Washington faces off against the Detroit Pistons in its inaugural home preseason game on Sunday at the Verizon Center. After winning their first two games with the help of strong bench play, the Wizards dug themselves a hole they could not escape on Friday and fell, 99-86, to to the Charlotte Hornets. Worse: Bradley Beal is out for 6-8 weeks after hurting his wrist.
Detroit comes into Washington having won their first two preseason games.
How to watch
Where: 601 F Street NW, Washington D.C., 20004.
When: 1 p.m. EST
TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet, 99.1 WNEW, NBATV
Marcin Gortat on his old coach
"He's a tremendous short man," Marcin Gortat replied when I asked him on media day about Stan Van Gundy, who coached Gortat for the first three and a half years of his career. Known for being demanding of his players, Van Gundy a big role in molding Gortat from an unheralded second round pick into the player who just received a $60 million contract.
"I hate him, but I love him." Gortat said.
Gortat's feelings were all positive though when he talked about the Pistons prospects for the future:
"That team is going to be really successful, and I'll tell you right now that -- if not this year -- then definitely next year, I'm 100% sure they are going to be in the playoffs," he said. "This team is going to be successful, he's going to build a legacy. I've known this coach for so many years. He's the best coach I've worked with in the NBA, so far, by far."
Will Washington's starters continue to struggle?
The Wizards have not fared well coming out of gate of their preseason games thus far, getting into their sets late and not hitting shots from the outside. They aren't creating fast break opportunities that might mitigate the poor half court execution either. This has all been a recipe for low scoring, as the Wizards have averaged a mere 88.3 points per game so far this preseason, good for 27th in the NBA.
Of course, it's just preseason, and they have primarily been working on defensive concepts according to Randy Wittman. Besides that, most of us have only seen one game, as more videos exist of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 than these past two preseason games in 2014. Nevertheless, the poor offense is definitely a cause for concern and something to watch over the rest of the preseason.
Washington's front line versus Monroe and Drummond
The self-proclaimed "DC Bad Boys" will face their match against the frontcourt from the home of the original bad boys. Van Gundy has opted to rotate his starting lineup for the preseason, so Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond each came of the bench once in the the Pistons first two games. It has produced results, as Drummond had 15 points and 16 rebounds in 24 minutes against Milwaukee, while Monroe scored 24 points and added six rebounds as sixth man against the Bulls.
Probably the happiest stat for Pistons fans? Josh Smith has only attempted two three pointers in the preseason: he shot 3.4 per game last year. On Sunday, it will be Smith's turn to come off the bench.