The Detroit Pistons’ road success was brought to at least a
temporary halt by a sub-par opponent.
Visiting a Washington Wizards team likely without Bradley Beal
could provide them a good opportunity for a quick recovery.
Detroit seeks its eighth road win in 10 tries Saturday night
against the Wizards.
The Pistons (14-17) had won seven of eight away from home and
three in a row prior to Friday’s 109-92 loss at Orlando – which had
dropped five straight at home.
They were uncharacteristically outscored 58-48 in the paint and
have allowed 54.5 points in the paint while losing three of four.
They had limited teams to an average of 41.4 points in the paint in
their previous 27 games.
The starting frontcourt of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh
Smith combined to go 10 of 34 from the field with 21 points Friday.
Detroit’s 41.1 field-goal percentage was the club’s worst over its
last 12 games.
“From the start of the game, we just couldn’t get anything
going,” coach Maurice Cheeks said. ” … We couldn’t get anything
going offensively, they pushed the ball down our throat
defensively, and then we didn’t make any shots.”
Monroe – who was just 3 of 9 with six points – is averaging 22.0
points and 15.0 rebonds over his last three games versus
Washington. He finished with 24 and 16 in a 113-102 season-opening
home win on Oct. 30 – the Pistons’ 15th in 17 meetings. Detroit
shot 50.0 percent from the floor while claiming a 56-28 advantage
in points in the paint.
The Wizards (12-14) are averaging just 92.3 points during their
struggles versus Detroit and could be again offensively challenged
Saturday without Beal.
Beal, who was playing in just his fourth game since returning
from a stress fracture in his right leg, exited with a left leg
injury in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 120-98 loss at Minnesota.
He scored 14 points in 26 minutes before hitting the ground after
he was caught on a screen and had to be helped to the locker
X-rays came back negative, though he’s scheduled for an MRI on
“I was just trying to really get up and I really couldn’t get
up,” Beal said. “Was hoping it wasn’t anything too serious or too
crazy. I mean, I was able to put a little weight on it afterwards.
Just have to see with the MRI tomorrow.”
The second-year guard is averaging 19.2 points and is the team’s
top 3-point shooter, knocking down 45.3 percent from beyond the
arc. Washington went 4-5 without him earlier in the season.
“With the knee injuries going on this year in the NBA, you just
hope (Beal’s) isn’t one of those ones that (is) devastating,” said
John Wall, who scored a game-high 26.
The Wizards are shooting 24.6 percent from 3-point range during
a three-game home losing streak. They made 39.5 percent of their
3-point attempts during a 6-2 start at home.
Perhaps Trevor Ariza can help reignite the team’s shooting in
Washington. He’s averaging 21.5 points on 60.0 percent shooting –
including a 12-of-23 mark from long distance – over his last four
games versus Detroit. He scored a season-high 28 while going 6 of
11 from deep in the season’s first matchup.