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Pistons at Cavaliers: Detroit’s playoff hopes decaying by the day

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The Pistons have to help themselves before they can be helped

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit’s back-to-back frustrating losses, on back-to-back nights makes for frustration and a sense of loss for fans of the franchise, who deserve better than the sub-mediocrity they have been subjected to for a decade. However, it is still in the Pistons’ best interest to win as many games as possible for the rest of the season, starting with tonight’s (nationally televised? Oh god) game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Game Vitals:

When: Monday, March 5, 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA TV, NBA League Pass
Odds: Detroit +6.5

Analysis:

The positive for Detroit:

Hey, that’s one fewer guy the Cavs have to throw at Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond! Good stuff.

The bad for Detroit:

Oh yeah, that guy is still there. And still killing it.

The Cavaliers have looked more cohesive since their massive restructuring at the trade deadline. They are still not a good defensive team, and are still without Kevin Love, but LeBron James appears in better spirits, which is the best result you can hope for from that much team turnover.

However, if we’re being honest, Pistons fans are only slightly concerned with the outcome of this game. There are larger, more pressing issues about the orientation, velocity, and management of the franchise - questions that likely will not be answered until the season is over. But the outcome of this game, and the following 18, will offer insight into the resolution of those issues - even if the resolution is “pull the rip-cord and fire everyone.”

In the meantime, all the players can do is fulfill the roles they are given, play the way they know they can with effort, and let that effort dictate the results. It’s not TOO late to throw the towel in on the season (it’s quite close though, and if you’ve already thrown the towel I will not finger-wag you), and the best option for this team remains winning as many games as possible.

It is exceedingly unlikely that the Pistons make the playoffs. But you don’t know what tomorrow may bring.