Detroit, MI- Defense usually helps you win games in the NBA, but the Detroit Pistons did not get the memo as the Orlando Magic picked them apart for a 107-93 victory Monday night. Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic who also hit 13 three pointers as well. Pistons’ reserve guard Caron Butler scored 20 points including 13 in the third to lead the Pistons’ offense. Orlando was able to shoot 52 percent from the floor and held the Pistons to 40 percent shooting, the Pistons were still able to hit 11 three pointers. Pistons center Andre Drummond tallied another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 3 block shots. The big stat of the night was the production of each team’s frontcourt, as Orlando’s was able to outscore the Pistons’ front line 61-25 and outrebound the Pistons’ frontcourt 24-17. Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, and Greg Monroe were a combined 10-28 from the floor and their lack of floor spacing is what causes the Pistons’ to not get good looks from the basket.
Both team were without their top draft picks as Magic forward Aaron Gordon is out with a broken foot and Pistons’ second round pick Spencer Dinwiddie is still recovering from ACL surgery in January. The loss drops the Pistons to a disappointing 3-7 record to start the season, meanwhile the Magic improved their record to 4-6. After being down nine in the second quarter, the Pistons were able to use some hot shooting from Brandon Jennings who scored 18 points to go along with six assists. After tying the game midway through the third quarter, the Magic went on a 9-0 scoring run to bump the lead back to 10 late in the period. Josh Smith struggled again for the Pistons as he scored only seven points, dished out five assists but did not grab a single rebound and had four turnovers as well. Greg Monroe also struggled for the Pistons, scoring just six points on 2-9 shooting.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, who coached the Magic for five years including a trip to the NBA finals, watched as the Magic used his same strategy he is imploring with the Pistons. Having a young center and surround him with shooters is what Van Gundy envisioned for his team, but right now he is not getting that out of this team because their lack of ball movement. The Magic were able to spread the ball around for 33 assists as a team last night while the Pistons only managed to record 19 assists as a team. That is how the Magic were able to space the floor and because of that, six players were able to hit at least one three pointer. Next up for the Pistons are the Phoenix Suns on November 19th, who come as one the up and coming teams in the league who feature a dynamic backcourt in Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. Not to mention they bolster one the league’s best scoring offense averaging over 105 points per game.