Coverage at 7:00 pm ET
Orlando: 4-1 (2-0 home)
Pistons: 2-3 (1-2 road)
Orlando bounced back from Tuesday's loss to the Pistons to destroy the Suns by 22 points on Wednesday. Make no mistake, this is one of the most dominating teams in the league, as their double-digit point differential will attest. Vince Carter, who didn't play against the Pistons earlier this week, could be back for this one.
When things are going good, the Magic work the inside-out game to perfection, with Howard dominating in the paint and a bevy of long-range shooters bombing away from beyond the arc. Rashard Lewis, who led the league in three-point attempts, is still suspended, but Ryan Anderson has filled in admirably, jacking up nearly seven treys a game while converting at an impressive (.441) clip.
In fact, the Magic as a team are shooting .436 from three-point land, with no fewer than six players averaging at least 3.8 attempts a game. Even J.J. Redick is getting in the fun (14.4 points, 5.0 3PA, .520 3P% in 33.6 minutes a game). With that many sharpshooters, no deficit is too big for Orlando to overcome.
The Pistons own the Magic, winning 20 of their last 25 regular-season matchups. You wouldn't think that streak would continue without the likes of Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess ... but it did on Tuesday. Let's see if the Pistons can keep it up in Orlando.
Keys for Detroit:
Crash the boards: Following Kevin's wise example, I'm just going to cut and paste this one.
Attack, attack, attack! Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum need to drive to the rim at every chance. It worked last time, didn't it? (Answer: yes, it did.) For those with no memory, Dwight Howard fouled out, dropped an f-bomb and complained about the refs on his blog after the game. The next night, he had five more fouls against the Suns, prompting Stan Van Gundy to complain about the double-standard big men face in regards to physical play.
Hit the ground: I hate to see big men flop, but ... whatever works. The refs are in Dwight's head; the Pistons need to exploit it.
Question of the Game
Will Detroit's unlikely success continue? Will Stuckey shoot better than 40% for the first time since the opener? Will Detroit's front court break double-digits in scoring?