Teams: Indiana Pacers at Detroit Pistons
Date: Feb. 16, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Television: Fox Sports Detroit
- Darren Collison
- Mike Dunleavy
- Danny Granger
- Josh McRoberts
- Roy Hibbert
Las Vegas projection
Spread: Pistons +1.0
Score: Pacers win, 100.25-99.25
Three things to watch
1. Pacers pulling away
After going into a prolonged slump under a coach who had seemingly lost the respect of the team in Jim O’Brien, the Pacers made a change. They are now a happier, more energetic team, and that’s translating onto the court. The Pacers are 7-2 since Frank Vogel took over as coach, and they’re doing it with an explosive offense. The Pacers have scored more than 100 points in every game that Vogel has coached.
2. Roy Hibbert is back
Hibbert has always given Indiana good minutes vs. the Pistons, averaging 11 points, 7 boards and 2 blocks per game against Detroit in his career. This season, the Pistons are getting their first look at Hibbert at an inopportune time. Hibbert started the season strong, then slumped, and has since bounced back, no doubt partially rejuvenated by the coaching change. He’s averaging more than 17 points per game over his last five, and as LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Horford, Josh Smith, et. al. have taught, the Pistons do not do well against big men who are adept at getting high percentage shots.
3. Paul George, meet T-Mac
During last year’s pre-draft coverage, one name who kept climbing was Paul George. George was billed as a more raw Tracy McGrady clone with his mix of length and athleticism on the perimeter. The rookie has played pretty well for the Pacers this season, And seeing him possibly match up with McGrady is a stark reminder of how time flies: doesn’t it seem way too early to have players coming into the league who are described as “a young Tracy McGrady?”
- A beautiful story of how Dennis Rodman impacted a Michigan family
- If the Pistons buy out Rip Hamilton, the Celtics would kick the tires on him
- Denver fans love Chauncey Billups, and it gets more and more sad he’s not in Detroit
- Will Bynum knows his minutes can be taken at any time
- Tayshaun Prince is the league’s top ‘restricted area’ shooter