It was very easy to tell that this was the first preseason game for the Pistons and the Orlando Magic already had a preseason game under their belt. The Orlando Magic went on a 19-2 run at one point in the first, but the Pistons were able to close the gap a bit with a 10-2 run to close out the quarter led by Derrick Rose.
The Pistons starters outside of Tony Snell struggled mightily in this game. Andre Drummond started off the game with this:
First shot of the season Andre Drummond unveils his new range pic.twitter.com/JH5QgY8nq8— Zion Wobiamson (@WorldWideWob) October 7, 2019
He also badly missed a breakaway layup and airballed a hook shot all within the first quarter. He turned things around a bit and ended up doing a pretty good job of drawing fouls, as he was able to foul out Nikola Vucevic in the 3rd quarter. He ended the game with 14 points and 9 rebounds on 5-of-10 shooting.
The Pistons were able to tie this game up during the 2nd quarter at one point, but it was never really that close. Orlando took a 57-48 lead into halftime and never looked back. Orlando could not miss in this game (45% from the field and 42% from 3-point range) and it was very clear that they were able to get rid of some of the rust in their first preseason game. They ballooned their lead over 20 points at one point in the 3rd, and the Pistons were able to exchange punches and keep the game close at various points, but there was never a feeling that the Pistons were going to steal this one.
Christian Wood made the statement in this game that he needed if he has any hope to make the final roster. He had 12 points and 4 rebounds in only 7 minutes in the 2nd quarter and he was far and away the Pistons best player on the court. He ended the game with 19 points and 8 rebounds and did this:
Wood did everything he could to make a statement, and Joe Johnson looked old and washed up. It is tough to make any judgments on a single preseason game but Wood looked like he was good, could do things Thon Maker cannot and should have a spot on this roster.
The Pistons point guards were not very good, especially Reggie Jackson. He finished his night with 5 points on 2-of-12 shooting (barf). Derrick Rose was better, but was only 3-of-8 from the field.
Tony Snell’s box score numbers don’t stand out, but he looks like the perfect small forward for this roster. He moves well without the ball, looks to be a better ballhandler than I thought, and is a very good defender.
Overall, the Pistons shot a terrible 33% from the field and 27% from three. They have a lot of work to do, but it was only the first preseason game. They face the Dallas Mavericks in Detroit at 7 pm on Wednesday.