Indiana (17-18) at Detroit (16-20)
When: Tuesday, January 3rd 2017
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: FSN Indiana, FSN Detroit
The Indiana Pacers will look to make it four straight wins over the Detroit Pistons when the teams meet Tuesday night in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Detroit ended 2016 with seven losses in eight games, but started off the new year with a 107-98 win at Miami on Sunday. Star center Andre Drummond was a key to the win on Sunday with 25 points and 18 rebounds, and his teammates credited his defensive effort with leading to points on the other end. “That’s the engine that makes us go,” Reggie Jackson told reporters of Drummond. Detroit got 23 or more points from three different starters including Jackson’s team-high 27 on Sunday. The Pistons fell hard to Indiana on December 17th and Drummond was held to just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting. Shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has found his stroke of late, knocking down four 3-pointers in three of the last five games. Detroit is trying to get out of the Central Division basement, but will go on a tough five-game West Coast trip after a Thursday home game with Charlotte.
Indiana has won their past two games, but are having trouble on the road recently. Indiana has dropped six of its last seven road games, with the lone exception a 105-90 victory over the Pistons in Detroit on December 17th. The Pacers had six players score in double figures in that win and are stressing ball movement of late, which led to an average of 27 assists in the last two wins. Indiana got easy home wins over Orlando and Chicago last weekend with Myles Turner leading the way Sunday with 23 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Leading scorer Paul George (22.1) was slowed to 19 points on Sunday after back-to-back 30+ point efforts on 20-of-40 shooting including 17-for-17 from the free throw line. The Pacers are in a three-way tie for the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference and will host Brooklyn and New York later this week.
This seems like a small number to lay against a team that’s been struggling on the road. Detroit will want a little revenge from the spanking they received from Indiana last month. I like Detroit to win this one easily.
Pick: Pistons -4.5