With twelve seconds left on the clock, center Andre Drummond added two points to the Pistons’ score in Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets. Too bad the team was still down eight points.
Saturday’s loss makes number four in a row and the seventh straight loss on the road.
The All-Star break has been over for about two weeks now. The Pistons are still thirteen games under .500 at 23-36.
As the team enters March, it has 23 games left to turn its luck around. Opposing teams on this redemption tour include the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Meanwhile the Atlanta Hawks (26-32), the team to beat, has been slipping even worse than Detroit.
Following Sunday’s loss against the Phoenix Suns is the third straight loss. As if Pistons fans have been upset about the team’s poor performance, Hawks fans may have even more cause for frustration. Atlanta has lost nine of their last 10 games.
As the Hawks hang on to the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, the playoff appearance is theirs’ to lose. If they do not reverse the streak, the Cleveland Cavaliers (24-37) will catch up and boot the Hawks out of the playoffs.
Unlike the Pistons and Hawks, Cleveland has won the majority of its last ten games. If Detroit has any hope of making the postseason, they must overtake the Cavaliers and slipping Hawks.
Though it may seem like an uphill battle, the road to redemption is a walkable one. Although only five teams in the Western Conference have worse records than Detroit, the team has recorded wins against Sacramento, Phoenix and San Antonio. The former two remain on the upcoming schedule.
Brighter and more meaningful, is that Detroit has beaten every team ahead of it in the Eastern Conference except for the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats. The potential is there. That much is obvious, especially with multiple wins on the books against the Heat. Now the Pistons just need to actualize their playoff visions.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.