The Detroit Pistons have been hovering just below an even record for the majority of the season, even rising to it after a Dec. 7 victory in Chicago. However, their below average record is probably an accurate reflection of where the Pistons rank among teams in the NBA.
The Eastern Conference is worse than it has ever been this season, and despite the Pistons’ standing toward the top of the conference’s standings, they are a very flawed basketball team. Looking at the Pistons schedule so far this season, they have a few wins over playoff teams, but all of those teams are from the Eastern Conference. In fact, they have only beaten one team with a winning record, the Miami Heat, so far this season, and that win looks like it may have been a fluke when you consider their next meeting and some of Miami’s other losses.
The Heat have a tendency to hit cruise control against inferior opponents and let games slip away. After losing at home to Detroit, Miami attacked the Pistons on their home floor five days later and made it clear where they stand in the league’s pecking order.
The Pistons are also 1-7 against teams from the superior Western Conference. Their only victory coming against a Sacramento Kings team that has yet to crack double-digits in the win column. They took the New Orleans Pelicans into overtime and almost snagged a second win, but New Orleans was without one of their better players, Anthony Davis, and another one, Tyreke Evans, wasn’t completely healthy. The night prior, the Minnesota Timberwolves thrashed the Pistons at The Palace, winning by 27 points in a game Detroit never stood a chance of competing in.
The Pistons’ record against winning teams and teams from the Western Conference show just how flawed they are. Although they are in the top half of the Eastern Conference standings, they still have a long way to go before they can be considered a quality basketball team. They are young and they have potential to make some substantial improvements in the coming seasons, but for the time being, they are a mediocre team at best.