The second half of the NBA season tips off tonight with nine games scheduled to take place. One of those games will feature the Detroit Pistons heading to Orlando to take on the Magic. We’ll preview the game before going over my best prop play for the action.
The Detroit Pistons entered the All-Star break going 3-7 in their final ten games, and in that span, their -5.9 NET rating was ranked 27th in the league. Defensively, the Pistons allowed 111 or more points to be scored in all ten games, leading to a defensive efficiency rating of 117.
Detroit went out at the trade deadline and acquired a third center for the roster in James Wiseman. One would think the move would at least help the Pistons' interior defense, but in the one game in which Wiseman suited for the Pistons before the break, they allowed 52 points in the paint to be scored, and they were outrebounded.
Offensively it is yet to be determined how the former Warriors' big man will impact the team. Detroit only got 39.8% of their scoring from inside the paint in their previous ten games, so we’ll find out in the second half if they seek out getting all the big men more touches. Experimenting on offense may be tough tonight, as they will face a Magic team that was 5th in defensive efficiency rating across their last ten games.
The Magic went into the break going 5-5 in their last ten games, and defense was the primary reason for most of those wins. Orlando held opponents to under 107 points in five of those ten games, and they also held opponents to an average three-point shooting percentage of 34.7% across all ten games.
Only finishing a stretch with that good of defense with five wins does not make it a mystery of how inconsistent their offense was. Despite being ranked 5th in defensive efficiency, Orlando was ranked 27th in offensive efficiency rating in that span and also had the third-worst true shooting percentage in the league.
For my prop pick in this one, I’ll be targeting Paolo Banchero over 7.5 rebounds at (+114). The probable Rookie of the Year averaged 7.9 rebounds per game in his last ten games, and in that stretch, he went over his total in eight of them. Banchero faced a solid rebounding team in the Toronto Raptors in the last game before the break and only came down with one board; however his matchup tonight is a much different story.
In the ten games leading up to the All-Star break, the Pistons allowed an average of 44.6 rebounds per game, ranked 24th in that stretch. For the entire season, Detroit is ranked 26th in defensive rebounding percentage, and in four of their last five games, they were outrebounded, even with the wide range of big men options they have.
Banchero finished the first half of the season with the 48th most rebounds in the NBA, and in the two games he has played against Detroit, he’s pulled in a combined 14 rebounds. Coming off a few days' rest, I think this is a good spot for him, value-wise and opponent-wise.
Paolo Banchero Over 7.5 Rebounds (+114)