Goal No. 1 for the Detroit Pistons is to win tonight against the Orlando Magic. Goal No. 2 is not to lose in the same fashion they did against the Los Angeles Clippers. In that game, the Pistons blew a 14-point lead with three minutes to play and then got obliterated in overtime.
This is the second matchup of Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic against the Pistons, with Detroit winning the opening-night first matchup 113-109. Since then, the Magic have won just 13 games, but eight of those wins have come in the past 10 games. Detroit has just seven additional wins on the season and is currently riding a six-game losing streak.
Orlando’s fortunes have changed because of roster cohesion, competent guard play with the arrivals of Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony back into the lineup, and the emergence of almost Piston Bol Bol. Detroit’s season has cratered because of injuries and an utter lack of competent defensive play.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +2
Detroit Pistons (8-28)
Killian Hayes, Jaden Ivey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Orlando Magic (13-22)
Markelle Fultz, Franz Wagner, Bol Bol, Paolo Banchero, Mortiz Wagner
If you were ever curious about how important Isaiah Stewart was to the Pistons or what made him tick, this Athletic piece by James Edwards is a must read.
Communication, as much as having his voice be heard, has been the biggest strides Stewart has made in recent weeks. He’ll be the first to tell you that it’s still a work in progress, but learning how to better convey his messaging is what he’s working on now. For example, Stewart is big on playing the right way, being selfless. At times, in the not-too-distant past, when a teammate missed a read or elects for a tough shot over a pass, he’d show his frustration with his body language. Stewart’s shoulders would drop. His head would turn and his face would wear disappointment.