Currently seated in the ninth slot in the Eastern Conference, Detroit is three games back of the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final spot in the conference. They have not had a good season at just 25-39, but in the weak Eastern Conference, they are very much alive for a playoff berth. Atlanta has won just two of its last 16 games.
The Pistons moved closer on Tuesday night as they defeated the Sacramento Kings 99-89. Josh Smith led the team with 24 points. Rodney Stuckey chipped in with 23 off the bench. Andre Drummond had 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks as he won the battle of two young big men versus the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins.
Next up for Detroit will be two very difficult contests. They head to the Toronto Raptors tomorrow for the second night of a back-to-back. Then, they will play host to the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
As the Pistons continue to make a playoff push with just 18 games left on their schedule, the key will be how their big men play together. Smith, Drummond and Greg Monroe are all at their best on the offensive side when they are close to the basket. Sometimes, they can get in each other’s way. Defensively, the trio has not been nearly as fearsome as people once thought they could be before the season.
It will not be easy for a Pistons team that has struggled throughout the season, but the playoffs are still in their sight.