The NBA is officially into Week 22 of the 2022 NBA season. Tonight, Thursday, March 17, marks the rare occasion where there is only one NBA game on the schedule. That game sees the Detroit Pistons travel to Florida to face the Orlando Magic.
Detroit vs. Orlando
- Date & Location: Thursday, March 17 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida
- Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports DET, NBA TV
At this point in the 2022 NBA season, the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic are playing for pride. Detroit has a record of 18-51, while Orlando is 18-52. The teams are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and have been eliminated from contention for the 2022 NBA playoff picture. Detroit is 4-6 in its past 10 games and Orlando is 5-5.
Detroit Pistons breakdown
The Detroit Pistons have struggled to score points this season. The team is second last in points per game in 2022 with an average of 103.5. That number dips to 102.4 on the road. As for allowing their opponents to score, the Pistons are 23rd in the NBA in that stat. Overall, Detroit allows 112.3 points per game on average and 114.6 on the road. Detroit’s road record this season is 7-28. The team’s most recent road victory was a 108-106 win in Toronto on March 3.
The bright spot of the Pistons season has been the play of rookie Cade Cunningham. Cunningham is in the mix for 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year. He has averaged 16.9 points per game to go with 5.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.1 steal. Cunningham is questionable for tonight’s game. He sat out Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat due to illness.
Orlando Magic breakdown
The Orlando Magic are better at scoring than the Detroit Pistons, but not by much. Orlando is one spot above the Pistons in points per game with 104.2. The Magic’s home scoring rate is also 104.2. The Magic are tied with Detroit in defensive scoring, allowing 112.3 points per game. Orlando is a team who is worse defensively at home than on the road. They allow 113.2 points per game at Amway Center.
As porous as the Magic’s defense might seem, they have actually played much better since the All-Star break (discounting the recent 150-108 loss to the Brooklyn Nets). The Magic have the sixth best defense in the NBA since the break.
Cole Anthony leads the Magic in scoring with 17.3 points per game. He’s also first on the team in assists with 5.7 per game and logs the most minutes at 32.6.
Past 2022 meetings
Tonight marks the fourth meeting between the Pistons and the Magic for the 2022 NBA season. Detroit holds a 2-1 season advantage over Orlando with wins in October (110-103) and early January (97-92). Orlando won the late January matchup between the clubs by a score of 119-103.
I think the Magic will be motivated by the blowout 150-108 loss to the Nets.
Pick: Orlando to beat Detroit.
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