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Detroit Pistons release preseason schedule

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Detroit Pistons have announced their pre-season schedule via Twitter. The slate features four home games and four road games (including Winnipeg!), and even back-to-back road contests.

Home games at the Palace of Auburn Hills:

Oct. 10: Toronto Raptors
Oct. 16: Orlando Magic
Oct. 20: Charlotte Bobcats
Oct. 26: Atlanta Hawks

Away games (including Winnipeg!):

Oct. 12: Toronto Raptors
Oct. 13: Milwaukee Bucks
Oct. 18: Miami Heat
Oct. 24: Minnesota Timberwolves (in Winnipeg!)

Sadly, this is a schedule that pits a lot of evenly matched teams against one another (especially if Dwight Howard doesn't play). That means the Pistons aren't very good, but it also means that the team should get a good gauge on how their team plays in its first full season together.

Last year was a whilrwind and the team had a truly putrid start to the season but things evened out eventually. Does the fact that the played .500 ball mean they could compete for a playoff spot in the East this season or just that they were mediocre against a soft schedule and it is lottery-bound again?

A good way to find out is to play the likes of Toronto, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Minnesota, who all figure to battle for the sixth through ninth spots in their respective conferences.