The Wizards (13-28) host the Detroit Pistons (16-27) on a special matinee game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Washington looks to get back in the win column, having dropped their last 3 games in a row. Meanwhile, Detroit looks to extend their win streak to 3 games and hold onto their position at ninth in the Eastern Conference. This is the fourth and final time these teams will match up this season, with Washington having won two of the previous three.
Key Matchup: Derrick Rose vs Wizards Back Court
Derrick Rose has been Detroit’s MVP this season. With Blake Griffin out, Rose has kept Detroit in the playoff hunt and is playing some of his most consistent basketball in recent memory. Rose has shot 76.7 percent from the field during Detroit’s three game road trip. His minutes have also steadily increased throughout the season, which is a good sign. He’s averaging 30.1 minutes per game in January, up from 22.9 minutes per game in November.
The Wizards will likely throw Rose a few different looks. Gary Payton II is probably the most capable of guarding Rose, so that will be a match-up to look out for. When Isaiah Thomas is in with Rose, I’d expect to see more zone or match-up zone instead of man to man.
Wizards Offense Sputtering
The Wizards had a season-high 26 turnovers against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. To no surprise, Washington got blown out. This was an uncharacteristically bad performance for Washington, as they usually take much better care of the ball.
This is part of a larger trend for the Wizards, which is that they’ve had trouble scoring with the high efficiency that fans saw earlier in the season. Part of this is due to the absence of many key players. However, it does appear that teams are starting to figure Washington out. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. But this provides a new challenge for Scott Brooks and the coaching staff as they look for different ways to score and win games. The return of Bradley Beal should help with this, but that will be something to watch.
Points Spread: Washington -2 (-110)
Money Lines: Washington -130, Detroit +110
Total Points: O/U 233.5