We all know by now that the Pistons could be out Reggie Jackson for the next 6-8 weeks. Now the team is resting the start of the season on the shoulders of Ish Smith, Ray McCallum, Lorenzo Brown, or possibly one of these 15 point guard targets.
Wednesday’s news came as a major surprise to many of the Pistons’ faithful; but all hope is not lost. Detroit has a favorable schedule to begin their season, and while they may have devoured many of their opponents with a healthy squad; they should be able to keep the boat afloat based on the quality of many of their opponents.
Looking at Jackson’s possible 6-8 week timetable to return; that would put him out through the end of November. Worst case scenario; Jackson misses 20 games. Let’s take a look closer look at those games.
@ Toronto Raptors
New York Knicks
@ Brooklyn Nets
Toronto aside, most of these teams finished near the bottom of the NBA last season, having a combined record of 121-207. Those four teams have an over/under of 135 total wins for the 2016-17 season (via The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas). Three of five of the initial games are at home, and we finish off the first batch of games playing at the lowly Nets. While we should expect an improved Knicks and Bucks team; the Knicks will be going through some growing pains and we’re still not sure whether or not the Bucks have figured out that whole spacing thing.
@ Los Angeles Clippers
@ Phoenix Suns
@ San Antonio Spurs
@ Denver Nuggets
This could be the most difficult part of the schedule sans Reggie Jackson, which makes those first five games even more important seeing how they’re followed up with a West Coast swing. Yes, the Clippers and Spurs will most likely be 50+ win teams this year, and be very difficult to beat on the road without one of your most important players. But the Nuggets and Suns will not be good. Those two teams finished with a combined record of 56-118, and are have an over/under of 63 wins total this year.
Oklahoma City Thunder
@ New York Knicks
@ Cleveland Cavaliers
The Pistons will have the Knicks number this season, they’re younger, hungrier, deeper and more talented. Boston and Cleveland will be strong; but I have a feeling the Pistons will be able to take down one or two of the top teams while Reggie rests. Houston and OKC are a complete mystery to me, a true coin flip in the sense that they could either both be in or out of the playoffs at the end of this season. Looking at last year as referent point, the Pistons went 8-4 against the Cavs, Celtics, Rockets and Thunder. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to duplicate that effort this season, but their roster can go punch for punch with any of these teams during the regular season.
Los Angeles Clippers
@ Oklahoma City Thunder
@ Charlotte Hornets
@ Boston Celtics
This Miami Heat team looks like a lottery team on paper, they lost both Wade and Bosh, and gave Hassan Whiteside a 98 million dollar contract; enough said. The rest of these teams should be strong, at least early in the season. This is where the Pistons could hit a rough streak, just in time for Reggie to make his return.
Now I turn it to you, DBB. How many games will the Pistons win during this 20 game stretch?