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Pistons vs. Wizards preview: A look at Washington’s trio of Wall, Beal and Porter

Pistons, winners of two straight(!), need to hold strong at home.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall renews his subtle rivalry with Reggie Jackson and, objectively, Wall is the much better player, but speaking on someone else’s worth can bring out the best in an individual. Wall’s not coming alone though, he’s got some buddies in Bradley Beal and Otto Porter that should be on your radar.

Let’s take a closer look.

Game Vitals

When: January 21st @ 6 p.m. EST
Where: Palace of Auburn Hills; Auburn Hills, MI
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit


The last time these two teams met, the Wizards scored 65 first-half points en route to a 122-108 win in Washington. John Wall dissected Detroit’s defense to the tune of 29 points and 11 assists. He does two things really well that are completely underrated - skip pass and finding the corner three.

Corner three:

League wide, Wall’s propensity to find the corner three is probably only topped by Lebron James’ ability to do the same. While it’s an “underrated” skill to the general public, in hoops’ circles, it well known. The skip pass, however, is something that needs a little more love.

The threat of skip pass keeps the weak side defender honest. Below, as soon as Portland looks to take away Marcin Gortat, Wall makes them pay by setting up Markieff Morris for the three ball:

Moving the ball east to west with a singular pass is great way to procure and keep proper spacing and Wall does it better than anyone.


Bradley Beal is sold as a shooter but owns a sneaky talent himself: efficiency as a ball handler in the pick and roll. Detroit learned the hard way:

To give a shooter those kind of wide open looks is asking for trouble. Beal’s PPP in the P&R is slightly north of 1.0 which sandwiches him between James Harden and Kemba Walker, not bad company.


When you’re wrong, you’re wrong and I was dead wrong on Otto Porter. His 14 points and six rebounds per game won’t make you do a double take, but his 45 percent 3-point shooting or his nearly 65 percent true shooting percentage just might.

At 6-foot-8 and under 200 pounds, I bought into the “too frail” narrative and this certainly didn’t help:

But now, he can drop a game like this at any time:


Projected Lineups


John Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris


Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris



First, I’m a fan of the 6 p.m. start. It almost makes up for the oddly placed 8 p.m. start against Atlanta. For early risers like myself - even on the weekends - start times (more so finish times) are a big deal to me. West Coasters got the life.....

Second, this can’t happen:

I love aggressive defense but to do so, the defense must be on the same page. Ill timed double-teams leading to three easy hoops suggest they’re not on the same page. Pistons aren’t good enough to beat themselves.

Third, if given the opportunity to switch rosters with Washington, I’d respectfully decline. Hey, I said “respectfully.” This means that, in my humble opinion, I believe the Pistons are the better team but it’s up to them to prove it and to continue to prove it.

Fourth, rest shouldn’t be an issue for either team so I give the advantage to the home team who also happens to be in a borderline “must win” mode.

Wizards 97, Pistons 107