Both the teams currently occupy a spot in the bottom 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference standings. However, it is the 15th ranked Detroit Pistons that need to start finding the winning recipe if they don't want to end up at the rock-bottom by the end of the NBA 2020-2021 season.
Orlando Magic, on the other hand, have managed to uplift themselves to the 12th spot in the Eastern Conference riding on a three-game winning streak. The change in momentum was sparked off by a blow-out win against the New York Knicks followed by a close 124-120 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Fixture - Orlando Magic vs Detroit Pistons | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Tuesday, February 23rd, 7:00 PM ET (Wednesday, February 24th, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue - Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Orlando Magic Preview
Chances of the Orlando Magic reaching the post-season by the end of the NBA 2020-2021 regular season don't look too promising. However, the trio of Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross - all of whom are averaging points in double digits this season - will be the main attraction for the fans who are buying the limited tickets for the Amway Center.
For Orlando Magic, this match will present them with an opportunity to add to their 3-game winning streak. We saw in the last game, that Detroit Pistons struggled on the defensive end, which could again turn out be the reason for their defeat come Tuesday night.
Key Player - Nikola Vucevic
How many times do you see a center leading a team across the statistical spectrum? Not often. But Nikola Vucevic is starting to defy that belief. The big man has been averaging double-double this season for the Orlando Magic (24.1 points, 11.7 rebounds) and is also successfully showcasing his defensive prowess with 1.1 steals and almost 1 block per outing.
The 30-year-old Belgian, who is famously known as Orlando Magic's double-double machine, showed out against the Golden State Warriors last week with a triple-double (30 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists).
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
G Evan Fournier G Michael Carter-Williams G Terrence Ross F James Ennis III C Nikola Vucevic
Detroit Pistons Preview
With Derrick Rose's recent departure, and Blake Griffin unavailable until traded plus the unfortunate injury to Delon Wright make Detroit Pistons chances in this encounter very slim. In order to get something positive of this game, the Pistons will have to rely heavily on Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee and Dennis Smith Jr.
While Jerami Grant is averaging a decent 23.5 points this season and Mason Plumlee is putting up 10 points and 9 rebounds, Detroit Pistons desperately need a third scorer to fill up Delon Wright's shoes. To make things worse, Dennis Smith Jr., had a terrible outing against the Orlando Magic last time around, finishing the game with 6 points, 2 assists and 0 rebounds.
Enter Saben Lee. The Detroit Pistons rookie PG might just be the positive boost that the franchise has been desperately looking for. Putting up 12 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in their last outing, Saben Lee received high praise from his teammates and even Dwane Casey.
Key Player - Jerami Grant
The 6 feet 8 inch shooting guard has become the go-to man for Detroit Pistons. Additionally, the fact that he hasn't missed a single match this season, speaks volumes for his fitness and commitment.
Jerami Grant has been his usual solid self this season and is also averaging 1.2 blocks, highest on the Detroit Pistons roster. However, with Delon Wright absent and Josh Jackson taking his time to get into his groove, Grant will surely need to put up bigger numbers and specially more assists, if the franchise are going to have any chance of pulling off a win against the Orlando Magic.
Detroit Pistons Predicted Lineup
F Jerami Grant F Saddiq Bey C Mason Plumlee G Wayne Ellington G Dennis Smith Jr.
Pistons vs Magic Match Prediction
While Detroit Pistons already look down and out even before we reach the half-way stage of the NBA 2020-2021 season, there is still hope if Josh Jackson and Dennis Smith Jr. give Jerami Grant a helping hand.
However, with the Orlando Magic looking to up the ante for the NBA playoffs and coming off of a three-game win streak, they will have no mercy on the Detroit Pistons.
Orlando coach Steve Clifford will surely look to exploit the opponent weaknesses that he must have noted down on his whiteboard just a couple days back - an absence of defensive chemistry being the biggest chink in the Detroit Pistons' armour.
Where to Watch Pistons vs Magic?
The Orlando Magic vs Detroit Pistons game will be shown locally by FOX Sports Detroit and FOX Sports Florida. International viewers and specially Indian fans can catch the action live on NBA League Pass.