|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 19, 2018
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 14,744
Wizards, Pistons look for better starts
Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons
- Washington is 2-0 against the Pistons this season, with both of those contests having been played on the Wizards' home floor. The teams have split their last six meetings played at Detroit.
- The Wizards lost to Charlotte on Wednesday despite going 13-for-23 (.565) from three-point range in the contest. Interestingly, they have lost their only two games this season in which they have made 55+ percent of their attempts from behind the three-point arc.
- The Pistons' 118-107 loss to Charlotte on January 15 snapped their five-game home win streak. Detroit lost despite shooting 51.7 percent from three-point range in that contest; overall, it is shooting 40.8 percent from behind the arc in its home games this season.
- John Wall has recorded nine or more assists in each of his last nine games. This is his longest streak in a single season since he had 9+ dimes in 14 consecutive contests, January 27-March 1, 2017.
- Mike Scott had 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting off the bench in Wednesday's loss to the Hornets. He is shooting 58.3 percent in his 40 games off the bench in 2017-18, which ranks fifth highest among bench players (minimum 2.7 FGM/team G as reserve).
- Andre Drummond is averaging 12.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in his home games this season. That makes him one of just four players in the NBA this season who is putting up 12+ PPG and 12+ RPG at home in 2017-18.
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Scott Brooks and Stan Van Gundy want better starts from their teams so they can get improved results.
Brooks, the Washington Wizards coach, saw his club allow Charlotte to make its first 10 shot attempts on Wednesday. The Wizards gave up 77 first-half points in a 133-109 loss.
That naturally didn't sit well with Brooks, whose team plays at Detroit on Friday night.
"We just have to find guys who are going to compete," he said. "It's not about anything else. It's not about how many minutes or how many shots you get. It's about competing. We're all paid to compete."
Washington has allowed 114.3 points per game over its last six games, and shooting guard Bradley Beal knows the defense must improve.
"You can control how you're playing on defense, you can control your effort, you can control boxing out, you can control your running -- sprinting the floor, getting back on defense, playing defense -- those things are controllable," he said. "Until we do that, we're going to continue to get killed."
The Wizards should be well rested for Friday's game. None of their starters played more than 28 minutes during the blowout at Charlotte.
"Even when we're not making shots, we have to defend at a high level. We didn't do that," point guard John Wall said. "They got basically whatever they wanted and got into a rhythm the rest of the game. Whatever shot they put up, the basket was just big for them."
The Pistons have lost three straight, most recently on Wednesday when they fell at Toronto 96-91. The Raptors opened up a 15-point, first-quarter lead and led most of the way.
"I think in the last three quarters we fought hard but the first quarter counts and there's just not very many times where we play a good defensive first quarter," Van Gundy said.
Shooting guard Avery Bradley agrees with his coach that slow defensive starts have been a major problem. Detroit started out 14-6 but is now just one game over .500.
"I feel like it is a concern," he said. "For the starts, I feel like we have to be the ones that start off playing the right way on the defensive end and having everybody else follow suit. We haven't been doing a very good job with that."
Detroit center Andre Drummond had a big game against the Raptors, posting 25 points and 17 rebounds. But he also made two defensive errors that led to 3-point makes by Toronto in the late going.
"Andre put up great numbers, and I thought in the middle 30 minutes he was good defensively," Van Gundy said. "He didn't start the game with a defensive mentality and then he didn't get up on the two pick-and-rolls late. It's unfortunate because we had fought really hard to be back in the game and to have two plays like that where you just have to be up, and you're not, it's unfortunate because 25 and 17 is a hell of a night."
Washington won the first two games of the four-game season series, both on its home floor -- 115-111 on Oct. 20 and 109-91 on Dec. 1. The teams will meet once more in Detroit on March 29.
Updated January 18, 2018