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Wall, Butler push Wizards past Pistons

Rasual Butler came up huge for the Wizards, helping the team to its best start in nearly 40 years, as word of Nene injury surfaces postgame. Plus, Stan Van Gundy flip-flops on his previous John Wall criticism.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wizards stay undefeated at home with 107-103 win vs Detroit

It wasn't pretty at times, but the Wizards erased an early double-digit deficit, and some seriously hot shooting from the Pistons' backcourt, to pull out a tough home win thanks to key defensive stops in the final minutes. Rasual Butler had a huge night off the bench with a season-high 18 points. Kris Humphries piled up 12 points and nine rebounds, as well. And the man that it all starts with, John Wall, recorded a beautiful 11:1 assists to turnovers ratio in the win, to go along with 27 points and three steals.

Here's what the internet had to say:

Bullets Forever

Comcast SportsNet

The Washington Post

The Washington Times


Wiz of Awes

FOX Sports

2. Pistons coach praises Wall

Stan Van Gundy was a known critic of Wall back in early 2013, expressing doubts that Wall could be a player that a franchise builds around.

"John Wall is a talented guy, a very good player. I don't think he's good enough that you can build a franchise around him," Van Gundy said in February in 2013. "I don't think he can be your best player, certainly not clearly your best player. You need one guy better than him or a couple of guys at his talent level for them to win."

Since then, his opinion has changed as Wall has turned numerous doubters into believers since his All-Star selection last season.

"I said this last year - I had said in the past, which people caught on too, I had said that I didn't know if [Wall]  could be a franchise guy. Probably 20 games into last year I came out and said he's a whole different guy and clearly capable of carrying a team. I think that's what he's proven to be," the coach said before Wednesday's game.

As long as Wall keeps taking this team to higher levels, haters won't hate for long.

3. What's the buzz with the Wizards' practice facility?

Ted Leonsis obviously knows what he wants. But D.C. residents and Counsel members feel differently.

Slowly, but surely, it's looking as if Leonsis will face a continually steeper uphill battle for a new Wizards practice facility in D.C. As long as city parks and rare green spaces are in the plans to be demolished, you can bet that this won't be an easy task for the Wizards owner.

For the record, a Washington City Paper report suggests that talk really hasn't picked up on this issue, as initially reported.

4. Is Nene already hurt?

There's not much to report on this, other than what The Washington Post's Wizards' beat reporter Jorge Castillo reported on Twitter following last night's game.

We'll know more today, but in any case, this is why the team focused its attention on adding frontcourt depth behind the Brazilian big man this past offseason.

5. Wizards attack Pistons' front line

The Wizards did a wonderful job getting the Pistons big men out of their comfort zone by attacking the basket all night long with tons of tenacity. Wall set the tone with 11 first-half points from free throwsAndre Drummond got into early foul trouble, as did Josh Smith, and the Pistons' imposing big men were taken out of their physical game early.