Will the Stress Bring Out the Best?

The Pistons are entering their most important stretch of games this season, with being right on the bubble of making it to the NBA Playoffs. For a young team with little playoff experience, it is crucial they put all their talent together on both ends of the floor in order to complete their push to the playoffs. Their performance against Charlotte was an admirable one and after a shaky 4th quarter, ended in a Detroit win. While the Hornets came into the game and left the game with a better record with the Pistons and now 2-1 season series lead, the Pistons are fought hard in order to prove how hard they are competing to make the playoffs, and alas have continued their hot streak. With having a 2 game lead over the Chicago Bulls for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, every tip-off is an important one.

Since the memorable 2004 Pistons team, playoffs have not been expected by many for a long time. After the 2014-2015 season many fans had once again let go of playoff hope, and possibly for the next few year. Yet, here the Pistons are, above the cut off line and looking hungry for a playoff position and although the odds are so heavily stacked against them, a NBA Championship Trophy. After winning their last five home games against the Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, and Charlotte Hornets it is looking like the Pistons can perform under pressure, something they could not do earlier in the season. This is what they will continue to be under for the next 4 weeks. Going into these games as the underdog, there will be a lot to prove, but that is not much of a change from the entire season so far.

Detroit's defense must drastically improve over the last nine games of the season. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Detroit’s defense must drastically improve over the last nine games of the season. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

In typical team fashion, the Pistons seemed to have brought out their best at the last minute, leaving everyone on the edge of their seats. Tied with the Indiana Pacers for 7th place in the Eastern Conference, and 2.5 games behind the Hornets for the 6th seed makes for nothing short of an interesting and intriguing end of the season. Team leaders, All-Star center, Andre Drummond, and court general, Reggie Jackson, will have to lead the charge for Detroit in the remaining games of the season. Marcus Morris has been shooting the lights out, at about 62% from the field during the five game win streak. This continuous combination will make for an exciting ending. Playoffs or not, the Pistons have improved dramatically over the course of the 2015-2016 campaign. A complete roster turnover thanks to Head Coach, Stan Van Gundy, has certainly made the Pistons an emerging threat in the Eastern Conference. Playoffs would be nice, but the future looks even nicer regardless of the outcome at the end of this season. In the words of the great George Blaha, “stay tuned folks!”     

Featured Image via:  Mike Mulholland/MLive.com

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