The Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons sit 9th and 10th in the Eastern Conference standings respectively. After a 14-6 start, this has been a mostly disappointing season for the Detroit Pistons.
Going into play Tuesday night, the Pistons are 2-8 in their last 10 games and lost their last contest 100-94 to the Utah Jazz. The Orlando Magic who has one win more than the Pistons at 19-24 are 5-5 in their last ten games and have won two in a row. These Eastern Conference rivals are third in their respective divisions the Pistons’ in the Central Division and the Magic in the Southeast Division.
Detroit and Orlando are two of the worst offensively rated teams in the NBA this season. The Pistons are 25th in the league in points per game at 106.6. Orlando is 27th offensively averaging 103.1 points per game. The Pistons field goal percentage is worse than the Magic at 43.4%.
The Pistons are the better rebounding team slightly at 45.7 per game and do snag 11.7 offensive rebounds per game. However, Andre Drummond does collect five offensive rebounds per game and 15 overall each game. With Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond being elite rebounders, expect the Pistons to dominate Orlando in this area.
The Pistons are also 12th best in the NBA in terms of free throw attempts. The Pistons get 24 free throw attempts per game and shoot 73.5% from the charity stripe. The Orlando Magic commit the third fewest fouls in the NBA. However, with stronger post players like Griffin expect the Pistons to try and pound the paint and try to get to the foul line.
The Magic do have a slight advantage in the low post defensively. They reject 5.3 shots per game. It is odd that with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, Detroit are the second worst team in the NBA in blocked shots. Mohamed Bamba, Nikola Vucevic and Jonathan Isaac all average more than a blocked shot per game. Expect a battle in the post and for points in the paint as the Magic won’t give them up easily to the Pistons.
While neither of these teams is the NBA’s best offensively, the Orlando Magic move the ball well averaging 24.2 assists per game. They get 3 or more assists per game from D.J. Augustin, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, and Aaron Gordon.
Jerian Grant averages 2.9 assists per game for the Magic as well. The Magic accumulate assists by committee everyone touches and moves the basketball. If the Magic are sharing the ball then expect the Pistons to be in trouble when defending.
The Magic are also 17th in the NBA on 34.9% shooting off of 31.3 three-point shot attempts per game. Detroit shoots the three-pointer at 33%. Expect whichever team makes their three-pointers to have an edge in this game.
The Magic are led offensively by Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. They average 15.7 and 20.1 ppg respectively. In their big win over the Rockets on Sunday both Vucevic and Gordon had 22 points apiece and got help from Evan Fournier with 19 points.
Nikola Vucevic is also the top rebounder on the Magic averaging 11.9 per game. Terrence Ross who had 17 points in the Magic win over the Rockets is also averaging 13.7ppg.
The Detroit Pistons are led by Blake Griffin offensively. He averages 25.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg. Griffin is also the top assist man on the Pistons averaging 5.2 per game. Andre Drummond averages 16.8ppg and 15 rebounds per game five of which are offensive.
The Pistons shoot per game around 24 free throws. Griffin and Drummond have combined to attempt 13 free throws a game. However, Drummond only connects 52.4% of the time. The Pistons do not need him on the floor if the score is close and the opposition wants to foul to extend the game.
There is not a lot to chose between these two teams. The Pistons give up 109ppg and the Magic 107ppg. The Magic do share and move the ball better offensively. Even though this game is in Detroit the Pistons are only 11-10 at home. The Magic are coming off of a big win against the Houston Rockets and are on a two-game win streak. Expect the Magic to extend their winning streak in a 105-99 final.Published 16 Jan 2019, 01:24 IST