Whether it was with Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Larry Bird’s Celtics, Magic’s Lakers or Metta Sandiford-Artest’s Pacers, the Detroit Pistons used to be a part of some of the biggest rivalries in the NBA. But a long drought of losing capped off with last season’s 17-win campaign has doused some of those rivalries into nostalgia. The NBA has done the rest, as constant player movement amid myriad other factors (players are all friends now) has diminished NBA rivalries.
Hopefully, the Detroit Pistons will win enough games next season to be hated again. Here are some games on the schedule that could kick off rivalries.
Detroit Pistons: 10 potential rivalry games to circle on the calendar
November 29 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
This historic rivalry was somewhat reignited by Isaiah Stewart trying to murder LeBron James after James hit him with a cheap shot two years ago. The melee made for great memes, and could be the catalyst for a renewed rivalry if the Pistons can ever start beating LA. The Lakers won both games last season, but Detroit will be out to show there is some new talent taking over the league. If this game is close, expect some tension.
December 2 vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Will this be the season that the Detroit Pistons catch up with the Cleveland Cavaliers? The Cavs were already ahead of the Pistons in their rebuild and then jumpstarted it with the Donovan Mitchell trade and left Detroit behind. But the Central Division foes are closer in talent and will always have the Cade Cunningham vs. Evan Mobley angle. Cade is out to show he was the right choice with the #1 pick. Detroit should close the gap somewhat this season, which could make for some great games.
December 28 @ Boston Celtics
I hate Boston. I’m still mad about the Bird steal. I’m still mad about the Parish punch. This is a rivalry that was baptized in blood, when you could punch a guy in full view of the ref and not even get a foul. Unfortunately, the Celtics have gotten the better of it of late, winning 7-of-8 over the last two seasons. But there have been some tight games in the mix, including one where Cade Cunningham went off. Boston is one of the heavy hitters in the Eastern Conference and Detroit has to knock that crown off their head to take over. These games are always fun.