AP Photo/John Raoux
5-14 FG | 3-6 3P | 5 REB | 7 AST | 15 PTS | +18
In the Magic’s previous two meetings against the Pistons, Afflalo was primarily matched up against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. This time around, Kyle Singler got the assignment. But it didn’t seem to matter who defended Afflalo, as he played good-to-excellent in the three games. Tonight was more of a “good” game for Afflalo, who missed a lot of quality shots and finished with just 15 points.
6-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 STL | 6 REB | 14 PTS | +17
There’s several reasons why the Magic won this game and Vucevic was one of them. It was his presence in the pick-and-roll as a screener that allowed Jameer Nelson to get to the middle of the floor and pick apart the Pistons’ defensively. And it was also his presence as a rebounder that allowed Orlando to win the battle on the glass.
8-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +7
When Oladipo drives to the basket, good things generally happen. Against Detroit, Oladipo shot 7-for-8 at the rim, which fueled his efficient shooting performance, and a lot of them were reverse layups. Whenever Oladipo got challenged in the paint by a Pistons big, usually Andre Drummond or Josh Smith, he did a great job of using the rim to protect the ball.
5-11 FG | 2-4 3P | 2 STL | 9 REB | 15 PTS | +5
The “Young Guns” (the nickname of Orlando’s second unit) were the biggest reason for the team’s victory, providing scoring, defense, and energy off the bench. Harkless was part of that group, scoring in double figures (10 of his 15 points came in the fourth quarter), making hustle plays, and having one of his best games in quite a while.
Detroit entered tonight’s game 1.5 games out of the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, yet it feels like the Pistons are so far away from their goal of snapping their current four-year postseason drought. It doesn’t help that one of their prized free agent acquisitions, Brandon Jennings, shot 5-for-23 in a blowout loss to the Magic.