Dec 30, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) guards Washington Wizards power forward Nene Hilario (42) during the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Washington won 106-99. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Wizards-Pistons preview: A Chance to Get Over the .500 Mark

With two wins over the Chicago Bulls and an upset victory against the Miami Heat, the Wizards have given themselves an opportunity to get over the .500 hump for the first time this season. They’ll meet the lowly Detroit Pistons tonight at the Verizon Center. The game tips off at 7:00 PM.

Key Match Up:

In case you haven’t been following the NBA, the Detroit Pistons acquired free agent Josh Smith and traded for Brandon Jennings in hopes of making a playoff push for the first time in years. Well, those costly moves haven’t panned out thus far as the Pistons find themselves at 16-23, right below the Charlotte Bobcats. Needless to say, the Pistons have been a complete mess this season and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Despite their lack of success this season, Detroit is still the biggest team in the NBA which gives them a chance each and every game. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have been averaging a combined 22 rebounds, so they’re definitely a threat on the glass. Drummond is one of the better young big men in the NBA and it’s become clear that he has the potential to be a franchise changing player.

With that said, Marcin Gortat and Nene have led the Wizards to two victories against the Pistons already this season. Unlike Detroit’s bigs, Gortat and Nene have played much better together than they have separately. Their size and understanding of the game has overwhelmed the Pistons this season, so I have no reason to believe they won’t keep up with Monroe and Drummond tonight. Detroit is sixth in rebounds per game, so Washington’s bigs obviously have to compete on the boards tonight. Trevor Booker has also become Washington’s motor off the bench and I’m sure he’ll get contribute in the rebounding department. Tonight’s game will basically be determined on how well the Wizards rebound and defend, especially since Detroit has been such a bad perimeter shooting team.

Notes:

  • The Pistons were blown out by the Utah Jazz last night, 110-89.
  • Despite having the size and length to be effective defensively, the Pistons have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. They have the 7th lowest defensive rating in the league, according to NBA.COM.
  • Only 18.5% of the points Detroit scores come from 3-point territory. That’s the third lowest in the league.
  • John Wall is averaging about 23 points and 10 assists on 46% shooting against the Pistons in their two match ups this season.

Prediction:

Washington has been at .500 before, but they’ve never gotten over the hump. Thankfully for Randy Wittman, the Detroit Pistons won’t have much of a chance at beating the Wizards, unless Washington takes a few steps back and come out unprepared.

With the Eastern Conference being as bad as it is, the Wizards have to take advantage of home games like this. They’ve beaten Detroit twice this season and there should be no reason for them to lose tonight, as long as they show up ready to play. John Wall has torched the Pistons and should be the best player on the floor tonight. Although the Pistons do present some match up problems with size, they haven’t done a very good job at taking advantage of mismatches. Josh Smith has been dreadful, while Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond hasn’t really worked out together. Brandon Jennings has been OK, but John Wall should definitely be able to overwhelm him with his size and athleticism tonight.

I think the Wizards will get the win tonight. Detroit has been a mess and Washington’s backcourt might be too much to handle for the Pistons. If the Wizards compete on the glass, they should be able to get over .500 tonight.

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Tags: Andre Drummond Greg Monroe John Wall Josh Smith Marcin Gortat Nba Game Preview Nene Washington Wizards Wizards Vs Pistons Wizards Vs Pistons Preview

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