The Orlando Magic suffered their fourth consecutive preseason defeat Tuesday night, 112-86, against the hot-shooting Detroit Pistons. The outcome ought not have come as a surprise, as coach Jacque Vaughn elected to, on the second night of a back-to-back, rest his established veteran core of Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Hedo Turkoglu, and Glen Davis. Undrafted rookie DeQuan Jones started for the second straight game and led Orlando with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Gustavo Ayón got the nod at center and responded with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists.
The Pistons manhandled Orlando around the board, with 10 players scoring seven points or more. Speedy combo guard Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting, exposing Orlando's poor perimeter defense in much the same way Kyrie Irving did Monday night.
|Team||Pace||Efficiency||eFG%||FT Rate||OReb%||TO Rate|
|Green denotes a stat better than the team's 2011/12 average;|
red denotes a stat worse than the team's 2011/12 average.
The Magic trailed by only three points after the first quarter, but Detroit eased into command in the second period: the Pistons scored 35 points on 70 percent shooting, while the Magic missed two-thirds of their shots, tallied more turnovers (seven) than baskets (six), and mustered only 14 points.
Vaughn's decision to rest his veterans, as well as Nikola Vučević and Andrew Nicholson, afforded other Magic players a great opportunity to showcase their skills. Josh McRoberts started at power forward and did not make a terribly strong case for inclusion on the team's opening-day roster, finishing with six points, two rebounds, and four assists in 27 minutes. Justin Harper fared slightly better, putting up a modest 11 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes.
Perhaps most encouragingly, Kyle O'Quinn blocked three shots in his 31 minutes; as a team, Orlando had just 12 in its previous three games. The Magic will need a rim-protector, and if O'Quinn can continue to send shots away at a decent rate, he'll have a spot in Vaughn's playing rotation.
The Magic return to the floor on Friday when they'll host the Indiana Pacers at Amway Center.