Pistons vs. Magic: Let’s play some less point guardy basketball

Detroit Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons will continue their southern trip tonight visiting non-Michigan fans around the States. After stopover in Tennessee (hi,revken) two days ago, they head to Orlando (howdy, ScottFL) to play another game against Magic. But Scott and rest of us might get to see the team not at full steam as it’ll probably play without streaking Delon Wright, who left the game in Memphis in fourth quarter with groin strain. That least Detroit down its top three point guards to start the year — Killian Hayes, Wright and Derrick Rose.

Game Vitals

When: 7 p.m. EST
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +2.5

Analysis

After the injury to rookie Hayes and trade of Rose, the Pistons will be with no surefire point guard, as the three they have on their roster – Dennis Smith Jr, Saben Lee and Frank Jackson – are still projects, with Smith being a reclamation project and the latter two being two-way contract guys. Based on recent games, we can assume Dennis will start. Since coming to Motown, he’s playing quite a few minutes, whilst Saben and Frank didn’t see the floor since quite a few games. The former ninth draft pick will get the kind of burn he could only dream of while being stuck at the end of the bench on the Knicks. Willing is one thing, being ready is something completely different.

Smith seems to be growing on defense: he had 6 stocks in last game, he moves much better on his feet, is more active and doesn’t make too many mistakes. But his offense comes and goes: 0-for-7 shooting in the game in Memphis with 5 fouls though. Both Lee and Jackson are even more mixed bags so far (though Saben needs to be prized for his constant effort on defensive end), which in their case is pretty understandable.

This sudden trial by a fire for our point guard projects might be a little lessened by the fact that Orlando will be playing without their own two primary point guards. Dennis’ draft classmate, first overall pick, Markelle Fultz is out for the rest of the season with torn ACL; Killian’s draft classmate Cole Anthony is out at least till ASB with fractured rib. Orlando is looking for some reinforcements and is changing two-way players all over again (among those cut in this treadmill are former Piston, Jordan Bone, who instead is now starting to hit his stride in G League, and last season G League MVP, Frank Mason III). However, they still have Michael Carter-Williams who can be pain in the backside defensively. So the task might still not be eased for our young ones anyway.

This may result in some creative offensive inventions beyond traditional point guardy game. What that could be? How about suggesting it in the comments.

Projected lineups

Detroit Pistons (8-21)

Dennis Smith Jr, Wyne Ellington, Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee

Orlando Magic (12:18)

Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Fournier, James Ennis, Gary Clark, Nikola Vucevic

More point guardy or less point guardy, have a good game, fellow DBBers!!!

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