of the evening before rookie forward TJ Leaf triggered a late rally.
Leaf showed off the offensive abilities that inspired the Pacers to take him with the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, scoring all 18 of his points in the final quarter of a 106-102 win. The 6-10 forward made four 3-pointers down the stretch, looking every bit the part of the "stretch-4" power forward that can thrive in the modern NBA game.
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Leaf wasn't the only young forward to put together a strong performance in Cleveland.
Domantas Sabonis, the second-year big man acquired from Oklahoma City in the Paul George trade, had 17 points and seven rebounds in under 19 minutes. The 11th overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Sabonis converted 6-of-8 shots, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range.
Pacers head coach Nate McMillan has had both Leaf and Sabonis in the rotation for most of training camp, having the two youngsters back up Thaddeus Young at power forward and Myles Turner at center, respectively. Veteran center Al Jefferson is competing with both players for backup minutes, but it probably is in the franchise's long-term interests to play the two recent first-round picks to help accelerate their development.
If they continue to perform at the same level they did on Friday, the future is bright for Indiana's frontcourt.
Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Alex Poythress, SF - DeQuan Jones, PF - TJ Leaf, C - Al Jefferson
Pistons: PG - Ish Smith, SG - Avery Bradley, SF - Stanley Johnson, PF - Tobias Harris, C - Andre Drummond
Pacers: Bojan Bogdanovic - out (rest), Victor Oladipo - out (rest), Trey McKinney-Jones - out (left shoulder rehabilitation), Glenn Robinson III - out (left high ankle sprain), Domantas Sabonis - out (rest), Lance Stephenson - out (rest), Edmond Sumner - out (left knee surgery rehabilitation), Myles Turner - out (rest), Thaddeus Young - out (rest)
Pistons: Reggie Jackson - day-to-day (sore right adductor), Dwight Buycks - day-to-day (left hip flexor)
March 8, 2017: The Pacers rolled to a 115-98 win over the Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana shot 50 percent from the field, 47.8 percent from 3-point range, and committed a season-low five turnovers in the victory.
Paul George led Indiana with 22 points and eight rebounds. Thaddeus Young added 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting and eight boards.
Tobias Harris scored a team-high 22 points off the bench for Detroit. Andre Drummond added 14 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.
- Indiana leads the all-time series with the Pistons, 96-90, but the Pistons have a 57-36 advantage in games played in Detroit.
- The Pacers swept the regular season series with Detroit in 2016-17 and have won eight of the last nine meetings with the Pistons.
- Pacers guard Victor Oladipo and Pistons forward Tobias Harris were teammates in Orlando from 2013-16.
The Pacers will tip off the 2017-18 regular season by hosting the Brooklyn Nets on Opening Night presented by Kroger on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
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