Pacers vs Pistons

Pacers Prepared for Griffin-less Pistons

Oct. 23, 2019 - Pacers coach Nate McMillan and point guard Malcolm Brogdon discuss opening the 2019-20 season at home against a Pistons team without injured All-Star Blake Griffin.

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Pacers Prepared for Griffin-less Pistons

Oct. 23, 2019 - Pacers coach Nate McMillan and point guard Malcolm Brogdon discuss opening the 2019-20 season at home against a Pistons team without injured All-Star Blake Griffin.
Oct 23, 2019  |  01:06

"The Sky's the Limit": Pacers Optimistic Ahead of Opener

Oct. 21, 2019 - Two days ahead of hosting the Pistons for Opening Night presented by Kroger, the Pacers discuss how good they think they can be this season and the keys to slowing down Detroit.
Oct 21, 2019  |  01:51

"Cloud Lifted" as Pacers, Sabonis Agree to Extension

Oct. 22, 2019 - Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis, general manager Chad Buchanan, and head coach Nate McMillan discuss Sabonis agreeing to a long-term extension with Indiana.
Oct 22, 2019  |  02:00

Game Preview: Pacers vs Pistons

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss





Last Updated: Oct. 23 at 10:00 AM ET

Matchup

While the preseason offered a preview, the new-look Pacers make their official debut on Wednesday night, when they tip off the 2019-20 NBA season by hosting the Detroit Pistons on Opening Night presented by Kroger.

Nine new players joined the Pacers over the offseason, as Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard assembled a young and talented core with plenty of offensive firepower. Indiana will have four new faces in the starting lineup on Wednesday night, with former sixth man Domantas Sabonis sliding into the starting frontcourt alongside Myles Turner and offseason acquisitions Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. Warren manning the wing. That quintet combined for 97 points in the preseason opener against the Kings on Oct. 4 in India.

While there will likely be growing pains as the Pacers continue to develop chemistry on their new-look roster and await the return of All-Star guard Victor Oladipo from a ruptured quad tendon, the early-season schedule could offer the Blue & Gold an opportunity to get off to a solid start to the year. The Blue & Gold open the year with 10 games against teams that won no more than 42 games last season and the 11th is against an Oklahoma City team that should take a step back this season after dealing away All-Stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook over the summer.

Three of Indiana's first nine games this season are against the Pistons. Detroit went 41-41 last season in their first year under coach Dwane Casey to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs as the eighth seed. They should factor into the East playoff race again this year.

The Pistons' massive frontcourt would offer an interesting first matchup for the Pacers new "twin towers" look with Sabonis and Turner, but All-Star forward Blake Griffin will not travel to Indiana as he deals with issues with his left hamstring and knee. 6-11 center Andre Drummond, who has led the NBA in rebounding each of the past two seasons, will still man the middle for Detroit.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Jeremy Lamb, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Pistons: PG - Reggie Jackson, SG - Bruce Brown, SF - Tony Snell, PF - Markieff Morris, C - Andre Drummond

Injury Report

Pacers: Victor Oladipo - out (right knee rehabilitation)

Pistons: Sekou Doumbouya - out (concussion protocol), Blake Griffin - out (left hamstring/posterior knee soreness), Reggie Jackson - probable (low back tightness), Markieff Morris - questionable (low back tightness)

Last Meeting

April 3, 2019: The Pacers rolled to a 108-89 victory in Detroit to sweep a home-and-home series with the Pistons. It was Indiana's first road win since Feb. 23.

"We've been scratching and clawing," Pacers forward Thaddeus Young told FOX Sports Indiana's Jeremiah Johnson after the game. "The biggest thing is just staying the course and that's exactly what we did.

"We stayed the course, believed in our structure system, believed in our culture, believed in our unity. And our brotherhood got us through."

Young led the Pacers with 21 points in the win on 9-of-15 shooting (2-of-5 from 3-point range) to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Myles Turner and Bojan Bodganovic added 17 points each, Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Doug McDermott tallied 14 points while going 6-for-7 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Andre Drummond led all scorers with 28 points and also collected 19 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals. Wayne Ellington added 24 points, while Reggie Jackson had 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won three straight and eight of their last nine home openers. This will be the fourth consecutive season and sixth time in the last seven years that the Pacers open the regular season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • Indiana is 100-94 all-time against Detroit and has won eight of its last nine meetings with the Pistons at The Fieldhouse.
  • Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon was teammates with Pistons guard Tony Snell and forward Thon Maker in Milwaukee from 2016-19.

Tickets

The Pacers host Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons for Opening Night presented by Kroger on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »

Opening Week presented by Kroger

Be sure to arrive early on Wednesday for the Opening Night Party presented by Budweiser, a free pregame event on Georgia Street beginning at 5:00 PM. And don't forget about the Pacers 5K presented by OrthoIndy on Saturday morning. For more details, visit Pacers.com/OpeningWeek.

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)

Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

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