Opponent Scouting: Washington Bullets. (24-32)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will be hosting the Washington Wizards at the LCA. The Pistons are on two days of rest after beating the Knicks on Friday, while the Wizards are on one day of rest and playing their 3rd game in 4 nights after beating the Bulls on Saturday.
The Wizards are injured and broken but they keep chugging along as being at least semi-competitive. They have the 15th best offense in the NBA and the 26th defense which combines for the 24th net rating in the NBA, only two spots behind the Pistons.
John Wall and Dwight Howard are out, Markieff Morris was hurt but he got traded, Otto Porter got traded.
As such, Bradley Beal is the pillar that is attempting to desperately hold the team aloft. Scoring 25 points and dishing 5.2 assists per game on really solid efficiency while being the only real scoring option on the floor for so often has meant that Beal has continued to show his quality.
After Beal, Trevor Ariza is still here in what turns out to be a pretty stupid trade for the Wizards and he isn’t even playing that well. Thomas Satoransky is a long and tough defender and a good spot-up shooter who takes care of the ball on offense. Jabari Parker can score a bit but he isn’t all that efficient and he refuses to play defense. Bobby Portis had a huge game in his debut, he’s still a nice two-way player who does a bit of everything.
Thomas Bryant is a young center who I know almost nothing about to be honest. Chasson Randle is a journeyman point guard who can shoot a bit. Wesley Johnson is still not a good wing but he’s long and occasionally hits a three. Jordan McCrae can get his own shot but he does little else and isn’t very efficient.
This team is kind of holding on, largely because Bradley Beal is so incredible. Even so, they are not very good and they are probably worse following the trade deadline.
Matchups to watch:
Pistons vs. rotations: I would imagine that Wayne Ellington and Bruce Brown will be the starters, but where it goes from there is anyones guess. Even with the addition of Ellington the Pistons have a pretty terrible wing rotation so it will be very difficult for Casey to try and juggle them in such a way that they get the most out of them.
Pistons vs. Bradley Beal: Bruce Brown will certainly get first crack, but it will be a challenge all night. If the Pistons can keep Beal in control there is very little else that is a threat to on the Wizards, but Beal is good enough to win a game on his own.
Andre Drummond vs. Not much: Last time out the Wizards started a 21 year old second round draft pick at center and didn’t even play Ian Mahinmi. Drummond should have fair reign of the paint.
Reggie Jackson vs. Don’t call it a comeback: Hope springs eternal. If the Pistons did indeed manage to trade 2018 Reggie Jackson for 2016 Reggie Jackson it would be a big improvement to the team.
Bench vs. Finding production: Shoot it Luke! Also important for Ish to keep things even and steady.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin have 20 points by halftime.
Bruce Brown is up to the task of guarding Bradley Beal.
Reggie Jackson is still good.
Run for the hills if:
Bradley Beal starts hitting shots.
The Wizards conjure up some way to hold Griffin in check.
Wayne Ellington goes 0-10 or something.
Opportunities for me to look stupid: