The Pacers wrap up preseason play this week with back-to-back games starting on Monday night in Detroit. On Tuesday, the Pacers will host Maccabi Haifa from the Israeli Super League in their only home preseason game.
The Pacers will treat preseason game three in Detroit much like NFL teams treat their final preseason game, giving most of their key players the night off while letting those fighting for final roster spots a chance to shine in a real game situation.
Nine of the current 20-player roster will not be available for the Pacers against the Pistons with Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, Victor Oldadipo, Lance Stephenson and Domas Sabonis sitting out to rest. Glenn Robinson III (ankle), Edmond Sumner (knee) and Trey McKinney-Jones (shoulder) will be actual injury scratches on Monday.
Darren Collison is the only veteran regular expected to play, although I wouldn't expect him to play much past the first quarter. Al Jefferson hasn't been a regular in the rotation so far, but will get a chance to play extended minutes.
There will be an intriguing aspect to the game because it presents a chance to watch the young players and others on the edge of the roster show what they can do. T.J. Leaf will try to backup his 18-point fourth quarter outburst in Cleveland with a more prominent role. Fellow rookie, Ike Anigbogu will likely see his first action.
Ben Moore, DeQuan Jones and Jarrod Uthoff are other young players who have impressed the Pacers but will likely be in Fort Wayne next week to get ready for the G-League. But first, they will have a chance to show how good they look in that NBA uniform.