The NBA's Eastern Conference is a mess, but the Detroit Pistons have yet to put themselves together well enough to make a run at a playoff spot. It's a recurring theme that Pistons fans have tried to internalize for years, but this season the Pistons are probably still within striking distance of the final playoff spots in the dysfunctional East.
After a dreadful eight-game losing streak to open the season, the Pistons have actually played a respectable brand of basketball for the better part of a month, and now they own a 7-17 record. That may not seem very impressive, but it puts Detroit within 6.5 games of the No. 4 seed and the Central Division crown. The Chicago Bulls (12-9) haven't been able to pull away with Derrick Rose out, the Indiana Pacers (11-11) suffered through their own terrible stretch early in the year and the Milwaukee Bucks (12-10) are best described as an unpredictable bunch.
Can Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond put things together and make a run to get back in the race? Detroit's upcoming schedule looks like this: at Brooklyn Nets, vs. Indiana Pacers, vs. Los Angeles Clippers, at Toronto Raptors, vs. Washington Wizards and at Washington Wizards. A 4-2 record over those six games wouldn't quite put them back in the mix, but it would be another step in the right direction.
Here is a look at the current standings in the East. For a more in-depth look be sure to check the complete NBA standings here.