WHO: Washington Wizards [0-0, 29-53 last season] @ Detroit Pistons [0-0, 29-53 last season]
WHAT: Game 1 of the 2013-14 NBA season
WHEN: October 30 at 7.30 PM ET
WHERE: The Palace at Auburn Hills
LAST MEETING: Pistons defeated the Wizards 99-96 in October 22 preseason game
TV: Comcast SportsNet
RADIO: WFED-AM 1500; The Fan-FM 106.7
PROJECTED PISTONS STARTERS
PG – Chauncey Billups
SG – Kentavarious Caldwell-Pope
QF – Josh Smith
PF – Greg Monroe
C – Andre Drummond
PROJECTED WIZARDS STARTERS
PG – John Wall
SG – Bradley Beal
QF – Trevor Ariza
PF – Nene
C – Marcin Gortat
The recent history between these two teams is awful if you’re a Wizards fan. In addition to sweeping the season series last year, the Pistons have won six straight and 12 of the last 14 games between these two teams — and that’s when Detroit has been a bad team. Over the past four seasons the Pistons are 99-199 [.322] against the rest of the NBA, but 12-2 [.857] against the Wizards. Why? I can’t figure it out. The Pistons own the Wizards and there does not appear to be a good reason why this is so.
New Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks will try to defend his own gym with a patchwork backcourt due to injuries to guards Brandon Jennings [wisdom tooth/jaw] and Rodney Stuckey [right thumb]. The venerable Billups and Caldwell-Pope step into their shoes. The Wizards will probably start their newest toy, Marcin Gortat, the 6’11” center they acquired last Friday in a trade with the Phoenix Suns. Gortat will have had only three practices with the team by game time, so it isn’t clear how smooth he will be with his teammates. Bradley Beal is coming off a fantastic preseason and John Wall is not — the Wiz must hope the former keeps on keepin’ on and the latter gets his $80 million ass in gear by the opening tip.
The good news for the Wiz is that they will have Wall, Beal and Nene together on the same court tonight and that usually means a win. Washington only played 22 games last year with Wall, Beal and Nene, but they won 15 of those 22 [.681]. We’ll see if they can keep that going in 2013-14.