Pacers vs Pistons

Pacers on Brimah & Brissett

April 23, 2021 - Nate Bjorkgren and Caris LeVert discuss the addition of Amida Brimah and the play of Oshae Brissett.

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Pacers on Brimah & Brissett

April 23, 2021 - Nate Bjorkgren and Caris LeVert discuss the addition of Amida Brimah and the play of Oshae Brissett.
Apr 23, 2021  |  01:54

Game Preview: Pacers vs Pistons

Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

Indiana (27-31) has a solid chance of picking up back-to-back wins this week when they take on the 18-42 Detroit Pistons on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

After Wednesday's shorthanded victoryover the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Blue & Gold caught a break in the schedule — a rare two-day hiatus between games. The extra day gave a chance for the injured to heal, and the healthy to rest.

As of Friday morning, there have been no significant status updates on the conditions of Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, or Goga Bitadze. A healthy JaKarr Sampson should be able to play after serving his one-game suspension for his altercation with the Spurs' Patty Mills. Sampson could provide a much-needed big body in the paint for Indiana, who surrendered 76 points in the paint against the Thunder — tying its season-high.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

Before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said Sampson "felt bad" about his suspension. Bjorkgren also stated he was ready to give Sampson close to 40 minutes of playing time. Should Indiana's primary post players remain sidelined, look for the 6-9 forward to seize his long-awaited opportunity.

Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Oshae Brissett also benefited from the extra day off. The trio that scored a combined 80 of the Pacers' 122 points against the Thunder all logged 39 minutes or more of game time. Brissett — the newest to experience the increased workload — played a team-high 42:06. They could be in for another long night against Detroit.

Although struggling, the Pistons have won two out of their past five and could put up a fight against an undermanned Pacers unit. Detroit's primary scorer, Jerami Grant (22.5 points per game) sat out of their last contest but could be ready to go against Indiana. Additionally, Indiana will need to keep an eye on former Kansas guard Josh Jackson. Jackson finished with a game-high 29 against the Spurs on Thursday.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Caris LeVert, SF - Edmond Sumner, PF - Justin Holiday, C - Oshae Brissett
Pistons: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Josh Jackson, SF - Saddiq Bey, PF - Jerami Grant, C - Mason Plumlee

Injury Report

Pacers: Goga Bitadze - questionable (left ankle sprain), Jeremy Lamb - questionable (sore left knee), Doug McDermott - questionable (left ankle sprain), Domantas Sabonis - out (sore lower back), Myles Turner - out (partial plantar plate tear, right foot great toe), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Pistons: Jerami Grant - probable (left quadriceps contusion), Cory Joseph - probable (left ankle inflammation), Dennis Smith Jr. - out (sore left knee), Rodney McGruder - out (right elbow sprain)

Last Meeting

March 24, 2021: Indiana snapped a six-game home losing streak with a 116-111 win over the Detroit Pistons. Leading 111-109 with 5.7 to go, Caris LeVert iced the game with a dagger 3-pointer from the right wing. It was his fourth trey of the night, leading to a team-high 28-point performance for the former Michigan guard.

LeVert's performance in that game felt like his first complete performance since returning from his diagnosis. Trailing 24-21 after one quarter of play, LeVert took over the Pacers' offense and scored 15 in the second quarter to grab a 57-51 halftime lead.

But the Pistons fought back in the third, using a 13-3 run midway through the frame to tie the score at 68 on a euro-step layup from Saddiq Bey. Indiana pulled away once more in the period behind consecutive threes from Goga Bitadze and Jeremy Lamb in the final minute. They led 86-79 entering the fourth.

Detroit grabbed a brief 96-94 lead in the fourth after Bey's 3-point attempt fell. However, Edmond Sumner responded with eight straight for Indiana, including two confident triples from the right side. It gave the Pacers a 102-98 lead with 6:09 to go.

With 2:17 left, a nine-point Pacers lead was cut to five thanks to the efforts of Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee. But after a timeout from coach Nate Bjorkgren, the squad regrouped and found LeVert for the game-clinching shot in crunch time.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana is looking to sweep the season series against Detroit for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
  • The Pacers are 9-2 over the last 11 home games against the Pistons.
  • Malcolm Brogdon has posted 20 points or more in four of his last six appearances.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all remaining Pacers home games are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Broadcast Information TV & 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 (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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