- Teams: Orlando Magic (0-3) at Detroit Pistons (1-2)
- Date: October 16, 2012
- Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Television: Fox Sports Detroit
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What to look for
Last season, the Pistons had their fair share of attempts at the rim, as they manufactured 27.2 shots directly at the basket, which was the fourth most in the league. Given that that those are high percentage shots, they tend to help teams win games. Mind you, in the case of the Pistons, the end result wasn’t exactly great.
During the 2011-12 regular season, Detroit converted a mere 58.8 percent of their shots at the rim, which was the third worst mark in the NBA.
Why mention this now?
The Pistons have been missing a couple of their attempts at the basket in the preseason, which does not bode well for this upcoming season. However, one wonders if perhaps head coach Lawrence Frank might test out a few different lineups to ensure he always has some solid finishers on the court.
Indeed, getting to the rim is fun and all, but if players are going to miss shots whenever there is a little bit of resistance, it does not help the team all that much.
Thus, testing out a couple of unconventional lineups just to see how they would fair offensively might not be the worst thing. For instance, deploying a squad of Brandon Knight (58.9 percent at the rim last season), Tayshaun Prince (63 percent at the rim last season), Jonas Jerebko (61.1 percent at the rim last season) or Charlie Villanueva (60.9 percent at the rim last season) at power forward and then a combination of either Greg Monroe (61.3 percent at the rim last season) or possibly Andre Drummond might not be the worst thing.
It’s a ridiculously big unit that may or may not have its defensive shortcomings, but it would be interesting to see how such a group would fare offensively, especially against a team devoid of shot blockers like the Orlando.