The Detroit Pistons have a Sunday meeting with the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. The matchup features two teams that are at or near the bottom of the NBA Eastern Conference standings but one of them is trending up at the moment.
The Magic have won three of their last four outings including wins against the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks, two playoff-contending teams. Though their record doesn’t show it at 12-18, the Magic are one of the more competitive teams that are not in the playoff picture.
It has been a struggle for the Detroit Pistons the past few games, made more difficult by the absence of Blake Griffin. The former LA Clippers star was put on the freezer by the team while Detroit considers their options for him.
Fixture - Detroit Pistons vs Orlando Magic | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Sunday, February 21st, 7:00 PM ET (Monday, February 22nd, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue - Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Detroit Pistons Preview
The Detroit Pistons head into the matchup with the Orlando Magic having lost two straight contests and seven of their previous 10. Though most of their wins have come against some of the league’s top title contenders, the Pistons are likely looking to tank the rest of this season in order to get a better draft pick.
Nevertheless, Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey will continue to push his team to win every game they play.
Key Player - Jerami Grant
This probably was not the kind of season that Jerami Grant was expecting when he signed on to play for the Detroit Pistons in the offseason. It’s not the most ideal situation for players looking to win a championship but Grant could become an All-Star for the first time in his career because of the circumstances currently surrounding the team.
Grant is averaging a career-high 23.5 points with 5.1 rebounds. He scored a career-best 43 points against the Chicago Bulls a few days ago but the Detroit Pistons forward has been struggling with consistency of late. If he wants that All-Star selection, then he needs to get out of this mini-slump, beginning with the Orlando Magic game.
Detroit Pistons Predicted Lineup
G Delon Wright G Wayne Ellington F Jerami Grant F Saddiq Bey C Mason Plumlee
Orlando Magic Preview
The return of Evan Fournier from back spasms has resulted in the Orlando Magic’s two consecutive wins and that’s not a coincidence. Fournier is the Magic’s second-leading scorer and a perfect complement to Nikola Vucevic who is making a case to be an All-Star once again.
The Orlando Magic are looking to continue their little win streak with a victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. With Detroit missing Griffin, Orlando should be able to take advantage of the Pistons’ lack of offensive weapons.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic is playing the best basketball of his career and the Orlando Magic are fortunate to have the 30-year old since his second season in the league. Not only is he scoring a career-high 23.6 points per game, but he is also shooting a career-best 40.7 percent from 3-point range.
Whether the Detroit Pistons use Saddiq Bey or Mason Plumlee against him, Vucevic can take advantage of either player and the Orlando Magic know this. The Pistons’ only hope is to try and get the ball out of his hands as often as they can.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
G Evan Fournier G Michael Carter-Williams F James Ennis III F Nikola Vucevic C Khem Birch
Pistons vs Magic Match Prediction
The Detroit Pistons have shocked a number of teams with how they’ve been in the thick of the fight in almost every game they’ve played this season. But the loss of Derrick Rose and now Blake Griffin has made the Pistons’ offense more predictable.
When they visit the Orlando Magic, they will be in for a rough night as they will be facing a team that are itching to get back into the playoff race. The Orlando Magic are hungry for wins and they should be able to handle the Detroit Pistons easily. However, the Magic would be wise to avoid the mistake of being complacent against the team with the lowest record in the East.