• J.A. Cavalier

MAGIC VS PISTONS FREE PICK

Magic @ Pistons (DET -2, 213.5)

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MAGIC VS PISTONS 5/3/21

It’s not often that a late-season NBA clash between two of the league’s worst teams has major long-term implications. Tonight’s Magic-Pistons game does.


The Pistons have the worst record in the East and, along with the Magic, are one of six teams that could finish in the NBA’s bottom three. That would increase their chances of getting the first pick in the draft lottery.


So, you have two teams that might be inclined to tank tonight’s game. Then, you look at the injury report. Detroit will be without leading scorer Jerami Grant. Cory Joseph, Hamidou Diallo, Dennis Smith Jr., Wayne Ellington, Mason Plumlee, Rodney McGruder, and Jahlil Okafor are all listed as out. Did we miss anybody?


The dancing usher at Little Caesars Arena is scheduled to suit up for the Pistons. Or, is that the Magic? Orlando will be without Terrence Ross (15.6 ppg), Michael Carter-Williams, James Ennis III, and Chuma Okeke.


With all these new faces on the floor tonight, here’s what you can expect. Orlando is already the worst shooting team in the NBA (43.0 percent). Detroit is 24th (45.0 percent). Don’t expect either team to shoot the lights out.


The two teams are both in the bottom five in scoring. Detroit ranks 26th (107.1 ppg) and Orlando is 29th (104.0). Just last week, the Magic scored just 75 points in a loss to Memphis. Detroit put up 94 in its last game, a loss to Charlotte on Saturday.


This shouldn’t be hard to figure out. The total in Detroit’s last five games has gone Under four times. The only game to go Over in that span was against Luka Doncic and Dallas. There is no Luka Doncic on the floor tonight. Play the Under.

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