After the Timberwolves game on Friday night, the Wizards talked a lot during postgame about having a short memory and moving on to the Detroit game at home. They did just that. The Wizards blew out the Pistons, just about from start to finish, in winning 106-82. The 24-point win was the team's largest margin of victory on the year. The Pistons were hanging in until the close of the first half, when the Wizards went on a 14-0 run to go into the break up 21. The Wizards put up 62 points in the first half, their largest scoring half of the year. The closest the Pistons got in the second half was 18 and the Wizards' largest lead was 28. The team finished with a season high 34 assists on their 43 made baskets. John Wall had 11 of those assists, to go along with 20 points for his tenth double-double of the year. The Wizards shot 50% on the night, including 9/19 from long distance, as all five starters finished in double figures. The most impressive stat of the night though, might have been that the Wizards out-rebounded the Pistons' massive front line, 46-38. - Jacob Raim
Bradley Beal will play and start tonight for the Wizards. He left last night's game with a bruised left knee, but after X-rays and the MRI came back clean, he's back in the starting lineup tonight. Wizards starters: Wall, Beal, Ariza, Booker, Gortat
It's been a while, but we are finally back at Verizon Center for Wizards basketball!
Two weeks have passed, but things have turned around for the better since we last saw basketball at Verizon Center. The Wizards were in the midst of a four game losing streak and had just been blown out by the Clippers before they hit the road for a few weeks. But, they then went on to win three straight road games in New York, Brooklyn, and Boston before finally falling last night in Minnesota.
Update on Beal
Other than losing last night, the big news from Minnesota was around second-year guard Bradley Beal who suffered a left knee injury and was carried off the court. The good news from after the game were that X-rays came back negative, and after an MRI came back clean today, he's been diagnosed with a left knee bruise and has a chance to play tonight. Anytime you see a player get carried off and favoring a knee, it's natural to panic a little bit, but it appears that Beal has dodged a bullet and won't miss significant time.
He's going through his normal pregame shooting routine and will make a gametime decision on suiting up tonight.
Scouting the Pistons
The Pistons enter tonight's game ranked first in the league in offensive rebounds per game (14.5) and present one of the biggest front lines in the NBA. They like to play Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond together, which can pose matchup problems for opposing teams that usually play smaller. The Wizards could be without Beal tonight, which would likely mean Martell Webster would step into the starting lineup. Regardless if Beal or Webster start, the Wiz will likely use Ariza on Smith, Trevor Booker on Monroe, and Marcin Gortat on Drummond to open the game.
The Pistons are last in the league in free-throw percentage and second to last in three-point percentage. Those numbers are not surprising with such a big team. The Wizards will need to clog the middle and even give up some fouls to avoid the Pistons getting any dunks or easy layups.
These two teams played one another on opening night in Detroit and although the Wizards hung around for most of the game, it was the Pistons that took command and controlled the tempo en route to a 113-102 win at the Palace. Brandon Jennings missed that game with a mouth injury, but he'll be back in there tonight. He's the Pistons' leading scorer, averaging over 17 points per game. He sometimes can get trigger happy and take bad shots (though he's one of the best bad shot makers), so the Wizards will want to force him into tough spots and try and keep him out of the paint.
Stay tuned for Randy Wittman's pregame interview and remember to join in the