This was the biggest weekend of the season for the Pistons. A back-to-back road trip in Orlando and Miami that would determine whether the Pistons would still hang on in the postseason race or fall off the pack.
Unfortunately, it was the latter.
Which is especially a shame since things were stacked up in the Pistons favor. The Pistons came into the Magic game just 2.5 games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to Miami getting toasted by the Lakers the night before. And the Magic were in the middle of a seven game losing streak. And the Magic were in
Win these two games and the Pistons would be just one game out of the playoffs, right in the thick of things. Instead, they’re four games back with just 19 games left to play.
FiveThirtyEight gives the Pistons a 7 percent chance of making the playoffs. ESPN puts it at 10.3 percent. Basketball Reference has it at 12.1 percent. Somehow all of these seem too optimistic.
Now the conversation goes from “if they playoffs make the playoffs” to “since they almost certainly aren’t making the playoffs.”
And the subjects are less about first round matchups and more about Stan Van Gundy’s job security, whether we run it back with the same core next year, and getting Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson minutes. Perhaps focusing on the draft for the masochists.
Pistons face off next against two of the best teams in the East, heading to Cleveland tomorrow night and Toronto on Wednesday for what will likely be the final nails in the coffin of the 2017-18 Pistons season.