The Indiana Pacers are off to a 0-3 start to the 2015-2016 season and will be facing off with a Detroit Pistons squad that is trending in the right direction. The Pistons come in at 3-0 on the season and are the top team in the Eastern Conference early on.
The Pistons roster is built with a good mix of young talent and seasoned veterans. A key player for Detroit is Andre Drummond. The center has really come into his own for the Pistons, playing like an All-Star in the early going. Coming off an All-Star-like season and being a member of Team USA has been really beneficial for the big man in Detroit. Drummond has turned into a dominant force inside and will look to be just as dominant against a Pacers team that is looking to transition to a "small ball" approach. That approach has been ineffective in the first three games of the season.
The Pacers had what many thought to be an easy game to win this past Saturday night at home against the Utah Jazz. They played well in the first half and were able to take a 49-42 lead into the locker room. Three different stories so far this season, all of which have the same first half story and second half story.
Pacers come out in the third quarter and all but lay an egg. They allowed the Jazz to outscore them 28-12 and never looked back. The Pistons, on the other hand, have displayed very good chemistry and have been able to handle all three of their opponents so far, two of the three being the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls.
Atlanta, the number one seed last year in the playoffs for the East, and the Bulls, who are always near the top at the end of the year. So, a couple of impressive wins for the Pistons so far. This has to be something that this Pacers team and coaching staff cannot be taking lightly. If the Pacers do not come ready to play this game, it may be over before this author can settle into his recliner to take notes.
The Pacers were able to split the season series with the Pistons, 2-2, last season. Each team was able win on the road once in the series. Although very early on in the season, this a game that the Pacers must play well and almost need to come away with a win for good morale reasons. A 0-4 start will be a tough hole to dig out of as the Eastern Conference is improved. It surely isn't the Western Conference, but it has improved nonetheless.
Projected starters for tonight's game: Indiana Pacers- G: George Hill, SG: Monta Ellis, SF: C.J. Miles, PF: Paul George, C: Ian Mahinmi. For the Detroit Pistons- G: Reggie Jackson, SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF: Marcus Morris, PF: Ersan Ilyasova, C: Andre Drummond.
The Pistons open as -5 point favorites for tonight's contest and will look to improve to 4-0 on the season. The Pacers will continue to look for their first win of the season tonight. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI.