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The Magic Look To Triumph In Detroit

  • Coming off an excellent team win in Cleveland, tonight the Magic look to triumph in Detroit against a Pistons team that have stalled all season long.

Regular Season Game 57 – Orlando Magic vs Detroit Pistons

  • Venue – Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan  
  • U.K. tip time is 1am, which is 8pm in Orlando and Detroit.
  • Here in the U.K. to watch live or on demand you will need an active NBA League Pass subscription.

Orlando Magic 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 31-25
  • Run: Won 2 and are 7-3 in the last 10 played.
  • Home Record 18-8 (18-7 in the Kia Center; one “home court” loss was in Mexico City).
  • Road Record 13-17
  • Standing: 8th in the East
  • Points Per GameFor 111.8 Against 110.8
  • RatingOffensive 23rd Defensive 4th
  • This is the first night of a back-to-back for the Magic, playing in Atlanta tomorrow. Looking at back-to-back games this season, the Magic are still fairing better than last season.
    • This Season – First Night 5-6 : Second Night 3-8
    • Last Season – First Night 6-7 : Second Night 1-12
  • The Magic and drama have seemingly gone hand-in-hand on the road this season. 30 road games played, 14 decided by a margin of five points or less, with 10 of those by three points or less. Throw in the “home” game in Mexico City and that statistic becomes 15 and 11.

Last Time Out For Orlando: vs Cleveland Cavaliers

  • The Magic took an impressive road win over the Cavs by 116-109 as the NBA resumed on February 22nd.
  • This was a team win, one that drew heavily on the support of the bench. 
  • The Magic came out strong, the starting unit putting up a 14 point lead. Cleveland worked their way back but held a lead or were tied across the entire 48 minutes played for less than 8 of those.
  • Coach Mosley was happy to ride the hot hand and the impact players on the night, playing what felt like some different rotations as a result. Interestingly, the 5 reserves that played all had a positive plus/minus, the 5 starters all a negative rating.
  • Moe Wagner led all scorers as he came from the bench for 22 points and 7 rebounds. 
  • Brother Franz Wagner scored 14 to lead the starting 5.
  • Further bench scoring came from Cole Anthony with 13 points to go along with 6 assists, whilst Joe Ingles posted 12 points.
  • Paolo Banchero played through illness. Despite being a little slower, showing some signs of fatigue and being less aggressive he finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Unfortunately that saw an end to the 18 straight road games where he scored 20-plus points, a stat that tied Tracy McGrady for the second-longest streak of this kind in the team’s 35 year history.
  • Wendell Carter Jr rounded out the double digit scoring as he registered 12 points.
  • Jalen Suggs exited the game early in the third quarter, having taken the full force of an accidental elbow to the back of the head from Wendell.
  • The starting lineup was Jalen Suggs, Gary Harris, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
  • From the bench Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Anthony Black, Joe Ingles and Moritz Wagner.
  • Caleb Houstan, Chuma Okeke and Goga Bitadze were all unused on the bench. 
  • Markelle Fultz, Jett Howard, Admiral Schofield, Kevon Harris and Trevelin Queen were all inactive for the Magic.

Tonight

  • Firstly, Jalen Suggs is available. Though he did not return to the court after the elbow strike in the third quarter against Cleveland, Coach Mosley was very clear in stating that he could have done so if needed.
  • Markelle Fultz is confirmed as out with an issue to the knee. This will be a third consecutive game, including spanning the All-Star break that he has missed through what is listed as injury management.
  • Jett Howard is again assigned to the G-League with the Osceola Magic.
  • Kevon Harris and Trevelin Queen are listed as out, being two-way G-League.
  • It is unlikely that the coach changes his starting 5 with Fultz out and Jalen Suggs being available.

The Detroit Pistons 

Season Stats

  • Regular Season Record: 8-47 Run: Lost 4 and are at 3-7 in the last 10 played.
  • Standing: 15th in the East 
  • Points Per GameFor 112.9 Against 122.2
  • RatingOffensive 25th Defensive 29th
  • At home the Pistons have a very poor 4-23 record. In fact this will be the Pistons first home fixture since the visit of the Magic on February 4th.
  • This team takes the most 2-point-shots per game in the league, with a 53.2% success rate (22nd in the league). This includes 52.4 points in the paint per game (tied 9th most with Orlando). They are very strong on offensive rebounds, a contributory factor in scoring 13.7 second chance points (17th).
  • On defence they are mid-league for restricting opponents second chance points. They restrict three-point opportunities but concede heavily on those attempts, at 38%. Being turnover prone Detroit concede here, alongside on fast breaks and in the paint. 
  • Cade Cunningham has played and started in 45 games this season. He is the team leader in scoring with 22.1 points per game and 7.5 assists. 
  • Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren can not ignored for scoring. Nor can deadline pick up Simone Fontecchio, who in 4 games with Detroit is averaging 15 points.
  • 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 115-129 road defeat to the Indiana Pacers on February 22nd.
  • The opening six minutes of the first quarter were as close as the game would be, seeing Detroit have their only lead or tied score (a grand total of just 1 minute 32 seconds). A 43-72 deficit at halftime saw Detroit all but done. In fairness the Pistons rallied in the third, cutting the Pacers lead by 15 on the back of scoring 45 points in the quarter.
  • Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 30 points and 8 assists. 
  • Jalen Duren had an 15 point and 13 rebound double-double.
  • Jaden Ivey and Simone Fontecchio both had 14 points.
  • Ausar Thompson put up a 11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals. 
  • A familiar name to Magic fans, Evan Fournier led the bench with 10 points. He attempted only 4 field goals in almost 18 minutes played. All those efforts came from beyond the arc, making three.
  • Starting 5 – Cade Cunningham, Simone Fontecchio, Ausar Thompson, Jalen Duren, Jaden Ivey.
  • From the bench came Evan Fournier, James Wiseman, Marcus Sasser, Malachi Flynn, Troy Brown Jr and Shake Milton.
  • Mike Muscala and Tosan Evbuomwan were available but did not play.
  • Isaiah Stewart, Quentin Grimes, Stanley Umude, Buddy Boeheme and Jared Rhoden were inactive.

Tonight

  • Isaiah Stewart remains out being suspended for three games following an on-court altercation.
  • Quentin Grimes is day-to-day but probable with a knee issue.
  • Detroit head coach Monty Williams has used a fair few starting units this season. Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart (out) and Jalen Duren have all been consistent starters when available. Jaden Ivey and Ausar Thompson have been the others to see high starts. It is reasonable to expect the same 5 as against Indiana.

Head-To-Head With The Detroit Pistons 

  • In 125 regular season games played and the score stands at 55-70 to the Pistons.
  • Tonight is the third of four meetings this season. 
  • In the first match up on game day 22 (8th December) an injury ravaged Orlando had a bounce-back 91-123 home win. That 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.
  • The Magic went into the Little Caesars Arena on game day 50 (Feb 4th). Despite a slow start the Magic took a 111-99 victory. The Pistons put in a strong effort, being level early in the final period. The Magic’s “death line up” closed out, holding the Pistons to only 2 points in the final 3 minutes. Franz Wagner matched his career high with 38 points, a score achieved without attempting a single free throw. Paolo Banchero put up 20 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
  • The final meeting of the two teams comes very soon, on March 3rd in Orlando.
  • 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 four played, Detroit the three before that. In the last 14 played it is 8-6 in favour of Orlando.

As The Magic Look To Triumph In Detroit: A Final Thought

  • The Pistons have a slightly different look since our last meeting. Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks got traded at the deadline, seeing shooting being sacrificed. That will see the Magic need to adapt to what is now another different starting 5 and bench players the Pistons are using. Sticking to our core defensive principles will go a long way to setting the tone for the Magic.
  • There are no freebies in the NBA, to get a win Orlando will need to turn up and beat the team in front of them. Anything less than the full effort could easily see a very much unwanted loss in what is a pivotal part of the season.
  • With 26 games remaining the Magic have on paper the easiest remaining schedule. The Eastern Conference playoff race is exceptionally close, only 5 wins separate Cleveland in second from Orlando in 8th. 
  • The Magic have 15 home games (including an 8 game homestand) and 11 on the road. 
  • 16 of the remaining games are against teams ranked below .500, including the next 7 straight.
  • It took Orlando to game day 74 last season to reach 31 wins. That total this season has been achieved 18 games earlier and sees Orlando challenging many teams that were considered our superiors at season start. We are without doubt in a good and hugely exciting place.

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