Exhibition Season: Playing the Magic

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic
  • Date: October 20, 2013
  • Time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Radio: WXYT 1270 AM
  • Television: None

What to look for

Although the preseason is not a perfect way to gauge what the Detroit Pistons will look like during the regular season, it certainly gives us an idea. The team is averaging 92.4 points per game on 41.2 percent shooting from the floor during the 2013-14 exhibition season.

Those numbers obviously must be taken with a grain of salt because of the players getting minutes will not get much burn when the season tips off. Still, the shooting numbers are worrisome.

The Pistons will get their fair share of points in the paint, but they will also see a multitude of open jumpers because opponents will dare them to hit open shots. Detroit lacks floor spacers and operates with a trio of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond in the frontline.

Monroe and Smith are good passers, but shooters they are not. Consequently, they will be able to foil defenses every now and then by cutting and delivering pinpoint passes to teammates for easy scores. Mind you, they will also get a couple of open looks on occasion and they will have to bury them.

So far in the preseason, Detroit is converting 30.4 percent of their shots from downtown and it’s tough to expect anything more quite honestly given the players on the roster.

Enter the Orlando Magic. Orlando recently played against the Pistons West (Memphis Grizzlies: starting left-handed point guard, two left-handed frontcourt players and a roster built with little regard for 3-point shooting) and did everything possible to congest the paint.

Luckily for the Grizzlies, Mike Miller had it going and converted three of his four shots from downtown. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combined to convert six of their 14 field goals.

In other words, the Magic are going to attempt to shrink the floor and dare Detroit to hit from long distance. It’s quite possible this one might get ugly in terms of scoring unless Detroit manages to get the right combination of players to take the open shots the team will get.

The Pistons have to learn to play against this type of defense because they will be seeing it often throughout the course of the regular season.

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Tags: Orlando Magic

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