The regular season is finally here! Read on as we preview tonight's game between the Wizards and arch-nemesis Detroit.
Where and when? 7:30 tip. Comcast SportsNet will broadcast the game.
What happened last time these teams played? Well, the second half was good!
Are they good? TBD. I'm high on them because they have an embarrassment of riches up front and because I've always been a Josh Smith fan. (For more, see here). But there are definitely some questions about how all the pieces will mesh, especially offensively. Greg Monroe's elbow jumper is inconsistent, Andre Drummond can't shoot from anywhere except close to the basket and Smith fancies himself as a shooter, but isn't. Detroit's guards are pretty nondescript with Brandon Jennings out, so can they find enough perimeter shooting to open up the paint for that frontcourt? We shall see.
Why should I care? Season opener. If you can't get excited for this one, it's not going to happen.
Who's out? Jennings and Rodney Stuckey won't play for the Pistons. Jennings has a tooth ache of some sort, and Stuckey slammed a car door on his thumb and will be out for the beginning of the year. And you thought the Wizards' injuries were weird. Otto Porter and Chris Singleton will sit for the Wizards.
What are they good at? Who knows with this much change, but they should be stifling defensively. If they can develop an offensive system that masks some of their spacing issues, they will also bully teams in the paint. There aren't too many power forwards that can check Monroe.
It's also worth noting that a second unit featuring Drummond, Will Bynum, Kentavious-Caldwell Pope and Jonas Jerekbo has some fun potential, though Bynum and Drummond are starting tonight.
What are they bad at? We'll see about perimeter shooting. There's a chance that some combination of Chauncey Billups, Luigi Datome, Kyle Singler, a healthy Jennings and promising rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provides enough, just as Bradley Beal and Martell Webster provided enough shooting last year. If so, that'll make Detroit tough to beat, ut there are major questions there. It's also going to be interesting to see how they keep Smith engaged so he's launching as few jumpers as possible.
Can we please make sure this screenshot never gets posted again? Thanks.
Why won't Randy Wittman reveal his starting lineup? Who knows. Coaches like to keep things secret. But I'd be very surprised if Marcin Gortat doesn't start his first Wizards game.
Want to read a great story about Detroit and the Pistons? Jim Cavan's longform on the team's non-relationship with Detroit proper is one of the best stories I've read in a while.
Want to read the Pistons' perspective? Visit Detroit Bad Boys.
Who's going to win? I'm leaning Detroit in a close one, since they're home and they always own the Wizards. Hope I'm wrong.
More from Bullets Forever:
- A call to arms: Why Wizards fans should lobby for more national attention
- 36 predictions about the 2013-14 Washington Wizards
- The Marcin Gortat trade: Bullets Forever roundtable reaction
- How Ernie Grunfeld has balanced risk against the Ten Point Plan
- Film study: How Marcin Gortat fits in with the Washington Wizards