The only other time this season that the Pacers played back-to-back road games, they put forth arguably their best game of the season to beat San Antonio on the road and then were wiped off the court the next night in Oklahoma City.
The current back-to-back hardly measures up, but the Pacers were nowhere near their best in beating the 76ers last night and required enough energy from the starting lineup to make the second game in Detroit on Saturday night a challenge. The Pacers beat the Pistons in Detroit in early November but the Pistons were the first team to beat the Pacers at the Fieldhouse this year in their last meeting back in mid-December.
The Pistons have been sliding, winning just two of their last ten games, but they beat the Pacers at BLF in their last meeting by hitting the glass hard with one of the few NBA front lines that can match the Pacers' size. The Pistons lead the league in offensive rebound rate, grabbing over 31 percent of second-chance bounces while the Pacers rank 20th at around 25 percent (down from around 30 percent last season when the Pacers ranked 4th).
Rebounding was a key factor in the Pistons surprising the Pacers at the Fieldhouse in December. Detroit outrebounded the Blue and Gold 55-40 in that game while grabbing 20 ORebs. That combined with some timely buckets from Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, held off the Pacers.
So while the Pistons may be struggling of late, they still present those matchup problems for the Pacers who simply haven't been good on the road with no rest. At least they will have an extra big body to throw at Detroit with Andrew Bynum ready to contribute off the bench after resting in Philly.
For more on the Pistons, check out Detroit Bad Boys. Also, leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.