The Detroit Pistons have struggled to stay in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons are coming off a tough double-digit loss at home against the Charlotte Hornets.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic have kept their way into the back end of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. The Magic are coming off a strong outing at home with a win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Pistons struggling with injuries and scoringIt has been a tough season for the Pistons as they have struggled to find their footing throughout the season, which has seen them fall well out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Their season has been plagued by injuries across the board, which has put them behind the eight ball in a significant way as they have been without some crucial pieces to the puzzle on the court for lengthy stretches. That has been highlighted with All-Star forward Blake Griffin being out of the mix for the rest of the year due to knee surgery. That leaves the Pistons without their top offensive weapon and one of their best playmakers with the ball. That has been a major reason for them not being in the playoff picture.
It also doesn't help that they traded star big man Andre Drummond at the trade deadline to the Cleveland Cavaliers for an underwhelming haul in return for him. That has put them without a consistent factor in the paint and their most reliable player on the glass. These two absence has put a tremendous burden on their backcourt to pick up the slack in the process. On top of that, the Pistons are without veteran point guard Derrick Rose, who is dealing with a leg injury that has already forced him to miss some time on the floor. Rose is expected to be out of the mix for Wednesday's game due to the injury, which puts them in an even deeper hole on the road against the Magic that should be too much to overcome.
Magic relying on defensive prowessIt hasn't been the most promising season for the Magic as they have also fallen well below the .500 mark on the season, but have remained in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. The fact that they are sitting nine games under .500 along with dropping eight out of their last 10 games speaks to how weak the conference is but also should give them optimism that they can turn things around. Their level of competition in the East isn't as daunting as in the Western Conference, which they will get a chance to tee off against a struggling Pistons team on their home floor. What has helped them stay afloat has been their defensive prowess this season.
Orlando has been one of the better defensive teams in the league allowing 105.3 points per contest, which is among the lowest totals. Although they haven't exactly flexed their muscle on that end of the floor over the last few games, they are set to face a depleted Pistons team that has failed to reach 100 points in their last two straight games, including three out of the last five contests overall. Meanwhile, it should open the door for star big man Nikola Vucevic to put up a strong outing against Detroit as he's been the Magic's best offensive weapon the last few seasons. Vucevic has been on a tear in the last five games as he has tallied more than 20 points four times over that span. Orlando's defense combined with their star big man hitting his stride should put them in a spot to grab a much-needed win at home.
- Detroit is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games.
- Detroit is 1-5 ATS in their last six games when playing on the road against Orlando.