Game Preview: Pistons head south to face Magic
Tonight the Detroit Pistons (4-5) take on the Orlando Magic (4-6) at 7pm EST/ 4pm PST at the Amway Center.
On Wednesday, the Pistons look to avoid their sixth consecutive loss while the Magic hope to get their third straight win. On Monday night, the Magic defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 102-100, behind Evan Fournier’s buzzer beating shot. Fournier scored 15 points on Monday and is shooting 45.2 percent (19-of-42) in his last three games. The Pistons must account for his scoring and play-making abilities at all times. However, Fournier may not play as he was just listed as questionable.
“It’s huge to build momentum so that we can really believe in ourselves and believe we can beat anyone, because we can,” Fournier said. “But the more we do it, the more we gain confidence. Now, we have two tough games coming up against two tough teams, so it’s going to be another good test for us.'”
Last time these two teams faced each other in March of last season, the Magic won 115-106 as the Magics front court dominated the Pistons. Aaron Gordon scored 27 points and grabbed thirteen rebounds while Nikola Vucevic posted a monster stat line of twenty two points, twelve rebounds and six assists.
Coming into Wednesday, the Magic are the second worse shooting team in the NBA at 42.7 percent (Pistons are third worst at 42.7 percent) while having the second worst offensive rating at 101.7. Defensively, the team is barely better as they rank 22nd in defensive rating. Expect this game to move at a slow pace as both teams emphasize getting the ball to their big men.
Last game the Pistons fell in overtime to the Miami Heat, 120-115. But more importantly, as writer Matthew Way astutely pointed out, in the fourth and in overtime the Pistons found a bunch of success in the pick-and-roll. Hopefully, Coach Casey will continue to implement the pick-and-roll because it seemed to have helped Reggie Jackson, who had a team-high 25 points, find his mojo while getting better shots for other players.
Look for Glenn Robinson III to start again for Stanley Johnson as he did quite well offensively as a starter scoring 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting in 30 minutes. However, Robinson struggled mightily on defense as the Heats wings did whatever they wanted so he may get the hook quickly this game.
Ultimately, this game will be determined by who controls the offensive glass. Since both teams strggule so much with shooting rebounding will be key. The Pistons are ranked 3rd in the NBA at second chance points (16.7 ppg) while the Magic are ranked 5th (15.6 ppg).
PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Reggie Bullock*
SF: Glen Robinson III
PF: Blake Griffin
C: Andre Drummond
PG: DJ Augustine
SG: Wes Iwundu
SF: Evan Fournier*
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Vucevic
Injuries: Magics’ Evan Fournier is listed as questionable while the Pistons’ Reggie Bullock is a gametime decision and Luke Kennard is out.
Featured image: Kim Klement- USA TODAY Sports