Entering the 2022-23 season, there were high hopes that this would finally be the year that the Detroit Pistons made their move towards being competitive.
A quick look at the standings shows that didn’t happen, as Detroit is sitting on 15 wins and riding a six-game losing streak, finding new and creative ways to lose every night.
It’s clear this team has some talent, but it’s also clear that changes have to be made, as they can’t expect to “be great next year” if they run it back with this same roster and coaching staff even with Cade Cunningham coming back.
Before the season started, I predicted that the Pistons would win 28 games, which now seems like a pipe dream and probably wouldn’t have happened even if Cunningham had not gotten hurt.
I’m now left wondering for the 4th season in a row whether Detroit will even get to 20 wins, the mark for futility that many thought they would easily clear this season. Of course, racking up meaningless wins now won’t help their cause in the 2023 NBA Draft, but failing to even win 20 games would be a low point for a franchise that was meant to be getting better.
So will they get there? They do have one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NBA, but let’s take a closer look at the schedule.
Detroit Pistons Schedule: Will they get to 20 wins?
Here is the remaining schedule. I’ll take a stab at predicting each game:
- @ Cleveland-L
- vs. Portland-L
- vs. Washington-W
- vs. Charlotte-W
- vs. Indiana-L
- vs. Indiana-W
- @ Washington-L
- vs. Denver-L
- vs. Miami-L
- @ Atlanta-L
- @ Toronto-L
- vs. Milwaukee-L
- @ Oklahoma City-L
- @ Houston-W
- @ Orlando-L
- vs. Miami-L
- vs. Brooklyn-L
- @ Indiana-L
- @ Chicago-L
As you can see, the Detroit Pistons do have an upcoming five-game homestand in which they have a chance to pick up some wins. They also have three more games remaining with Indiana, so the Pacers will go a long way towards determining if the Pistons fail to get to 20 wins.
I have them winning four more games this season, one against Washington (though that is definitely not a given with their recent futility against the Wizards), one against Charlotte, who recently lost LaMelo Ball for the season, one of the three against the Pacers, and one win at Houston, which could be the game that determines the worst record in the league.
Outside of that, they are going to be playing teams that are volleying for playoff seeding or trying to win their way into the play-in tournament. A lot this will also depend on how many phantom “injuries” Detroit has down the stretch, as the Pistons have been racking up some “tank” losses of late.
However, the games have at least been close, so there is a chance that the Pistons will win a few more of these games and build some positive energy heading towards the offseason. This would drive some fans nuts, but there is little chance that Detroit is going to climb out of the bottom three, so a few more wins would be welcome in a season in which they’ve been in short supply.