The Orlando Magic will try to start the final stretch of the schedule off right when they close out their season series with the reeling Detroit Pistons, whose fall from among the league's elite teams has not prevented them from posing problems to Orlando this season. Point guard Rodney Stuckey has lit the Magic up for 19.3 points per game, albeit on an inefficient 50.7% True Shooting mark, thanks in part to his quickness. And rookie combo forward Jonas Jerebko, who stunned the Magic with 16 points in their last meeting, has come on strong in February, with 11.2 points per game on 61.6% True Shooting. His ability to sneak behind defenses for high-percentage looks at the rim has proven effective, so he's a player to watch tonight. And although Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, and Charlie Villanueva have had down seasons, they're each capable of scoring in bunches against anyone. So despite the Pistons' poor record, they are not a team to take lightly.
|2009/2010 NBA Season|
|February 5th, 2010|
|Fox Sports Florida|
|Rodney Stuckey||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Richard Hamilton||SG||Vince Carter|
|Tayshaun Prince||SF||Matt Barnes|
|Jonas Jerebko||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Ben Wallace||C||Dwight Howard|
|November 3rd: Pistons 85, Magic 80|
|November 16th: Magic 110, Pistons 103|
|January 31st: Magic 91, Pistons 86|
|Eddie F. Rush|
Orlando is more than up to the task of downing the Pistons tonight, but again, it has struggled against Detroit this season. The offense seems to grind to a halt against the Pistons, who field one of the league's worst overall defenses. Dwight Howard goes long stretches either without touching the ball, or he otherwise struggles to score against Ben Wallace strong, physical defense. And the team settles for far too many jumpers against a team that's otherwise vulnerable on the interior. Despite Wallace's presence inside--and he's played well, without a doubt--the Pistons nonetheless are below-average with regard to defending shots at the rim, which might explain their attempts to pry All-Star center Chris Kaman from the L.A. Clippers. Interestingly, opponents tallied an assist on 58.9% of their inside shots against the Pistons prior to their game last night, the second-highest such figure in the league. Ball movement and a willingness to move without it appear to be keys to exploiting Detroit defensively. Matt Barnes and Marcin Gortat could be the beneficiary of several easy buckets if they just keep moving.
Tip's at 7.