Detroit Pistons: Three quick keys to getting a win tonight in Orlando

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Andre Drummond
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Andre Drummond /

The Detroit Pistons need a win tonight to get their season back on track. Here are three quick keys to getting back to their winning ways in 2018.

The Detroit Pistons come into tonight’s game looking to back to their winning ways. They started the season 4-0 and have now lost five straight.

They play the Orlando Magic tonight at the Amway Center in Orlando.

The Magic are coming off an exciting win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Evan Fournier hit a game-winning shot as time expired in the fourth quarter after the team battled back to tie it late.

Orlando comes into this game with a 4-6 record. It’s clear that this team is not going to be competing for a playoff spot once again this season.

That’s not a shot at the Magic, either. They have a lot of young players and are clearly building for the future. Aaron Gordon and Mo Bamba look to be the two guys they will build around.

Head coach Dwane Casey and his team have to look at games like tonight on their schedule as must-win games. Orlando is a team that the Pistons have to consistently beat if they want to get back into the postseason mix.

There’s no excuses. The Pistons have more talent than the Magic and need to take care of business tonight. How do they do that tonight?

Here are three quick keys to tonight’s game:

1. Move the ball around

This one is pretty simple. Ball movement is an essential part to any team’s success on the offensive end of the floor.

Have you ever watched the Golden State Warriors play? It’s a thing of beauty.

I’m not saying the Pistons have to be the Warriors to be successful. However, they’re ranked dead last in assists per game (19.7) as team this season. That’s not going to get it done.

Too often, the Pistons get into the habit of isolating Blake Griffin on one side of the floor and everyone else stands around the perimeter to give him space to operate.

Griffin’s ability to score one on one is an effective tool to have but it’s not the only tool they have.

The Pistons need more players cutting to the basket and coming off screens. Andre Drummond is one the best screen-setters in the league. He’s also one of the better pick and roll centers.

Griffin and Drummond are also fantastic passers for their size. Running the offense through these two shouldn’t mean iso-ball for 80 percent of their half-court offense.

The Pistons are struggling to shoot the ball as a team so far this season. Perhaps moving the ball around will help get some of their shooters out of slumps against a Magic team that ranks in the bottom half of the league in defensive rating.

2. Keep Reggie Jackson involved

I said that the Pistons needed more from Reggie Jackson a couple games into this losing streak that has now mounted to five. In Casey’s offense, he’s been playing off the ball more than he ever has.

He’s also been playing shooting guard more than he ever has since coming to Detroit in 2015.

It hasn’t exactly worked in his favor all that much. When Jackson was an all-star caliber point guard in the 2015-2016 season for the Pistons, he was playing mainly as the point guard and with the ball in his hands.

We saw more of that in the later stages of their last game against the Miami Heat. After Blake Griffin fouled out in the fourth quarter, Jackson kept the Pistons in the game and gave them a really good chance to win the game in overtime.

I’m not saying Jackson needs to play with the ball in his hands all the time. However, it’s obvious that he’s a much more effective player when he does have the ball in his hands.

He will be matched up against D.J. Augustin tonight which is heavily in his favor.

3. Drummond needs slow down Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic has been the best player for the Magic early on this season. Drummond will be responsible for keeping him in check tonight.

Vucevic is averaging 17 points and ten rebounds this season.

He’s a guy that can stretch the floor with his ability to shoot the ball. These typically are the centers that Drummond will struggle against.

These two met twice last season. Vucevic had at least 20 points, ten rebounds and six assists in those two games.

Drummond played very well in their last game against Miami. He had 25 points and 24 rebounds.