The season tips off Wednesday as the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers meet. Both teams are battling some injuries. Here is what to expect in Game 1.
It was thought that Blake Griffin was going to be healthy entering the 2019-20 season but the Detroit Pistons forward missed the final two games of the preseason and, on Tuesday, the Pistons announced he’s out and will be re-evaluated through the first week of November.
That puts a damper on the Pistons season opener. Though the Indiana Pacers are no stranger to dealing with injuries as All-Star guard Victor Oladipo will miss the first month of the season while recovering from a quad injury.
Tip-off: 7 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Stream: FUBO.TV or Fox Sports Go
Over/under: 210.5, according to The Action Network
Line: Pacers -5 (It was Pacers -6.5 on Tuesday morning), according to The Action Network
Before each game, we’ll engage fans with our social poll on a pressing topic on the @PistonPowered Twitter account. Ahead of Wednesday’s game, we want to know who is a bigger loss if they miss substantial time for their team, Griffin or Oladipo.
What to watch
It’s a good thing the Pistons signed Markieff Morris in the offseason. He provides much-needed insurance with Griffin expected to miss significant time to start the season . That may have played a factor in the Pistons electing to keep Christian Wood over Joe Johnson. Of course, Wood seems like the naturally fourth option in the frontcourt, ahead of Thon Maker after the preseason.
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But more pressing issues are what the Pistons do when Griffin misses time. He’s not just the first option in the offense but he’s the primary ball-handler. Reggie Jackson operates better off the ball. Bruce Brown has shown he can run the offense, but the Pistons starting unit will lack the go-to scorer.
One tweak could be starting Luke Kennard instead of Brown with the first unit as a playmaking guard that can create for himself or others.
Indiana is going to rely on Malcolm Brogdon to run its offense, a solid addition, and has added depth to its rotation with Jeremy Lamb, who figures to start in Oladipo’s place, and TJ Warren. They will be key assets on the perimeter while Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner figure out how to best fit together.
Join the Piston Powered team on Twitter and in the comments section to discuss the game, add insight and analysis. It’s the season opener and enthusiasm should be high for both teams.
What will you be watching closely in the season opener?