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NBA power rankings roundup, Week 7: Moving on up!

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The Detroit Pistons were 2-1 last week. Against Western Conference opponents. Both wins on the road. What is happening?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have been quite bad this year, but they have been bad against the Western Conference for quite some time (as many Eastern Conference teams are). Last week saw the Pistons face off against three teams from the West, all with hopes to make it into the playoffs (though it will be debated if Sacramento could regain what they have lost since DeMarcus Cousins has been out with viral meningitis). The Pistons were able to pull out two consecutive wins on the road against the Western Conference, something that hadn't been done by them since 2010. So how does that affect how the media views the Pistons?

Last Week: 30

This Week: 27

The Pistons ended the NBA's longest losing streak with back-to-back wins over the Suns and Kings. They're still very bad, and Stan Van Gundy is at a wall with this team -- as constructed -- already.

Hopefully, since it is now Dec. 15th, the "as constructed" part will soon be old news. Honestly, the only piece I really want moved is Josh Smith, but I know that is likely going to come at the cost of another player and/or a pick. I just pray that this is not another year where the Pistons do not make a trade during the season. This team needs one.

Last Week: 29

This Week: 27

No one will be asking if the Pistons can win more games than the Lions. No one will be asking if the Pistons can beat Kentucky. Not after Detroit somehow swept a road back-to-back in Phoenix and Sacramento to bring a halt to that 13-game losing streak that stretched all the way back to Nov. 14.

Playing devil's advocate, only the Suns game was really surprising. Sacramento was without DeMarcus Cousins and the team shot 35-percent from the floor.

Last Week: 30

This Week: 28

The Pistons have won two straight games for the second time this season. The Clippers are up next.

And it is possible if the Pistons beat the Clippers that they will have won 50-percent of their games (so far) in the last four days.

Last Week: 30

This Week: 28

Detroit's playing like less of a toilet bowl fire in the last week, which is a step up. Is this a dead-cat bounce or the slow start of a turnaround? They're undefeated with Jodie Meeks (yes, Jodie Meeks) back.

Jodie Meeks' return is so powerful simply because the offense is actually moving now. However, I would not call this a turnaround just yet. The Pistons could easily lose their next three games.

Last Week: 29

This Week: 27

Has any player had a worse December falloff than Brandon Jennings?

One would think that when a team moves up in a rankings, the associated comment would be one to commend that team on better play (unless that move was because of other teams dropping and pushing that other team up). Yes, Jennings has fallen off hard in December, but the Pistons just won 40% of their season total so far in the last seven days. That is a positive!

Last Week: 30

This Week: 28

Jodie Meeks hasn't hit a 3-pointer yet, but the Pistons are 2-0 with him healthy. The offense has looked better with Meeks spacing the floor and the defense was already starting to show some improvement. Of course, games against the league's top three offenses in the next five days could have the defensive numbers heading back toward Lakerville.

With both Cartier Martin and D.J. Augustin both regressing from deep as they have compared to last year, I am praying that Meeks does not start out the same way. He was 0-for-4 against Sacremento, but it would be nice to see him go 4-for-4 against the Clippers.

Overall

The Pistons moved up in all rankings (except for SBNation where they moved up three) by two points this week. If the Pistons can win at least one of their next three games (Mon - L.A. Clippers, Wed - Dallas Mavericks, Fri - Toronto Raptors) then that will go a long way for them to keep their current spots or maybe move up some. As long as they do not lose Sunday to the Brooklyn Nets, then they will plummet in the rankings again.