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Wizards vs. Pistons game preview: This could get ugly

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Detroit (14-17) at Washington (12-14)

December 28, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan

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Projected starting lineups:

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C- Marcin Gortat
PF- Trevor Booker
SF- Trevor Ariza
SG- Bradley Beal
PG- John Wall

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C- Andre Drummond
PF- Greg Monroe
SF- Josh Smith
SG- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PG- Brandon Jennings

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Key matchup:

John Wall v. Brandon Jennings

This PG rivalry goes back to high school, when Brandon Jennings was a top senior and John Wall was a rising junior. They’ve faced each other eight times in the NBA, going 4-4 against each other. John Wall has got the better of Jennings their last three matchups, going 3-0, while Jennings has struggled mightily in the last two games against him.

So far this season, these two point guards have been a couple of the best in the East. Jennings is averaging the most assists in his career his first year in Detroit. His shooting is still mediocre at best, shooting at a 39% clip from the field. Jennings has a tendency to keep jacking up shots when his shot isn’t falling. Wouldn’t be uncommon to see Jennings get in to a one-on-one mindset against Wall tonight.

Spotlight:

The Pistons Front court. The Wizards are coming off a game in which they were bullied against the T’Wolves’ front court of Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love. They’ll receive no breaks tonight going against Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, and Josh Smith. The first game of the season when these two teams met, Detroit scored 56 points in the paint. Monroe, Drummond, and Smith combined for 55 points and 31 rebounds. It’s highly unlikely the Wizards will win if this type of production is repeated.

The X-factor:

Marcin Gortat. He’s had a very rocky stretch since complaining about his role in this offense. Last night was one of his worst games in a Wizards uniform, and unfortunately against a dominant front court. If Gortat is on his game tonight, it gives the Wizards the necessary boost they need to be in position to win this game.

What happened last time they played?

The Wizards played catch-up most of the game, while the Pistons front court was too much for the Wizards. The Pistons won 113-102. This was Gortat’s first game in a Wizards uniform, coming off the bench and playing only 16 minutes. Trevor Ariza had one of his best games in his career with 28 points and 10 rebounds. John Wall also had a double-double with 20 points and 11 assists. But Greg Monroe was a monster with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while “Big Shot” Chauncey Billups thwarted every Wizards run with a big 3.

Who’s hurt?

Wizards took a big blow last night and probably an unnecessary one with Bradley Beal getting injured in the 4th quarter of a blowout game. Wizards will await the MRI results and hope Beal isn’t out for significant time. He’s likely out tonight while Kevin Seraphin is a game-time decision. Glen Rice, Jr. and Al Harrington remain out. For the Pistons, Chauncey Billups will likely play, while Rodney Stuckey is out again.

Outlook:

This is the second night of a back-to-back for both teams, and both teams are coming off blowout losses. Not having Beal is a big blow to the Wizards. Martell will likely re-enter the starting lineup, leaving a void on the bench that needs to be filled. Unfortunately, with the Wizards injuries and problems against formidable front courts, the Pistons will likely win this one.

Hoop District Staff

Collaborative efforts from the Hoop District Staff.

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