Detroit Pistons return home to face the Indiana Pacers
After spitting their two-game road trip, the Detroit Pistons (16-20) are back home to face the Indiana Pacers (17-18) in a Central Division match-up.
The Detroit Pistons are returning to the Palace of Auburn Hills after losing 105-98 to the Atlanta Hawks at Phillips Arena on December 30th and beating the Miami Heat – who were without Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside due to injuries – by nine points on New Years Day in South Beach.
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Detroit is coming into tonight’s game with an abysmal 3-7 record over their past 10 games. Those three wins came against that injury-plagued Heat squad, the Cleveland Cavaliers minus LeBron James (Cleveland is 4-18 without the four-time MVP since his return from the Heat in 2014-15) and the 10-24 Dallas Mavericks.
They have also gone 5-10 since point guard Reggie Jackson has been back from injury. Detroit was also the least efficient offense in the NBA during the last 10 games of December, according to Sports Illustrated.
Pistons big man Aron Baynes is questionable for tonight’s match-up after spraining his ankle Sunday against the Heat:
Aron Baynes is not definitely out tonight, per SVG. Listed as questionable.
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) January 3, 2017
Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy told reporters earlier today that while he did not participate in the team’s morning walk-through, he has not been ruled out for tonight’s game. Baynes, who is averaging 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 36 appearances, originally had to wear a walking boot after their victory Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Pacers are coming into the Motor City in slightly better shape.
Indiana is currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, going 4-6 over their past 10 games. They are also on a two-game winning streak after beating the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic at home.
Andre Drummond and the Pistons will very likely be looking to taking advantage of the Pacers’ size inside the paint to grab rebounds. Indiana currently is ranked 29th in the league in total rebounds and offensive rebounds, according to www.basketball-reference.com.
They will also need to make every three-point shot they can. The Pacers allow 29.8 three-point shots per game, the second-most in the league. Their opponents have made 33 percent of their attempts against them. The Pistons average 7.6 made threes per game heading into tonight on 22.3 attempts.
The Detroit Pistons also may be thankful the Pacers struggle while on the road. They are 4-13 away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse this year.
Tip-off time is at 7:30 p.m. EST.