USA TODAY Sports
Can the Washington Wizards find redemption in the second game of a back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons?
Last night was ugly. No one wants to walk around in a bad mood, though, so let's focus on the positive here: Washington is very unlikely to play this poorly again. Kevin Seraphin, bless his heart, will either adjust his game or get the hook early if it's looking like he's going to put up another 18 shots in 30 minutes without drawing a single foul. Jordan Crawford won't be playing in front of his hometown friends and family, so maybe he'll be a bit more calm and measured with his shot selection. And Cartier Martin, who came into last night's game making about 40 percent of his three pointers, isn't going to shoot 1-7 from deep again. And hey, Nene might be back, so they've got that going for them.
At least in theory Washington should play better tonight. Then again, this is a franchise that lives to discover new lows, so watch them lose by 40. Ugh. Here's everything you need to know about tonight's game.
Where and When? Tip off is at 7 p.m. EST at the Verizon Center.
Why Should I Care? Because the Wizards can't get any worse and a highly motivated team is at least in theory more likely to win.
Are They Any Good? No, but that didn't stop them from destroying Washington last night. It's really annoying to watch teams like Detroit, who Washington fans used to feel almost sorry for because of how ugly their rebuilding process was going, suddenly start to look far more promising than the Wizards. And they didn't even need to bring in any overpaid veterans to make it happen.
What Are They Good At? Rebounding and getting to the line. In a related story, the franchise employs Stuckey, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and The Ghost of Cory Maggette, all of whom get to the line at a high rate, and all but Maggette are good rebounders. Brandon Knight has also been a bit better in his second season and is really quick, even if he can't always finish around the rim. Shaun Livingston is going to have a miserable night, especially if the ultra-physical Stuckey plays.
What Are They Bad At? Detroit can't guard post players at all, ranking 30th in the NBA in points allowed per possession on post ups according to MySynergySports.com. Monroe is a poor defender and a bit of a tweener, Drummond is a very raw rookie, Charlie Villanueva hasn't tried in five years, and Jason Maxiell is like 6'7''. Someway, somehow Seraphin still only shot 5 of 18 against them last night and didn't get to the line once. He should be better tonight and if Nene plays, Washington might actually be able to turn in a performance that won't make fans want to commit seppuku.
Can the Wizards' Turn It Around on the Glass? Washington was decimated on the boards last night, as the Pistons outrebounded them 58-46. The team's defensive rebounding was the main culprit, and an appearance from Nene and more Chris Singleton should help. That said, there's only so much you can do with Washington's current personnel when the team goes up agains Monroe, who is excellent at positioning and boxing out, and Drummond, who can overwhelm almost any team with his size and springiness.