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Wizards vs. Pistons preview: Washington heads to Detroit with playoff hopes on the line

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards are in Detroit Friday night looking to sweep the season series from the Pistons and stay alive in the playoff race. If the Wizards lose, they'll officially be eliminated from the postseason.

John Wall was a late scratch in the Brooklyn game due to swelling in his right knee. If he misses tonight's game, Ramon Sessions and Bradley Beal will be counted on to carry the load and stay alive in the playoff hunt.

The Pistons are playing arguably their best basketball of the season and at the right time as they are 7-3 in their past 10 games. All five Pistons starters average in double figures with Reggie Jackson leading the team with 18.6 points per night. Andre Drummond is a monster on the glass averaging 14.9 rebounds per game and Tobias Harris has been a nice mid-season acquisition averaging 16.6 points per game.

The Wizards are going to need a very strong effort from multiple players if they are going to come away with a victory.

Game Info

When: April 8 @ 7:30 pm EST

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills

TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic

Radio: 99.1 WNEW

Injury Report

Wizards - Alan Anderson is likely to play, but John Wall is unlikely to play, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.

Pistons - Jodie Meeks remains sidelined with a foot injury.

What to Watch

Battle of the boards: The Pistons are the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA (12.5 per game) and rank third in overall rebounding. The Wizards are the fifth worse rebounding team in the NBA. It'll be key that the Wizards keep the Pistons off the offensive glass, especially Andre Drummond who averages nearly five offensive rebounds per game.

Drummond is averaging 12.6 points and 11 rebounds in the three games against Washington this season. But as we know, he is more than capable of going for 20 and 20. Marcin Gortat has played well against Drummond so far this season and will need to do so again tonight if the Wizards are going to win this game.

The Wizards need a fast start: The last time these two teams played, the Wizards jumped out to a 34-15 lead after one quarter en route to a 124-81 blowout. The Wizards are not very good at digging themselves out of a hole so it's imperative that they get off to a good start in the most important game of the season.

Sessions will need to get out in transition as well as facilitate for others as he showed he was capable of doing during the Brooklyn game on Wednesday. In addition, Bradley Beal will need to start off hot. He can't have one of those games where he starts off 2-9 from the field as he'll likely be carrying the bulk of the scoring load if John Wall is out.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris has lost to the Wizards six times this season. Four times as a member of the Magic and twice after he was traded to Detroit. Harris can't be too happy about that. Can a player lose to the Wizards seven times in one season?