The Detroit Pistons won just 23 games last season, 3rd-worst in the entire NBA, but hopefully that is about to change.
Detroit has only won 63 games in the last three seasons combined, which has been brutal to endure, but also led to one of the most promising young cores in the NBA.
The key word here is “young,” as the Pistons’ biggest contributors will all be in their early 20’s, which is not normally a recipe for a big win total, especially as the Eastern Conference gets more competitive.
I don’t think anyone expects Detroit to suddenly make the playoffs, even though they should have better talent overall around Cade Cunningham next season.
If everything went perfectly, they could certainly surprise people and make the play-in tournament, but it’s more likely that they end up in the lottery again, possibly as one of the frontrunners in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.
Fans have been patient for this long and will continue to be, as we understand rebuilds take time, but it would be disappointing if the Pistons didn’t make some progress next season and start to show signs of sustained success in the future.
So how many wins would it take for next season to be considered a success for the Detroit Pistons?
Detroit Pistons: How many wins equals success next season?
The final play-in spot in the East was held by the Charlotte Hornets last season, a team that won 43 games. It would be pretty surprising if the Pistons increased their win total by 20 games, but that is probably what it will take for them to compete for the play-in next season.
Just about every team in the East got better, so it might not take 43 wins to make the play-in next season but it will be in that range.
A better number to look at is the team that was just ahead of the Detroit Pistons in the standings last season, the Washington Wizards, who won 35 games.
Even this might be a stretch, though I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility. If the Detroit Pistons improved to 35 wins next season, I think most fans would be happy with that and consider the season a success.
Anything less than 30 will just make it look like the Pistons are spinning their wheels, though I am sure it would make the tank brigade happy.
The Pistons don’t even have to have a winning record next season to be considered successful, and anything in the 30-35 wins range would show the progress we’ve been longing for and would be a sign of big things to come.