The Pacers (25-53) play the penultimate home game of the season on Sunday evening when they host the Pistons (22-56) at the Fieldhouse.
With this odd Pacers season winding down, this matchup offers the rare matchup where the Pacers face an opponent with less incentive to win. The Pistons have been playing well of late, winning four of their last six games with Cade Cunningham making a late (likely too late) run at Rookie of the Year honors. Regardless, with three challenging games remaining after playing the Pacers, the Pistons still hold the third worst record which gives them the best lottery odds, compared to the fourth and fifth spot.
This also appears to be the Pacers last chance to win a game with no long-term impact.
I KNOW, THIS IS NOT NATURAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Pistons quality play of late may be the reason they have Marvin Bagley, Cade Cunningham and Sadiq Bey, all playing quite well, listed as questionable. No doubt, the Pacers will continue with the youthful lineups who have played well of late while keeping the big picture in mind.
The Pistons did sign former Purdue standout, Carsen Edwards to a two-year contract which he earned with his stellar play for Utah’s G-League team. Opportunity is knocking for the local legend in a familiar venue, if indeed, the Pistons sit a few key players.
This is all to say...I have no idea how these teams will approach this game, but if Vegas is any indicator, they like the Pacers who are favored by a bucket.
DraftKings Odds: Pacers -2.5, O/U 233 (latest DraftKings odds here)
When: 5:00 PM EST
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
TV: Bally Sports Indiana
Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Justin Anderson, Terry Taylor, Goga Bitadze
Pistons: Killian Hayes, Frank Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Livers, Isaiah Stewart
IND: Goga Bitadze - questionable (sore right foot), Malcolm Brogdon - questionable (sore lower back), Chris Duarte - out (sore left toe), T.J. McConnell - out (right wrist ligament surgery), Ricky Rubio - out (torn left ACL), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)
DET: Marvin Bagley III - questionable (strained left hip), Saddiq Bey - questionable (sore hip), Cade Cunningham - questionable (sore back), Luka Garza - questionable (left ankle sprain), Hamidou Diallo - out (avulsion fracture; left index finger), Jerami Grant - out (left calf strain), Chris Smith - out (left ACL surgery)
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.