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Pistons vs. Magic preview: Recover at home, not falter

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Pistons look to get immediately back among the winners and avoid their first losing streak in the PSE.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons are 11-3 in the PSE, quite unbelievable considering that they were 5-23 in the JSE.  Of those three losses, two were quite respectable, fighting the almost unbeatable Atlanta Hawks tooth and nail to two close losses, while the other loss, an 11 point job at the hands of New Orleans, was the only truly bad performance thus far.  Tonight, the Pistons have a chance to avoid their first two-game losing streak in the PSE with a game against the young Orlando Magic.

Game Vitals

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI

When: 7:30PM EST, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015

Watch: FSD

Unbelievably Bland Analysis

The Pistons enjoyed their moment in the limelight on Monday, showing up in front of a national audience on ESPN for the first time this season.  For most of the viewers, this was their first experience of the Post-Smoove Pistons, and for a while at the start, it appeared that the bright lights of a national audience were rendering the Pistons timid.  After only scoring a season-low 12 points in the first quarter, the Pistons improved, and eventually took a 29-28 lead in the second.  However, Atlanta's ruthless efficiency shone through in the end, as they dispatched the Pistons 93-82. Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 16 and 20 rebounds.  Andre Drummond also had a monster game, finishing with 13 and 18 rebounds.

In a story of the game, the Pistons took solace in the fact that they outrebounded the Hawks 61-42, and absolutely murdered the Hawks on the offensive glass.  The Pistons were able to use their sizeable muscle inside, and actually prevented any Hawks offensive rebounds until the third quarter, a good sign considering the team is a middle of the pack defensive rebounding team.

Orlando come into this game on the back of a pounding at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, 127-99.  Victor Oladipo led the team with 23 points while Elfrid Payton continued his strong play of late, following up his 22-point, 12-assist outing in a loss to Memphis with a 19-point, 8-assist showing vs. OKC.  The Thunder led by as many as 38 points, and the Magic really missed the influence of young leader Tobias Harris, who is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle.

Last Time We Met

Dec. 30, 2014, Pistons won 109-86

In Game 3 of the PSE, the Pistons rolled into Orlando and came away with a 23-point victory, led by a 34 point explosion from Jodie Meeks, including 9-11 from downtown.  Andre Drummond added a beastly 17 points and 22 rebounds, although he shot 5-16 from the free throw line.  D.J. Augustin also contributed his first double double as a Piston with 11 and 10 assists, a bonus considering the poor night Brandon Jennings had (5pts, 2-9 FG).

Players To Watch

Pistons: Brandon Jennings

Jennings has been a little inconsistent as of late.  He exploded for a season high 37 points in a 98-96 win over Indiana, following that up with 10 points in the win over Philadelphia and then only 7 points in the loss vs. Atlanta.  Brandon is due another big game, and he'll have a chance against the rookie PG in Elfrid Payton, who has been playing well as of late.

Magic: Victor Oladipo

The Magic's most dangerous scorer, Oladipo will have extra load with the loss of Tobias Harris through injury.  Oladipo, along with Nikola Vucevic, will shoulder most of the load to cover for the loss of Harris' 18 points per game and 7 rebounds per game.

Connections

-- Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy coached the Magic from 2007-12

-- Pistons asst. coaches Brendan Malone and Bob Beyer were assistants for Van Gundy in this time

-- Pistons director of player development, Quentin Richardson, played in Orlando from 2010-11 with Pistons asst. coach Malik Allen

-- Pistons director of strategic planning, Pat Garrity, played in Orlando from 1999-08

-- Orlando G Ben Gordon unfortunately played for the Pistons from 2009-12

-- Orlando G Willie Green is a Detroit native and played collegiately for Detroit Mercy from 1999-03

-- Green played with Pistons F Caron Butler for LA Clippers in 2012-13

-- Pistons G Brandon Jennings and Pistons G Jodie Meeks played in Milwaukee with Magic G Luke Ridnour in 2009-10, while Jennings also played in Milwaukee with Magic F Tobias Harris from 2011-13

Score Prediction

Given the new mentality of the team, the Pistons should be prepared well enough for a return to victory tonight.  The loss of Tobias Harris should help the Pistons' cause.

Pistons 108, Magic 95

Lineup Prediction

The Magic lineup has changed considerably since last game.  Aaron Gordon has returned from injury, while Harris is out and Channing Frye replaces Kyle O'Quinn.

Pistons: Jennings, Caldwell-Pope, Singler, Monroe, Drummond

Magic: Payton, Oladipo, Roy Devyn Marble, Frye, Vucevic

Injured/In Doubt

Pistons: None

Magic: Harris (ankle)

Community Question

Do you wish the Pistons to make a run at Wilson Chandler?