What to watch for when the Pistons’ schedule is released

AUBURN HILLS, MI - JANUARY 05: Andre Drummond
AUBURN HILLS, MI - JANUARY 05: Andre Drummond /

The NBA regular season schedule will be released Monday at 6 p.m. EST on NBA TV. Here’s what you should be aware of with the Detroit Pistons’ schedule.

The NBA schedule will be released on Monday night at 6 p.m. EST on NBA TV. While in most cases, schedule-related anticipation is largely fueled by a lack of NBA-related news, in this situation the Detroit Pistons have good reason to be watching the schedule closely.

The Pistons were among the league leaders in back-to-back games last year with 17 such outings, and they were abysmal in them. They had the worst winning percentage on the second game of a back to back (also known as SEGABABA), winning just three games for a 17.6 winning percentage.

More from PistonPowered

Much of this was due to the fact that both Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond were atrocious on SEGABABA. Jackson was severely limited by knee tendinitis and at no time was that more evident than in SEGABABA situations (I wrote more extensively on his struggles here).

For less obvious reasons, Drummond struggled mightily in SEGABABA situations as well. Our own Shameek Mohile wrote extensively about this, but a quick summary is that his deviated septum made playing in these games difficult, particularly in games taking place after flying. The pressure changes essentially inflamed his deviated septum and reduced his ability to intake oxygen.

Drummond has had surgery to repair this injury, so we could see significant improvements related to energy, especially in SEGABABA. As for Jackson, rest is always going to be an issue, particularly in SEGABABA. The best way forward for the Pistons would be to simply have fewer such games, so the first thing you should look at when the schedule comes out is when and where these games are, and note how many occur.

Another big issue will be the Detroit Pistons’ West Coast road trip. Teams going West are usually in for a rough go, but there are differences in the level of difficulty. For example, if either of the Pistons’ road games against the Utah Jazz or Denver Nuggets (both at altitude) are SEGABABA, those could end up being little more than scheduled losses. Last season the Pistons played the Golden State Warriors on the road, and followed that up the next night against the Utah Jazz. They were injury-hampered, but even healthy there was no way they were getting out of Utah with a win.

Next: Should the Pistons pony up for Kyrie Irving?

West Coast sequencing of games will be important. If Utah and Denver are stand-alone or the first games of back-to-backs, those move from potentially unwinnable games to at least matchups in which the Pistons have a fighting chance.