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ESPN Insider projects Detroit sneaking into the playoffs again

Not exactly the jump many predicted, but I guess most fans would take it.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the season many media sources had the Pistons cracking into the top four in the Eastern Conference:

ESPN (7-25-16): 4th in the Eastern Conference, 45-37

Bleacher Report (9-23-16): 4th in the Eastern Conference, 49-33

DBB (8-7-16): 4th in the Eastern Conference

Well, needless to say, that isn’t happening. Kevin Pelton and ESPN Insider now have the Detroit Pistons finishing eighth with a record of 40-42. While not awe-inspiring I’d hazard a guess that 99 percent of fans would take an eighth place finish over a ninth place finish and a very middling draft pick. In other words, if we aren’t going to tank - which it’s too late to do anyway and isn’t exactly a Stan Van Gundy move - we may as well make the playoffs.

Making the playoffs as the eighth seed of course means we would meet LeBron James and his merry band of actual All Stars and ring chasing trade deadline waiver All Stars. This is a pretty outcome does not make. Lebron has never lost a first round playoff series, and hasn’t lost even one game in the first round since 2012. Check out the link, it’s depressingly impressive.

I was listening to the NBA on Sirius XM and Frank Isola was excitedly talking about how the Pistons might actually be the first team in a while to win one game against a LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers team.

That’s where we’re at folks. It’s not pretty but this Pistons team is basically squeezing all of the wins out of this year that it can just to make it onto the bottom rungs of the playoffs. To paraphrase Scotty in the original Star Trek, “we’re giving her all she’s got captain.”

What are your thoughts? Scale of 1-10, how excited would you get over just making the playoffs?