AP Photo/Paul Sancya
8-14 FG | 3-8 FT | 7 REB | 5 STL | 19 PTS | -9
Howard just didn’t have it against the Detroit Pistons. Oh, sure, he got his dunks and nailed some righty hooks but he never got into a rhythm offensively. Greg Monroe, Ben Wallace, and Jason Maxiell teamed up to frustrate the living daylights out of Howard on offense and used their physicality to get the job done. Howard fouling out was further proof that it wasn’t his night.
5-10 FG | 1-5 3P | 0 AST | 6 REB | 13 PTS | -9
Yes, Anderson is human after all. Matched up against another stretch four in Jonas Jerebko, Anderson didn’t have any trouble scoring, though he didn’t put up 20 or more points as he had in four of the previous five games. But with Howard getting a lot of touches in the post, Anderson’s scoring opportunities were not as plentiful as they had been in previous games.
4-7 FG | 4-6 3P | 2 AST | 2 REB | 13 PTS | -18
Turkoglu didn’t play a bad game necessarily. He forced the issue a bit, as exemplified by his team-high four turnovers, but he was efficient shooting the basketball, with all of his field goals coming behind the three-point line. It’s curious, though, that head coach Stan Van Gundy didn’t call for more pick-and-rolls with Turkoglu and Howard as the Orlando Magic stagnated offensively.
1-5 FG | 0-2 3P | 5 AST | 0 REB | 4 PTS | -14
It’s inexcusable for Nelson to play roughly 31 minutes and only attempt five field goals. The Magic are not overflowing with scorers on the roster. Orlando needs Nelson to be a scorer more so than a playmaker. And defensively, Nelson struggled to prevent Rodney Stuckey from penetrating into the lane and drawing fouls. Nelson had a game to forget to put it simply.
Many different players made an impact for the Pistons. Ben Gordon was blistering from mid-range, as he shot 6-of-10 from 16-23 feet. Stuckey, along with Gordon, was aggressive in attacking the rim and getting to the free-throw line. Plus, the big men rotation of Monroe, Wallace, and Maxiell were effective on defense in slowing down Howard. Detroit’s perimeter defense was great, too. A good team victory.
Eddy Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of Magic Basketball. Follow him on Twitter.