Well, that puts the bow on a disappointing season for the Detroit Pistons.
They’ll finish the season at 37-45, an unfortunate drop from their 44-38 season last year for the young squad.
In game 82, neither the Pistons or Magic had much in the way of stakes. Some minor draft positioning, as the Magic were tied with the Philadelphia 76ers with the fourth worst record in the league. But the Pistons were locked in for the 12th pick.
But you couldn’t tell from the Magic bench when Elfrid Payton clinched the game with a pull-up jumper with eight seconds left to put the Magic up by five.
Reggie Bullock banked home a three pointer to keep Detroit alive for the win, but the Magic made their free throws.
The game opened with the usual template for the season. No offense, lethargic defense, the Magic shot to a 38-17 in the first half. It looked well on its way to being a blowout.
Orlando led by 17 with seven minutes left in the third when Ish Smith started playing the maestro for the offense. Eight minutes later, the Pistons were only trailing by one.
The offense was pretty laughable for much of the fourth quarter, but a pair of Boban Marjanovic three point plays kept Detroit in it. Until Elfrid Payton. He hit a three consecutive shots for the Magic in the final 72 seconds to seal the win.
Andre Drummond had an inefficient 9 points and was ineffective on defense, but also offered 14 rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope managed 20 points despite some big time head-shakers on the shot selection front.
The most effective players for the Pistons were Reggie Bullock and Boban. Good for Bullock, who will be a restricted free agent and struggled for much of the season with injuries and effectiveness. He bumped his percentages up with a nice 17 points with 5-6 shooting from three.
Marjanovic scores points. From the moment he steps on the court. When the Pistons couldn’t get anything going in the first quarter, Boban was tall and stole all of the offensive rebounds. Down the stretch, he’d dunk it with a crew hanging on his arms and shoulders. In addition to his points, Boban also had 11 rebounds, including six offensive boards, and three blocks.
Well, and now the Pistons enter perhaps the most interesting offseason since the end of the Joe Dumars era in 2014. Stan Van Gundy has said about as much, talking about needing to evaluate what players he can and can’t count on.
Thanks to all of you who have kept coming back to DBB despite our favorite team’s play. Keep hanging out over the summer - we’ll still have plenty of content and come hang out while we watch other teams do that playoff stuff.
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