Pacers vs Pistons

Turner Game-Time Decision, Pacers Looking for Payback

Nov. 8, 2019 - Pacers center Myles Turner (sprained ankle) may return Friday against the Pistons, who have already beaten Indiana twice this season.

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Turner Game-Time Decision, Pacers Looking for Payback

Nov. 8, 2019 - Pacers center Myles Turner (sprained ankle) may return Friday against the Pistons, who have already beaten Indiana twice this season.
Nov 8, 2019  |  01:42

Game Preview: Pacers vs Pistons

Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor





Matchup

The Pacers (4-4) look to carry momentum from their 121-106 bounce-back performance against the Wizards on Wednesday night into their upcoming game against the Detroit Pistons (4-5) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Pistons have been a familiar foe for the Blue & Gold at the start of this NBA season. This will be the third time in nine regular season games in which the pair have squared off. After dropping the first two games — 119-110 at The Fieldhouse and 96-94 at Little Caesars Arena — the Pacers will look for some revenge against the team from the Motor City on Friday.

In order to pull off the victory, the Blue & Gold will have to find a way to limit the production of seven-year NBA veteran Andre Drummond. The former UConn big man is averaging a double-double on the season, including a team-high 21.9 points per game and an NBA-leading 18.6 rebounds per game. On Opening Night, he torched the Pacers for 32 points and 23 rebounds. During their second matchup he tallied another 18 points and 18 rebounds. Should Myles Turner remain out while rehabilitating a right ankle sprain, it will be up to Domantas Sabonis and JaKarr Sampson to limit his effectiveness on the glass.

While Drummond carries the Pistons' weight in the paint, it's Derrick Rose who has been carrying the load for their backcourt. Though he sat out against the New York Knicks due to a right hamstring strain, the former first-overall pick in the NBA Draft is averaging 20.8 points and 6.3 assists in 25.0 minutes of playing time. In addition, former Duke standout Luke Kennard is averaging career highs in points per game (16.8) and assists per game (4.2) after seeing an increased role with the team this year. On opening night against the Blue & Gold, Kennard set a new career high with 30 points.

But this game against the Pistons may tell a different story than the first two. As team chemistry has improved so has the Pacers' overall play, especially the defense. Through eight games, the Blue & Gold are averaging the NBA’s 12th-ranked defense, giving up 103.8 points per 100 posessesions. In relief of Turner and Sabonis, Sampson and Goga Bitadze have stepped up and held their own in the paint against tough opponents.

In addition, the offensive chemistry has improved as well. Thanks to Malcolm Brogdon and company, the Pacers lead the NBA with a 1.86 assist-to-turnover ratio. The play of the reserves has increased as well. In their most recent game against the Wizards, the Pacers' bench tallied a season-high 43 bench points. It appears as if the Pacers have a decent chance at coming out on top against the Pistons for the first time this season. Look for improved play in all aspects.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Aaron Holiday, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - JaKarr Sampson, C - Domantas Sabonis
Pistons: PG - Bruce Brown, SG - Luke Kennard, SF - Tony Snell, PF - Markieff Morris, C - Andre Drummond

Injury Report

Pacers: Myles Turner - questionable (right ankle sprain), Goga Bitadze - out (concussion), Jeremy Lamb - out (left ankle sprain), Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery rehab), Edmond Sumner - out (right hand fracture)

Pistons: Tim Frazier - doubtful (right shoulder strain), Blake Griffin - out (left hamstring/posterior knee soreness), Reggie Jackson - out (lumbar stress reaction), Derrick Rose - out (right hamstring strain)

Last Meeting

October 28, 2019: The Pacers appeared to be in prime position to take home the win after T.J. Warren scored five straight points to give Indiana its first lead of the night with 1:42 remaining in the fourth. But Luke Kennard and Derrick Rose sank two tough buckets down the stretch to earn the Pistons the 96-94 victory at Little Caesars Arena. It was the third straight loss for the Pacers to start the season.

"I thought we scrapped tonight," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said after the loss. "Defensively, we got some stops. They made some tough shots and we had some open looks down the stretch that we didn't knock down."

Domantas Sabonis led all Pacers with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while T.J. Warren added 19 points, five rebounds, and five steals. In addition, Malcolm Brogdon recorded his third straight double-double to start the season, tallying 16 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists.

Christian Wood led the Pistons coming off the bench, scoring a team-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including two big 3-pointers in the third quarter to help give the Pistons a double-digit advantage and force the Pacers to make a comeback.

Noteworthy

  • After winning the first two games against the Pacers this season, the Pistons have trimmed Indiana's overall lead in the series to 100-96.
  • Pistons All-Star forward Blake Griffin was cleared on Thursday for participation in all basketball related activities after missing the start of the season due to left hamstring/posterior knee soreness. Griffin is listed as day-to-day.
  • The Pacers have only won four of their last 10 meetings against the Pistons.

Tickets

The Pacers welcome Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons to Bankers Life Fiedhouse on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

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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