Orlando Magic vs. Detroit Pistons (March 3, 2024): 3 Things To Watch, Odds and Prediction

The Orlando Magic close their homestand and look to keep up their dominance over the bottom of the standings as they take on the Detroit Pistons at Kia Center.

Cade Cunningham has been on a tear for the Detroit Pistons since the All-Star Break. That includes tearing up the Orlando Magic last week.
Cade Cunningham has been on a tear for the Detroit Pistons since the All-Star Break. That includes tearing up the Orlando Magic last week. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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9-50. 64. Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Detroit. March 3, 2024. Magic Pistons Matchup 03.03.24. 34-26. 38. Magic by 11 (O/U 220). 6P

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Tickets:
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Season Series:
Magic 123, Pistons 91 in Orlando on Dec. 8; Magic 111, Pistons 99 in Detroit on Feb. 4; Magic 112, Pistons 109 in Detroit on Feb. 24; Tonight in Orlando

Pace

Off. Rtg.

Def. Rtg.

eFG%

O.Reb.%

TO%

FTR

Detroit

100.9

110.9

119.4

53.5

28.6

15.2

24.8

Orlando

97.9

113.1

111.7

53.9

30.4

15.0

29.6

OMD Prediction

Our Record: 38-22/31-29 ATS

The directive for the Orlando Magic since the All-Star Break was to take care of their business against the teams they should beat. The schedule opened up after their return game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with seven straight games against opponents with losing records. The Orlando Magic have gone 3-1 in that stretch so far, with a win over the Detroit Pistons last week.

That game against the Pistons was not easy, however. Orlando was unable to pull away despite a double-digit lead in the second quarter. The Magic needed a buzzer-beating shot from Paolo Banchero (a very ill Banchero) to save that game and secure the win.

They all count the same. That has been the ultimate lesson. And the Magic have done well to take it throughout this stretch. Their ability to keep their focus has been paramount even if they have not always played their best during this stretch.

The Pistons have been playing better. And they will have Isaiah Stewart back for this game after missing him due to a suspension in the meeting last week in Detroit. The Pistons are not a team to sleep on even if the margin for error may still be large.

105. 64. Magic Pistons Prediction 03.03.24. 115. 38. Prediction

3 Keys To Watch

Turnovers are the difference

The Orlando Magic came out of their game against the Utah Jazz on Thursday proud of their resolve in the clutch and their ability to close the game, but also feeling like they did not play to their standard. It is better to learn that lesson in a win than a loss. And they looked closely at their turnover total.

The Magic turned the ball over 15 times for 25 Jazz points. They had a turnover rate of 15.5 percent for the game. That tracks with the struggles the Magic have had with turnovers throughout the season.

Orlando is ranked 26th in the league with a 15.0 percent turnover rate. It is one of the biggest areas where the Magic have looked their age. And limiting turnovers is a big part of the team trying to build up its offense. And things have been worse since the All-Star Break at 16.9 percent.

Orlando has gotten away with turnovers lately. The team's opponents have largely been a reason why. The Magic have to start cleaning this up to prepare for the tougher games ahead.

Cade Cunningham's boost

The Orlando Magic have had a good history against Cade Cunningham in their few meetings in his career so far. Then came last weekend's matchup where Cunningham scored 26 points including hitting four of seven 3-pointers and the game-tying basket late in the game.

Cunningham has been on a tear since the All-Star Break. He has averaged 27.0 points per game, 5.0 rebounders per game and 7.0 assists per game. He is shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from three in those five games. He is even starting to get to the foul line a bit more -- 4.4 attempts per game even with no free throws in the game against the Magic.

The Pistons are no longer the worst team in the NBA. But their being at the bottom of the standings likely has made people forget or overlook how good Cunningham is. And he has been playing some of his best basketball of his career, making the Pistons are far more dangerous and competitive team.

3-Point Shooting

The Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons are two of the lowest-volume shooting teams in the NBA. The Pistons are 28th in the league with 31.2 attempts per game. The Magic are 29th with 31.0 per game.

These teams might be selective with their threes, but they are both starting to hit them.

Detroit is making 36.2 percent of its 3-point shots this year, 18th in the league. Orlando is still sitting at 35.4 percent, 25th in the league. But since the All-Star Break, the Magic have hit 41.5 percent of their threes. That is even though their attempts are down to 28.4 per game.

Jamahl Mosley has quieted his doubters, shifted Magic's narrative. dark. Next. Mosley quiets doubters 03.02.24

There will not be a ton of threes taken in this game. And who ends up making their few attempts will have a major advantage.