The Pistons hosted the Magic on January twenty-eight and found a way to put together a complete game which resulted in a big Pistons' win. The Pistons beat the equally lowly 76ers and lost to the defending champion Heat since then. The Magic, on the other hand, have played four games since and have dropped three of them (which is actually what they have done on the season, winning one out of every four), prevailing against the lowliest Milwaukee Bucks.
Just like last time, the Pistons are the superior team, but this game is far from a gimme.
Nikola Vucevic didn't play against the Pistons a week ago, but will be back in the lineup on Wednesday, which should help Orlando shore up its frontline. The Pistons outrebounded the Magic fifty-fix to forty the last time the two teams played, with Andre Drummond being responsible for seventeen of them.
The Magic's offense continues to be led by former Piston (and arguably All Star snub) Arron Afflalo, but Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris are capable of hurting the Pistons on the perimeter, and Detroit's defensive struggles there are well chronicled.
Keys to the Game
Feed Play the Moose: In one of the stranger developments of the season, Greg Monroe has played more than thirty minutes only twice over the last twelve games. Nothing I can do about that except complain on the internet.
Play within your limits: Josh Smith played well against the Magic a week ago, taking only twelve shots but scoring sixteen points. Resigned to the idea that Josh Smith is going to keep getting big minutes, nothing I can do about that but hope he has more games like that one.
Contain the Magic guards: The Magic are a guard-oriented team. Afflalo, Oladipo, and Nelson are responsible for most of the offense. There is something the Pistons can do about that, namely, play tough perimeter defense. If they can, they have a good chance of winning.
Question of the Game
Josh Harrellson is questionable with a knee injury. If he's out, who do you want to get his backup big minutes?