For the second time in four days, the Orlando Magic face the Detroit Pistons. Orlando dealt Detroit an 11-point loss on Monday, but the Pistons led for much of the game before a late three-point barrage, coupled with stout Magic defense, put the Magic over the top. And Orlando will likely be without MVP candidate Dwight Howard tonight due to a stomach virus; Jameer Nelson, making an All-Star bid of his own, could also sit out, so this contest figures to be much closer, and even harder fought.
The book hasn't changed on the Pistons in the last four days, as they're still a jump-shooting squad with no interior offensive presence. I rather enjoyed reading Dan Feldman's post about how GM Joe Dumars' approach hasn't changed over the years, which has resulted in his stocking the current Detroit squad with veterans.
The Magic's offense changes drastically without Howard and Nelson, two of Orlando's biggest possession-eaters. Marcin Gortat and Chris Duhon shoot far less frequently than the men they'll replace, which will put an extra scoring burden on Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter. Lewis scored a game-high 20 points against the Pistons on Tuesday, while Carter's coming off a 22-point outing versus the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, so their recent performance indicates they should be up to the task of carrying the Magic's offense this evening. I also like the idea of involving Gortat in pick-and-roll action against the far slower Ben Wallace and Greg Monroe tonight, provided Duhon can deliver him the ball. Orlando's backup point guard has, by far, the league's highest turnover rate among players to log at least 300 minutes this season.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|14-4 (5-2 road)
|6-13 (4-4 home)
|December 3rd, 2010|
|The Palace of Auburn Hills|
|Chris Duhon||PG||Rodney Stuckey|
|Vince Carter||SG||Richard Hamilton|
|Quentin Richardson||SF||Tayshaun Prince|
|Rashard Lewis||PF||Jason Maxiell|
|Marcin Gortat||C||Ben Wallace|
|November 30th: Magic 90, Pistons 79|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|91.5 (19th)||Pace||89.0 (28th)|
|108.2 (11th)||ORtg||103.8 (24th)|
|99.6 (1st)||DRtg||110.3 (25th)|