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Pistons vs. Magic Preview: Detroit looks to stretch win streak against slumping Orlando

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Pistons have lost only once to a team with a losing record so far this season

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After a disastrous 0-7 stretch, the Pistons have seemed to have found their footing, coming off back to back victories against the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers. Detroit can ill afford to get comfortable following a couple of wins. Taking advantage of a weaker schedule is crucial for Detroit, as they’ve recently faltered against some of the NBA’s more talented clubs.

On a positive note, the Pistons have only lost one game to a sub-.500 team so far this season (LA Lakers). They’ve taken care of business against the league's weaker teams, having out scored sub-.500 teams by an average of 8 points per game.

They’ll be back in Detroit for a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Orlando Magic, losers of 15 of their last 18 games.

Game Vitals

When: Sunday, 4 P.M. EST
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Analysis

The Orlando Magic, much like the Detroit Pistons, were one of the Eastern Conference’s surprise teams to start the season. They were red hot out of the gate, running out to an 8-4 record, which included wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs. Since then, well, it hasn’t been pretty.

Over the course of their last 15 games, to say the Magic have been bad would be gracious. Take a look at their recent rankings and statistics...

Orlando Magic- Last 15 games

30th - Plus/Minus (-9.9)
29th - Defensive Rating (110.6), Net Rating (-9.5), Rebound Percentage (47.8%)
27th - Offensive Rating (101.1)
28th - Three Point Shooting Percentage (33.6%)
22nd - Effective Field Goal Percentage (50.6%), True Shooting Percentage (53.5%)

Disastrous.

One bright spot for the Magic has been the play of fourth-year forward Aaron Gordon and shooting guard Evan Fournier. Gordon’s averaging a career-best 18.3 points and 8 rebounds, all while shooting 40 percent from 3. And while his production and shooting numbers have taken a dip over the course of the past 10+ games, Magic fans should take solace knowing that Gordon is finally taking form.

Fournier is averaging a career-high 18.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three.

Unfortunately for the Magic, both Gordon and Fournier, along with promising rookie Johnathan Isaac, are sidelined with injuries. Gordon returned from missing some games with a concussion and made i just 20 minutes before being sidelined again with a calf strain. Fournier, meanwhile, has an ankle injury that could keep him out until January. Isaac hasn’t officially been ruled out, but he is questionable with an ankle sprain of his own.

Prediction

Tobias Harris will have his hands full, and Detroit may once again be without Avery Bradley, who is an important source of perimeter defense. Won’t matter.

Detroit 108, Orlando 100