Scrappy Orlando Magic Defeat Detroit Pistons
The Orlando Magic won at home Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons by a score of 87-86. With Jameer Nelson and Nik Vucevic both receiving the night off to rest and Arron Afflalo playing just six minutes, the youthful Magic scrapped and hustled their way to the win.
E’Twaun Moore led the Magic in scoring with 14 points. Tobias Harris had 13 points and Victor Oladipo had 8 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in 25 minutes.
Tobias Harris left the game in the 3rd quarter after retweaking his sore left ankle. You can expect him to be sidelined for the rest of the preseason at a minimum.
The Pistons were without Brandon Jennings, Rodney Stuckey, Chauncey Billups and Will Bynum which left them with only Peyton Siva (who played an impressive 48 minutes) to handle the ball. Victor Oladipo, Ronnie Price and crew hounded Siva all game forcing him into NINE turnovers. As a team, the Magic forced the Pistons into approximately 97 turnovers (or 26) on 16 team steals.
Detroit was led by Greg Monroe’s 19 points and Manchild Andre Drummond’s 14 points and 14 rebounds. Drummond had at least three highlight reel dunks on the night.
Josh Smith had 13 points, 8 rebounds and a back-rimmed missed three point attempt which clinched the game for the Magic. New team, same shot selection.
It was an encouraging sign to see such defensive intensity and focus from a team that struggled with anything remotely related to defense last season. The growth of this team will be based on how well they channel their athleticism into the ability to consistently execute NBA-caliber defensive concepts.
Orlando now sports a 2-4 preseason record with two games remaining before the regular season opener. The team is back in action on Tuesday night in Indiana.