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Wizards vs. Pistons final score: Washington drops second preseason game, 97-86

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Wizards lose the first of two preseason games against Detroit at Capital One Arena.

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Wizards are still winless in the 2020 NBA preseason after losing to the Detroit Pistons at Capital One Arena, 97-86 on Thursday night.

Washington made a lot of unforced errors tonight. Whether it was taking picks before the screener was set and picking up silly offensive fouls or it was not communicating on defense.

On offense, the Wizards made a lot of sloppy passes. In total, the Wizards finished with 15 first half turnovers (24 total), with 5 coming from Thomas Bryant. The spacing was terrible, which is to be somewhat expected due to the lack of shooting in the lineup tonight.

On defense, there were a number of possessions where Detroit got easy looks because of players not rotating or picking up someone in transition.

A lot will be made of the Wizards not playing Westbrook, Hachimura and Bertans, but these players playing does not fix simple mistakes that this team made tonight.

Wizards were down by 10 midway through the first, got down by as much as 26, and the game never got closer than 11. The Wizards lose to the Pistons, 97-86.

Player Observations

Issac Bonga

Bonga played some solid defense in his time. On offense, he ended up hitting two corner 3s and got some easy looks moving without the ball. Overall he showed some flashes and finished with 10 points.

Deni Avdija

Avdija continued to show poise on the floor, not forcing any action and just letting the flow of the game dictate his moves. He looks the part as the potential starting 3. Even when he was missing open looks, they were still good shots, they were in the flow of the offense and he still moved the ball to his teammates when they had better looks. That’s important for a player that would likely spend a lot of his time off the ball next to Beal and Westbrook. He shot poorly (3-8, including 0-4 from 3), but there were some encouraging signs.

Thomas Bryant

Thomas Bryant got in a scuffle with Blake Griffin after getting thrown down. Griffin received a Flagrant 1 for his trouble. Later on it was explained that this technical is assessed as team technical, so Bryant did not earn a 2nd technical. It was an interesting moment for a number of reasons, but it shows the good and bad to Bryant’s emotions. He plays with such passion, but he will have to learn to channel it more. Overall he had some good moments on both ends, including 4 blocks on defense, 2 of which erased easy opportunities near the basket for the Pistons, but was sloppy on offense at times. He finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Takeaways

Beal plays his first game since March

Bradley Beal looked really sharp offensively. He finished with 11 points on 4-11 shooting. The shooting percentage is a little misleading. He was aggressive looking for his shot and that lead to some borderline calls where he could have easily have gotten a foul called in his favor, but overall, he made an effort to mix in drives with jumpers and didn’t look rusty at all.

Wagner isn’t great at power forward

Moritz Wagner was inserted in the starting lineup tonight as the starting power forward and within a couple of minutes picked up two quick fouls. It didn’t get much better after that. He did a solid job rebounding but did not provide much spacing on offense and struggled defensively.

Next Preseason Game: Saturday, December 19th, 7 p.m. ET, vs. Pistons