The Detroit Pistons’ 2013-14 season can be defined in one word: Disastrous.
That word can also describe a few other things within the Pistons organization; Maurice Cheeks’ stint as head coach, the Josh Smith signing, drafting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the list goes on.
So at this point, all there’s left to do is countdown the days until the Pistons are officially eliminated from the playoffs and hope they can improve their odds in the draft lottery.
Detroit is currently 25-44 with 13 games remaining. The final playoff spot is held by the Atlanta Hawks (31-37) with the Cleveland Cavaliers (27-44) and New York Knicks (29-41) in contention as well.
Using a statistical criteria, I have come to the conclusion that Detroit will officially be eliminated from the playoffs after their matchup with the Atlanta Hawks on April 8.
Although simple, I feel this criteria will predict an accurate forecast for the rest of the season, here’s how it breaks down:
Home games remaining
The Pistons are 15-21 (.416) at home this season, therefore, I predict that they will go 2-3 in the five remaining home games.
Wins: Cleveland Cavaliers (March 26) and Milwaukee Bucks (March 31).
Losses: Miami Heat (March 28), Boston Celtics (April 5), and Toronto Raptors (April 13).
Games against Western Conference
Detroit has struggled against the west this season, posting a record of 5-23 (.178). Detroit finishes off their current road trip against the Utah Jazz on Monday night then close out the season on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 16.
Detroit will split these games by beating the Jazz and losing to the Thunder.
Road games remaining
Detroit is just 10-23 (.303) on the road this season. The Pistons will go 3-5 in the eight remaining road games.
Wins: Utah Jazz (March 24), Philadelphia 76ers (March 29), Brooklyn Nets (April 4).
Losses: Indiana Pacers (April 2), Atlanta Hawks* (April 8), Cleveland Cavaliers (April 9), Chicago Bulls (April 11), and Oklahoma City Thunder (April 16).
*The loss to the Hawks will officially eliminate the Pistons from playoff contention
Division games remaining
The Pistons, considering their overall record, have a respectable record against the division (5-6). There are five games remaining against division foes, this criteria guided the home/road predictions.
Detroit will go 2-3 in these games, both wins coming at home.
This model predicts that the Pistons will go 5-8 in the 13 remaining games, giving Detroit a final record of 30-52.
The 14 teams that don’t reach the playoffs are entered into the NBA Draft Lottery in hopes of landing the first overall pick. Detroit currently holds the seventh-best odds (4.3%) to win the lottery.
The worst-ten teams all have at least a 1% chance of winning the lottery and the worst-four teams all have at least a 11% chance of receiving the first pick.
Let’s hope Detroit’s odds increase by the end of the season, the Pistons need all the help they can get.