Pistons sit atop Eastern Conference after big weekend in California


This past weekend was a good one for the Detroit Pistons. Even after having a disappointing 2016-17 season, ending it without a playoff appearance and a 37-45 record, the basketball gods have allowed the Pistons to have the number one seed in this week’s Eastern Conference standings.

With their Sunday night road win against the Golden State Warriors, the Pistons now have the best record in the East at 5-2. Their latest back-to-back wins were what put the team over the top. The Pistons topped the defending champs in Oakland on Sunday night, 115-107. The night before, the Pistons handed the last unbeaten NBA team, the Los Angeles Clippers, its first loss at the Staples Center, 95-87.

“It means a lot,” forward Tobias Harris told Pistons.com. “Two games versus two very good teams. The morale in the locker room is great right now. We’re embracing each other. We’re enjoying it. We’re having fun and that’s the biggest thing. We’re having fun as a team in here.”

The Warriors’ starters had a good scoring night with Kevin Durant (28), Steph Curry (27) and Klay Thompson (29) combining for 84 points. However, the Pistons were still able to comeback from a 14-point deficit led by Avery Bradley, who had 23 points, and Reggie Jackson with 22. Point guard Ish Smith came off the bench with 16 points in 18 minutes.

“We want to come out and do our best to put out a complete game for 48 minutes. I think this team has just been tremendously focused and, so far, we’ve had a never-say-die mentality,” Jackson said to Pistons.com.

Though it’s still early in the season, this recent set of games have given answers to some of last season’s worries about the team. With the offseason loss of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, there was wonder of who would take his place as a scorer. So far, Avery Bradley has answered that call. With a 46.4 three-point percentage, he’s averaged 15.4 points per game and is also still a threat defensively. Tobias Harris has stepped up from last season, improving with 20 points per game and a 49.6 field-goal percentage.  

“It’s great and I’m not downplaying it. These two wins are great. Really proud of ’em,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told Pistons.com. “But it truly is two of 82. We’re seven games into an 82-game season, 75 to go. So you can be really happy and should be tonight. These guys should be very, very happy tonight. And then tomorrow you’ve got to start getting yourself ready to play again.”

The Pistons also had extreme struggles with road games last season, finishing 13-28 away from The Palace of Auburn Hills . However, this weekend’s wins on the road could be a glimpse of what the new season holds for the Pistons.