The NBA is set up with a great night of action throughout February 21. Eight games are up on the board throughout Sunday. One of these games will be between the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic. These two teams have struggled throughout this season, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will tip off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Pistons have opened up this season with a record of 8-21, which has them sitting in last place of the Eastern Conference. Detroit has lost back to back games, but had won three of four before this losing streak. The Pistons will look to find that success once again in this one. I expect Detroit to come out quickly in this one as they try to set the pace.
Orlando has put up a record of 12-18 to this point in the season, which has them in twelfth place of the Eastern Conference. The Magic are a game and a half out of the tenth seed in the East and will look to move up with a win in this one. Orlando has won two straight games entering this one and have won three of their last four. The Magic will look to keep it up in this one.
These two teams have struggled throughout this season, but are looking to get a win in this one. Both teams have had a small test of success as of late and will look to carry momentum over in this one. I expect the Magic to try and attack early in this one as they are coming off two straight wins. If either team can control the pace early though, it should be enough for the win.
The Pistons and the Magic met up twice throughout last season. Detroit hosted the first game back on November 25. Terrance Ross scored 19 points off the bench, while Evan Fournier scored 17. It was not enough for Orlando though. Luke Kennard dropped 20 points and Blake Griffin added 17 points. The Pistons were able to pull away with a 103-88 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted to Orlando on February 12. Christian Wood put up 26 points and 12 rebounds. Thon Maker had 18 points, but this time Detroit fell short. Aaron Gordan dropped 25 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists, while Markelle Fultz had 22 points and 10 assists. Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier both scored 19 points to lead the Magic to a 116-112 win in overtime.
These two teams split last season’s series, each winning at home. The Pistons were able to force the game in Orlando to overtime, but still came up short. Detroit will look to find some similar success against the Magic this season. This game will be the first half of a back to back and I expect both teams to try and come out hot on Sunday.
Field Goal Shooting
Detroit has not been good shooting the ball at all this season. The Pistons have been able to make around 43.7 percent of their shots from the field, which is 29th in the NBA. Detroit is shooting 35.2 percent from behind the arc, which is 25th in the league. The Pistons have made 78.2 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 14th in the NBA.
The Magic have not been any better shooting the ball throughout this season. Orlando has shot 43.2 percent from the field, which is 30th in the league. The Magic have been able to make 35.3 percent of their shots from deep, which is 22nd in the NBA. Orlando has drained 78.3 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 13th in the league.
Neither team has shot well at all from the field this season, but Orlando has been the better team defensively. The Magic have been able to hold opposing teams to a 47 percent shooting percentage, which is 18th in the NBA. Detroit has allowed their opponents to shoot 48.2 percent from the field, which is 28th in the league. Orlando will look for their defense to lead the way in this one.
Jerami Grant has been the clear leader for this young Pistons team this season. Grant has averaged 23.5 points per game. Josh Jackson is averaging 13 points per game as well this season. Delon Wright and Wayne Ellington have both averaged 10.5 points per game. Mason Plumlee is averaging 10 points and 9 rebounds per game.
Nikola Vucevic is the clear leader for Orlando so far this season. Vucevic is averaging 23.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Evan Fournier has averaged 18.5 points per game. Terrance Ross is averaging 15.5 points per game so far this season. Dwayne Bacon has averaged 10.5 points per game to help round out this lineup.
Detroit is without Blake Griffin as he awaits a trade or a buy out. The Pistons have also traded Derrick Rose, which hurts a bit. The Magic have lost Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony for an extended period of time, which hurts as well. Both teams will look for some players to step up in this one as they try to grab the win.
Neither team has not had a great start to this season. The Pistons looked better against Orlando last season, but they look entirely different this season. I think that the Magic can keep up their winning streak on Sunday night against Detroit. If Orlando can play tight defense and control the paint, they should be able to hold off the Pistons.
BetOnline has the Magic listed as a -1 against the spread in this one. This gives a slight edge to Orlando on Sunday. I do not agree with this line as I think that the Magic should be bigger favorites. Orlando is at home in this matchup and have had the better start to the season. If the Magic can have their depth step up, they should be able to knock off Detroit on Sunday night.