More teams joining Detroit Pistons as officially eliminated from post-season

Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

In case you were delaying your spring break plans until you found out if the Detroit  Pistons might slip into the Play-in tournament (which would make you a super-duper optimist), you can book it now. In case you had not heard, the Pistons were mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs last week, and other teams are also joining them in that category.

The Indiana Pacers just joined those teams who can not make the post-season.

The Pistons streak of not being in the playoffs (or even the play-in tournament) will extend to three years. In 2019, Detroit got swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. They also have not won a playoff game (not series, one stinkin’ game) since 2008.

Hopefully, that will change in the near future, but not this season. A horrible start to the season (5-28) combined with a particularly deep Eastern Conference sank the Pistons slender hopes of making the post-season.

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In 10th place currently are the Atlanta Hawks, a team that made the Eastern Conference finals last season, with a .500 record. The same record would have them eighth in the Western Conference,

Because of those two factors, the fact the Pistons being basically a .500 team since right before the All-Star break is too little, too late, in terms of extending their season. It is very good news for the future, but the Detroit’s season will end on April 10 in Philadelphia.

This should not come as a shock to most Pistons fans, as the writing as been on the wall for a while. But to be officially out, like the Pistons can not even pretend they have a shot, could make affect some strategic decisions, some of them already implemented by coach Dwane Casey.

  • Playing time limits of Saddiq Bey, Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant: There is no reason to run those guys into the ground for games that are basically meaningless. Cunningham was playing over 40 minutes a game when the Pistons got hit with injuries to its guards. Now, Saben Lee can be played a ton (probably should have been anyhow) as well as Isaiah Livers.
  • Time to see the youngsters: Livers is getting lots of time (and looking good for a guy who sat out for a year), and if Chris Smith gets healthy, he should also see action.
  • Seeing different combinations down the stretch who are not normally in the game: Maybe an all big lineup of Marvin Bagley II, Isaiah Stewart and Grant? Or go small ball with Lee, Hayes and Joseph with Grant a small-ball center, Play around with it, see what could work in the future.

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It is never fun to watch all the other teams in the NBA playoffs, while your team is sitting at home. But, the remainder of the schedule can be used productively, with an eye to the future.