Detroit Pistons Schedule: Fans have one more reason to feel insulted

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The NBA released all the schedules and TV planning for the upcoming 2022-23 season, and Detroit Pistons fans had the right to feel slighted. Not only are the Pistons once again not playing on the marquee Christmas Day, but they are also excluded from NBA Rivals Week, a new tradition that features teams and individuals with historical beef.

The Knicks and Nets will play, as well as the obvious Lakers and Celtics, but the Detroit Pistons are entirely excluded. This is rather odd, as Detroit has well-documented rivalries with the Pacers, Celtics, and Bulls. I suppose there are better games, as the NBA opted to show the Mavericks vs the Suns, Grizzlies vs Timberwolves, and Warriors vs Raptors. I get these are all playoff rematches from recent years, but come on. The Pistons have had decades-long beef with some teams, and that should be highlighted.

These six teams will be the Pistons' biggest rivals next season. light. Related Story

The Rivals Week exclusion isn’t even the most glaring insult to the Motor City. The Pistons will play one nationally broadcast game on TNT, none on ABC or ESPN, and only three on NBA TV.

Detroit Pistons regular season schedule: Fans feel ripped off

Usually, I don’t include NBA TV as a “nationally televised” game, since that channel is not included in most cable packages and all they do is pick up the local TV feed, but just for the sake of adding numbers, it may as well be. On December 1st, Detroit hosts Dallas on NBA TV. They play on the same channel on January 13th against the Bulls, and March 27th against the Bucks.

On January 10th at 7:30 pm ET, the Detroit Pistons travel to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Sixers on TNT.

I understand that Detroit is not must-watch basketball for casual NBA fans yet, but it will be very soon. It’s no secret that the Pistons are one of the best young teams in the NBA, and it makes sense to get fans familiar with the young stars before they get really, really good. The Pistons open the season hosting Orlando on October 19th. It would make sense for that to be a widely-watched game, as last year’s number one and five picks play with this year’s one and five picks. It seems like must-watch TV. The two ESPN games that night? Knicks vs Grizzlies and Mavericks vs Suns. Okay, all four of those teams are better than the Magic and Pistons, but Detroit couldn’t even get an NBA TV slot for that night? Absurd.

There are several other games that could make the cut but don’t. On November 18th, the Pistons travel to the City of Angels to take on LeBron James and company. This is a 10:30pm Friday night game with compelling storylines after last year’s brawl, but the NBA would rather show the Warriors host (and blow out) the Knicks on ESPN.

On Saturday, January 28th–the last day of Rivals Week–ABC will air the Lakers and Celtics. That makes sense. They will also show the Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic matchup. Okay, that also makes sense. The third game is Knicks vs Nets. Lost in all that noise is Cade Cunningham vs Jalen Green, a noted young rivalry between first and second overall picks. Instead of showing Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry duke it out, maybe highlighting two of the brightest stars in the league makes a lot more sense.

Next. Predicting the Pistons' record month-by-month. dark

The rest of the TV schedule is much of the same. The Pistons often have a fun matchup, only to get beat out on the airwaves by the Sixers, Lakers, Bucks, and Warriors. I get it, all of those teams are very good and have a lot of stars, but do we really need to see the same teams 30 times? It makes sense to show the contenders more than the Pistons, but only one real national showing is insane. It’s not good for small markets, it’s not good for emerging teams, and it’s not good for the league as a whole.