The Detroit Pistons have strung back-to-back weeks of 3-1 records. It is possible that if they were to keep up this current rate of winning for just this week, the Pistons would be in the top eight of the Eastern Conference. Just think about that for a few.
The Pistons are one game out of the playoffs. What if I told you cutting $40.5 million in salary led to an unlikely postseason run? 30 for 30: When Detroit Formed a F***ING Wall.
I'D WATCH IT!!! But seriously, dropping a spot? The Pistons went 3-1 on the week including a win against Toronto. This is the lowest ranking the Pistons have in all online rankings I have found.
We're not supposed to get too giddy about multiple East teams, but the Pistons are making it tougher and tougher to scoff at. Sparked by a (seemingly) reborn Brandon Jennings, Detroit is 11-2 since dumping Josh Smith, with an average win margin of plus-9.2 in that span and a top-five offense and defense.
Having been at the game Monday against the Hawks (where I finally got the chance to meet up with Packey and Hypnowheel, awesome gentleman), it looked like the Pistons had neither a top 5 offense or defense. I'm kind of glad I missed the first quarter waiting to give a friend some tickets because the stat line looked fugly.
Thanks to their surge after waiving Josh Smith, Detroit is now one game behind Brooklyn for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot.
And by the end of this week, the Pistons could BE in the eighth spot.
"Serial" Season 2 should be about whatever happened with this team this season. I mean, it can't just be the Josh Smith thing, right? Right?!
It was not just cutting Josh Smith's shots though. It was the opening of the floor for the bigs, the ability to spread around the ball some more, and the propensity to take higher quality shots. So...yes?
Last Week: 21
Cutting Josh Smith and building a wall can do wonders.
The Pistons' new potent offense has made them a better comeback team. After wins in Toronto and Indiana last week, they're 4-2 in games they trailed by double-digits since waiving Josh Smith, with all four wins coming on the road and three coming against teams with winning records. With Smith, they were 0-20 when facing a double-digit deficit.
It would have been so nice to improve on that record on Monday, but it wasn't to be. But wow, just think of that. The Pistons lost 23 games with Josh Smith. In 20 of those, they were down by as many as 10 points. The Pistons have won four such games in the 11 games they've won since
removing waiving Josh Smith. However, it is still concerning that in the (at the time) 13 games played since Josh Smith, six of them had us trailing by at least 10 points. Consider this an area that definitely needs improving.
My apologies for the tardiness of this post as I have had a major project dropped into my lap over the last week. I was lucky enough to have Monday off to attend the Hawks vs. Pistons game, my first game in over nine years and the first my boys had been to ever. Though they were nose bleed seats, it was a great experience. Hypnowheel is truly a hypnotist as my youngest gave him a hug within seconds of meeting him (though he is naturally a hugger) and both of the boys enjoyed playing with him. Packey definitely has the swagger of a beat reporter (watch out Goodwill and Ellis). Sadly, due to the craziness of the day we weren't able to hang out but for 10 minutes, but I'm sure there are more games in our future.
Seeing as how I'm two days late, I'll just start with today's games.
- Miami at Charlotte - Miami (I'd rather secure our place in the top eight before worrying about Miami)
- Utah at Cleveland - Utah
- New York at Philadelphia - New York
- Indiana at Atlanta - Atlanta
- Orlando at Detroit - Detroit, DUH!
- Toronto at Memphis - Memphis
- Oklahoma City at Washington - Oklahoma City
- Brooklyn at Sacramento - Sacramento
- San Antonio at Chicago - San Antonio
- Utah at Milwaukee - Utah
- Portland at Boston - Portland
- Brooklyn at LA Clippers - LA Clippers
- Toronto at Philadelphia - Toronto
- Oklahoma City at Atlanta - Oklahoma City
- Charlotte at Cleveland - Cleveland
- Indiana at Miami - Indiana
- Orlando at New York - New York
- Chicago at Dallas - Dallas
- Boston at Denver - Denver
- New York at Charlotte - New York
- Detroit at Milwaukee - Detroit, DUH!
- Philadelphia at Memphis - Memphis
- Brooklyn at Utah - Utah
- Washington at Portland - Portland
- Miami at Chicago - Chicago
- Oklahoma City at Cleveland - Oklahoma City
- Minnesota at Atlanta - Minnesota
- Indiana at Orlando - Orlando
- Milwaukee at San Antonio - San Antonio
- Detroit at Toronto - Detroit, DUH!
- Boston at Golden State - Golden State
- Washington at Denver - Denver
There are only three games that separate the 8th and 11th place teams in the Eastern Conference. On the off chance that this schedule were to play out as I hope for the week, the Pistons would be 19-26 (.422) and the Pistons would be sitting in the eighth playoff spot. Just food for thought.
John Hollinger's playoff rankings currently have us at 15th. Also, checkout revken's article for further investigation of the Pistons' next 10 games.