Washington Wizards: 3 Takeaways from 97-86 preseason loss to Detroit Pistons

Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wass/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wass/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Bradley Beal.
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wass/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Wizards dropped their second consecutive preseason game, this time to the Detroit Pistons. Even in defeat, there are things to learn.

The Washington Wizards have one more chance to get a preseason win. After dropping their preseason opener to the Brooklyn Nets, the Wizards took another L, this time at home to the Detroit Pistons by a score of 97-86.

Like their first preseason game vs. the Nets, the Wizards were without Russell Westbrook and Davis Bertans. They were also without Rui Hachimura this time, who was out with an eye irritation. However, even with a few missing pieces, there was still a lot to learn from preseason game #2. Here are three takeaways from the Wizards’ preseason loss to the Pistons.

Takeaway #3: Bradley Beal is back(ish)

For the first time since March 10, 2020, we got to see Bradley Beal play basketball for the Washington Wizards. After missing the first preseason game due to rest, Beal was out there for the second game, and you could tell the difference.

For the first time since before the bubble, the Wizards had a guy on the floor that was a threat to score each and every time he touched the ball. And he did just that. Beal scored on his first shot of the game. Although he didn’t make his second shot, Beal followed the miss, grabbed his rebound, and got himself to the foul line. Later in the first, Beal showed off his acrobatics, getting around Pistons center Mason Plumlee at the rim for a thought bucket. It didn’t take long for Beal to make an impact upon his return.

The Detroit Pistons noticed, too, though. As the first half progresses, Beal saw more double and triple teams from the Pistons defense. After facing such defensive attention throughout last season, Beal should see less of it now that Westbrook has joined his backcourt. But without Westbrook out there, Beal was smothered, and the offense floundered and scored just 35 points in the first half.

Beal will usually have more help out there. Barring injury, Hachimura, and Bertans will usually be available for support. But the plan is to sit Westbrook in back-to-backs, which will likely mean teams put the clamps on a tired Beal during those sets. In a way, this was a sign of things to come…again.

Beal finished with 10 points, one rebound, one assist in 16 minutes. Beal did not play during the second half. Even if it was only for a half, it was good to have Beal back.