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Pistons-Wizards Game Wrap

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Some thoughts from both Kevin and Matt ...

What Happened

KS: Will Bynum nearly pulled off a victory by himself, by Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizard ultimately prevailed, 101-98.

The loss was the first of the pre-season for the Pistons, who fall to 3-1. Nonetheless, Detroit remained competitive in spite of facing the Wizards' A-Squad. Chris Wilcox got the starting nod, not Ben Wallace, who had been effective in spelling the injured Charlie Villanueva.

The Good

KS: Will Bynum aside, not a lot. Austin Daye had 10 points in just 15 minutes of play, and the team held its own on the glass. The jury is still out on Wilcox, whose minutes have been pretty limited thus far. Still, 7 points on 2 fga is a nice effort in only 13 minutes of play.

The Bad

KS: Stuckey and Gordon had a miserable night (6-26) shooting the ball, and the guards had an equally tough time with Gilbert Arenas, who shot 9-11 for 24 points. Arenas is shooting 59% in the preseason to date. Think he'll like playing for Flip Saunders?

MW:This just sounds weird:

Prince's right big toe was somehow split open when he was inadvertently kicked by the Wizards' JaVale McGee. Prince missed the second half, but the injury isn't seen as serious.

The MVP

KS: MFWB (for newcomers, this stands for Masterfully Fantastic Will Bynum!). He had 23 points, and is now averaging a ridiculous 30 points per 40 minutes in the preseason.

MW: Media Favorite Will Bynum (even the Wizards' radio announcers were praising him) had yet another monster game, tallying a team-high 23 points (7-16 shooting, 9-10 FT) to go with four assists, zero turnovers and four steals. This is getting fun.

The Taco Bell Unsung Hero

KS: Kwame Brown. He's having a great preseason, with 8 points and 8 rebounds on 71% in 23 mpg. Honestly, I don't think his regular season production will be much different. The rebounds are his to own, and as long as he limits his offensive game to putbacks, he could be looking at a career year.

MW: Jonas Jerebko continues to impress: nine points and nine boards in 27 minutes. Kuester, who's praised Jerebko all preseason, sounded just as pleased about what didn't show up in the box score:

"I thought (Jerebko) was very active, the way he didn't allow (Jamison) to make easy catches," Kuester said. "I'm very impressed with his poise as a rookie in this league."

I still don't see how he could possibly get regular minutes (unless you sit Maxiell or Wilcox, he's the 12th man), but who knows? Injuries happen, as do trades -- Dumars may end up throwing in a veteran big man if/when he trades Rip Hamilton.

The Takeaway

KS: Days after speculation arose that Ben Wallace might be in line for the starting job, Coach Kuester decided to throw Wilcox in. Frankly, this is a much better idea, and might even work when Villanueva comes back. Starting Wilcox would prevent Charlie V. from racking up fouls against starting bigs, allowing him to stay on the court a bit longer.

MW: The Wizards should be an elite offensive team with surprising depth this year -- there's no shame in allowing them to score 101 points or shoot 46.8%. And despite Detroit's struggles (namely, shooting 40.5%), the fact it was neck-and-neck for almost the entire game is a pretty encouraging sign, regardless of the final outcome. Let's face it, even actual wins are little more than moral victories in the preseason -- none of this stuff counts come Oct. 27.

*****

Jeff Clark from CelticsBlog organized massive blog team previews yet again -- check out Motown String Music, Need4Sheed and Empty the Bench.

DBB didn't participate this year ... but as it happens, my (this is MW talking now ...) FanHouse preview is rolling out today. Keep your eye on the FanHouse links in the upper-right corner for that, as well as Ziller's piece on Rodney Stuckey. Update: here they are -- the Pistons preview and Rodney Stuckey feature.