Alright, enough of this “No NBA games to give the players rest” nonsense - basketball is BACK! It’s time for the Pistons to make their playoff push... by watching the teams above them in the standings lose.
The aforementioned standings:
The Pistons are currently 1.5 games out of a playoff spot and 5 games out of the four-seed, despite everything that’s happened this year.
Here are the games Pistons fans should be keeping an eye on tonight:
Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls, 7:00 p.m. EST:
This is the first of many “easy” games (games against sub-.500 teams fighting for draft position) down the stretch for Philly, but at least this one is on the road. Because the 76ers already hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pistons, the Pistons would have to come up with a better overall record than the 76ers to be seeded above them, which seems unlikely at this point.
I will say you never know what will happen at the end of the season with a team that is as reliant on young players as Philadelphia is. They probably make the playoffs, but keep an eye on how they play.
Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers, 8:00 p.m. EST:
As previously mentioned, the Wizards and their hater injured point guard are fun to root against, even if they are five full games ahead in the standings. A game on the road against a rejuvenated Cleveland team without that point guard is a tall order - and a Washington loss would inch the Pistons closer to the top half of the conference.
John Wall (gotta say his name eventually) will be out for at least the next three weeks, and the Wizards were 3-2 in their five games before the All-Star Break. Five games ahead in the standings is a lot, but Pistons fans know the issues than can crop up when you’re missing your starting point guard well. I would expect the Wizards to sink into the Indiana-Philly-Miami-Detroit morass soon, and for Milwaukee to take their place.
Enjoy obsessing over the standings, everyone.