Detroit Pistons schedule takeaways: First half full of road games, back-to-backs

Detroit Free Press

The NBA released its 2022-23 schedule Wednesday. Here are the biggest takeaways from the Detroit Pistons’ slate, which will tip off at home on Oct. 19 against the Orlando Magic.

First half of schedule will be back-to-back and road heavy

The Pistons will play 13 back-to-back games this season — one more set than last year — but nine of them come before Jan. 1. They play three of those back-to-backs before November hits. The Pistons visit  the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers on Oct. 21 and 22. play at Washington on Oct. 25 before returning home on Oct. 26 against Atlanta, and then host the world champion Warriors on Oct. 30 before traveling to Milwaukee on Oct. 31.

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Naturally, the back half of their schedule lightens up considerably. They will one back-to-back each in February, March and April, and all but one of those games will be at Little Caesars Arena.

The early portion of Detroit’s schedule is also be road-heavy. Their longest trip is a six-game Western Conference swing that will include stops in Los Angeles against both the Lakers and Clippers, Sacramento, Denver, Utah and Phoenix from Nov. 17-25. Thirteen of Detroit’s first 21 games are on the road. They have a five-game road swing against the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs from Dec. 30 until Jan. 6 that will bring the team into the second half of their schedule.

Compared to the rest of the NBA, the Pistons’ 13 back-to-backs are middle of the road. Every team in the league will have between 12 and 15 sets, a notable decline compared to past seasons. Detroit played 17 during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season.

Longest home stand interrupted by Paris

The schedule lists a five-game home stand for the Pistons from Jan. 11-23. But it’s misleading; the Jan. 19 game against the Chicago Bulls will be at Accor Arena in Paris at 3 p.m. Eastern. The Pistons will have 40 games at Little Caesars Arena instead of the usual 41. The international trip will be accompanied by a rare gap in the schedule, as they will host the Knicks on Jan. 15 and play their next game at the LCA eight days later against the Bucks on Jan. 23.

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Detroit will also have two four-game home stands — against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies from Nov. 27-Dec. 4, and against the Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and consecutive games against the Pacers from March 7-13. The Pistons will play 23 of their final 41 games at home, but seven of their final 10 games on the road.

Teal will come to home eight times

The Pistons are bring teal back next season and will don the uniforms from the 1990s at home eight times:

• Oct. 28 vs. Hawks

• Oct. 30 vs. Warriors

• Dec. 4 vs. Grizzlies

• Dec. 18 vs. Nets

• Dec. 20 vs. Jazz

• Feb. 3 vs. Hornets

• Feb. 4 vs. Suns

• April 4 vs. Heat

The Grizzlies game features a teal bucket hat giveaway for fans. The Pistons will also don the jerseys on the road, but the games will be disclosed at a later day.

Jerami Grant will return in March

The Pistons parted with their leading scorer, Jerami Grant, in June when they traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers for cap space and draft capital. The Blazers, coached by 2004 NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups, make their lone trip to Detroit on March 7.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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