Washington Wizards vs Detroit Pistons: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/29/18
It could be a double dose of good news for the Washington Wizards, who could get John Wall back and clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.
The Wizards (41-33) continue to hold the Miami Heat at bay in the Southeast Division, carrying a 1.5-game lead into this contest with eight to play as the division winner likely will be the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference in the postseason.
Washington avoided a three-game sweep at home by beating the San Antonio Spurs 116-106 on Tuesday night. Markieff Morris scored all seven of his shots and scored 15 points to lead seven Wizards players in double figures, though they also caught a break when Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge had to leave the game in the first half with a bruised left knee.
The bigger news, though, is that Wall may be available for the stretch run. The guard, who averages 19.4 points and 9.3 assists, went through a full 5-on-5 practice Monday and is expected to take part in shootaround Thursday morning. If everything goes well, he likely will play while being on a minutes restriction. Wall has been sidelined since January 27 after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and the Wizards have gone 15-11 in that span.
The Wizards can clinch a playoff spot over ninth-place Detroit (34-40) with a victory since they would be eight games ahead of them with the Pistons having only seven games remaining.
Detroit have won back-to-back games and four of their last five, but it is likely to be too little, too late as they are five games behind eighth-place Milwaukee. The Pistons also had offensive balance in their 112-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night as Reggie Jackson scored 20 points and Andre Drummond added 15 and 18 rebounds.
Six players reached double figures for the Pistons, who have limited opponents to 95.8 points per game during their surge while averaging 109.2 points.