ESPN forecast has Pistons missing playoffs, finishing ninth in East

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times ...

ESPN has asked a panel of more than 200 experts to weigh in on the upcoming basketball season on a variety of topics and that panel has picked the Detroit Pistons to miss the playoffs.

As part of Day 1 of ESPN's NBA Summer Forecast, the website is releasing it's prediction for the East, and according to the brain trust the Pistons will finish ninth in the East, which means they will miss the playoffs and send a very good draft pick to the Charlotte Bobcats (unless they strike NBA lottery gold).

The panel of experts is, indeed, large, but I'm not sure how much stock I should put into their opinions. According to a quick review of the panel, nearly half (98) of the panel are writers from the collection of blogs Known as the True Hoop network. And speaking personally, I wouldn't put that much stock in how I see things going in the Western Conference because I reserve most of my attention and passion to The Pistons, then the Eastern Conference comes next, then the West in a distant third.

That being said, three writers from PistonPowered were on the panel and I'd like to think they at least voted Detroit as one of the playoff teams in the East.

While I might simply be a homer of the highest order, I remain puzzled that the conventional wisdom is that the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers are both likelier to make the playoffs than Detroit. While I can understand skepticism about the recent additions of Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, you have to think about what they are going to be replacing.

And in this case they will be replacing the corpse of Tayshaun Prince/Kyle Singler, Brandon Knight's 1:1.49 assist-to-turnover ratio and a revolving door of suck at shooting guard. Add more minutes and a season of health for Andre Drummond and I've got to say I'm pretty damn excited for this Pistons team to take the floor.

Washington, meanwhile, is banking on health for an injury-plagued squad and for John Wall's excellent run to the end the season as being the new normal. Also, that Otto Porter's summer league was a mirage and he was a worthy third overall pick.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is banking on health from Andrew Bynum and Kyrie Irving, which is risky considering both players' injury histories, and for Dion Waiters to learn how not to be awful at basketball. A little harsh? Yeah, but I guess this put me in a bad mood.

This is all a longwinded way of me saying that this all reminds me of a great Simpsons moment:

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