Matchup: Washington Wizards (5-4) at Detroit Pistons (7-5)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (TV: CSN Plus)
When last we met: First meeting this season. Washington won the 2014-15 season series 2-1 with each team winning at home.
Streaks: The Wizards, after losing three in a row, have won two straight including Tuesday's 115-86 victory over the Bucks. The Pistons, coached by Stan Van Gundy, have also turned things around following a recent skid. Detroit dumped Minnesota for a 96-86 road win after defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Three things to watch
What's the deal with Beal?: The deal is Washington's wing guard returned to full practice Friday. That's sincere progress and moves Beal a step closer to playing after sitting out the last two weeks with a left shoulder contusion. Before the injury, the fourth-year guard played at an All-Star level, averaging 22.7 points while shooting 47 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. The Wizards won their last two without their leading scoring thanks in part to the reliable Garrett Temple, who started in both victories and averaged 14 points with 2.5 3-pointers.
Double-double Drummond: While it's far too early for comparisons to the best centers of all-time, Pistons big man Andre Drummond sure is producing like one. In 12 games, the powerful 6-foot-11 threat has recorded 12 double-doubles. That includes 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Timberwolves plus three 20-20 games and nine games with at least 17 rebounds. Yeesh. The matchup with Marcin Gortat pits power against power. However, the Wizards-Pistons matchup on the boards is one-sided on paper. Detroit ranks second with 48 rebounds per contest while Washington sits 25th (42.2). That might be expected because of Drummond, but the gap also reflects Washington's pace-and-space approach this season. The team's played even on the boards in three meetings last season.
Eighty million dollar men: John Wall certainly noticed when Pistons guard Reggie Jackson signed a 5-year, $80 million contract this summer. That's because it matched what the Wizards' guard inked in 2013. That speaks more to the rising salary cap than perception of the two guards. Wall is a two-time All-Star and sleeper league MVP candidate. The thing is, Jackson is also making an early pitch for All-Star consideration thanks to averaging 20.6 points, 5.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Wall is third in the NBA -- behind Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo -- with 8.6 assists while scoring 17.6 points.