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2013-14 Pistons schedule in 82 sentences

vs. Washington, Wed., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.

The Pistons will try to end a three-game losing streak in opening games – already their longest such skid since the 1960s – against the non-top-five-Eastern-Conference team with the best chance to make the playoffs. –Dan Feldman

at Memphis, Fri., Nov. 1, 8 p.m.

The Pistons will get an early chance to test whether their super-sized lineup will work against the team that has arguably played a big lineup with more success than any other team in recent years. –Patrick Hayes

vs. Boston, Sun., Nov. 3, 6 p.m.

If Rajon Rondo isn’t back from injury, he could get a preemptive start on helping the Pistons. –D.F.

vs. Indiana, Tues., Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.

The Pistons likely aren’t going to win their division this season, but Indiana will provide a great early barometer for how far off the Pistons are from being at that level. –P.H.

vs. Oklahoma City, Fri., Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.

The fourth of five games at home to begin the season, this should be the toughest, though less so if Russell Westbrook is still out injured. –D.F.

at Portland, Mon., Nov. 11, 10 p.m.

Poor West Coast trips early in the last three seasons have been partially to blame for brutal starts for the Pistons, but Portland offers an opportunity to start this year’s early trip off with a win. –P.H.

at Golden State, Tues., Nov. 12, 10:30 p.m.

Given how much older Andre Iguodala is, I’m convinced the Pistons did better by signing Josh Smith – even though Iguodala would have fit better with the roster. –D.F.

at Sacramento, Fri., Nov. 15, 10:30 p.m.

Is this the year Greg Monroe finally puts the ‘who is better?’ debate between him and Cousins to rest? –P.H.

at L.A. Lakers, Sun., Nov. 17, 9:30 p.m.

After going 0-15 in Western Conference road games, an 0-4 – or even 1-3, given the competition – record on this trip would be pretty demoralizing. –D.F.

vs. New York, Tues., Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.

If Andre Drummond can model Tyson Chandler’s game — no easy task, but also not an outrageous expectation — in bigger minutes this season, the Pistons will be one of the most improved teams in the league. –P.H.

at Atlanta, Wed., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Josh Smith returns to Atlanta to take on the hometown team that put up little to no fight to keep him. –D.F.

vs. Atlanta, Fri., Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m.

The best NBA player the state of Michigan has produced in recent years — Al Horford — makes his first trip to the Palace of the season. –P.H.

at Brooklyn, Sun., Nov. 24, 2 p.m.

The Pistons have never beaten Brooklyn, and this should be the best Brooklyn team EVAAAA. –D.F.

vs. Milwaukee, Mon., Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Brandon Knight will get his first chance to prove to his former team something he insisted in his introductory presser in Milwaukee — that he’s a point guard. –P.H.

vs. Chicago, Wed., Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m.

With Derrick Rose back, the Bulls should be much better this season, which is a scary thought. –D.F.

vs. L.A. Lakers, Fri., Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Mike D’Antoni loves stretch fours — have a close look at Charlie Villanueva while you’re in town, Mike. –P.H.

vs. Philadelphia, Sun., Dec. 1, 3:30 p.m.

If the Pistons lose this game, something has gone wrong – for both teams. –D.F.

at Miami, Tues., Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.

Greg Monroe is trying to learn to guard power forwards, but somehow I doubt his ability to hold his own defensively if the Heat play LeBron James big minutes at the four. –P.H.

at Milwaukee, Wed., Dec. 4, 8 p.m.

Brandon Jennings returns to Milwaukee, where he didn’t fit in after his first 11 games, but also where he remained really talented. –D.F.

at Chicago, Sat., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.

If the Pistons defense is as good as it should be, with Chicago, Detroit and Indiana, the Central will regain its old reputation as the most physical division in the league. –P.H.

vs. Miami, Sun., Dec. 8, 6 p.m.

The Palace should be packed for this game, but hopefully it’s not just the star power of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that draws fans this season. –D.F.

vs. Minnesota, Tues., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Will Kevin Love be the next star available on the trade market, do the Pistons have the assets to make an offer and would Flip Saunders even answer a phone call from Joe Dumars? –P.H.

at New Orleans, Wed., Dec. 11, 8 p.m.

I really like how the Hornets upgraded their roster this offseason – besides that fact they’ll still finish 10th in the West. –D.F.

vs. Brooklyn, Fri., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Former Michigan State player Alan Anderson could be one of the best value signings this offseason as a floor spacer for the Nets. –P.H.

vs. Portland, Sun., Dec. 15, 6 p.m.

The Trail Blazers have reliable starters and much-improved bench, making them a real challenge for opponents. –D.F.

at Indiana, Mon., Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

The Pacers shed themselves of the more annoying of the two Hansbroughs bros, which makes them 90 percent more watchable this season. –P.H.

at Boston, Wed., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Probably still too early Rondo to have switched sides. –D.F.

vs. Charlotte, Fri., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.

How many Michael Kidd-Gilchrists would Charlotte trade for Andre Drummond today? –P.H.

vs. Houston, Sat., Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.

Whenever Dwight Howard and James Harden learn to play together – potentially sometime around Dec. 21 – the Rockets are really going to take off. –D.F.

at Cleveland, Mon., Dec. 23, 7 p.m.

If Andrew Bynum is hurt, are you ready for an all-Canadian starting frontcourt of Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett? How about back-to-back Canadian No. 1 picks with Bennett and Andrew Wiggins? –P.H.

at Orlando, Fri., Dec. 27, 7 p.m.

I flat-out love watching Victor Oladipo play, though if he’s at point guard, his performance this season could be pretty rocky. –D.F.

at Washington, Sat., Dec. 28, 7 p.m.

The Wizards are a trendy playoff pick with a full season of healthy John Wall, but I’m still not sold on their frontcourt depth beyond the fragile Nene and offensively limited Emeka Okafor. –P.H.

vs. Washington, Mon., Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m.

With five days off afterward, the Pistons could play their hearts out or look ahead to vacation. –D.F.

vs. Memphis, Sun., Jan. 5, 1 p.m.

Tayshaun Prince’s first return to Detroit — a 2-for-7 night shortly after last season’s trade — didn’t go so well, so he’ll be seeking some atonement. –P.H.

at New York, Tues., Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m.

I actually like how Andrea Bargnani could complement Carmelo Anthony on the court, but all Bargnani’s other limitations – especially his unfriendly contract – make his fit with Melo just a minor consideration. –D.F.

at Toronto, Wed., Jan. 8, 7 p.m.

Who’s ready for Summer League stars Peyton Siva and Dwight Buycks to go head-to-head? –P.H.

at Philadelphia, Fri., Jan. 10, 7 p.m.

Nerlens Noel hoped to return by Christmas, but I bet he’s still not back by this game. –D.F.

vs. Phoenix, Sat., Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m.

The Pistons reportedly were interested in Eric Bledsoe, who was ultimately traded to Phoenix — was getting Brandon Jennings a better outcome? –P.H.

vs. Utah, Fri., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Trey Burke comes to The Palace, and he’ll still have plenty of fans here, though fewer if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope plays well. –D.F.

at Washington, Sat., Jan. 18, 7 p.m.

Two less heralded moves I really liked this offseason — the Wizards drafting Glen Rice Jr. in the second round and bringing in Eric Maynor to backup John Wall. –P.H.

vs. L.A. Clippers, Mon., Jan. 20, 1 p.m.

Lob City vs. Lob City in the Martin Luther King Day matinee. –D.F.

at Milwaukee, Wed., Jan. 22, 8 p.m.

The Bucks are perennially uninteresting, but the frontcourt matchup between these teams — Sanders/Henson vs. Monroe/Drummond — could be one of the most fun in the league for years to come. –P.H.

vs. New Orleans, Fri., Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.

I’m really interested to know how a Brandon Jennings-Jrue Holiday comparison will look at this point of the season, considering Holiday had a clear edge before each player moved to a new team. –D.F.

at Dallas, Sun., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m.

It will be really interesting when Monta Ellis shoots more than Dirk Nowitzki this season. –P.H.

vs. Orlando, Tues., Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m.

Jason Maxiell deserves a standing ovation in first his return to The Palace. –D.F.

at Atlanta, Wed., Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Will Brandon Jennings prove he was better value than Jeff Teague all along? –P.H.

vs. Philadelphia, Sat., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Wouldn’t it be a treat if Michael Curry were coaching this game?  –D.F.

at Miami, Mon., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.

With Josh Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Pistons have two perimeter defenders who at least give them a chance to make things tough for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. –P.H.

at Orlando, Wed., Feb. 5, 8 p.m.

Arron Afflalo would be a great fit at shooting guard with the rest of Pistons’ roster.  –D.F.

vs. Brooklyn, Fri., Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Will the Nets bring back former Piston Jerry Stackhouse just to make the rest of their roster feel young? –P.H.

vs. Denver, Sat., Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.

I love JaVale McGee – because he’s from Flint, of course – so I’m glad the Nuggets let their Executive of the Year leave, fired their Coach of the Year and traded their starting center just so ‘Vale can start.  –D.F.

vs. San Antonio, Mon., Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.

The last few years while Pistons fans have been lamenting Joe Dumars for passing on Dejuan Blair in the 2009 draft, Gregg Popovich has been strongly suggesting that Blair kinda sucks. –P.H.

vs. Cleveland, Wed., Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m.

This game, and the Cavaliers’ season, hinges on Andrew Bynum’s health.  –D.F.

vs. Charlotte, Tues., Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.

It sounds weird saying this about any Bobcat, but I’m surprised Gerald Henderson wasn’t more coveted by teams in free agency. –P.H.

at Charlotte, Wed., Feb. 19, 7 p.m.

A mid-week back-to-back with the Bobcats in February could be soul-crushing unless its an easy two-game sweep for Detroit or the Pistons have big trade brewing before the trade deadline the next day.  –D.F.

vs. Atlanta, Fri., Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m.

As an Oakland University alum, I’m prevented from ever complimenting the Hawks after the way they treated Keith Benson — seriously, cutting him in favor of keeping Johan Petro? Seriously?? –P.H.

vs. Dallas, Sat., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.

The Mavericks really overpaid Jose Calderon, who will turn 32 before the season begins, but they still had me very concerned about the Pistons’ point guards until Detroit landed Jennings.  –D.F.

vs. Golden State, Mon., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Feldman snuck Trey Burke into two references in here, so I have to plug Draymond Green’s return to the Palace here just to try for some semblance of balance. –P.H.

at San Antonio, Wed., Feb. 26, 8:30 p.m.

Guaranteed George Blaha calls this game part of a “Texas two-step” during the broadcast.  –D.F.

at Houston, Sat., March 1, 8 p.m.

A matchup of the two teams that, arguably, had the two best offseasons in the league. –P.H.

vs. New York, Mon., March 3, 7:30 p.m.

Of the East’s top-five teams, the Knicks are the most vulnerable, and it’d be pretty awesome if the Pistons are battling them in the standings at this point. –D.F.

vs. Chicago, Wed., Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m.

The return of Rose is obviously a big win for Chicago, but the team quietly really upgraded its perimeter this offseason with Mike Dunleavy, Tony Snell and a full season of Jimmy Butler starting. –P.H.

at Minnesota, Fri., March 7, 8 p.m.

I don’t know exactly when Team USA plans to name its 2014 roster, but Kevin Love and Andre Drummond would make an awesome big-man pairing. –D.F.

at Boston, Sun., March 9, 6 p.m.

“Celtics envisioning key role for Kris Humphries.” Related: Celtics envisioning key role for Andrew Wiggins. –P.H.

vs. Sacramento, Tues., March 11, 7:30 p.m.

Greg Monroe-DeMarcus Cousins matchups are always a treat, especially if both are playing for max contracts (though I suspect Cousins will already have his by this point). –D.F.

at Toronto, Wed., March 12, 7 p.m.

Remember how if not for Bryan Colangelo’s sound intelligence-gathering, the Raptors could have an Andre Drummond-Jonas Valanciunas frontcourt right now? –P.H.

vs. Indiana, Sat., March 15, 7:30 p.m

Given his injury history, age and recent production, I think Danny Granger is in for another rough season, and we should know whether I’m right by this point. –D.F.

at Denver, Wed., March 19, 9 p.m.

Seriously — who wouldn’t pay to just watch JaVale McGee play Andre Drummond one-on-one? –P.H.

at Phoenix, Fri., March 21, 10 p.m.

Alex Len will leave the game early due to injury, and doctors will discover he has a mutated third ankle – which also requires surgery. –D.F.

at L.A. Clippers, Sat., March 22, 10:30 p.m.

This will be the fifth game in the last eight against a former Chauncey Billups team. –P.H.

at Utah, Mon., Feb. 24, 9 p.m.

Local sports editors appreciate the Trey Burke sidebars they can run on both the Pistons and Michigan sections of their websites. –D.F.

vs. Cleveland, Wed., March 26, 7:30 p.m.

Hopefully Brandon Jennings replaces Brandon Knight’s habit of having insanely productive outings against Kyrie Irving? –P.H.

vs. Miami, Fri., March 28, 7:30 p.m.

Hopefully, LeBron and Co. won’t up the focus for a late 27-game win streak this year. –D.F.

at Philadelphia, Sat., March 29, 7:30 p.m.

Between the Celtics acting excited about Kris Humphries and the Sixers trying to sign Chris Duhon, no one does tanking like the Atlantic Division this season. –P.H.

vs. Milwaukee, Mon., March 31, 7:30 p.m.

Brandon Knight’s second trip to The Palace as a visitor will include a less-welcoming atmosphere if the Pistons and Bucks are competing for a playoff spot. –D.F.

at Indiana, Wed., April 2, 7 p.m.

Joe Dumars kind of copied the Larry Bird model of team building — sucking for five years with insanely bad contracts only to rapidly emerge from those depths with a pretty intriguing roster. –P.H.

at Brooklyn, Fri., April 4, 7:30 p.m.

This is the point the Nets’ aging stars are either resting up for the playoffs or already injured. –D.F.

vs. Boston, Sat., April 5, 7:30 p.m.

By this point in the season, we’ll know if Brandon Jennings is the answer at point guard or just keeping the seat warm until the Pistons can pry Rajon Rondo away from Boston. –P.H.

at Cleveland, Wed., April 9, 7 p.m.

If Andrew Bynum is out for the year at this point, I hope to at least see Andrew Bynum’s hair make an appearance at Quicken Loans arena. -D.F.

at Chicago, Fri., April 11, 8 p.m.

Tom Thibodeau may have run his starters into the ground by this point in the season, so the Pistons should have a shot at a solid late-season road win. –P.H.

vs. Toronto, Sun., April 13, 3:30 p.m.

This sounds crazy now, but at this point, Andre Drummond and Jonas Valanciunas could be competing to competing to be named the All-NBA third-team center. –D.F.

at Oklahoma City, Wed., April 16, 8 p.m.

Will Rodney Stuckey have another exemplary performance in his faux rivalry with Russell Westbrook? –P.H.

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Tags: Alex Len Andre Iguodala Andrea Bargnani Andrew Bynum Arron Afflalo Brandon Jennings Carmelo Anthony Chris Bosh Danny Granger Demarcus Cousins Derrick Rose Dwayne Wade Dwight Howard Dwyane Wade James Harden Jason Maxiell JaVale McGee Jonas Valanciunas Jose Calderon Josh Smith Jrue Holiday Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kevin Love Lebron James Michael Curry Nerlens Noel Rajon Rondo Trey Burke Victor Oladipo

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