Detroit Pistons Vs. Orlando Magic

SECOND ROUND - Eastern Conference
Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic Series Preview

The Orlando Magic needed five games to take down their First Round opponents—the Toronto Raptors. For the Detroit Pistons, it was a bit tougher as the Philadelphia 76ers stretched their series to six games.

Starting center Dwight Howard is Orlando’s best player. In the series against the Raptors, Howard led the club in points (20.8 PPG), rebounds (16.5 RPG) and blocks (3.67 BPG). Howard can make things happen in the paint, using his frame and athleticism to full advantage. Small forward Hedo Turkoglu, who averaged 17.8 PPG, was tops in assists, with 5.2 per game. Also in the frontcourt, power forward Rashard Lewis put in a healthy 18.8 PPG and grabbed a solid 8.2 RPG. He also had 1.33 SPG.

From outside, the Magic put in only 31% of their threes. Their foul shooting is also unspectacular at 74%, although Lewis is especially accurate, hitting 88% of his attempts. From the court, the club hit a respectable 46%.

When you look at the Pistons’ lineup, you can’t help but see an amazingly balanced team, featuring fine role players. A bunch of guys can score, including shooting guard Richard Hamilton with 19.3 PPG, point guard Chauncey Billups with 16.0 PPG, small forward Tayshaun Prince with 15.7 PPG and power forward Rasheed Wallace with 13.6 PPG. Center Antonio McDyess put in 7.4 PPG in the opening series.

Billups averaged 6.7 APG, while Wallace lead a relatively weak rebounding squad with 6.3 grabs. But Wallace is extremely effective on defense, blocking 2.86 shots and stealing 1.00 balls a contest. Prince also averaged 1.00 SPG. The club had an astounding 7.00 blocks per game in their initial series.

The Pistons will be on a mission to shutdown Orlando’s Howard. If they can do that, this series will be over quickly. Orlando will be hard pressed to break through one of the best defenses in the NBA. It looks like a series that will be dominated by Detroit. If that’s not going to be the case, then the Magic will need to see more output from their backcourt.

Maddux Sports Series Prediction:

Orlando Magic in 6 Games

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