Detroit Pistons preseason getting national spotlight

Alec Burks #18 of the New York Knicks in action against Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Alec Burks #18 of the New York Knicks in action against Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have one nationally televised game during the entire regular season but, it was just announced, that one of its preseason games will also be on national TV.

The national TV to games ratio is certainly different for the Detroit Pistons, when it comes to the preseason and regular season games.

(We are not counting NBA-TV as national games, they just pick up a local feed and are not in a lot of places)

Detroit Pistons national TV appearances:

Preseason: 1 out of 4 games on national TV (25-percent)

Regular season: 1 out of 82 (1.2%)

While the TNT/ESPN/ABC’s are virtually ignoring the Pistons during the regular season (a Jan. 10 game at the 76ers on TNT is it), they are having their preseason opener at the New York Knicks on TNT as well.

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In a bit of an odd way to do it, the NBA announced its preseason slate a week after it put out its regular season schedule To show the completely backwards way the NBA works, they still have not announced when training camps will begin, which is the first thing players will attend.

One can guess the regular season comes out first so teams can begin selling tickets and the networks choose the games they want. The preseason is kind of a secondary situation. And the league makes no money on training camp, so they will get to it when they get to it.

So, the first time Detroit will take the court since the end of last season will be on display for the entire country to see (and Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal to comment on): October 4 in Madison Square Garden. It will actually be TNT’s first telecast of the season.

Why are the Pistons being so honored with having one of its four preseason games getting the national television treatment. Here are three possible reasons for it:

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3. Look at who their playing: The Knicks are the biggest draw (sorry Brooklyn) in one of the top television markets in the country. A TV network can never go wrong putting them on. This would also mark the debut of Jalen Brunson, and possibly Donovan Mitchell, playing for New York, so there will also be some extra buzz in the air from that.

And if the Knicks end up not doing well, good to get them in the preseason, when everyone is undefeated.

2. Pistons stars will play: Is there any reason LeBron James or Steph Curry will get minutes in the preseason? I can’t think of one. Maybe some token play in front of the home fans, but that is about it. As a rebuilding club, Detroit needs to get all its players out there to develop.

Barring injury, the network knows the Pistons will roll out Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart etc. It is also a homecoming for former Knicks’ Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Kevin Knox, to add some spice.

1 . Look who watches these games: Preseason NBA games are not exactly ‘Must watch’ TV for most people. Only the most die-hard NBA followers, along with Pistons and Knicks fans, will make up much of the audience.

While the Pistons are ignored by the general sports populace, Detroit’s offseason created a lot of chatter in the NBA community .They have been dubbed a ‘League Pass favorite’, a team dedicated fans will be wanting to watch. as they will be exciting, but not win a lot.

Getting a first look at Jaden Ivey playing with Cade Cunningham. Man-child Jalen Duren in action, Isaiah Stewart doing his ‘Beef Stew’ thing, gives hard-core NBA fans a reason to tune in.

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Although having a preseason game picked for national TV, even though they are forgotten for the regular season, seems strange, any exposure these young Pistons can get, is for the better.