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Pistons will try to cool off Orlando 3-point shooting

Essentials

  • Teams: Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons
  • Date: Jan. 2,  2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

Records

  • Pistons: 1-3
  • Magic: 4-1

Probable starters

Pistons:

Magic:

  • Jameer Nelson
  • Jason Richardson
  • Hedo Turkoglu
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Dwight Howard

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +4

Over/under: 179.5

Score: Magic win, 91.75-87.75

Three things to watch

1. Guarding the 3-point line

In its last four games (all wins), Orlando has shot the following percentages from 3-point range: 44 percent, 43 percent, 43 percent, 41 percent. The Pistons have given up the following percentages to opponents in their three losses: 47 percent, 58 percent, 44 percent. The Magic are not a team to trifle with from distance. Most times, four of the five players on the court will be above average 3-point shooters, and they aren’t shy about launching. If the Pistons have trouble closing out on shooters again, this game could get out of hand quickly.

2. Can the inside presence continue?

No frontcourt in the league is equipped to handle Dwight Howard, and that includes Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe. But, fresh off their double double-doubles against Indiana, if both once again play with activity and energy on both ends of the court, they should be able to have some success against the Magic. Although they give up significant size to Howard, Orlando’s other frontcourt options are actually pretty decent matchups as Orlando starts a stretch four in Ryan Anderson and undersized players Earl Clark and Glen Davis also see minutes up front. Howard will be a mismatch at both ends, but the Pistons should be able to capitalize on some mismatches of their own depending on who Orlando has in the game next to Howard.

3. A Villanueva sighting?

Charlie Villanueva was eligible to play against Indiana but since he’s still working himself into game shape, he was held out. His offense, however, could prove useful against the Magic. Orlando has scored 100 or more points in three of five games — no small feat considering some of the ugly finals being put up across the league these days. Some bench scoring from Villanueva would go a long way towards making this game more competitive.

30 Comments

  • Jan 2, 20127:20 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    Jut gotta say, in regards to the Indiana game, I listened to most of it on the radio and the thing that stood out to me was that it seemed like during the stretches where the Stones were making their runs, Indiana completely went away from their decided advantage: Their Bigs. I’m listening to three or four consecutive possessions where Hill or Collison rushes up the ball and misses a jumper, or Danny Granger goes at Tayshaun and misses a contested shot.
     
    Believe it or not, I’m all for the Pistons having success, but I want to see sustainable success. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional win that results in us just not being able to miss, because that’s going to happen every so often, but not wins (hard fought as they may be) that were the result of bad game-planning from teams that should be able to run us out of the building. Danny Granger and Tayshaun Prince may have had a nice game-within-a-game going on, but if I’m the Pacers I’m going to exploit one of the other four positions where I’ve got a decided advantage.
     
    This happened a few times last season, and it bothered me every time. It would send a better message and lead towards the kind of success we can actually depend on if we lose games we’re supposed to lose. I’m hoping for a lot of hard fought losses this season. I guess a winless season was too much to hope for, but when we beat teams I want it to be fair and square. As of the Pacers game, no matter how bad we suffer on this road trip, Keith Langlois is going to point to it as an example of how good this team has the potential to be, beating one of the best teams in the East, so there must be some other explanation to a 1-11 start. The new head coach, the abbreviated training camp, a young team, all that bullshit. A 0-10 start would probably be a more honest depiction of where this team is at, but now there’s at least one win this season against a playoff team that just probably shouldn’t have happened.

    • Jan 2, 20128:01 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      That’s how Indiana always plays man. Granger shoots a lot and Collison dominates the ball. Plus, West is stronger than Jerebko/Monroe, but he’s also shorter and he’s not a low-post player anyway, he relies more on hitting 10-15 foot jumpers.

    • Jan 2, 20128:16 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      And Detroit winning vs. Indiana had little to do with shooters getting hot. Jerebko and Monroe abused Indiana’s bigs inside, if you didn’t notice by the stats.

      • Jan 3, 20122:06 am
        by Laser

        Reply

        Sorry for being unclear about this, but what I meant is that there are two kinds of wins the Pistons are likely to get against quality opponents: Ones where all our shots just fall, and ones where the opponent doesn’t exploit the advantages they’ll invariably have.
         
        The Indiana game seemed to fall into the second category, the Orlando game into a little of both.

  • Jan 2, 20127:56 pm
    by City of Klompton

    Reply

    Anybody notice how many empty seats there are in the Palace tonight?  Disgusting.

    • Jan 2, 20128:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Well, a lot of people went back to work today after a holiday weekend. That certainly didn’t help sell tickets I would guess.

    • Jan 2, 20128:14 pm
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      Maybe its  because Joe missed out on signing Big Baby :-)

      • Jan 2, 20129:36 pm
        by City of Klompton

        Reply

        “Missed out”?  On Big Baby?  Pass…

        • Jan 2, 20129:54 pm
          by gmehl1977

          Reply

          its called sarcasm

          • Jan 2, 201210:22 pm
            by City of Klompton

            Bah!  Damn you text for not conveying tone!!!!!!

  • Jan 2, 20128:05 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Pistons look solid early vs. Orlando. Jerebko/Monroe were once again active until Monroe picked up two quick fouls again. Maxiell/Monroe/Wallace have five fouls in first seven minutes, so tonight could be a chance for Vernon Macklin to get some non-garbage time PT.

  • Jan 2, 20128:13 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    No offensive boards for Orlando in first quarter. Dwight and Ryan Anderson are both good on the offensive glass. That’s major progress by Detroit’s frontcourt over the first five games.

  • Jan 2, 20128:40 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Is just me or does it look like Gordon has turned a corner slightly. He looks very confident and is showing a little of what Joe signed him for. Or could it be that Orlando’s guards play crappy defence.

    • Jan 2, 20128:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      It’s not just you. I’m trying not to overreact, but he looks like an early favorite for comeback player of the year. He looks quicker and healthier than he’s ever looked as a Piston.

      • Jan 2, 20129:23 pm
        by gmehl1977

        Reply

        Thing i am most happy with is he is not handling the ball much which has led to less turnovers

  • Jan 2, 20128:48 pm
    by Shane

    Reply

    Gordon is playing well and so is Knight and Ben. Jerebko has range and is playing good defense. The only thing that worries me is that the only time the Pistons had close games were when the opposing teams played back to backs. I hope the opponents fatigue isn’t a factor. Other than that solid first half for the Pistons

    • Jan 2, 20128:54 pm
      by gordbrown

      Reply

      Nice if opponent’s fatigue were a factor tonight. Of course, that should show up later in the game than earlier.

    • Jan 2, 20128:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Wallace was amazing defensively. He still plays Howard so well, he just can’t do it for big minutes.

  • Jan 2, 20128:50 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Wow, Never thought I’d say this but Ben Gordon looks good out there! Jerebko is showing us more of the same which is encouraging, Monroe needs to stop getting into early foul trouble though… Prince looks a little more alive… They’re much more competitive then I thought they would be.

    • Jan 2, 20128:55 pm
      by Shane

      Reply

      Jerebko has mad range.. very exciting to see someone have that and also be able to play solid defense

    • Jan 2, 20128:56 pm
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      Vince, Monroe is going up against the best centre on the planet. He has to challenge every shot otherwise Howard will get 40 or 50 points. As Patrick mentioned we are keeping them off the offensive glass which is keeping us in the game. Oh and Maxiell is contributing as well…trade him now while he has value (jokes).

    • Jan 2, 20128:59 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Monroe’s second foul was a really questionable call. Frank probably would’ve brought him back, but because Wallace and Maxiell played so well, he was able to save Monroe for the second half.

      • Jan 2, 20129:09 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        And as I say that, Monroe picked up his third foul three minutes into the third.

  • Jan 2, 20129:07 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    My God. Dare I say it? Win or lose, the Pistons are playing GOOD BASKETBALL!

    • Jan 2, 20129:10 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Two straight games of competent basketball, or 1.5 straight games so far I guess. Even if they lose, I could get used to watching good ball again.

    • Jan 2, 20129:51 pm
      by City of Klompton

      Reply

      The guys look like they actually want to win the game tonight.  I don’t think I have witnessed this in quite some time from a Pistons squad.  They seem like they are enjoying the competition instead of looking tired, disinterested, and waiting for the game to be over so they can just get out of the building.

      Got to love watching this kind of effort.

  • Jan 2, 20129:24 pm
    by Josh

    Reply

    One the games where you say it’s OKAY to have both Stuckey and Gordon in your team. :-)

  • Jan 2, 20129:31 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Love the commentary on FSD. Someone ask Knight what kind of deodorant Big Baby wears after that monster screen…LMAO

  • Jan 2, 20129:36 pm
    by Josh

    Reply

    D Howard 5 steals. Big Ben 5 steals. Gotta love it.

  • Jan 2, 201210:14 pm
    by Micah Wels

    Reply

    Detroit cooled off Orlando and got the W!!!  It is just two games but two games where we beat playoff teams and got something to build off on.  Our youth is paying off!  Solid inside/outside game from again from starting 5 unit.  Bench is doing what they need to do.  DESPITE OUR LACK OF SIZE WE OUT REBOUNDED THE OTHER TEAM AGAIN!  Who have Howard who early is averaging 17 a game, that just went down.  Fill the seats in the palace come on, if I was 1,200 miles away I would be there.

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