Pistons’ schedule includes cruel December that could break season

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat is defended by Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat is defended by Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons’ schedule is out and fans have been circling dates on their calendars.

There are some games to be extra hyped about next season, as Detroit will be trying to knock off some of the top teams of the Eastern Conference and dominate the other young teams that also have up-and-coming stars.

We’ll know plenty by the end of November, which is a tough month on the schedule and also past the date by which the Pistons will have made a decision on the team option for Killian Hayes.

November is pretty early, so the jury may still be out on Hayes, as well as the Pistons’ overall chances to make the play-in tournament.

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Hope will still be alive in November, but that could all end in the cruel month of December, which will make or break the season.

Detroit Pistons Schedule: December is the cruelest month

T.S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruelest month…” in his famous poem “The Wasteland,” but for the Pistons, that month will be December, which could be a wasteland for their hopes of a winning season.

Just look at this schedule for December:

  • vs. Dallas
  • vs. Memphis
  • @Miami
  • @New Orleans
  • @Memphis
  • vs. Lakers
  • @Charlotte
  • vs. Sacramento
  • vs. Brooklyn
  • vs. Utah
  • @Philly
  • @Atlanta
  • vs. LAC
  • vs. Orlando
  • @Chicago
  • @Minnesota

If you’re counting, Detroit will only face two teams in all of December that didn’t at least make the play-in tournament last season, and all of them will be expected to be in the playoffs again and could be even better.

You can count on Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans and Miami to be at least as good as last season, and likely much better in the case of the Pelicans, who will be getting Zion Williamson back.

I do think Charlotte will take step back next season, but the Lakers and Kings should both be better as long as they can stay healthy.

Brooklyn depends largely on what happens with Durant, same with Donovan Mitchell in Utah, so those matchups could look better by December, but not-so-much with Philly, Atlanta and the Clippers, who all figure to be battling for playoff spots.

Orlando is the only matchup where the Pistons might be favored, and it wouldn’t be shocking at all if they emerged from the cold depths of December with only a couple of wins for the entire month.

The Pistons will be tested early and often next season, as both November and December are brutal months on the schedule that could put the young team in a big hole if they get off to a slow start.

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