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NBA standings watch: Detroit Pistons two games back of No. 8 seed

Losers of three straight, the Pistons still find themselves within striking distance of a very crowded playoff picture.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

If the season started Dec. 26, the Pistons wouldn't be fighting for the "right" to play the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. They'd instead be bumping elbow with the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and maybe the Toronto Raptors for a series with home court advantage. They're 18-13 (.580) since waiving Josh Smith but there are no mulligans on the 28 games before that.

Here's an updated look at the standings as of Monday morning, March 2:


The Pistons have 23 games left, 14 of which are on the road where they have actually been better this season. Eight of those games are against Miami (2), Indiana (1), Charlotte (3) and Boston (2). Those will be the games the Pistons have to win if they want to make the playoffs.

Their other 15 games consist of match ups against Golden State, Houston, Portland, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago twice, Toronto and Cleveland.  And the other six? Against teams they've already lost to this season (New Orleans, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah, Philadelphia, Orlando and New York).

It should be an exciting finish.