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Pistons at Wizards preview: John Wall remains Washington’s whiz

Detroit heads to DC for their first road game of the year.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards of Washington host the Detroit Pistons in a battle of undefeated Eastern Conference juggernauts. OK, that might be a bit much, but both teams did win their home opener as Detroit downed the Charlotte Hornets and the Wiz held on to beat a lively 76ers bunch.

Game Vitals:

Where: Capital One Arena - Washington D.C.

When: Friday, October 20th, 7 p.m. EST

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit (Plus) / NBA League Pass


John Wall remains Washington’s full-time maestro and part-time jaw dropper. In transition or in the half court, Wall controls a game like few others from the point guard position. His bread and butter remains pick-and-roll assaults with - most notably - Marcin Gortat, but the on-going development of his post up game must be accounted for:

Initiating offense that close to the rim is trouble for any opponent.

In three games last year against Detroit, Bradley Beal effortlessly averaged 25 points per game. Although he’s known as a gunner, Beal is a sneaky good user of on-ball screens:

Pistons’ bigs must do a better job of corralling Beal as he turns the corner.

Washington’s version of Tobias Harris is Otto Porter; you know, the overly efficient scorer who should probably get more looks. Don’t sleep on Porter in the corner:

Or navigating though distracted defenders:

If you must choose, make Porter but the ball on the ground. Anything over three dribbles is a win for the defense.

One area the Pistons should exploit is the Washington bench. With Markieff Morris out after surgery to resolve a sports hernia, Jason Smith has been tapped to be in the starting lineup. This means Washington’s bigs off the bench are Ian Mahimni and Mike Scott, who were -11 and -9, respectively, against the Sixers. Neither one of those guys are equipped to either guard Boban Marjanovic or take advantage of him on the offensive end - expect to see BOBAN! tonight.

Projected Lineup:

Detroit - Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley, Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris, Andre Drummond

Washington - John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Jason Smith, Marcin Gortat

Stay tuned to the gamethread for up to date lineups.


Pistons 104

Wizards 100

Community Question:

How many shots before Stanley gets his first basket of the season?