Mark your calendars now because the Detroit Pistons will make the playoffs this season. Whether they are able to make it out of the first round is another question, but Detroit has enough talent to crack the top half of the standings in an Eastern Conference that is as weak as it has ever been.
In fact, if the season ended tomorrow, a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers would give the Pistons the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference. With the way the NBA Playoffs are currently formatted, that still wouldn’t be good enough for home court advantage. Instead, they would be seeded fifth, behind the Boston Celtics, who are currently leading the Atlantic Division with an 11-14 record.
The Celtics’ record is strong evidence as to why the Pistons will make the playoffs this season. The Eastern Conference currently has only three teams with a winning record. While Detroit isn’t nearly good enough to be considered among the league’s best teams, they are much better than the league’s bottom feeders.
Against Eastern Conference teams with a losing record, the Pistons are 9-1. They have a hard time against elite teams and Western Conference opponents, but they are taking care of business against the teams they should be defeating. Unlike the past few years, the Pistons are playing consistently well enough to defeat inferior teams, and that should be enough to get them into the playoffs in a historically bad East.