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Pistons lead NBA with 78 wins in 2005

Lee McPherson over at MLive's Beyond the Arc offers up an interesting recap of 2005 for the Pistons:

Including the playoffs, the Pistons were 78-29 in 2005, a hair ahead of the Spurs (74-31) for the league's best showing. Undoubtedly, the Pistons would shave a number of percentage points of their 2005 winning percentage in swap for the Spurs' Larry O'Brien Trophy, but the numbers don't lie: Anyway you slice it, 2005 was a hell of a year for the team.

The 78 wins represents the most for any Pistons team in any one calendar year, though statistically, they were better in 1989. At 76-25, the Pistons of '89 won at a .752 clip, a shade better than 2005's .728 rate. They also had a title to show for their efforts.

OK, any team that goes deep into the playoffs will have the best chance to accrue more wins, right? OK, but check out the team's winning percentage since trading for Rasheed Wallace (I added the winning percentages after each record):

To turn the page back even a bit further, the Pistons are 129-55 (.701) in all games since acquiring Rasheed Wallace in February 2004.

In the regular season? A ridiculous 98-38 (.721).

That's impressive, but not as much as their outstanding .857 mark so far this year. Take a moment to really appreciate just how amazing a 24-4 start to the season is. If the Pistons play .500 ball the rest of the way, they'll still finish with 51 wins, which was more than they ever got in the regular season under Rick Carlisle. Heck, the Pistons could lose twice as many games as they win the rest of the season by going 18-36 and still finish 42-40, which would probably be enough to let them sneak into the playoffs. And if the Pistons slow down this year but continue at the .721 clip they've won at since acquiring Rasheed, they'll still finish with 62 wins, one shy of the franchise record.

A lot of wins, a lot to be thankful for [Beyond the Arc]