Opponent Scouting: Orlando Magic. 33-44.
Tonight at 7:00 pm EST. the Pistons will be in Orlando to play against the Magic. The Pistons are on the second night of a back to back following a loss to the Heat last night. The Magic are on 2 days rest following a win over the Grizzlies.
The Them: The Magic are currently in the midst of their now seemingly annual late season meaningless run of playing really well. But even with that, they are rather simply just not a very good team. Their offense is pretty competent with a OffRtg. of 102.5, but despite the alledgedly defensive wizardry of Scott Skiles, their DefRtg. is a poor 104.2. The offense starts with Nic Vucevic, who is a very good scorer, 18 points per game, although he does not get to the line much, he can score in most any way that you can think of. Victor Oladipo can defend pretty well and can also score, and while he is not a threatening shooter he has managed to get a respectable long ball this season. But make no mistake, he is still at his best when slicing to the basket. Evan Fournier has been a bit of a revelation this season although he has slowed down a bit since the early season. But he is still a very good shooter and scorer. Aaron Gordon is an athletic freak who is not as raw offensively as you might think. Elfrid Peyton can really defend, and is a very good passer, but he is not very adept as a scorer. Mario Hezonja will bomb away from deep and is also a good athlete. They have a few other bench guys who don't play much but I'm already running late on this post so this will have to do.
Matchups to watch:
Andre vs. Vuc: Vucevic is not a very good athlete or defender in any way. Andre is a monster athlete. Vuc will give Andre some issues with pulling him out of the paint a wee bit but this should be a matchup that Andre can win.
Pistons players vs. Flying pieces of crap: There were more guys who had horrible games against the Heat than I think has happened all season. Lets not do that again.
Fournier vs. Mobias: Evan Fournier is not a bad defender, but he will be way undersized whether he is pitted against Morris or Harris. This should give either one a nice chance for a really good night.
Harris vs. Old team: Everyone wants to show up against their old team, especially when they are traded. Hopefully Harris has a special game in store. So in conclusion...
Cackle with knowing glee if:
Andre has 30 boards by halftime.
Tobias has 50 points going into the 4th.
Evan Fournier looks helpless on either one of the Mobias monster.
Run for the hills if:
The Magic manage a bunch of offensive rebounds again.
Vucevic is scoring lots of points and pulling Andre out of the paint for everyone else.
The game is still close going down the stretch.
Opportunities for to look stupid:
Andre and Mobias have a really nice game.
KCP has a bit of a bounce back and shuts down Oladipo.
The Pistons win by a comfortable margin on the back of solid performances all around.
What do you think? Think the Pistons can bring their magic number down to 1? Let me know! We all get smarter!