Desperate Pistons to Avoid Season Sweep vs. Wizards

wizards pistons

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:23 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018 4:23 PM GMT

The Detroit Pistons look to keep their very slim playoff hopes alive by beating the Washington Wizards on Thursday night in the teams’ final meeting of the season.

Washington (41-33, 34-39-1 ATS) at Detroit (34-40, 35-37-2 ATS)Free NBA Pick: PistonsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Just five games on the Thursday NBA schedule, and the first tipoff is from Motown at 7 p.m. ET as Washington visits Detroit. SBR will also have a preview of the late-night TNT game from Oakland between the Bucks and Warriors.

This is the last meeting of the season between the Wizards and Pistons, with Washington leading 3-0. The one meeting in Detroit was the most recent one, a 122-112 final. The Wiz blew that open by outscoring the Pistons 45-28 in the third quarter. Washington shot 16 of 20 from the field and 6 of 8 from 3-point range in the third.

John Wall, currently out injured, has played in two of the three vs. Detroit and is averaging 21.0 points and 10.5 assists. Bradley Beal and Otto Porter each have played in all of them and are both averaging 20.3 ppg. Reggie Jackson leads the Pistons in averaging 16.5 ppg vs. Washington (two games). Andre Drummond is putting up 12.3 points and 16.7 rebounds. Detroit hadn’t acquired Blake Griffin in trade yet the last time these teams played.

The underdog has covered six straight in this series.

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Pistons Need Wins And Help

Even if the Pistons won out, they are still likely to miss the playoffs – which could mean the end for Stan Van Gundy’s tenure as coach, VP or both. Detroit’s remaining schedule is: Saturday at NY Knicks, Sunday at Brooklyn, April 4 vs. Philly, April 6 vs. Dallas, April 8 at Memphis, April 9 vs. Toronto and April 11 in Chicago. Hey, maybe they could win out. The only two playoff teams in that group are the Sixers and Raptors and both are in Detroit. Toronto probably has nothing to play for by then.

Detroit isn’t likely to get much better next year considering it will be up against the salary cap with a combined $74.6 million tied up in Griffin, Drummond and Jackson next season. The team is 11-14 with Griffin in the lineup. It has won four of the past five but against dregs in the Kings, Suns, Bulls and Lakers. The Pistons haven’t beaten a team with a winning record in March. No question they are better with the return of Jackson, who has played four games after missing three months with a severe ankle sprain. The Pistons are 12-25 without him this season and 22-15 with Jackson, who has played a grand total of 47 minutes with Griffin.

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FULL HIGHLIGHTS: Watch SEVEN reach double figures tonight in a big #WizSpurs win! #DCFamily pic.twitter.com/cAxBU5MDg5

— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 28, 2018
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Washington will make the playoffs (could clinch a spot Thursday), but whether seeded sixth, seventh or eighth is still TBA. It appears that Wall is very close to returning, and it could be Thursday; this writer’s guess is Saturday vs. Charlotte. He has returned to full practices and says he has lost 10-15 pounds during rehab from his knee surgery. Now it’s just a matter of team doctors clearing Wall.

The Wizards improved to 15-11 without Wall in this current absence by avoiding their first four-game losing streak of the season with a 116-106 home win over San Antonio on Tuesday. Washington caught a break in Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge injuring his knee and not playing the second half.

Wall or not, I like the desperate Pistons here for a Thursday NBA pick. They have covered five straight at home and look rejuvenated with Jackson. The Wizards are just 1-5 ATS in their past six after scoring triple digits in their previous game.

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