The suddenly red-hot Wizards who have won their last four games, and seven of eight overall, look to keep the good times rolling as they take on the Pistons Saturday evening. Detroit will be seeking revenge as the Wizards blew out the Pistons, 122-108 when these teams met on December 16th at Verizon Center.
After a three-game slide on a West Coast road swing, the Pistons found their footing, at least for one night as they blew out the Hawks, 118-95 their last time out. Detroit has underachieved in most people’s eyes so this game will provide an opportunity to bounce back against a team they are looking up at in the standings.
Washington is in the midst of a road stretch where five of six games will be played away from Verizon Center (1-0 so far). Detroit is only 11-9 at home this season, but the Wizards have had their struggles on the road. The win in New York was nice, but another road game against a winnable Eastern Conference foe will give us a better indication if this team is turning the corner.
When: Saturday, January 21st at 6:00 p.m. ET
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills. Auburn Hills, Michigan
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards: Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee) Danuel House (Out, Wrist)
Pistons: Michael Gbinije (Out, Forearm), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Game-time Decision, Shoulder), Jon Leuer (Game-time Decision, Knee).
What to watch for
Will Otto Porter keep this up?
Otto Porter hit six threes against the Memphis Grizzles on Wednesday only to knock down six more against the Knicks on Thursday. He shot 64 percent from the field and 66 percent!!!! from three-point range in those two games. Otto is in one of the best stretches of his career and if Giannis Antetekounmpo hadn’t already locked up Most Improved Player, Porter might be getting some consideration.
Things don’t get any easier as Porter will likely be matched up against notorious Wizards Killer, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for most of this game who scored a team-high 24 points the last time these teams met.
The bench is showing a little consistency
The bench continues to have holes however Jason Smith and Kelly Oubre Jr. have been fairly consistent since the calendar flipped to January. Smith is proving to be more than just a guy who sets screens and grabs rebounds as he’s averaging 6.8 points on 49 percent shooting for the month and has even knocked down a couple of threes.
After his infamous trip to the YMCA, Oubre has begun knocking down shots at a more consistent rate as well, as he’s shooting 43 percent from the field.
Is the bench fixed? Absolutely not. But it’s nice to see two guys provide some type of a spark on a somewhat consistent basis.
The not-so rivalry that is John Wall Vs. Reggie Jackson
John Wall makes the same amount of money as Reggie Jackson and Wall is not OK with that. The two of them don’t really have any on the court beef as it mostly just stems from Wall’s comments after Jackson signed a deal that mirrored Wall’s. Wall was just recently snubbed as an All-Star starter so he’ll have two chips (that even possible?) on his shoulder. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wouldn’t want to be Reggie Jackson in this game.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Because… It’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.