Pistons' Opening Night

Essentials

  • Teams: Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons
  • Date: October 30, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Detroit Pistons will open up the 2013-14 season tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills against the Washington Wizards.

No more dressed rehearsals folks, this is the real deal. Washington recently made some changes to their roster and it will be interesting to see how the visiting team’s frontcourt matches up with Detroit’s.

The Pistons’ big-ball lineup will officially see its first “real” minutes and the matchups could not be more intriguing. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe will battle down low against Marcin Gortat and Nene.

The Wizards’ interior big people are bruising players that set hard screens and attack the paint with ferocity. They are probably going to test Drummond early in this one (that’s what I would do).

Whether it’s in the pick-and-roll or in fairly mundane defensive rotations, Washington will probably force him into making decisions over and over again. Getting him out of position is crucial given that he protects the paint with his size alone.

Although John Wall spent parts of the offseason working on his jumper, his strength is still turning the corner and getting into the lane for scores. Have a look at his shooting chart from 2012-13:

The only areas of concern in the previous season were the basket area,  right elbow and the left side of the paint.

Maurice Cheeks will probably instruct his players to go underneath screens in an effort to corral Wall, but his blinding speed still occasionally allows him to get by defenders. Again, Drummond should be the player that Washington targets. Honestly, his work on this front tonight will give us an idea of what kind of defensive unit the Pistons will be 2013-14.

Drummond may or may not struggle, but if his teammates can mask some of his deficiencies while he grows into his role as a defender, it will go a long way towards making this team a respectable defensive unit.

Read about the Wizards

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