Open Thread: Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons, Preseason Game 4

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The Essentials:

Wizards (19-63 last season) vs. Pistons (39-43)
7:00 p.m.
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids
TV: None
Radio: 106.7 The Fan

Notable Pistons numbers last season

17th in expected winning percentage (.482)
29th in pace (86.7 possessions per game)
21st in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (107.4)
16th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (108)

Pre-game links

Motown String Music, SB Nation's Detroit Pistons blog
Piston Powered, Detroit Pistons blog
Detroit Bad Boys
Need4Sheed, Detroit Pistons fan site
Motown String Music season preview
Need4Sheed season preview
Michael Lee's report from Grand Rapids: Miller to start, Arenas maybe to sit because of the slippery floor
GameDay Grand Rapids

Tonight's Projected Starters
Wizards vs. Pistons
Gilbert Arenas ??
PG Rodney Stuckey
Mike Miller
SG Richard Hamilton
Caron Butler
SF Tayshaun Prince
Antawn Jamison
PF Kwame Brown
Fabricio Oberto
C Ben Wallace


The great preseason road trip rolls on to Detroit Grand Rapids tonight, as the Wizards take on the new-look Pistons, Flip Saunders' former team.  And if you thought that some writer would make reference to Saunders' "homecoming," don't worry, Michael Lee has you covered

The funny thing about tonight's game is that Saunders is thinking of sitting Gilbert Arenas because ... get this ... the floor is too slippery.  That's according to Lee, who also reports that Mike Miller will start at shooting guard and that Brendan Haywood will continue to rest his sore ankle.  So, remind me why we're having a preseason game in Grand Rapids again?

Detroit's likely to be without new acquisition Charlie Villanueva, who is sitting out with a left hamstring injury that sounds suspiciously like a "aggravated injury due to too much inactivity before training camp" (Pistons fans, please note I've done no prior research on Villanueva's injury, so don't take that too seriously).  That elevates the corpse of Ben Wallace into the starting lineup, where he'll team with Kwame Brown to provide the most inept starting frontcourt in the league.

The Pistons will be with Will Bynum, the diminutive point guard who came out of nowhere to be a solid contributor last year.  Despite his breakout year, he seems even further down in the guard rotation after Detroit signed Ben Gordon, but that won't stop him.  MLive's A Sherrod Blakely has a nice story about how Bynum is drawing inspiration and receiving advice from Gilbert Arenas, particularly on the challenges of cracking a team's rotation when being counted out.

The game's on the radio only, and I might miss parts of it because of a prior engagement, but I'm curious to see how Miller fits with most of the starting lineup.  How assertive will he be coming off screens?  Will he shoot it when he should be shooting it?  I sure hope so. 

This is an open game thread, so let's hope Kwame doesn't drive by Andray Blatche tonight like he did last year.


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