The Indiana Pacers played without a couple of key reserves Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, and will have to do more of the same tonight against the Detroit Pistons.
On Friday, backup point guard C.J. Watson returned from an injury to his right elbow in the first half. However, he suffered a separate injury to his hamstring during the game, forcing him to exit and not return. Watson is likely out tonight against the Pistons as well.
Reserve big men Andrew Bynum and Ian Mahinmi also sat out Friday’s game. Bynum, according to team officials, is not playing in back-to-backs in order to protect his knees. Mahinmi sat out once again because of a rib injury. He was dressed and made available, but did not appear in the game.
Mahinmi’s status for tonight’s game is questionable, especially with the way backup forward Lavoy Allen played Friday night in Philly. Allen, acquired via trade with Philadelphia along with evan Turner, had not played much since coming to Indiana. He filled in for Bynum and Mahinmi last night and scored 13 points on 6-6 shooting, making it all the more possible Mahinmi might not play again tonight.
Bynum is expected to play tonight in Detroit. His presence will certainly help the Indiana Pacers against the big front line of the Pistons.
Another backup guard, Donald Sloan, is not with the team during the two-game weekend road trip because of personal matters related to a death in the family. Sloan backed up George Hill during Watson’s four-game absence, and would back up Hill again tonight if he were with the team.
That means reserve wing Evan Turner and starter Lance Stephenson will collectively assume backup point guard duties for the Indiana Pacers tonight. The two are comfortable in the position, and it will likely mean more opportunities for offense as both like to attack the rim as well as create for their teammates.
Tags: Indiana Pacers