Pistons vs Wizards Game Preview - Feb. 12, 2012
The Pistons have won their last seven meetings at The Palace of Auburn Hills against the Washington Wizards, who enter Sunday night's matchup with a 1-10 road mark.
Detroit's four-game win streak is its longest since a five-game run Dec. 4-12, 2009. The Pistons (8-20) beat New Jersey for the 10th straight time at home in Friday's 109-92 rout.
"Our guys have a good rhythm," coach Lawrence Frank said. "We have to continue to raise the bar, continue to do better, but we're playing with a good rhythm and a good spirit."
Greg Monroe had 18 points and 11 boards for his fourth straight double-double. He's averaging 20.0 points and 12.5 boards and shooting 62.5 percent during that run.
Detroit has won eight of its last nine against Washington (5-22), which last won at the Palace with a 99-96 victory Jan. 26, 2007.
None of the Wizards who played in that game are still with the team, which is enduring growing pains as it prepares to begin a five-game road trip. Washington's 1-3 homestand was capped by Friday's 106-89 loss to Miami.
The Wizards shot 38.2 percent and allowed the Heat's trio of stars - LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh - to total 68 points. JaVale McGee and Trevor Booker each had double-doubles.
"We've got to go to Detroit on Sunday and go in there with the attitude that we had tonight," interim coach Randy Wittman said. "We just gotta keep building what we're doing, five games, 10 or 11 days, I think, we'll see where we are mentally.
"We had a grueling stretch here at home with some good teams and now we have to go out on the road after playing a game like this."
The 7-foot McGee, a Michigan native, will be counted on to provide resistance in the middle against the 6-11 Monroe. McGee is shooting 70.8 percent with a total of 38 points in five career games at Detroit.
The Wizards, though, have more to worry about than Monroe. Rodney Stuckey is averaging 14.5 points in this win streak and Jonas Jerebko has totaled 36 points in the last two games.
"We're a very young team and with a young team chemistry is going to take a while; trying to feel each other out as far as trying to develop it," forward Tayshaun Prince said. "I expected us to play faster, create turnovers and just go and when that happens it opens up things for us and guys get more comfortable."
Sunday's game features the first point guard matchup between Detroit rookie Brandon Knight and Washington second-year guard John Wall, who each spent a year at Kentucky before bolting for the NBA.
Knight has shown flashes of strong play for the Pistons while Wall is averaging 25.0 points on 52.8 percent shooting over his last three games.
"Times are rough right now but just keep working as a player, make sure you're getting better, make sure you keep leading these guys," Wall said.