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Wizards vs Pistons preview: Time to get the rhythm back in Motown

On a two game skid and looking dull as ever after the All Star Break, the Wizards need this win in Detroit to get back on track.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not one to read the ESPN comments, but this commenter had some interesting words to say about today's Wizards at Pistons afternoon soiree.

espn comment

"Oh and to add to it, the coach continues to make bone headed decisions... doesn't know how to manage the roster," the commenter added to his original comment.

It's probably worth to stop and look at these comments, as they are kind of ... accurate? I digress.

When and where? 3:30 p.m. EST live from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. Catch it on CSN Washington.

Who's out? Bradley Beal is still out for Washington. Kevin Seraphin and Kris Humphries are listed as day to day. Caron  Butler and Cartier Martin are out of Detroit; Tayshaun Prince (OMG he's still in the league?!) is day to day.

Are they good? The Pistons, who haven't been in the playoffs since the 2008 season, started 5-23. Doomed, right? Since then, they have gone 17-10 and are winners of five of their last eight, including a win Friday over the Chicago Bulls. They are just one game out of eight place in the Eastern Conference! They also rank ninth in the NBA in rebounding rate.

State of the Wizards? Washington started the season 19-6 and a consistent part of the "Elite in the Eastern Conference" chatter. Since then? they've gone 14-16, including 1-8 against Atlanta, Toronto and Cleveland - the conference's elite teams.

Wall can't do it alone? Despite a clobbering by Cleveland on Friday, JW had a good stat line: 19 points (on 8/16 FGs), 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He's scored at least 18 points in his last three games, including a double double in a Nov. 12 win at home vs. Detroit. Wall's clearly missing his backcourt mate in Bradley Beal - and other members of the team are struggling to help. We constantly see superstars having to carry his team on his back - but it's hard to sustain and often renders counterproductive. Can the rest of the Wiz Kids step up and help Wall while Bradley gets healthy?

Standings? At 33-22, the Wiz have now dropped to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, 10 games back of the leading Atlanta Hawks and half a game behind the Cavaliers. Of the eight teams currently in the playoff pictures, the Wizards are one of three who have a losing record the last 10 games (Miami is 3-7 and Brooklyn in 4-6). Against the Southeast Division, Washington is just 6-6 and 22-14 overall against the rest of the conference.

Any hope? The Wizards, despite their struggles, still are ranking decent around the league. The team needs to remember this. They are a great team with great players. Time to step up before the season is lost.

nba rankings

per ESPN