The Detroit Pistons won their third straight game of the season against the New York Knicks a couple nights back. As the game merely proves as an early-season win, there is more to its meaning than most recognize.
The Detroit Pistons began the season 0-1 against the Toronto Raptors back on October 26: losing 109 to 91. Afterwards, fear and uncertainty plagued Piston fans. Had Detroit improved during the off-season? Was last year a fluke? Could they compete without Reggie Jackson? Was Detroit’s bench still one of the worst units in the league? And then some.
Yes, the Pistons lost to the Brooklyn Nets, who were one of the worst teams last year; though, when your star center doesn’t perform and the Nets shoot above 50%, winning is difficult.
As for the New York Knicks, NBA fans know New York is no slouch. They aren’t an Orlando or Milwaukee where a Detroit win is expected (or a Brooklyn team on a normal day), but a team with three All-Stars.
The Knicks are a team fully capable of entering the playoffs next April as a six, seven, or eighth seed. And, if performing well enough, seed lower.
When it comes down to it, the New York Knicks are a good team. The Detroit Pistons disposing of them with ease proves they are better than good.
The Pistons are rather a rising great team who are on the cusp of being elite. Before then, though, Detroit needs to rebound from a poor loss to Toronto and prove the Nets loss was a fluke by performing well against one of the elites. Such opportunity is possible on November 7th against the Los Angeles Clippers.