The Orlando Magic don’t shoot very well (27th in league at 44.3%), don’t rebound very well (24th with 43.3 RPG) or score much (27th at 104). Still, this is a scrappy bunch of guys who can surprise. After losing 4 straight on a long road trip, they promptly returned home and beat the Celtics 105-103 and the Houston Rockets 116-109. The problem is this game is on the road where the team has lost 7 of its last 8 road games. C Nikola Vucevic leads the team in scoring at 20.1 PPG and rebounds at 11.9 RPG. Looking at the team’s stats, it’s clear they just don’t have enough scoring depth with the starting five accounting for almost 80% of the points on a nightly basis. The team’s moderate pace of play is holding opponents to 107 PPG.
The Pistons have now positioned themselves as the 2nd worst shooting team in the league at just over 43% from the field. That might account for the team’s 9 losses in its last 12 games, though they are coming off a nice win and close loss on the road against the Clippers and Jazz respectively. The fact the team has lost 7 of its last 10 games at home is a concern. Also of concern is the fact the defense is allowing opponents to shoot 47.1% from the field, 7th worst in the NBA. F Blake Griffin leads the team in scoring (25.6 PPG) and assists (5.2 APG) while C Andre Drummond leads the league in rebounding at 25 RPG. Scoring depth is also a problem for the Pistons.
Prediction: This will be the 3rd meeting this season between these two teams, each team winning a close game in Orlando. The real difference in this game should be Detroit’s ability to dominate the boards against a smaller team. Detroit -3.5 (score – Detroit 108 -101)