For a basketball team that once stood at an embarrassing 4-20 on the season, the Detroit Pistons have put forth a serious effort over the last month or so. And after yesterday's thrilling overtime victory over Charlotte, Lawrence Frank's Pistons now sit at 19-33 on the year, equating to a 15-13 record over their last 28 games.
Because of this surge, Detroit has not only made a respectable push up the standings, but also adversely affected its chances for lottery gold this summer. Despite being nearly eight games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons are currently sitting in tenth place, and sport a better record than seven other NBA teams.
The issue this season has been Detroit's abysmal 6-21 mark on the road, as the Pistons have struggled to find any consistency when not playing in the comfortable confines of The Palace of Auburn Hills. Not a single Eastern Conference non-playoff squad can touch the Pistons' 13-12 record at home, which is a clear sign for hope next season.
Detroit still has 14 games remaining on its schedule, meaning that it would take a perfect record throughout for the Pistons to finish at .500 for the year.
The Detroit Pistons might have avoided the embarrassment of losing to the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA's single worst team, on Saturday night, but they needed every second of the five minute overtime period to pull it off.
Detroit (now 19-33 on the year) picked up 24 points and nine rebounds in a strong game from Tayshaun Prince, as the lanky veteran flashed the all-around skills that made him such a fan favorite over the last decade. Despite such a high usage rate, Prince turned the ball over just a single time in 39 minutes on the court.
Jonas Jerebko was also excellent off the bench for the Pistons, as he broke a five-game streak of failing to reach double figures in scoring with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Rookie point guard Brandon Knight, however, continues to struggle with his shot. Knight connected on just five of his 15 field goal attempts in the game, and is nearing closer to moving his season average below 40% for the year.