The Detroit Pistons commence the most critical stretch of their season tonight in New Jersey (7:30 p.m. ET via FSN). This "stretch" includes six games against teams in the bottom third of the NBA, with two of the games pitting the Pistons against the New Jersey Nets. The 4-42 Nets are a team on pace to become the worst in NBA history.
For the 'Stons to have any shot at the playoffs this season, they'll need to go around 26-10 from this point on. This would make them a .500 ball club and give them an outside chance at post-season basketball. The Pistons' players are staying optimistic, as evidenced by one of Charlie Villanueva latest Twitter rants statements saying "we've still got a lot of games to be played. We can still make a playoff push. The guys think we can still do it."
Sorry, Charlie. I don't see it happening. While I like the Pistons optimism, they are simply staying P.C. and saying what needs to be said.
So why are these six upcoming games so important, you ask? To which I boldly reply, "THE JOHN WALL SWEEPSTAKES!". If you've been under a rock, or just aren't hip to what's cool, John Wall is Kentucky's freshman point guard who has been consensually declared the decade's best NBA prospect since King James and Superman Howard. (By the way, you too can play the "John Wall (Mock) Sweepstakes" here. It only took me 19 tries to put him in a Piston uni!)
The Pistons road map to success includes heavy doses of Chucky Atkins, Kwame Brown and hopefully a few ten-day contract schmucks. Yes, in my heart of hearts, I want the losses to pile up, but only because I want more of those beautiful ping pong balls flowing in come draft time. Take heed, you nasty Net fans, I actually envy you.