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Pistons’ playoff chances are slimmer than you’d think

The Pistons beat the Celtics on Sunday, which put Detroit five games behind Boston for the final playoff spot 81 days into the season.

That might seem like the Pistons are in the thick of the playoff race.

They’re not.

Teams in that scenario – 81 games days into the season, at least five games out of the playoffs – almost always miss the playoffs. In fact, since the NBA adopted a 16-team playoff format, only the 1987-88 New York Knicks were five games out at this point of the season and made the playoffs, and they did it with a 38-44 record.

With 89 days left, the Pistons are hardly out of the playoff race, but based on history, their chances are extremely slim.

31 Comments

  • Jan 22, 20133:51 pm
    by mixmasta

    Reply

    81 games already? We’re just 40 games played.
     
    But yeah, tough stretch ahead until All Star Weekend.

    • Jan 22, 20134:19 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It’s supposed to say 81 days. But yeah, I did a double take too.

  • Jan 22, 20133:58 pm
    by piston moribund

    Reply

    Don’t know why Max and Daye have not been relegated to the bench for JJ.  Zero chance of making the playoffs so not buying whatever Joe D is selling.  Yada yada yada…..old hat.  Everyone, off the wagon please.

  • Jan 22, 20134:10 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    One thing to point out: the lackluster start to the season the Pistons have had misrepresents the current pace. How many teams have gotten off to a comparable start to what the Pistons have and found themselves at a similar record 40 games in? 

    • Jan 22, 20134:17 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      By poor start, I mean losing 8 straight to start the season… if you take our pace from our last 10 games or even our January pace and apply it to the remaining 42 games on the schedule, we should end up at roughly 39 wins. While that leaves things still questionable for making the playoffs, don’t count out the following scenarios: Drummond playing more minutes (inevitably resulting in a better performing team), a trade that improves the roster, another team in the thick of things that suffers from an injury/sudden losing streak. 

      It’s not impossible… 

  • Jan 22, 20134:16 pm
    by Kane Falkon

    Reply

    Based on History no team has ever had Andre Drummond. Pistons for the playoffs. Lock it in!

    • Jan 22, 20134:22 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      If you believe that, you should put some money on it. I’m guessing you can get some pretty nice odds.

      The problem for the Pistons is, besides being 5 games out of the playoffs (which isn’t huge but is quite large), is that there are more than 8 better teams than them in the conference.

      This isn’t a situation like the Lakers where if they can ever figure it out and start playing at the level they should, they would be expected to win more than half of their games.

      • Jan 22, 20134:25 pm
        by Desolation Row

        Reply

        True, but the Pistons are a team that has been curiously sitting its best player on the roster a majority of the game (on average) so far. If I was a betting man, I still wouldn’t bet on them making the playoffs, but definitely reasons for optimism too.

  • Jan 22, 20134:19 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    Well, I for one am not surprised that teams 5 games out of the playoffs, with 1 game remaining almost never make it in. LOL

    • Jan 22, 20134:25 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I would be shocked by the “almost” if I were you.

      • Jan 22, 20134:27 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        If I were you, I’d recognize when someone is speaking “tongue-in-cheek” lol

    • Jan 22, 20134:26 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      Joking aside, I wonder if any of those past seasons had 2 teams as bad as BOS and MIL currently in the 7th/8th seeds, in this bad of an Eastern conference.

      If this was a good conference, I’d agree with history, but the Pistons are a better team than MIL and BOS, imo, and their games against them have proven that. With 40+ games left, I think the better team will end up on top. I think the Pistons get one of those 2 remaining spots. BOS will likely get the 7th seed, and I think we get 8th.

      And after that MIA game earlier this year, if we played them in the 1st round, it might actually be a competitive series, even if it only goes 4 or 5 games. As long as we don;t play NY, I think I’d like to play MIA for the exp. We match up well with them I think.  

      • Jan 22, 20134:28 pm
        by Desolation Row

        Reply

        Boston is at .500 right now. Pistons would have to significantly outperform their current pace to match that. At .500 in the 8th seed in the East, Boston actually is doing better than a most recent 8th seeds in the East….

      • Jan 22, 20138:32 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        In what alternate universe is this Pistons team better than Boston? Milwaukee, I can see the argument because of Ilyasova’s disappointing season, but it’s still a stretch. But Boston?!?! They do still have Garnett and Pierce and Rondo. All those three are better right now than anyone in Detroit. Maybe not for much longer, but certainly right now.

        • Jan 22, 201311:36 pm
          by jacob

          Reply

          Garnett and Pierce are washed up. I still think we need a legitamate playmaker/ defender at the sf/sg position.

        • Jan 23, 20138:11 am
          by G

          Reply

          Not sure you need to go to an alternate universe. The Pistons have played Boston twice & beaten them twice, once by 15 and once by 20. I’d say that is compelling evidence the Pistons are better than Boston in THIS universe.

          • Jan 23, 201311:19 am
            by brgulker

            Head to head matchups aren’t the best measure of team quality. Point differential, team records, etc. are. 

          • Jan 23, 201312:49 pm
            by G

            Okaaaay…
            Boston is 23rd in the league in points per game, Detroit is 19th. Boston and Detroit are tied at 8th in points allowed per game, so the Pistons have the edge in point differential. Boston has +4 on the Pistons in record, but Boston is trending downward and Detroit trending upward. And the Pistons have beaten Boston 2 out of 2 times so far by a total of 35 points which HAS to factor in at least a little.

  • Jan 22, 20134:39 pm
    by lisa

    Reply

    The piston can’t seem to play constitant. I don’t see them making the playoffs. Can’t say I want them to.

  • Jan 22, 20134:46 pm
    by Talan

    Reply

    Not making the playoffs would make the Ben Gordon trade sensible. If we make the playoffs, we lose our first rounder. 

    • Jan 23, 20138:13 am
      by G

      Reply

      Pistons have to lose the first rounder at some point regardless, might as well get into the playoffs and be done with it.

    • Jan 22, 20137:51 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      That tattoo sure is going to look funny when CV is wearing a uniform of some team in the euro league next seasong.

    • Jan 23, 20138:15 am
      by G

      Reply

      Not a bad likeness though…

  • Jan 22, 20137:14 pm
    by Blocks By Dre

    Reply

    I give us a 0% chance so it can’t possibily go any lower than that

  • Jan 22, 20137:17 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    1) I sincerely hope we don’t make the playoffs because we need that lottery pick.
    2) I’d like to see us make a trade that would give us a first rounder this year or next.
    3) I’d like to see us play Kim English and Kris Middleton and get back to playing Jonas Jeberko.
    4) That tattoo is nice done but extremely confusing. I wonder if this guy has the same no hair medical condition as Charlie?

    • Jan 23, 20138:18 am
      by G

      Reply

      1) Pistons don’t need the lottery pick, they need veterans. There’s already too much youth on the team
      2) I’d like to see the Pistons make a trade that will get them either an athletic wing or a real point guard
      3) Well, can’t argue much with that.
      4) It’s called “alopecia”

  • Jan 22, 201310:12 pm
    by Jayknowsball

    Reply

    Bynum seems to be out performing Both the other point guards on this roster  

  • Pingback

    Jan 22, 201310:37 pm
    by Game #41: Magic @ Pistons - 1/22/13

    Reply

    [...] [...]

  • Jan 22, 201311:31 pm
    by MrHappyMushroom

    Reply

    Hollinger is calling their chances 30%.
     
    I’m with Dan; much lower.  This 9-4 streak has been fun, but they’ve mostly been home games.  The schedule after tonight is much tougher and I’m seeing less than .500 in the remaining games through February.
     
    There is some hope for next year and beyond. But at this point, the Pistons’ greatest assets are an excellent back up center and a very good (probably not first tier star) center/power forward. A few other guys have their moments.  But I’m not seeing a .600 team for the rest of this season, which is what it would take to get to 41 wins (a reasonable bottom line for playoff hopes).
     
    If the Pistons win nine of their *next* thirteen, I’ve been very wrong. Hope I am.

    • Jan 23, 20133:34 pm
      by joe dumars

      Reply

      I’m with Dan; much lower. This 9-4 streak has been fun, but they’ve mostly been home games. The schedule after tonight is much tougher and I’m seeing less than .500 in the remaining games through February.

      Yup the schedule is going to get tougher as the season goes on. In March and April theres 14 away games vs 8 home games. Not to mention theres 6 away games in April alone.

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