Cavs or Raptors? 7 Pistons Notes to Keep in Mind Heading into the Regular Season’s Final 48 Hours

For the first time since 2009, the Detroit Pistons are headed to the postseason. That much we know. However, when it comes to pinpointing their final position in the standings, as well as their first round opponent, there remains a handful of processes in motion over the regular season’s final 48 hours.

Here’s what we know:

1. With a 109-94 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the East.

2. The Cavs’ victory means the Toronto Raptors will be locked in at the No. 2 seed.

3. The Pistons are currently deadlocked with the Indiana Pacers for the No. 7 seed in the East. Both teams have two games remaining:

Pistons’ Remaining Schedule:

Date Opponent Opp. Record Season Series Time/TV
4-12 Miami 47-33 2-1 7:30/FSD
4-13 @Cleveland 57-24 2-1 8:00/WMYD

Pacers’ Remaining Schedule:

Date Opponent Opp. Record Season Series Time/TV
4-12 New York 32-49 2-0 7:00/FSI
4-13 @Milwaukee 33-48 2-1 8:00/FSI

4. The Pacers hold the season tie-breaker over the Pistons, winning three of four head-to-head matchups in the regular season. What that means: With each team holding identical records (43-37) with two games remaining, the Pacers control their own destiny in terms of finishing out as a No. 7 seed or No. 8 seed. If they win their final two games against the Knicks and Bucks, they’ll take the No. 7 seed, even if the Pistons match with two wins of their own.

However, if the Pistons manage two wins to Indiana’s one (or one win to Indiana’s none), Detroit would clinch the No. 7 seed.

5. The Heat still have a chance of passing the Atlanta Hawks for the Atlantic Division title, so expect them to be at full strength for tonight’s game against the Pistons. Miami is just a half game behind the Hawks with two games to play, meaning there could still be some jostling betweens the East’s No. 3 and No. 4 seeds up top.

6. With Cavs clinching the No. 1 seed, expect them to rest their starters vs. the Pistons on Wednesday (that likely means no LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Love). While the Pacers appear to have the schedule advantage on paper, a Cavaliers team led by Sasha Kaun suddenly appears a little more vulnerable.

7. If the Pistons end up in the No. 8 slot, as seems at least slightly more likely than hanging on to the No. 7 seed at this point, some unsubstantiated rumors on the interwebs have suggested that history, alongside a possibly pre-booked Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday, may mean Detroit’s first playoff series in seven years would kick off on Sunday in Cleveland.

Stay tuned.

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