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NBA playoff standings: Pistons magic number is 1

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The Pistons can make the playoffs by beating the Wizards at home on Friday night.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

By taking down the back end of their Florida back-to-back against the Orlando Magic, the Detroit Pistons cut their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to one. So close we can taste it.

The Pistons could have clinched a playoff spot with a pair of wins in Florida, but as you know, they couldn't get the job done in Miami on Tuesday night on TNT. Coincidentally, it's the Miami Heat who can help the Pistons officially eliminate the Bulls from contention on Thursday night by beating the Chicago Bulls on TNT. If the Heat beat the Bulls, the Bulls are out and it's down to the Pistons and Wizards.

Perfectly enough, the Pistons play the Wizards on Friday night. A win in front of the home crowd gives the Pistons their first playoff berth since 2009 and eliminates the Wizards. That would be sweet.

The Pistons remain in the No. 8 spot in the playoff picture, half a game behind the Indiana Pacers, who pounded the Cavs. The Pacers host the Raptors on Friday night in what is currently a first round match up, so it will be interesting to see how the Raptors play it. The Cavs rested LeBron James, and Kevin Love and Timofey Mozgov combined for a starter's minutes against the Pacers.

Now your magic number playoff thoughts.

Editor's Note: Original story incorrectly said a Bulls loss on Thursday night would give the Pistons a playoff berth before they played on Friday night. Kudos to Kudos for shedding light on the fact that the Wizards can win out and the Pistons could lose out, giving the two teams the same record. Sadly, the Wizards would have the tiebreaker. But chin up, that won't happen. Still, man, Wizards are always doing sneaky shit. Anyway, sorry for the misinformation.