The Detroit Pistons are close to pulling off one of their best seasons in recent memory.
No, they are not winning, but that is the point, as the Pistons have been putting on a masterclass in tanking all season.
Not only have they managed to put themselves in position for a top draft pick, but they have done it while developing all of their young players and bringing some excitement back to the city of Detroit.
The Pistons rewarded coach Dwane Casey for his efforts by extending his contract, which was the right call given how well he’s done with the job he’s been given.
The Pistons sit alone with the second-worst record in the NBA. Houston is the worst and will end that way, as they are four games ahead of the pack after only winning 16 games.
OKC and Orlando are tied for third-worst, a game “behind” the Pistons and Minnesota and Cleveland are tied a game behind them.
The Detroit Pistons control their own destiny, as they cannot be moved from their spot as long as they lose out, but win one of their last two games, and there will be a mess in the standings that could leave them on the outside of the top-five.
Detroit Pistons: What are the Pistons’ lottery odds?
Currently, the Detroit Pistons have a 52.1 percent chance of landing a top-four pick and a 14 percent chance of getting the number one overall.
The benefit of finishing second-worst is that the Pistons would be guaranteed to stay in the top-6 and there is no such guarantee if they move down another spot.
Although picking sixth would be a disaster in the eyes of most fans, the Pistons would at least have some amount of protection against falling back even further.
This draft has a consensus top five and after that the talent is up for serious debate, so the Pistons are really just gunning to stay in that first tier.
It has come down to the final two games after a long season of losing, and the Detroit Pistons just need to finish with two more “L’s” to ensure they stay where they are and get maximum odds for the top pick.