The Detroit Pistons are off to a rotten start. At 2-5, they’re currently sitting at the bottom of the central division with the Milwaukee Bucks. They’re fresh off a beat down at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, and things can’t get any worse, hopefully.
The upside to the Pistons’ slow start is that it’s entirely possible that they have just completed the roughest stretch of their schedule this season. The combined record of their first seven opponents is 33-23.
Aside from the first 10 days of December when they will take on the Miami Heat twice, play road games against the Bucks and Chicago Bulls, and defend their home court against the upstart Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves, there isn’t stretch remaining on their schedule that appears to be in the same stratosphere of difficulty as this past one.
Furthermore, their next seven games are all very winnable. In fact, they should be favorites in a few of them. They’ll finish off their west coast swing against the lowly Sacramento Kings and the struggling Los Angeles Lakers before coming home to face the dysfunctional New York Knicks in what is shaping up to become a vicious ego battle between J.R. Smith and Brandon Jennings. Then it’s a home-and-home with the Atlanta Hawks, a trip to the Barclay’s Center to face a Brooklyn Nets team they disposed of in preseason, and a potential toilet bowl matchup against the Bucks at home.
Each one of those games is a plausible win, if not an expected one. The combined record of the six teams they’ll be facing on this seven-game stretch was 17-29 entering Thursday night. Only the Hawks can boast a .500 record, as they currently sit at 4-4.
If the Pistons can pull out a few road victories, which shouldn’t be too hard considering the records of the Nets and Kings, while winning each of their home games, they’ll be looking at a 7-7 record with two games left in November. However, if they come out of these next seven games several games below .500, it will officially be time to panic in Detroit.