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Pistons news: Season predictions, Josh Smith, Chauncey Billups and more

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Get your layup lines and popcorn ready -- the Pistons tip off their 2013-2014 season on Wednesday night.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

We've all forgotten that I started last year's Morning Shootaround by wondering if the Pistons would make the playoffs, right? I wasn't serious. They didn't. Neuralyzers. Good night's sleep. Cerebrospinal fluid washing over you. The Serenity Now.

Everything's coming up playoffs this year, though. Several national pundits are projecting the Pistons to get back to the playoffs after a four-year hiatus, including the-Detroit-hater guy, Bill Simmons, and Detroiter Jalen Rose, who think the Pistons will finish No. 5 or 6 in the East. Some geeks are even predicting the Pistons to finish higher! (Our friends at PTR seem to disagree.)

-- If nothing else, the Pistons have increased fun levels to an all-time high (in recent memory), which has led to a direct increase in wanking off, and a decrease in talks of tanking.

-- As MFMW posted, the Pistons' over/unders for this season are also fun to throw your money at predict.

-- Josh Smith is excited about Josh Smith in Detroit [via MLIVE]:

Josh Smith dropped by a gas station the day after making a game-winning 3-pointer in the Detroit Pistons' final preseason game, where a fan told him he was "the talk of the town."

An employee at his bank asked him to call her son. Smith spoke to the youngster for several minutes.

There was one thing neither the fan at the gas station nor the boy on the telephone would believe.

"They don't understand that I'm more excited than they probably are," Smith said.

-- Maurice Cheeks is taking suggestions for his starting backcourt. Rodney Stuckey is not expected to be ready for the opener Wednesday night. Will Bynum says Luigi Datome looks like my Dad. And Brandon Jennings is obviously out (no hard or sticky candies for him on Halloween). KCP might be a long shot for Rookie of the Year, but he could get plenty of minutes on opening night, allowing him to get those counting stats up and his dark horse candidacy rolling.

-- I'm guessing Billups will start. He's the sentimental and a rare healthy choice for the home opener. He's been talking about D'ing up John Wall, too. Dem starter's words.

-- On this day in Pistons history, 32 years ago, Isiah Thomas made his NBA debut. He scored 31 points and handed out 11 assists.

-- The NBA season officially tipped off Tuesday night with a few games. Season previews are now obsolete. But seriously, it's not too late to read SB Nation's aesthetically pleasing NBA preview. Anytime Stephen Curry's featured prominently on the front page of anything, I'm clicking several hundred times. You should also check out the awesome work by some of the DBB staff in this year's Pistons player previews.

-- A thorny return for Derrick Rose. Poison headlines.

-- Andre Drummond rocking the old school teal Pistons hat.

-- When Tom Gores isn't rushing the floor after preseason wins, Tom Gores is donating $250,000 to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, which is an open enrollment public charter high school in Detroit. Good job, Tom Gores.

-- Gores expects success this season or else he'll be double disappointed [via Q&A with Gores on Detroit News]:

"I do expect success this year," Gores, 49, said. "Last year I was hoping to get in the playoffs and I was disappointed. If we don't get in this year, it'll be a huge disappointment."

-- If you missed it on Monday: Charlie Villanueva, the Tony Romo of Lions fans, or just Charlie Villanueva.

-- Shiny has your opponent recon and Gulker will have your Game Preview around noon.

What say you on this fine season opening day?