Magic-Pistons Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 15, 2012
The struggling Orlando Magic expect one of the two starters injured in their first contest to return for the opener of a three-game trip. It appears the other will be sidelined longer than originally believed. Mired in a five-game losing streak, the Magic hope Jameer Nelson's return can provide a spark Friday night against a Detroit Pistons team looking to build on its first win. The season got off to an inauspicious start for Orlando (2-5), as Nelson strained both his groin and hamstring and Hedo Turkoglu broke his left hand in the opener. The offense has become a mess without the two, averaging 76.5 points and shooting 26.5 percent from 3-point range over the last four contests, but there is some relief in sight with Nelson slated to return. The 2009 All-Star averaged 11.9 points, a team-high 5.7 assists and 36.8 percent 3-point shooting last season. The Magic were hoping Turkoglu, who averaged 10.9 points and 4.4 assists last season, would be back by early December, but doctors determined Wednesday that he is expected to be sidelined an additional four weeks. Playing without the 6-foot-10 forward for an extended time obviously isn't ideal for Orlando, but it does give first-year coach Jacque Vaughn a chance to get rookie Maurice Harkless more minutes. Harkless, the 15th pick of the draft, is coming off his best game, finishing with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks off the bench in Tuesday's 99-89 loss to New York. Three of his blocks were on Carmelo Anthony. "With Turk out that hurts us and we have to come together and hold it down until he comes back," Harkless said. "When he comes back, he'll play some minutes. But hopefully by that time the coaching staff will have more confidence in me. It's a good chance for me to gain their trust." Vaughn has been shuffling his lineup due to the injuries, making J.J. Redick the starting shooting guard for the past two games and shifting Arron Afflalo to small forward. While Redick had a team-high 18 points and seven assists Tuesday, Afflalo scored 13 but was 4 of 14 from the field and committed seven of the team's 20 turnovers. "We can't afford to make mistakes, but for me at the end of this game I was pretty proud of our guys and their effort," Vaughn said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank also was pleased with his team's most recent effort, and for good reason because it came in a win - 94-76 over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Detroit played nothing like a team that allowed an average of 101.5 points while being outrebounded by 7.5 per game during an 0-8 start. The Pistons limited the 76ers to 29.8 percent shooting while outrebounding them 57-38. "We're disappointed in our start, but it wasn't like we had any doubt we were going to win a game," Frank said. "When we deserve to win, we'll win." Greg Monroe had 19 points, a season-high 18 rebounds and six assists, and rookie Kyle Singler scored 16 in his first start for Detroit (1-8), which led by as much as 23. "It shows what we're capable of doing," Frank said. "It's got to be a standard of how we play." The Pistons have typically performed at a high level when facing the Magic. They've won three of the last four meetings overall and 12 of 15 in Detroit.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks


Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

Report: Kansas City Chiefs' Justin Houston likely to miss regular-season games

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Washington camp

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker