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Has Detroit played an easy schedule?

As seen on TrueHoop (and passed along to me by Q Dog), stat guru Dave Berri (taking time out from his tit-for-tat with Tom Ziller) analyzed the Pistons' season to date. The verdict? They've been blessed with an easy schedule.

This is based strictly on strength of schedule -- the collective winning percentage of Detroit's opponents to date is just .447, which is apparently the second-lowest of any team in the league, ahead of only the Nuggets. My quibbles, for what it's worth:

All games aren't created equal. Meaning, sometimes it's easier to play a team with a winning record when you have two days' rest than it is to play a team with a losing record when it's the second half of a back to back.

The Pistons played eight of their first 10 on the road -- nothing easy about that. They've already had to do four games in five days in four different cities -- again, not too easy. Yes, all teams go through such scheduling quirks at some point in the season, but the Pistons have done so in their first 20 games and still came out with a 14-6 record.

Strength of schedule doesn't matter yet. Example: the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls had a horrible, horrible start to the season, but I guarantee they won't finish the season with their current .333 winning percentage. But the fact that the Pistons have played them twice, though, means their .333 counts twice. (I think. But even if it counts only once, it's still misleading -- that team has already turned things around, winning four of six, including their second win of the season over the Pistons.)

So yeah, I don't know if my counter-arguments really hold much water compared to Berri's assertions, but that was my immediate reaction. Berri also admits there might be another explanation -- that is, several of the players (namely, Jason Maxiell, Jarvis Hayes and Rasheed Wallace) currently exceeding expectations might actually have experienced genuine improvement -- which I actually think is closer to the truth. Time will tell.

Update: Man, I forgot the most obvious counter, which Matt Gibson posted in the comments:

People easily forgot how many games a major piston player has missed. I think with that considered the record is pretty darn good.

That's right on. Of the five starters, only Tayshaun Prince has played in every game, with the other four starters missing at least two games apiece.