With just 17 games remaining on the schedule, Detroit’s playoff chances are minimal at best. Detroit heads into Saturday night’s matchup with a 25-40 record, good for eleventh-best in the Eastern Conference. Here’s how the race for eighth shapes up:
8. Atlanta Hawks 28-35
9. New York Knicks 27-40
10. Cleveland Cavaliers 26-40
11. Detroit Pistons 25-40
Detroit has posted a 2-5 record in the month of March and are a dismal 4-11 since John Loyer took over the head coaching position. The only month in which the Pistons have had a record of .500 or better was in October; a month in which they posted a 1-0 record.
The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Detroit, here is the Pistons’ upcoming schedule:
3/15 v. Indiana
3/19 @ Denver Nuggets
3/21 @ Phoenix Suns
3/22 @ Los Angeles Clippers
3/24 @ Utah Jazz
Detroit returns home following their matchup with the Utah Jazz, but their playoff chances could easily look even worse by then.
Behind a 30-point performance from Josh Smith, Detroit upset the Pacers 101-96 in their last meeting on December 16 in Indiana. The Pacers enter Saturday’s game with the best record in the Eastern Conference, 48-17.
If the Pistons are unable to get a win at home on Saturday, they could easily go win-less over their next five games. Heading into their West coast road tip, Detroit is just 5-20 against Western Conference teams this season.
Center Andre Drummond has been the only light of hope on the court for this team moving forward.
Drummond leads the league with 5.4 offensive rebounds per game and averages 12.9 total rebounds per game, which is third-best in the NBA. He has also recorded 45 double-doubles, which is by far the most in the East.
Under Rasheed Wallace’s guidance, Dre has become one of the league’s most dominant players in the paint. He has averaged 13.3 points per game this season, shooting 61.7% from the floor.
For now, the best thing the Pistons can do is improve their odds for May’s NBA Draft Lottery. Their chances to win the lottery is currently 2.8%.
Aside from draft, fans in Detroit should be excited for a new general manager to step into the Pistons’ front office.
It’s just a matter of time before Joe Dumars either steps down, or is removed from his duties as Detroit’s general manager. There have been multiple reports going around Detroit that he is well-aware of the criticism that has been placed upon him. What Dumars isn’t aware of, however, is that the criticism wasn’t placed upon him, he was well-deserving of it and has been for quite some time now.
The only good news coming out of Auburn Hills is that this embarrassment of a season is almost over with.