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Pistons are the second-luckiest franchise in NBA history


For those of you unfamiliar with Pythagorean wins, here’s a brief explanation. Essentially, Pythagorean wins estimate how many games a team should win, based on points scored and points allowed.

So, subtracting a team’s Pythagorean wins from its actual wins should reveal how many wins a team lucked into.* I wrote about that idea for Basketball Prospectus yesterday, and I measured how lucky each NBA franchise has been.

*If a team is very clutch or gives up in blowouts, that can skew the number. But no reliable research has shown some teams tend to do that more than others. Besides, this is just for fun, anyway.

All-time, the Pistons have won 32 more games they should have. That’s pretty lucky.

Only the Lakers (plus 55) have been luckier. Per season, only the Hornets, Lakers, Mavericks and Nuggets have been luckier.

Here’s how lucky each individual Pistons season has been:


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