NBA 3 on 3 Tournament Round Two -- Indiana Pacers Vs. Detroit Pistons

We're halfway through the second round of SB Nation's NBA 3 on 3 Tournament, and of the four teams who have already advanced to the conference semi-finals, only one is a top 4 seed (the 4 seed in the East, the Boston Celtics). After a pretty uneventful first round, the upsets are coming fast and furious now. In the East, the 3-seed Indiana Pacers will try to avoid falling to the Detroit Pistons, the 11 seed who benefited in the first round when they drew a rebuilding Orlando team.

The Pacers feature Lance Stephenson, Paul George and Danny Granger, one of the teams using a trio of wings in the tournament. The strategy has advantages -- defensively you can switch everything, offensively everyone is capable of making plays -- but it also leaves a team exposed to mismatches. Stephenson in particular is a dubious choice. He's plenty talented, but he's yet to show much in the NBA, and this Pacers team may be vulnerable without a true point guard.

The Pistons field a much more traditional threesome -- point guard Rodney Stuckey, forward Jonas Jerebko, and center Greg Monroe. This group has the extra advantage of having a fair amount of versatility -- Stuckey has very good size for a point, Jerebko can play either forward spot, and Monroe is one of the better playmaking centers in the league. The Pacers may have more pure talent, but the Pistons team may be more coherent.

Let's see what our panel of experts has to say.

  • Tom Ziller, SB Nation NBA, Sactown Royalty -- Indiana wins 13 of 20
  • Andrew Sharp, SB Nation -- Indiana wins 12 of 20
  • Steve Perrin, SB Nation, Clips Nation -- Each team wins 10 of 20
  • J.R Wilco, Pounding the Rock -- Indiana wins 11 of 20
  • J.A. Sherman, Welcome to Loud City -- Indiana wins 14 of 20
  • Probability to win any given game -- Indiana 60 percent; Detroit 40 percent
  • Probability to win series -- Indiana 64.8 percent; Detroit 35.2 percent

Expert Comments:

Maybe? Who knows. Neither one of these teams has business getting to the third round. -- Sharp

Too close to call; I think Indy is better in most ways, but doesn't Monroe pretty much kill Granger in the post? -- Perrin

This matchup is really close, but in the end I don't think Detroit will be able to contain George and Granger -- one of the best duos in this entire tournament. -- Wilco

Indiana should win this one handily, but with Paul George, as we saw in the playoffs last year, we're never really sure if he's going to come up small at a critical moment. Thankfully, Indy still has the best pure scorer on the court in Granger, and I think Detroit is going to struggle to match his offense. -- Sherman

The Bottom Line

The experts have given the Pistons a fighting chance here despite their 11 seed. It's difficult to know whether that's an endorsement of the Detroit selection or an indictment of the Indiana team.

All that's left to do now is to roll the dice. The Pacers will be looking for rolls of 60 or lower, the Pistons want to see a 61 or higher.

Who do you think would win this one?

The results will be posted at 5 p.m. ET.

For a complete look at the SB Nation 3 on 3 Tournament, check back with this StoryStream.

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