Dec 28, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal (3) and Wizards point guard John Wall (2) defend in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 106-82. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Washington Wizards look to pick up two straight wins over the Detroit Pistons (Wizards-Pistons preview)


The Wizards are coming off a 24-point victory over the Detroit Pistons, but they’ll have to repeat that performance again tonight in the Motor City to achieve a .500 record for the second time this season. The game will tip off at 7:30 PM from the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Key Match Up:

Josh Smith, who the Pistons signed to a 4-year contract this past summer, was benched by new head coach Mo Cheeks during the second half of the game against Washington on Saturday, and he’s bound to have a breakout game sooner rather than later. Despite his awful play as of late, Smith is probably the most talented player on Detroit’s roster and his versatility definitely separates him from the rest of the group. Although he’s one of the most athletic players in the league, he consistently settles for jump shots and his coaching staff has benched him multiple times this season as a result. Joe Dumars, the Pistons’ General Manager, constructed a roster full of new talent in hopes of competing for a playoff spot, but it obviously hasn’t meshed well thus far.

Josh Smith on getting benched: I live to play this basketball game,” Smith said in the Verizon Center visitor’s locker room. “It’s an honor for me to play it. When anybody challenges or anything about the fact about me not wanting to play I take real offense to it.

-via USA Today Sports

Trevor Ariza did a great job defensively on Smith the last time the two teams met, and he’ll have to continue that tonight in Detroit. Smith will inevitably settle for difficult perimeter shots as he’s been known for doing throughout his career and I think Ariza will live with any shots he knocks down that are out of his range. If Josh Smith is taking outside shots instead of taking advantage of his size and athleticism underneath the basket, then Trevor Ariza is doing his job well. With that said, Ariza has been a vital part of Washington’s offense, especially from three point range, and the Pistons did a horrible job defensively last game. Let’s hope his three point shooting continues tonight.

Notes:

  • The Pistons have lost 4 straight at home. They’re sporting a 6-10 record in Detroit.
  • Despite being one of the top rebounding teams in the NBA, the Wizards outrebounded the Pistons at home on Saturday.
  • Kevin Seraphin is listed as questionable. He’s sat out of the last few games with a sore knee.

Prediction:

Washington made it pretty clear that they have the tools to not only beat the Pistons, but to beat them by a very lopsided margin. Marcin Gortat and Trevor Booker outplayed Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but Detroit’s frontcourt definitely presents some challenges to Washington. They need to continue rebounding the ball like they did on Saturday, and although the Pistons are the biggest team in the NBA, they’ve shown an inability to defend John Wall and Marcin Gortat inside the paint.

Wall and Gortat sliced Detroit’s defense apart with their pick-and-roll and I think that’s something the Pistons will struggle with again tonight. Wall needs to continue attacking the basket, and if they play defense the way they did last weekend, I think the Wizards will pick up another road win tonight.

For the best deals on upcoming Wizards tickets, always visit TiqIQ.com.

Tags: John Wall Josh Smith Josh Smith Bench Nba Game Preview Washington Wizards Wizards Pistons Wizards Pistons Preview