Tonight, the Washington Wizards are facing one of their biggest games this season against the Detroit Pistons. The Wizards are looking at another chance to get over the .500 mark since their last attempt against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 1, 2014. The Wizards are currently sitting in fifth place of the Eastern Conference, and getting over .500 would be a big deal in Washington. It would also prove to others that the Wizards are a playoff team, but to beat the Pistons, the Wizards’ big men must have a great night.
Detroit is literally a big team; rebounding and post match-ups will be the deciding factor tonight. The two biggest match-ups will be between Gortat and Andre Drummond as well as Nene and Greg Monroe. Detroit is currently 6th in the NBA in rebounding, averaging 45.1 boards per game. Drummond is only in his second year, but he is one of the more powerful young centers in the league today. Gortat needs to provide intense defense all night to block Drummond out and keep his time in the paint limited. He is averaging 13 rebounds per game and six of them are offensive rebounds. Nene and Gortat will need to limit second chance scoring points for the Wizards to get over the .500 mark against Detroit.
Washington is currently 2-1 vs. the Pistons this season. Their only loss to the Pistons was during their season opener in Detroit. During that 113-102 loss, Washington was outrebounded 44-38. In the two games that Washington beat Detroit this season, they won each game on the boards, outrebounding the Pistons 48-38 and 43-42.
The most important bench player in this matchup is Trevor Booker. The Wizards will need a big game from Booker off the bench to beat the Pistons. He usually rotates in at power forward which is what makes his contributions so big. He has the ability to provide both offensive and defensive sparks off the bench; tonight he will need to provide both.
With a win tonight, the Wizards will be over the .500 mark for the first time since Oct. 31, 2009. To beat Detroit, the Wizards will need to rely on big performances from Nene, Gortat and Booker.