Three Reasons Why the Detroit Pistons Will Make the Playoffs This Season

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It seems forever ago since the Detroit Pistons won the NBA championship in 2004, let alone the last time they made the playoffs during the ‘08-’09 season.

Since the Pistons were swept in the ‘09 playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, they have had six head coaches, two general managers and a combined record of 140-254.

However, now the Pistons are embarking upon a new journey under president and head coach, Stan Van Gundy. The Pistons are embracing a new culture, and here are three reasons why you should expect Detroit to make the playoffs this season.

1. Stan Van Gundy has never missed the playoffs as a head coach.

Before Van Gundy was fired by the Orlando Magic in 2012, he was considered to be one of the league’s best. Excluding his three losses this season, Van Gundy has a career record of 371-211 and a playoff record of 48-39.

Those numbers speak for themselves, but his most impressive statistic is that he has never missed the playoffs as a head coach.

Van Gundy has the best track record of any coach the Pistons have had over the last five years and that is something the team should embrace.

It might be unfair to expect Detroit to make the postseason, but if anyone can get them there it is Van Gundy.

2. The Pistons play in the Eastern Conference.

Teams in the Eastern Conference should feel fortunate that they do not have to compete with Western Conference teams for playoff spots.

The last three seasons, Western Conference teams that have made the playoffs have posted a record of 1189-651. Teams in the Eastern Conference who have made the playoffs the last three seasons have a record of 1086-752.

Additionally, the last two seasons the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference has finished with a record below .500.

If Detroit could put together a record of 40-42, they could be in contention for at least the eighth seed.

3. The Pistons’ core players have a year together under their belt.

When “The Big Three” of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces together in Miami, they had some chemistry issues.

In their first game together, they lost to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and the rest of the Boston Celtics 88-80.

Following the game, James talked to reporters about the process of joining a new team.

“It’s a feel-out process,” James said. “When you have so many options, it’s something I’m not accustomed to, having that many threats out on the court at the same time.”

The Heat finished the season with a record of 58-24, and a loss in the NBA Finals. The next season, Miami finished with a record of 46-20 (the season was shortened due to a strike) and won the NBA championship. The following year, the Heat ended the season at 66-16 and won their second consecutive NBA title.

The Pistons likely will not be in contention for an NBA championship this season, but it is the second year that Brandon Jennings, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith are all together.

They should be more familiar with each other’s in-game tendencies, and as the season progresses that familiarity should continue to grow.

The Pistons have the ability to make the playoffs this season and their five-year playoff drought could be coming to an end soon. Their 2-5 start to the season is not what anyone had in mind, but there is plenty of time to turn things around and make a postseason push.


Cameron Billes is the host of Horsepower for Impact Sports.