Detroit Pistons: NBA misses chance to showcase young teams

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (0) and Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (0) and Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons have won 63 games total in the last three seasons, so don’t expect them to be featured much in nationally televised games.

The Pistons were once gain left off of the Christmas Day schedule, which is the NBA’s most coveted regular season spot, a chance to play in front of a captive audience on one of the biggest TV days of the year for the league.

Christmas Day will feature a lineup of familiar faces, as some of the best teams and biggest markets will face off:

Just about every team on the Christmas Day schedule is a contender except for the Knicks, who manage to be near the top of the league in nationally televised games every year even though they have rarely been good.

Obviously the NBA is trying to maximize eyeballs on TVs, so are going to choose the best teams with the biggest markets. The Detroit Pistons haven’t won consistently in what seems like centuries, so it was not at all surprising that they were left off the Christmas Day lineup for the 17th straight season.

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The NBA’s strategy makes sense, and when the Pistons start winning, I am sure they will once again be included, but it does seem like a missed opportunity for the league.

Detroit Pistons: NBA should promote some of the young teams

Would it kill the NBA to have one game on Christmas Day that featured two of the young, up-and-coming teams in the NBA?

All of the teams playing on Christmas will be mainstays on nationally televised games anyway, particularly the Lakers and Knicks, who both stunk last season.

I get that the NBA is trying to build upon current or historic rivalries, but they could also start building new ones by featuring teams like the Pistons, Rockets, Cavaliers or Magic.

Even though Christmas Day is more for the casual fan, a Pistons vs. Rockets game would feature Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Jaden Ivey and Jabari Smith, popular young players that even casual fans know because they were at the top of their respective drafts.

Why not have a really early game that features the stars of tomorrow and brings in more fans of those teams while simultaneously helping to build their fanbases even more? This seems like a no-brainer to me, as the NBA can promote the stars of the present while also reminding fans that there is a lot more star power on the way.

It just seems like a missed opportunity to promote your young stars to people who might not ever see them play otherwise.

Interest in young players is at all all-time high because of the non-stop offseason coverage, draft and social media, but the NBA isn’t really taking advantage by featuring a couple of young teams.

My suggestion: Reserve one slot for a “stars of the future” game that will be played by the two young teams with the best records in December or who finished with the best record the season before.

It would be a great way for the league to reward the fans of these teams for supporting them and let casuals get a look at the stars of tomorrow.

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