Opponent Scouting: Washington Wizards (19-26)
Today at 2:00pm EST the Pistons will be on the road to play the Washington Wizards. The Pistons are on one day of rest after losing a heartbreaker to the Kings on Saturday, while the Wizards are on three days of rest (and prior to their last game were on 3 days so they’ve played just 1 game in the last 7 days) after a close victory over the Knicks.
The Wizards are about as sad as the Pistons which is about the most damnable thing I can say about a team. They come into today’s game with the 18th ranked offense and 25th ranked defense in the NBA. They are led by Bradley Beal who is phenomenal, he can shoot from anywhere, has a pretty solid handle, and is better/more explosive going to the basket than people give him credit for.
John Wall, Dwight Howard, and Markieff Morris are all hurt.
In addition to Beal, Trevor Ariza is back in Washington although he hasn’t found his shot with the Wizards yet. Otto Porter is way overpaid but he’s still a really nice complimentary player. Tomas Satoransky is really good, probably not good enough to be a starter long-term but he’s a great complimentary player. Thomas Bryant is playing minutes at center, Jeff Green is still hanging around. ian Mahinmi is a corpse, Sam Dekker is a decent swiss-army knife wing.
This team has been playing a bit better lately, but they don’t have much fire-power beyond Beal. The Pistons don’t have much fire-power beyond Griffin though so yeah.
Matchups to watch:
Griffin vs. Little resistance: The Wizards are very thin up front. Most likely, one of Jeff Green or Trevor Ariza will be guarding him for a lot of the night, this should be a very good thing for Griffin.
Pistons vs. Gang-rebounding: With all the injuries the Wizards don’t pose much of a rebounding threat, but with Drummond out today it will still need to be a team effort. When Willy Cauley-Stein was off the floor with injury trouble they did well against the Kings, but got burned at the end of the game.
Luke Kennard vs. SHOOT THE DAMN BALL: Keep shooting young fella.
Pistons vs. Brad Beal: It will probably be Bruce Brown for much of the night. My guess is that Brown will not really be up to the task after getting torched by Buddy Hield.
Pistons vs. Keeping some good vibes: The schedule is getting easier, bounce-back from the gut-punch and keep winning.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Blake Griffin has 20 points on 10 shots at halftime.
Reggie Jackson has a pulse.
Someone other than Jose gets the backup PG minutes with Ish Smith (likely) out.
Run for the hills if:
“And the Pistons just have no answer for Beal”
“The Wizards really shouldn’t be getting this many rebounds.”
“Why isn’t Luke shooting it now?”
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
The Pistons will probably lose on a buzzer-beater.