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Wizards vs Pistons Preview: Wall vs Peyton and the Pistons


Preseason game #6
Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons
October 22, 2013
The Palace Auburn Hills, MI
Radio: 1500AM


Projected starting lineups:

Washington Wizards
C- Nene, PF- Trevor Booker, SF- Trevor Ariza, SG- Bradley Beal, PG- John Wall

Detroit Pistons
C- Andre Drummond, PF- Greg Monroe, SF- Josh Smith, SG- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, PG- Peyton Siva

Key matchup:

Andre Drummond vs. Nene

I know you were expecting Wall or Beal to be up here but those two won’t exactly be going up against world beaters tonight. Well, besides the fact that Peyton will be running the offense tonight. Even though that phrase is usually said before football games, it has a certain intimidation level to it. Until you realize I’m referring to the Pistons starter at guard tonight, Peyton Siva. Bradley Beal should be salivating more than a kid wearing a retainer who can’t keep his mouth closed. Beal’s production is becoming consistent at this point, so I will focus more on other matchups.

If you haven’t the slightest idea of who Andre Drummond is, then you will know very soon. The Wizards auditioned Drummond last year prior to the draft but did not select him with the 3rd overall pick. Drummond’s frame and high risk-high reward potential is eerily reminiscent of JaVale McGee, who didn’t exactly pan out for the Wizards. Perhaps they didn’t take Drummond for this reason, instead going with Bradley Beal (which is working out well). After realizing the McGee experiment was over, they traded him for, well, Nene. Perhaps this will motivate Drummond to go all out, or maybe I just need to reach for reasons to be excited about a Wizards-Pistons preseason game. Sue me. Last year, Drummond posted one of the most efficient and productive seasons for a rookie center ever. Meanwhile, Nene seems to be on the decline and missed the last two exhibition games for the Wizards. Once again, Andre Drummond is very scary.


Martell Webster. Why you ask? Earlier this season, I wrote an article talking about the competition at the Small Forward position. Martell Webster seemed like a lock to take that spot. He was coming off of a personal career year, he got a big contract, and he was  part of what was the best statistical rotation for the Wizards last year. When Wall, Beal and Webster played together last year, they had one of the best defensive and offensive efficiencies in the league. Instead, Wittman has plugged him into the backup spot and elected to go with the guy that I said in my article should not get the job under any circumstance. Maybe this will work out, maybe it won’t. Webster has been humble about being relegated to the reserve role, but I expect his play to be extremely cocky in return. When I say cocky, I mean playing like a guy who knows he deserves to be a starter, and shoving it in your face until you get the picture. Perhaps that will make it work out in the end, but I don’t understand why you go away from what has worked for the Wizards, which is putting Webster in the starting lineup. So Martell, please show the coach what is best for the Wizards, by showing off that stroke and not leaving any “Bullets” left in the chamber.

The X-factor:

Bench Scoring. The Pistons only had four players in the bench rotation last game, and the result was someone named Peyton Siva playing 47 minutes. Their bench only put up 17 points, and they gave up 45 bench points in a loss to Orlando. If Rodney Stuckey remains out for this game, the Wizards have to take advantage of this. Beal and Wall already have a decided advantage over the Pistons backcourt, and exploiting that will only hurt Detroit more since Kyle Singler could be the only active backup guard tonight.

What happened last time they played?

The Pistons edged out the Wiz for a victory at the Verizon Center. Washington made a furious comeback late behind Trevor Ariza’s game-high 22 point effort, but it was not enough to overcome Detroit shooting 54% from the field and 60% from downtown. Brandon Knight had a field day, scoring 32 with 15 of them coming from behind the 3-point line.

Who’s hurt?

For the Pistons, everybody. Well not everybody, but a large chunk of their backcourt has not played much as of late. Brandon Jennings has been out with a jaw injury, and Rodney Stuckey is recovering from a broken thumb. Chauncey Billups has been largely inactive this preseason, and Will Bynum missed the last game with food poisoning. Jan has the mumps, Marsha has the chicken pox and Bobby has the flu. The Wizards will be without Okafor as expected, and Jan Vesely did not play last game because he is Jan Vesely. I should probably leave a footnote for the random Brady Bunch reference I just used, but my target audience usually picks up on these things.


Wizards fans hopes might just be coming true. How often does that happen?


Speed vs. Power

The Wizards have a big advantage in the backcourt tonight. The Wizards have a large disadvantage in the frontcourt tonight. I think we will be saying this a lot throughout the year. The Pistons have built their team in a very intriguing way, stacking up a lot of young talent in the frontcourt. Their backcourt has potential, but tonight they will most likely be missing some key players. Wall and Beal should have their way for the most part, and I expect them to play well defensively also. With the Pistons size inside, the Wizards guards will have to hit midrange shots. When they penetrate into the paint, they have to draw fouls from the Pistons interior. If Rodney Stuckey ends up playing and shores up the Pistons backcourt, I like Detroit in a close one. If not, I like the Wizards to pull this one out on the road. Detroit is too weak at guard right now and Beal should be able to score at will. Bradley Beal should be able to score at will. That felt so good I had to say it twice.


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