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Wizards vs. Pistons preview: Washington aims for another win against one of the East’s best

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has a 67 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)

Pistons: Jon Leuer (Out, Ankle)

What to Watch for

What new wrinkles will the Wizards pull out in this one?

The Wizards won’t have Wall around for this game, but the good news is that Washington has recent experience beating the PIstons without him. Last April, in a game without Wall and Otto Porter, the Wizards were able to beat the Pistons in Detroit thanks a 33 point effort from Bradley Beal in the final game ever played at The Palace in Auburn Hills.

Unfortunately for Washington, a lot has changed in Detroit since their last two meetings, including their win on October 20. Since that game, the Pistons have gone 13-5 and now hold the second spot in the Eastern Conference. Andre Drummond solved his free throw woes, Reggie Jackson is playing better, and they’re getting great contributions from their bench.

The good news is Beal and Porter have both had success against the Pistons recently. Since the start of the 2017 season, Beal is averaging 25 points per game against them since the start of last season, and Porter went off for 28 the last time these two met. However, with John Wall out, Avery Bradley can focus his defensive efforts on slowing one of those two down instead of checking Wall.

Scott Brooks will need to continue to be more flexible with his rotations and tactics like we’ve seen the past couple of games in order to keep the Pistons off-balance.

A random highlight in Wizards - Pistons history: Gilbert Arenas’ pinpoint behind-the-back pass to Dominic McGuire

One of the things that was slightly infuriating about Gilbert Arenas’ game was that he was a very talented passer when he wanted to be, we just didn’t get to see a lot of it. Thankfully we got a nice glimpse of it in this game against the Pistons in 2009. There aren’t many players with the skill and moxie to pull off this behind-the-back pass in transition to hit a player in stride cutting to the rim.