The Detroit Pistons tip off next week against the Miami Heat in what many hope will be a season in which the team starts moving in the right direction. After finishing with the worst record in the NBA last year, Detroit is welcoming back star point guard Cade Cunningham from injury, as well as adding multiple veterans who hope to space the floor. So what is the ceiling for this team? A playoff berth, if even just the Play-In game? Possibly more important, what is the floor? Another bottom-three team? We asked the question to a few of our fellow PistonPowered staff and this is what we came up with.
Tyler Dutton (@Dutton_Tyler)
Ceiling: Play-In win, first-round playoff loss
Floor: Top 3 draft pick
Prediction: It’s easy to look at the 17 wins from last season and assume a similar outcome this year. But fans have to remember the potential that is a healthy Cade Cunningham alongside year two Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren. The three of them alone, playing together, warrants a higher expectation this year. Add in the floor spacing from Joe Harris and pressure off Bojan and I think the Detroit Pistons end closer to their ceiling rather than their floor. I think they play meaningful basketball in early April but fall just short of the Play-In games. A clear upgrade from last season, but still no playoffs in Detroit.
Aaron Kellerstrass (@TheBukShow)
Ceiling: 40 wins
Floor: 26 wins
Prediction: I recently did a month-by-month prediction here and the total came out to 34 wins on the season. As stated in the prediction article, I think the Detroit Pistons will go through a rough stretch in the final months, and finish 34-46 in the 2023-24 season.
"“I think most fans would be happy if Detroit doubled their win total in Monty William’s first season as head coach. Obviously, Detroit will lose some games against bad teams and win some against good teams, but if they stay healthy and everything clicks, this isn’t impossible.It will definitely take some good luck for the Pistons to win 34 games, but getting to 30 or above would probably make next season a success.”"
Timothy David Galbraith (@TDGalbraith)
Ceiling: 41-41 with a playoff berth
Prediction: The Detroit Pistons will improve, but the potential for widespread growing pains remains. They could struggle to win 30 games, and they could find themselves fighting to reach 25 if they end up with less than a full deck of cards. Let’s all pray the injury bug isn’t biting this season. On the other hand, a .500 season followed by a brief taste of playoff basketball could await should those cards fall just right.
My guess is that they’ll go 37-45, and sneak their way into the play-in tournament. Not only will they get into the play-in, but they’ll win when they do, earning themselves a top-eight seed. The Pistons are going to gel by mid-season as Cade announces his arrival as one of the league’s truly elite. There will be no looking back once that happens as the steady upward trajectory will have begun.
These predictions show just how big the gap is between the ceiling and floor, as a couple of injuries could have the Detroit Pistons back in the top-5 of the NBA Draft, but if everything goes right, they could sniff the playoffs or even sneak in.