When will the Detroit Pistons next play on Christmas?

The Detroit Pistons have played 32 games on Christmas, more than everyone aside from the Lakers and the Knicks. The Pistons have not made the most of their marquee chances, going only 10-22, and they have not played on the holiday since 2005 when they lost to my beloved Spurs.

This year’s holiday matchups featured Philadelphia vs. the Knicks, the Lakers vs. Dallas, the Bucks vs. Celtics, the Grizzlies vs. Warriors, and the Suns vs. Nuggets. Even the two teams that are outside of the playoff hunt in Los Angeles and Golden State, have top-level stars in LeBron James and Steph Curry.

Keeping in mind that the Christmas slate of games was released before the 2022-23 season even started, it makes sense that all of those teams get an appearance except for the Knicks. The Warriors, while bad, are the defending champs and have an all-time great in Steph Curry, even if he is out with an injury.

The Lakers have disappointed for the last two seasons, but LeBron James is still the NBA’s King, and a holiday lineup without him just seems wrong. The Knicks are sixth in the Eastern Conference and don’t have a Hall of Famer on the roster, but the glitz of the Big Apple secures their spot.

Detroit Pistons: Franchise lacks relevance for Xmas games, and will for some time

The Pistons already had their big game of the season on opening night when Cade Cunningham went up against this year’s first-overall pick, Paolo Banchero. The holiday games are not for showcasing young talent; fans want to tune in and see established stars and teams duke it out. The Detroit Pistons are clearly a few steps away from getting there, so I am not anticipating a Pistons Christmas game until 2025 at the very earliest.

In order for mid-market Detroit to get a game, they would have to land the first or second overall pick in the draft and snag Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson. Then that young star would have to lead Detroit to a deep playoff run before they are deemed a real enough threat to get a holiday showcase game.

Just having young talent isn’t enough. The Pistons need to be in true contention. Not for a playoff spot or a division championship, but to make and win the Finals. The disappointment this season has shown that they are nowhere close, so it looks like the young Pistons get to stay home for the next several holiday seasons.