The Detroit Pistons are about to embark on a pretty harrowing six-game trip out West, and it could do a lot to define the team's season. Stretches of that length are pretty uncommon, and this is not an easy slate of opponents.
Detroit faces the Phoenix Suns (3-2), Portland Trail Blazers (3-2), Golden State Warriors (5-0), Sacramento Kings (1-4), Los Angeles Clippers (4-1), and Los Angeles Lakers (0-4). The bottom run of expectations would be 2-4, 3-3 would be acceptable and anything above that would be great.
Needless to say, if the Pistons win one or fewer games it would be a disaster. And there has been plenty of losing on the west coast for the Pistons these past few years, which brings us to Detroit Bad Boys' latest column appearing in the Detroit Free Press.
Here is a snippet, but please go to Freep and read, comment and share.
Still, the Pistons shouldn't overlook the task at hand. Eliminating a losing culture, and coming out of this six-game stretch with a winning record would be an incredible statement for the franchise. Because, man has there been a lot of losing.
While Detroit has only won 36 percent of its games since 2009, they are even more dreadful against the West. In the East, only the Milwaukee Bucks have a worse record than Detroit. The Pistons are a woeful 50-130 (27.8%) since 2009 against the Western Conference. On long road trips, however, the news gets even worse.
The Pistons have completed nine west-coast swings of four or more games since 2009. Their record is 6-33 (15.4%). Not that you need any more convincing, but the last time Detroit had a six-game west coast swing was in 2012 - and they went 0-6 and were outscored by an average of 11.8 points per game.
Only one Piston is still on the team from that woeful trip - Andre Drummond. And therein lies the hope. At the time Drummond was a rookie still working to gain the trust of Lawrence Frank. Now, he is the face of the franchise, averaging 20.3 points and 19.5 rebounds and is the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
What say you, DBB? What are you hoping to get out of this grueling six-game trip?