Both rookies out for Pistons-Pacers game

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Both the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers will be without their tantalizing rookie guards in Saturday night’s matchup at Little Caesars Arena.

The Pistons on Friday placed Jaden Ivey in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, listing him as “out” on the injury report. The Pacers listed Bennedict Mathurin “out” for Saturday, as well, after he sprained his right ankle Thursday vs. Houston and was carried off the floor. This will be his first missed game all season.

Ivey was the fifth overall pick out of Purdue in the 2022 NBA draft in June, with Mathurin going with the next pick out of Arizona. Mathurin might have been the Pistons’ selection had Ivey gone off the board before No. 5, but Sacramento took Iowa forward Keegan Murray at No. 4.

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Jaden Ivey reacts to a play during the 113-103 loss against the Hornets on Thursday at Little Caesars Arena.

Jaden Ivey reacts to a play during the 113-103 loss against the Hornets on Thursday at Little Caesars Arena.

Ivey, 21, is averaging 15.4 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds with a 47.2 effective field goal percentage over 30.2 minutes per game. He has made 62 appearances (61 starts) this season for the Pistons (15-52), who own the NBA’s worst record and have essentially locked up the best odds at the No. 1 overall pick in May 16’s draft lottery.

It’s an unfortunate development for Ivey, whose improved play we documented in this week’s “The Pistons Pulse” podcast. He played in the Pistons’ 10th straight loss Thursday vs. Charlotte, collecting 16 points and six assists in the 113-103 loss.

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He could also miss the Pistons-Pacers rematch Monday night in Detroit on 313 Day.

Mathurin, 20, is averaging 16.6 points, four rebounds and 1.4 assists on 48.1 eFG% over 27.8 minutes per game. He has appeared in 67 games (six starts) for the Pacers (30-37), who are one game back of Washington for the final play-in tournament berth in the Eastern Conference.

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The Pistons are also down four other contributors for Saturday’s game, including forward Bojan Bogdanovic (left Achilles tendinopathy) and guard Alec Burks (sore left foot). This week they’ve already announced the losses of power forward Isaiah Stewart and wing Hamidou Diallo likely for the rest of the season.

For the Pacers, All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton (knee bruise), center Myles Turner (sore back) and backup point guard T.J. McConnell (sore back) are each questionable to play. Indiana is 28-26 in games played with Haliburton, whom the Pistons passed on in the 2020 draft in favor of Killian Hayes at No. 7 overall.

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The Pacers won the season’s first matchup in October, 124-115, in Indianapolis, behind Mathurin’s 27 points in his third career NBA game. Ivey had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

The Pistons and Pacers will meet for the final time this season April 7 in Indianapolis.

Listen to “The Pistons Pulse” every Tuesday morning and on demand on or wherever you listen to podcasts. Our latest show, embedded above, examines Jaden Ivey’s recent surge and more. Catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefing at

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Jaden Ivey, Detroit Pistons rookie, in health and safety protocols

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