Detroit Pistons (Oct. 23, Oct. 28, Nov. 8)
The Indiana Pacers open their season at home against an in-division rival, one that won just 41 games in 2018-19 and whose highest-profile acquisition was former MVP and current candidate for most overrated player in the league Derrick Rose.
Rose has been a net negative for Value Over Replacement Player since he got injured in 2012. He hasn’t made an All-Star team since that lockout-shortened season and buzz about him being an All-Star last year was entirely based on his name and not his game.
He had just .102 Win Shares per 48 minutes last season, a mark consistent with an average player on a 42-win team.
He was worse than Reggie Jackson, the Pistons guard Rose is supposed to take minutes from as he pursues his quixotic quest to be better than the mediocre-at-best player he’s been for going on seven years now.
And if you believe in matchup problems, what this mainly means is that Malcolm Brogdon is going to come out swinging and eat the Pistons’ lunch like a Hot N’ Ready pizza both at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Sure, home court advantage might help Detroit in one of these games, but if the combination of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner can contain Blake Griffin, or at least limit him to not being able to win the games by himself, there’s no reason the Pacers, even with Jeremy Lamb at shooting guard, can’t win all three of these contests.