Detroit Pistons: Top 5 ‘Must watch’ games

Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
1 of 5

The first half of the 2020-21 NBA schedule was released on Friday afternoon. The Detroit Pistons have some interesting matchups to look forward to.

It will be exactly nine months and 12 days between NBA regular season games for the Detroit Pistons. On March 11, the Pistons played at Philadelphia. The NBA has now informed them when their next contest will be.

Detroit will open up its season on December 23 at the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Pistons will get the first look at No. 1 overall draft choice Anthony Edwards.

The NBA is only scheduling for the first half of the season to retain flexibility. Detroit’s schedule is set thru March 2.

The first time Detroit will actually face an opponent is December 11, when they play the New York Knicks in an exhibition game at Little Caesars Arena. The teams will have a rematch on December 13.

Home and home series are common in the NBA, but the same teams playing twice in the same arena are not. However, with the NBA trying to play an entire season during a pandemic, some accommodations have been made.

  • The Pistons will play the Bucks, Celtics, Heat, Magic and 76ers in back to back games at the same site.
  • There will only be 72-regular season games, instead of the normal 82.
  • There will be an All-Star Game break from March 5-10, but there will be no all-star game.
  • The top 10 teams in each conference now qualify for the post-season. There will be a Play-in tournament for the seventh thru 10th place teams to decide the No. 7 & 8 seeds in the first round of the playoffs.

In a normal year, fans would be buzzing on-line or streaming to the Little Caesars Arena box office to snap up good seats for the games.

Related Story. Will Detroit Pistons fans be OK seeing the same team twice in a row?. light

Of course, this is not a normal year. The Detroit Lions play outdoors and they currently are not allowed to have fans. All that is posted about tickets on the Pistons web site is that the LCA Box Office closed on October 11.

The NBA has floated the idea that suites might be opened first, since they are seperated from the rest of an arena. Basically, stay tuned.

As for watching Detroit on television, although there has been no official word, one would assume Fox Sports Detroit will be televising most, if not all, Pistons games (what else do they have to show?).

NBA TV has announced they will televise two Pistons games this season: January 3 at home vs. the Boston Celtics and January 10 at home vs. the Utah Jazz.

However, with a completely reworked roster, and lots of young players developing, there are plenty of reasons to watch the Pistons this season.

Here are the top 5 ‘Must Watch’ games of the first half of the season for the Pistons.

(in chronological order):

5. Sat., December 26, vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m,: The return of Andre Drummond.

The long-time Pistons center, dealt to the Cavs in February, will make his debut in Detroit as a member of the opposition.

Andre Drummond was the Pistons center for eight years until he was dealt to Cleveland on February 6, for two players no longer on the team and a 2023 second-round draft pick.

Basically, it was a salary dump, as Detroit now does not have to pay his salary of $28.1 million for the year.

Ironically, new Detroit general manager Troy Weaver is a fan of the tough rebounding, solid screener and low-post scoring type of center. That perfectly describes Drummond.

Weaver was not hired until June. With his comments on how he likes big center’s who rebound, one wonders, if he had been in charge in February, would he have traded away Drummond?

Instead, Weaver signed Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor as free agents and drafted Isaiah Stewart of Washington in the first round, to man the center position.

It would have been interesting to see the reaction of fans to Drummond coming back. But that will have to wait.