The Detroit Pistons' had a tough start to their six-of-seven on the road gauntlet with a thorough drubbing at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. The good news, however, is that the rest of the road trip is much easier and then the Pistons enjoy a franchise-record nine consecutive games at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
For this week's DBB column, I examined both the Pistons' road trip and that epic nine-game homestand. Here is an excerpt from the piece:
All the Pistons need to do is come out of that stretch 3-3, because the team then has nine straight home games, and home has been kind to the Pistons this season.
Detroit is 18-11 at home and has the ninth-best point differential in the NBA. The Pistons are able to find a groove at home, with their offense scoring six points per 100 possessions better at home than on the road, while allowing 2.4 less points per 100 possessions at the Palace.
In essence, the Pistons need to ensure they don't falter too badly on the road, and then really take advantage of that home stretch.
If they can split those road games and then win six of those home contests, the Pistons will no longer be thinking about holding onto that No. 8 seed and making the playoffs, but climbing up the Eastern Conference ladder and fighting for spots No. 7 or 6, and,possibly, a chance to avoid both Cleveland and Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.
Perhaps that's me just being a foolish optimist, but I've been bullish on Detroit's playoff chances all year and a lot of that had to do with the team's nine-game home cooking near the end of the season.
That time is finally here, and we'll see if the Pistons can take advantage of it.