Wizards Can Clinch Playoff Berth Against Pistons

Wizards Can Clinch Playoff Berth Against Pistons

Wizards

Wizards Can Clinch Playoff Berth Against Pistons

Regular Season Game 75
Wizards (41-33) at Pistons (34-40)
March 29, 2018 at 7:00 PM Little Caesars Arena | Detroit, MI
TV: NBCSW
Radio: 1500 AM
Odds: Even

(Photo: The Associated Press)
What to Watch:
Playing Beyond April 11
With a win against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, the Washington Wizards can clinch a spot in the postseason for the fourth time in five seasons. After losing to the Knicks, Bradley Beal said that they were looking like the team that is going to play their last game on April 11, but that will not be the case. Despite the inconsistent play and many saying Washington will not even get out of the first round, it is a worthy accomplishment because in the five seasons before this recent five season stretch of regularly making the playoffs, the Wizards’ season ended in the regular season.
Key Matchup:
Andre Drummond vs. Marcin Gortat
For his career, Drummond is averaging 13.5 points on 54.4 percent shooting and 13.3 rebounds per game. In 19 career games against the Wizards, he is held to 9.8 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. The main reason why is Marcin Gortat thrives in this matchup against this particular All-Star for some reason. Gortat is able to battle in the paint, which he enjoys, and is able to more or less restrict Drummond’s impact on the game.
X-Factor:
Blake Griffin
For the first time this season, the Wizards will see the Pistons with the All-Star power forward that might have not allowed them to go up 3-0 in the series were he on the team since the beginning of the year. After practice on Wednesday, Scott Brooks raved about Griffin’s skill set. At 28, Griffin has averaged 21.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in his career, but those numbers have dropped to 19.8 points on 43.3 percent shooting and 6.6 rebounds per game as a member of the Pistons. Markieff Morris and probably at times Mike Scott will have their hands full, but should be up for the challenge. Griffin is a bit more dangerous on offense because he is averaging 6.2 assists with Detroit, which would be a career-high.
Fun Factor:
Questionable
For the first time since having a cleanout surgery on his left knee at the end of January, John Wall will not be listed as OUT on the injury report. After taking part in his third contact practice on Wednesday, the five-time All-Star point guard will take part in shootaround with a 50-50 chance in playing. Brooks, Ernie Grunfeld, Washington’s medical staff, Dr. Richard Parker, and Wall all had to have a conversation about when he is officially cleared for game action and it is unknown whether that has taken place yet. Even if Wall does not play against Detroit, there is a good chance he will on Saturday at home against Charlotte.
Prediction:
Washington continues their dominance over Detroit and clinch a playoff berth for the second straight season under Scott Brooks.

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