Preview: Wizards head to Detroit aiming for seventh-straight win
The Wizards (24-26) have won six straight and are playing their best basketball of the season. Wednesday night, they travel to Detroit to close their five-game road trip with a showdown against the Pistons (13-39). Here’s everything you need to know.
WHERE: Little Caesars Arena (Detroit, MI)
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Washington
RADIO: The 980 team and the Wizards app
Anthony Gill (health and safety protocols – absent)
Daniel Gafford (non-COVID illness – questionable)
Marvin Bagley III (right hand; metacarpal fractures — out)
Cade Cunningham (left tibia; stress fracture – exit)
Hamidou Diallo (non-COVID disease — probable)
Corey Joseph (lower back pain – out)
Deni Avdija takes the plunge. Israel’s third-year striker brings all parts of his game together, combining his elite perimeter defense with a dynamic offensive attack.
Monday night in San Antonio, Avdija had the most impressive game of his young NBA run, dropping a career-high 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 shooting from beyond the arc while adding nine rebounds. , an assist, a block and a steal in 33 minutes of action. This is just the continuation of what he did during a series of contests.
Over the past four games, Avdija has averaged 16.3 points on .579/.400/.739 shooting splits to go along with 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.3 STOCKS (steals + blocks). Those numbers smash his career averages, and his recent play excites his teammates.
“He’s heading towards this,” Kristaps Porzingis said after Avdija’s career-best game at San Antonio. “Things are working out for him. He’s figuring out his game, like where he’s good at, and I love seeing it for him. I’m so excited…His energy is contagious for us, and every time he jumps, we ‘ It’s a different team.”
DEFEND THE THREE-POINT LINE
Throughout the season, the Wizards have been one of the best teams in the league at defending the three-point line, allowing just 11.5 marks per game, good for fifth place in the conference. During their six-game winning streak, they’ve been even better. In fact, they were the best team in the league on 3-point defense, allowing just 8.5 marks per game. Here are the opponent’s 3-point shot counts over the past six games:
Knicks: 7 of 26 Magic: 14 of 34 Mavericks: 10 of 30 Rockets: 5 of 28Pelicans: 8 of 29 Spurs: 7 of 29
The NBA is a do-it-or-miss league, which means sometimes teams get hot and there’s not much you can do about it. But overall, opponents shooting you badly from deep is no accident. The Wizards did an amazing job matching shooters in transition, making timely rotations in the half court and getting guys off the 3-point line. If they can maintain that level of 3-point defense, they’ll be in a good position to keep winning games.
The Pistons are tenacious on the offensive glass. They are in the top half of the league in offensive rebounds (11.0 per game) and second chance points (15.0 per game). Conversely, the Pistons are not a great defensive rebounding team. They’re allowing 11.0 offensive rebounds per game and 14.9 second-chance points, good for 22nd and 29th in the league, respectively. Don’t be surprised if this game is won on the glass. Whichever team is better at boxing, grabbing defensive rebounds and controlling the boards will have a big advantage in this one.