Game On: Wizards-Pistons preview

Game On: Wizards-Pistons preview
January 18, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Dec 28, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) dribbles the ball around Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings (7) in the first quarter at Verizon Center.

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Saturday's game will be the third in four days, and it could turn into a four-game winning streak with the Wizards finally getting over the .500 hump. 

TV: Wizards Central pregame show on CSN at 6:30 p.m. ET; followed by tip-off from Verizon Center at 7 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately afterward. Radio: 106.7 FM

Last game: Wizards (19-19) beat the Chicago Bulls 96-93 on Friday; Pistons (16-23) lost to the Utah Jazz 110-89 on Friday.

Last meeting: Wizards were minus-18 in points in the paint, minus-16 in second-chance points and minus-14 in fast-break points but still won 106-99 on Dec. 30 in Detroit. They held the Pistons to 12 fourth-quarter points. 

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Nene, C Marcin Gortat. Pistons –- PG Brandon Jennings, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Josh Smith, PF Greg Monroe, C Andre Drummond.

Entry passes: 1). When Smith is on the floor with Monroe and Drummond, Detroit is surprisingly less effective. They shot 5-for-18 vs. Utah. 2). Beal played just 23 minutes, well under his limit, because of foul trouble. 3). Wall should be able to lock down and be physical with Jennings, who is 9-for-29 in the two games in which he played and lost. 

[RELATED: Doing homework paying off for John Wall]

X-factors: The core bench players, Garrett Temple, Martell Webster and Trevor Booker, shot 14-for-22 from the field for 32 points vs. Chicago.

He said it: "We didn’t have intensity in those first five minutes (of the 3rd quarter). We got to figure that out what we are doing in the locker room. Maybe get some Red Bulls in there or something.” -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman on the problem area in Friday's win

Around the bend: The Wizards likely will be off Sunday before playing vs. the Philadelphia 76ers at Verizon Center on Monday (CSN, 2) and the Boston Celtics here Wednesday (CSN, 7).