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Pistons vs. Pacers: Game thread, lineups, TV info and more

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Suffering back-to-back losses against two of the league's worst, the Pacers need to put the past behind them if they want to keep pace with the surging Pistons.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers host the surging Detroit Pistons - winners of eight of their last 10 games - on Friday night after allowing the Minnesota Timberwolves to break a 15-game losing streak.

Though the Pistons are currently outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and most recently fell behind by double-digits in a home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the team's waiver of oft-maligned forward Josh Smith has seemed to changed Detroit's fortunes for the better. Since being released, the Pistons have accumulated a number of impressive wins including road victories against the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors. The Pacers were the first victims of the Josh Smith effect back on December 26, when the Blue-and-Gold gave up 119-points - 30 of which were from behind the three-point line - on the road. Given the impact addition by subtraction has made at least in the immediate for Detroit, there is no question that the Pacers will again be facing a very different Pistons' squad in their second meeting of the season.

While coming off back-to-back losses should leave behind a sour taste, the Pacers need to put the past behind them if they want to get back on the right track.

"It's a long season," said head coach Frank Vogel after Tuesday's disappointing loss to Minnesota wherein Mo Williams scored a career-high 52-points. "It's not fun losing to teams with poor records, but it's a long season."

On the injury front, George Hill participated in practice on Thursday but is still expected to be out through this weekend.

For comparison sake, the Pacers offensive rating is 106.5 in five games with Hill on the court this season. Since releasing Smith, the Pistons are averaging 105.8 points per game.

For more on the Pistons and the departure of Josh Smith, check out Detroit Bad Boys. Also, please add your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.

2014-15 NBA Regular Season



January 17, 2015 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Bankers Life Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, IN
TV: Fox Sports Indiana ---- Radio: AM 1070/107.5 FM The Fan
Probable Starters
Brandon Jennings PG C.J. Watson
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG Rodney Stuckey
Kyle Singler SF Solomon Hill
Greg Monroe PF David West
Andre Drummond C Roy Hibbert