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Pistons vs Knicks final score: Detroit downs New York 115-89, heads to playoffs

Win-and-in? Won.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Your Detroit Pistons defeated the New York Knicks, 115-89, to end the season 41-41, in the playoffs for only the second time in a decade. Andre Drummond put up 20 points and 18 rebounds in 27 minutes, and Luke Kennard poured in 27 points off the bench to lead the Pistons in scoring.

The Pistons deserved to make the playoffs. Don’t let the fact that they clinched the lowest seed on the final day of the season convince you otherwise. Don’t let people who tell you that finishing at the top of the middle of the JV conference isn’t something.

I watched this team with my own eyes lose six straight games in December, looking lost in the wilderness for two weeks. I watched them lose to a Lebron-less Lakers team on ESPN (in PUBLIC, in front of God and #NBATwitter) to start yet another fruitless West Coast road trip. I watched them lose to the Hawks before Trae Young blossomed. I watched them blow a 20+ point lead to the Clippers at home in a game you KNOW Blake Griffin wanted.

I watched the Hornets game Sunday.

The Pistons didn’t have to be here. They could’ve blown a tire with 20 games to go, like they did two years ago. The Reggie Bullock trade, offloading your most consistent wing player at a time when you’re under .500 for a guy who didn’t help you at all this season, could’ve ruptured this team. Reggie Jackson could’ve gotten hurt, as he does (Reggie played 82 games this year, by the way - the only Piston to do so). Wayne Ellington could’ve signed with the Warriors.

But none of that happened.

Detroit has accomplished the goal that they set out for themselves at the beginning of the season: Create something worth building upon. Lay a foundation for the remainder of the years Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond and Dwane Casey have together in this city. Show the fans that you won’t quit, even if some of them actually want you to.

We’ll have more analysis of the playoff matchup on DBB going forward. Yes, the Pistons have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the series against the juggernaut Milwaukee Bucks. But that’s not what we’re doing right now. We’re stopping for a moment, and savoring the feeling of success, with the knowledge that it very well didn’t have to be this way. We’re reflecting on this long, LONG regular season, with it’s twists and turns and ups and downs, ending where we hoped it would all along.

We’re thankful.

Now hit me with THOSE DANCING ZEBRAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!