Detroit Pistons: Why game vs. Timberwolves is most important in years

Jahlil Okafor #13 of the Detroit Pistons fouls Naz Reid #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jahlil Okafor #13 of the Detroit Pistons fouls Naz Reid #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves are near the bottom of the NBA standings but will play one of the most important games of the season.

In fact, this is arguably the most important game the Detroit Pistons have played since the 2018-19 playoffs, though if we are being realistic, those weren’t even as important as the Pistons had little chance of winning vs. the Bucks.

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It’s not hyperbole to say that the future of the franchise could hinge on this game, as both the Pistons and Timberwolves are hoping to get a top-five pick in this draft and will be devastated if they don’t.

The Timberwolves are in a precarious position, as they will have to give their pick to the Warriors unless it falls in the top three, so this is a game they would definitely like to lose.

Same with the Detroit Pistons, who currently have the second-worst record in the NBA and would love to stay in the bottom three to maximize their odds at a top-four pick.

Of course, depending on who wins this game, those odds could swing wildly.

Detroit Pistons: Importance of game vs. Timberwolves

As the Pistons are playing the ‘Wolves, the Magic will be playing the Bucks and the Thunder will be playing the Kings.

The Magic are 1.5 games “behind” the Pistons while just a game separates Detroit from the Thunder.

Both teams are likely to lose, so if the Pistons beat the Timberwolves, they will be in a tie with OKC and just a half game ahead of the Magic.

If the Pistons lose, they will have all but guaranteed a spot in the bottom-3, as there would only be two games left against the Nuggets and Heat, two teams they are not likely to defeat.

Finishing in the bottom three does not guarantee anything, but it does make it far more likely that they will get a top-four pick.

The Detroit Pistons are not far from being a good team, as they already have several quality players, young rookie talent and a smart front office, but if they can add a superstar-level talent like Cade Cunningham, that timeline gets sped up and they might make the playoffs as soon as next season.

The difference between getting a top-four pick and getting a guy like Corey Kispert with the 7th pick might be the difference between this franchise making a leap or not, so the Pistons need to do everything in their power to lose tonight, maximize their odds and pray for some luck in the lottery.

Winning tonight will not help their cause and will create a cluster jam of teams in the lottery order that could leave the Detroit Pistons on the outside of the top five looking in.

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