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Pistons release 2008-09 schedule

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The NBA released its schedule today. Just like last year, the Pistons need their A-game early: their first 12 games will feature eight road games, including a trip out West and a home/away set with the Celtics.

All in all there are 14 nationally-televised games, though that doesn't yet include any NBA TV games that will presumably be added to the slate later. If you're an out-of-towner without NBA League Pass, clear your schedule from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1 -- the Pistons will have five out of their seven games in that stretch on national TV.

The Celtics, by comparison, will play under the bright lights of the national stage 25 times, but the Pistons should be happy they're not the Pacers, Bobcats, Timberwolves, Knicks or Kings, who won't have a single game on a national stage all season.

Also worth noting: the official schedule at Pistons.com currently says that the 2/27 game against the Magic will be played in Washington DC and the 4/15 game against the Heat will be played in Dallas. Has the league suddenly embraced neutral sites? No. I'm told this is just a glitch. Those games will be played in Orlando and Miami, respectively. (Update: the schedule has been fixed.)

(Another update: Henry Abbott proposes a conspiracy theory regarding the "neutral site glitch:"

So, what is with the weird neutral site thing? Is this some kind of surprise that is going to be sprung on us with much fanfare as the season draws near?

Furthering the intrigue, check out your team's schedule around those dates. In some cases (but not others), teams will be near their alleged neutral site locations on those dates. For instance, the Magic are in New York on February 25, and Philadelphia on February 28. A game in D.C. on February 27 would make a lot of sense, and that's what the original schedule said. (Now it has Dwight Howard and company flying all the way down to Orlando in between.)

Hmmm. For what it's worth, Detroit's schedule at the end of February is @ Miami on the 24th, @ New Orleans on the 25th, @ "Orlando" on the 27th and @ Boston on March 1. Logistically speaking, it would make sense for the Pistons to work their way up the coast to Boston by stopping in DC. I still doubt this will actually happen, but I suppose we shouldn't completely close the book on it.)

I may take a longer look at the schedule sometime in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here it is:

October
Wed 29 vs Indiana 8:00pm

November
Sat 01 vs Washington 7:30pm
Mon 03 @ Charlotte 7:00pm
Wed 05 @ Toronto 7:00pm
Fri 07 @ New Jersey 7:30pm
Sun 09 vs Boston 6:00pm
Tue 11 @ Sacramento 10:00pm
Thu 13 @ Golden State 10:30pm
Fri 14 @ LA Lakers 10:30pm ESPN
Sun 16 @ Phoenix 8:00pm
Wed 19 vs Cleveland 7:30pm
Thu 20 @ Boston 8:00pm TNT
Sun 23 vs Minnesota 6:00pm
Wed 26 vs New York 8:00pm
Fri 28 vs Milwaukee 8:00pm
Sun 30 vs Portland 3:00pm

December
Tue 02 @ San Antonio 8:30pm
Fri 05 vs Philadelphia 8:00pm
Sun 07 @ New York 12:00pm
Tue 09 @ Washington 7:00pm
Fri 12 vs Indiana 8:00pm
Sat 13 @ Charlotte 7:00pm
Wed 17 vs Washington 7:30pm
Fri 19 vs Utah 8:00pm
Sun 21 @ Atlanta 2:00pm
Tue 23 vs Chicago 8:00pm
Fri 26 vs Oklahoma City 8:00pm
Sat 27 @ Milwaukee 8:30pm
Mon 29 vs Orlando 7:30pm
Wed 31 vs New Jersey 3:00pm

January
Fri 02 vs Sacramento 8:00pm
Sun 04 @ LA Clippers 3:30pm
Wed 07 @ Portland 10:00pm
Fri 09 @ Denver 9:00pm
Sat 10 @ Utah 9:00pm
Tue 13 vs Charlotte 7:30pm
Wed 14 @ Indiana 7:00pm
Fri 16 @ Seattle 8:00pm
Sat 17 vs New Orleans 7:30pm
Mon 19 @ Memphis 5:30pm TNT
Wed 21 vs Toronto 7:30pm
Fri 23 vs Dallas 7:00pm ESPN
Sun 25 vs Houston 6:30pm ESPN
Wed 28 @ Minnesota 8:00pm
Fri 30 vs Boston 7:00pm ESPN

February
Sun 01 vs Cleveland 2:30pm ABC
Wed 04 vs Miami 7:30pm
Sat 07 @ Milwaukee 8:30pm
Sun 08 vs Phoenix 8:00pm ESPN
Tue 10 @ Chicago 8:30pm
Wed 11 vs Atlanta 7:30pm
Tue 17 vs Milwaukee 7:30pm
Thu 19 vs San Antonio 8:00pm TNT
Sun 22 @ Cleveland 8:00pm ESPN
Tue 24 @ Miami 7:30pm
Wed 25 @ New Orleans 8:00pm
Fri 27 @ Orlando 7:00pm

March
Sun 01 @ Boston 1:00pm
Tue 03 vs Denver 7:30pm
Fri 06 vs Golden State 8:00pm
Sat 07 @ Atlanta 7:00pm
Mon 09 vs Orlando 7:30pm
Wed 11 vs New York 7:30pm
Fri 13 @ Toronto 7:00pm
Sun 15 vs Memphis 1:00pm
Tue 17 @ Dallas 8:30pm
Wed 18 @ Houston 9:30pm ESPN
Fri 20 vs LA Clippers 8:00pm
Sun 22 vs Miami 1:00pm
Tue 24 @ Chicago 8:00pm TNT
Thu 26 vs LA Lakers 7:30pm
Sat 28 @ Washington 7:00pm
Sun 29 vs Philadelphia 6:00pm
Tue 31 @ Cleveland 7:00pm

April
Wed 01 @ New Jersey 7:30pm
Sat 04 @ Philadelphia 3:00pm ESPN
Sun 05 vs Charlotte 6:00pm
Wed 08 @ New York 7:30pm
Fri 10 vs New Jersey 8:00pm
Sat 11 @ Indiana 7:00pm
Mon 13 vs Chicago 7:30pm
Wed 15 @ Miami 8:00pm