Feb 13, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons point guard Will Bynum (12) drives past Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) during the fourth quarter at The Palace. Detroit won 96-85. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Night Preseason Preview: Pistons Vs. Wizards

The Pistons (2-4) head back to the comfort of the Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday after a grueling 4-game road trip that saw them win just one game. Detroit, currently on a three game losing skid, comes home to face their Opening Night opponent to start of the regular season, the Washington Wizards. In the seventh game of this exhibition season, Detroit will get their first and only look at this year’s Washington Wizards’ squad on Tuesday before they meet again in a week.

Washington (1-4), like the Pistons have struggled this preseason due to some key injuries. Wizards rookie Otto Porter Jr. has been sidelined this preseason with an injured hip, who recently told The Washington Post’s Michael Lee that he still feels pain in injured hip even after sitting out for all of training camp and preseason.

Another injured Wizard is forward Chris Singleton, who has been sidelined all of training camp and preseason with a Jones fracture in his left foot. The two are expected to be reevaluated by team doctors when they return to Washington prior to their matchup with Detroit.

Adding on to the injury list for the Wizards, big man Emeka Okafor, who was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his neck prior to training camp opening late September. Okafor has no timetable set on his return as he is listed as “Out Indefinitely.”

As for Detroit, the usual injuries still remain, as the projected starting back court of Brandon Jennings (Jaw) and Rodney Stuckey (Thumb) will not be participating in any of the last two exhibition games this year. Forward Luigi Datome who has also been sidelined with a hamstring injury is still unavailable for play. Will Bynum who sat out against Orlando with food poisoning will be taking day by day to see if he might be able to play Tuesday. And lastly, Chauncey Billups who has been in and out of the Piston lineup as a healthy scratch will most likely see some playing time against the Wizards as he sat out on Sunday.

Preview:

Coming off their fourth loss of the preseason against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Wizards (1-4) will look to get back on track against Detroit before the start of the regular season. Bradley Beal dropped 30 points for the Wiz in Lexington, Kentucky against the Pelicans, but it wasn’t enough as the Pelicans stormed back to outscore the Wizards by 10 in the fourth quarter (27-17) and went on to win 93-89.

John Wall notched 16 points and 11 assists in the loss, as he improves his average to 8.0 for the preseason. Al Harrington, who has been a quiet surprise for the  Wizards, tallied 13 points and 4 boards in 18 minutes of play Saturday night.

Meanwhile for Detroit, they dropped another road game against a lesser opponent in the Orlando Magic. Detroit did erase a 23-point deficit in the second half completely behind the play of the starting frontline Drummond, Smith, and Monroe. Detroit did go on to lose the game behind a missed three point attempt by Josh Smith.

With all of the injuries at the PG spot, rookie guard Peyton Siva was responsible to play nearly all night (47 minutes). Siva, who did turnover the ball nine times, did the best you could ask for in a second round draft pick. Expect Chauncey Billups to be active on Tuesday if Will Bynum is still sidelined due to food poisoning.

BROADCASTS:

– Television:
National: NBA TV
Local: Fox Sports Detroit

– Radio:
97.1 FM The Ticket (Detroit)
WFED-AM 1500 (Washington)

PROJECTIONS:

– Starters

Detroit Pistons:

HC: Maurice Cheeks

PG: Peyton Siva
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Josh Smith
PF: Greg Monroe:
C: Andre Drummond

Washington Wizards:

HC: Randy Wittman

PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Trevor Booker
C: Nene

INJURY UPDATE:

Detroit Pistons:

– Brandon Jennings: OUT (Jaw)
– Rodney Stuckey: OUT (Thumb)
– Luigi Datome: QUESTIONABLE (Hamstring)
– Chauncey Billups: PROBABLE (Rest)
– Will Bynum: QUESTIONABLE (Food Poisoning)

Washington Wizards:

– Emeka Okafor: OUT (Neck)
– Otto Porter Jr.: OUT (Hip)
– Chris Singleton: OUT (Foot)

PREDICTION: 90-88 WASHINGTON

– With all of the uncertainty in the health issues for the Pistons, as well as the different lineups almost every game, I am taking the Wizards to win this preseason matchup. With Wall and Beal in the back court, it will be too much for a pair of rookies at Detroit’s end to handle with Siva and KCP. We saw how the Magic back court took care of them Sunday, and we might see that same thing again on Tuesday.

Who wins this Opening Night matchup?

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Tags: Al Harrington Andre Drummond Bradley Beal Brandon Jennings Charlie Villanueva Chauncey Billups Chris Singleton Detroit Pistons Emeka Okafor Greg Monroe John Wall Jonas Jerebko Josh Smith Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kyle Singler Otto Porter Jr. Peyton Siva Rodney Stuckey Washington Wizards Will Bynum

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