FanPost

So......about those playoffs.

Or, as MFMHM would say, POs. Anyways, let's look at the possibilities realistically. In my personal opinion, the Pistons have a very good chance at making the playoffs. And I don't think they have to be .500 at the end of the season to do so. As a matter of fact, they may not have to be much better than .425.

Barring some major injuries, I think the top 7 teams are set. Milwaukee MAY sway between 7th and 8th, but they're playing some pretty decent basketball. That means we're competing for one spot. Who are we competing with for that spot? Realistically, I think it's between Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit. Boston and Detroit have 41 games left, Philadelphia has 40. Boston has 20 more home games, 21 more road games. Philadelphia has 20 more home and 20 more road games. Detroit has 18 more home games and 23 more road games. So from that perspective, especially considering the Pistons road woes, Detroit will have the hardest time. But let's dive a little further into it.

Boston

Here is a breakdown of the games Boston has left:

Team Home/Away WPCT
New York Knicks 2/1 .641
Brooklyn Nets 1/0 .610
Philadelphia 76ers 0/1 .405
Toronto Raptors 1/2 .366
Atlanta Hawks 2/1 .561
Miami Heat 2/1 .684
Orlando Magic 1/1 .341
Charlotte Bobcats 1/2 .244
Chicago Bulls 1/0 .600
Indiana Pacers 1/1 .619
Cleveland Caveliers 1/1 .256
Detroit Pistons 1/0 .390
Washington Wizards 1/0 .231
Sacramento Kings 1/0 .381
Los Angeles Clippers 1/0 .744
Los Angeles Lakers 1/1 .415
Denver Nuggets 1/1 .581
Phoenix Suns 0/1 .317
Portland Trail Blazers 0/1 .488
Utah Jazz 0/1 .537
Golden State Warriors 1/0 .625
Oklahoma City Thunder 0/1 .786
New Orleans Hornets 0/1 .341
Dallas Mavericks 0/1 .429
Memphis Grizzlies 0/1 .650
Minnesota Timberwolves 0/1 .447

So as you can see, they still have 8 more games against teams in their division. Four of those games are against the two teams above them in the division, playing MUCH better than they are. Three of those are at home, but right now for the Celtics, that doesn't seem to matter. The Celtics also have to face 13 more Western Conference teams, 6 of them are currently going to be in the playoffs. You can also see that of the 15 games against those 13 teams, only 5 of them will be in Boston. They have a 5 game west coast trip to end February starting immediately after the All-Star break. If you were to get an average of their opponents current winning percentages, it'd be .485.

Philadelphia

Here is a breakdown of the games Philadelphia has left:

Team Home/Away WPCT
New York Knicks 1/1 .641
Brooklyn Nets 1/1 .610
Boston Celtics 1/0 .488
Milwaukee Bucks 1/1 .550
Atlanta Hawks 1/2 .561
Miami Heat 2/2 .684
Orlando Magic 2/1 .341
Charlotte Bobcats 2/1 .244
Chicago Bulls 0/1 .600
Indiana Pacers 2/1 .619
Cleveland Caveliers 1/1 .256
Detroit Pistons 0/1 .390
Washington Wizards 1/2 .231
Sacramento Kings 1/1 .381
Los Angeles Clippers 1/1 .744
Denver Nuggets 0/1 .581
Portland Trail Blazers 1/0 .488
Utah Jazz 0/1 .537
Golden State Warriors 1/0 .625
Memphis Grizzlies 1/0 .650
Minnesota Timberwolves 0/1 .447

First and foremost, what sticks out to me, is they only have to play 8 more Western Conference teams, half of them are at home (they have a 4 game west coast trip in mid-late March). Five of those 8 teams are currently in the playoff picture in the West. So initially, it does seem a little easier already. However, while Boston only had to play 13 games against current Eastern Conference playoff teams (9 of those at home), Philadelphia has to play 18 games against current Eastern Conference playoff teams, only half of them at home. The combined winning percentages of the opponents they have left is .497. Therefore, I definitely think they have a tougher schedule than Boston.

Detroit

Here is a breakdown of the games Detroit has left:

Team Home/Away WPCT
Indiana Pacers 1/2 .619
Cleveland Caveliers 1/1 .256
Milwaukee Bucks 1/1 .550
Chicago Bulls 1/2 .600
New York Knicks 1/1 .641
Brooklyn Nets 2/1 .610
Boston Celtics 0/1 .488
Atlanta Hawks 1/0 .561
Miami Heat 0/2 .684
Orlando Magic 0/1 .341
Charlotte Bobcats 1/2 .244
Washington Wizards 1/1 .231
Toronto Raptors 1/1 .366
Philadelphia 76ers 1/0 .405
Los Angeles Lakers 1/0 .415
Dallas Mavericks 1/0 .381
Los Angeles Clippers 0/1 .744
Portland Trail Blazers 0/1 .488
Utah Jazz 0/1 .537
Golden State Warriors 0/1 .625
Memphis Grizzlies 1/0 .650
Minnesota Timberwolves 1/1 .447
San Antonio Spurs 1/1 .750
New Orleans Hornets 1/1 .341

From the looks of it, the Pistons look to have a schedule right in between both Boston's and Philadelphia's. The Pistons have to face 10 Western Conference teams (5 of them currently in the playoff picture) for a total of 13 games, 7 of them being on the West Coast (4 during one trip). Then, in terms of Eastern Conference playoff teams, the Pistons have 17 games against them, 8 of them at home. The average winning percentage of the rest of Detroit's opponents is .497.

Summary

So why do I think the Pistons have a very good chance at making the playoffs when they have just as hard of a schedule as Philadelphia and a harder one than Boston, who's already in position for the playoffs? Honestly, because of trends.

In the last 10, the Pistons are 7-3. Yes, 9 of them were home games, but I'll only count 8 of them as real home games. Two games were against Western Conference teams, six of them against current playoff teams (4-2 in that span), and we won our road game against one of those playoff teams. The 10 games before that the Pistons were 3-7, which makes them 10-10 in their last 20. I think .500 ball over a 20 game stretch (yes, I know, small sample size) for this current roster isn't too shabby. The losses in that 3-7 stretch were against two western conference team, 3 Eastern Conference playoff teams, and two to Toronto and Philadelphia...our "equals". The Pistons are trending up. In that 3-7 stretch, the Pistons averaged 95.9 PPG and gave up 96.3 PPG. In the 7-3 stretch, the Pistons are averaging 97.9 PPG and giving up 93.9 PPG. Also, I think it should be stated that the schedule was screwy. There were 4 back to backs, but also two 4+ day layoffs (not usual).

In regards to Philadelphia, in their last 10 they are 2-8. The two wins were against Houston and Toronto. In fairness, 7 of those games were against Western Conference teams. Over the last 20, Philadelphia is 5-15. Again, possibly in fairness, 13 of those were on the road, 13 of those games were against Western Conference teams including a 7 game West Coast trip, and there were 6 back to backs in that 20 game stretch including one 4 games in 5 nights. In the first 10 (of those last 20), Philadelphia averaged 95.3 PPG and gave up 98.6 PPG. In the last 10, Philadelphia has averaged 92.2 PPG and is giving up 102.4 PPG. Philadelphia is seriously trending down. One factor to consider though, is if Philadelphia can stay within reaching distance, and Bynum comes back, if 90% or better, they could be much more improved.

And in regards to the team that actually currently holds that last playoff spot, they are 6-4 in their last 10. First a six game winning streak, and now on a four game losing streak. And those streaks seem polar opposites. Wins against Indiana, at Atlanta, at New York and Houston (oh, and against Phoenix and Charlotte). Then losses to New Orleans at home, Detroit and Cleveland (kind of expected them to lose to Chicago). In their last 20, they are 8-12. Trying to be fair, 11 were away games (3-8), 9 against Western Conference teams (2-7) and 4 back to backs for an aging team. In the first 10 of the last 20, the Celtics averaged 89.5 PPG while giving up 98.8 PPG. In their last 10, the Celtics have averaged 93.0 PPG while giving up 89.9. Boston is SLIGHTLY trending up.

So because Philadelphia is severely trending downward, has a similarly hard schedule compared to the Pistons, and the Pistons are trending upward, I'd definitely think we can overtake Philadelphia. As for Boston, Winning percentage and Home vs. Away games say that they have an easier schedule. However, they do have a West Coast trip to take, are quite a bit older than the Pistons, are slightly trending upward (not as much as the Pistons have been) and I have HOPE that Drummond's role is slowly increasing (hopefully leap frogs by the trade deadline), I believe the Pistons could also overtake Boston. Looking at Toronto's schedule, they aren't going to have an easy next 3-4 weeks. Looking at Milwaukee's schedule, they have a pretty balanced schedule for the next 3-4 weeks.

Sadly, the Pistons only have two more games total against Boston and Philadelphia and they only have one game against each other. Therefore, it's time to root for all of the other teams in the league when they're facing Boston or Philadelphia. Here's to hoping the Pistons make a trade that frees us of some dead weight while giving us a pick that allows us to get Trey Burke and at the same time make the Playoffs to gain the experience we need and let go of the pick we gave to Charlotte in a seemingly weak draft.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Detroit Bad Boys community and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all fans or the staff at DBB. The DBB staff reserves the right at any time to edit the contents of FanPosts as they reasonably see fit.

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