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Orlando Have An Early Tip In The “Motor City”

  • Orlando have an early tip in the “Motor City” and the Magic are looking to power themselves to a win over the Detroit Pistons. 

Regular Season Game 50 – Orlando Magic vs Detroit Pistons

  • Venue – Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
  • U.K. tip time is 8pm, which is 3pm in Orlando and Detroit. Yes, it is amazing for us European fans that Orlando have an early tip in the “Motor City”.
  • To watch here in the U.K. you will again need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 26-23
  • Run: Won 2 and are 5-5 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 15-7 (15-6 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City)
  • Road Record 11-16
  • Standing: 8th in the East (record tied with Miami in 7th, but they hold the tie-breaker)
  • Points Per GameFor 111.6 Against 110.8
  • RatingOffensive 24th Defensive 4th

Last Time Out For Orlando: vs The Minnesota Timberwolves 

  • Another night and another clutch road game! The Magic overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the West’s leading team, the Minnesota Timberwolves by 108-106. This was the their second biggest comeback win of the season (down by 18 in Denver remaining the largest).
  • Despite going behind heavily on the back of conceding 38 points in the first quarter the Magic did not panic or let their belief waiver. Steadily they built their way back into the game, starting with getting stops on the defensive end. The Magic held the T-Wolves to just 21 in the second and 18 in the final period. 
  • First time All-Star Paolo Banchero showed his composure and leadership again. Holding his nerve he sank a pair from the charity stripe, his only free throw attempts of the night with just 9.3 seconds remaining to seal the game. He racked up 23 points on 50% shooting (10-20) and 6 assists. 
  • Franz Wagner finished with 19 points, 5 assists and 2 steals.
  • Wendell Carter Jr battled Rudy Gobert, contributing a strong 18 point and 12 rebound double-double.
  • Double digit scoring was rounded out by starters Markelle Fultz (10, with 5 assists) and Jalen Suggs (15).
  • The bench contribution was beyond the boxscore, 23 points is far from their best this season. Jonathan Isaac produced another masterful defensive performance. Moritz Wagner brought the spark of energy and action that you expect and can almost overlook the impact it has. Joe Ingles at his own pace as always brought that calming and controlled ball handling. Gary Harris returned to the court after missing 14 consecutive games with a calf injury.
  • The starting lineup was Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench Jonathan Isaac, Gary Harris, Cole Anthony, Moritz Wagner and Joe Ingles were the 5 used. 
  • Coach Mosley employed JI into the closing 5 with Jalen, Franz, Paolo and Wendell. By the close Judah had played 20 minutes.
  • Anthony Black, Chuma Okeke, Goga Bitadze, Trevelin Queen, Caleb Houstan and Admiral Schofield were available but did not play.

Tonight

  • Hello to no listed injuries!!
  • Jett Howard is unavailable on G-League assignment again.
  • Kevon Harris is listed as out, simply as being “G-League two-way”.
  • Coach Mosley is unlikely to change up his preferred starting option and lock in with the core bench unit. 

The Detroit Pistons 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 6-42 Run: Lost 2 and are at 3-7 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 15th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 112.9 Against 122.5
  • RatingOffensive 25th Defensive 29th
  • At home the Pistons have a very poor 4-22 record.
  • This team takes the most 2-point-shots per game in the league, with a 53.7% success rate (22nd in the league). It translates to 52 points in the paint per game (10th). They have a decent assist rate and are very strong on offensive rebounds, which translates to scoring 13.8 second chance points (14th).
  • On defence they are mid-league for restricting opponents second chance points. They restrict three-point opportunities but concede on 38% of those. Being turnover prone Detroit concede on those, alongside on fast breaks and in the paint. 
  • Cade Cunningham has played and started in 39 games this season. He is the team leader in scoring with 22.5 points per game and 7.5 assists. 
  • Bojan Bogdanovic is scoring 20.5 points per game, including shooting 42.5% from range.
  • Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, Alec Burks, Isaiah Stewart and Danilo Gallinari are all averaging double-digit scoring per game.
  • Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart and Ausar Thompson are providing the rebounds and blocks. Duren is averaging a points and rebounds double-double per game.

Last Time Out For The Detroit Pistons 

  • Their last outing was a 136-125 home court defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on February 2nd.
  • Detroit led all bar a few seconds of the first quarter by as many as 14. With 2 minutes 30 remaining in the second quarter the Clippers took the lead and never relinquished it.
  • Jaden Ivey led Detroit with 28 points.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic had 26 points, which included making 6-of-9 with the long ball. 
  • Cade Cunningham put up an impressive 16 points and 11 assist double-double. 
  • Jalen Duren had an 11 point and 13 rebound double-double. followed in scoring.
  • Marcus Sasser led the bench with 21 points. He made 8-of-10 shots, including going 5-of-6 with the three-point-shot.
  • Starting 5 – Cade Cunningham, Kevin Knox, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jalen Duren, Jaden Ivey.
  • From the bench came Ausar Thompson, Alec Burks, Marcus Sasser, Danilo Gallinari, Monte Morris, and James Wiseman.
  • Joe Harris and Killian Hayes were available but did not play.
  • Isaiah Stewart and Mike Muscala were inactive, as were the three two-way players Stanley Umude, Jared Rhoden and Malcom Cazalon.

Tonight

  • Isaiah Stewart remains out with an ankle injury.
  • Mike Muscala is day-to-day and questionable on a concussion issue. 
  • Cade Cunningham is day-to-day but probable with a knee problem.
  • Detroit head coach Monty Williams has used a fair few starting units this season. Will he go with the same starting 5 as against the Clippers? That in part is decided by Cade Cunningham being able to play. Cade, along with Bogdanovic, Stewart (out) and Duren have all been consistent starters when available. Hayes, Ivey and Thompson have been the others to see high starts.

Head-To-Head With The Detroit Pistons 

  • In 124 regular season games played and the score stands at 54-70 to the Pistons.
  • In the single meeting so far this season on game day 22 (8th December) an injury ravaged Orlando, bounced back to their best after 2 successive losses. With a 91-123 home win the Magic consigned the Pistons their 19th consecutive loss. Orlando won all four quarters on the back of Franz Wagner’s 27 points, Paolo Banchero following up with 24.
  • Last season was a 2-2 tie, seeing each team win at home. 
  • Orlando and Detroit have recently been exchanging short runs of wins. Orlando won the last three played, Detroit the three before that. In the last 13 played it is 7-6 in favour of Orlando.
  • The final two meetings of this season come soon after All-Star weekend. 

A Final Thought As Orlando Have An Early Tip In The “Motor City”

  • It is now 27 road games played and 14 have been decided by a margin of five points or less, 10 of those by three points or less. Throw in the “home” game in Mexico City and that statistic becomes 15 and 11. Please, for the sake of our nerves and heart rates can we just get a blowout win for once!
  • Season 2023-24 was supposed to be one where a Detroit squad stacked with young talent made clear and tangible growth. So far that has not happened, losing an NBA record of 28 games straight. They then beat the Raptors following it up with another 7 game losing streak. 
  • The first game this season, which Orlando dominated was with an injury ravaged team. There was no Markelle Fultz, Wendell Carter Jr, Jalen Suggs or Jonathan Isaac.
  • Jonathan Isaac has been reminding everyone through these last few games that he is in the top tier of basketball defenders. Kevin Durant, Karl Anthony Towns and Victor Wembanyama will all testify to that. He is forcing opponents into tough shots or they are simply not trying. 
  • Doing this we are never disparaging or underestimate an opponent. On paper this is a talented Detroit team, they can play. It is an opportunity for Orlando to put together 3 consecutive road wins and to ramp up the pressure on both the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers who are ahead of us in the standings.
  • Miami (26-23) tonight are at home to the LA Clippers (32-15), whilst the Pacers (27-23) are on the road in Charlotte. 
  • Orlando close this 5 game road trip out on Tuesday in Miami for our final meeting of the season.

The Let’s Talk Magic Game Preview

GO MAGIC!