The Detroit Pistons are off to a blazing-hot start in the 2017-18 season, after splitting the first four games, Motown went on a 3-game win streak, followed by a 5-game win streak to reach 10 wins in their first 13 games. Despite last night’s tough 99-95 loss at Milwaukee, the Pistons are still 4th-best in the league record-wise and have the best home record in the NBA at 7-1. With game number 15 on the horizon, we at DSN figured we’d look back at the hottest 15-game starts in Detroit Pistons history.
1970-71 (12-3 through 15 games)
We start with the first DETROIT Pistons team ever to have a winning record. For 13 years the Pistons had played in Detroit after moving from Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1957. And for 13 years the Pistons had been perennial losers, but in 1970 the Pistons came out firing. Winning their first nine games in a row (six of which were on the road), Detroit looked like they may have turned the corner as a franchise with players like Dave Bing (in his fifth year out of Syracuse) and rookie Bob Lanier (maybe THE most disrespected Piston of all-time). However, after their 12-1 start through 13 games, Detroit went into an utter freefall losing six games in a row. They finished at 45-37 good enough for 4th in the Midwest Division, but not good enough to make the playoffs.
1996-97 (12-3 through 15 games)
The first year of the HORRIBLE colors and RIDICULOUS logo, the 1996-97 Pistons were coming off a barely-above-.500 year and were looking to 3rd-year star Grant Hill to lead them back to the postseason. Early winning streaks of four and six games left them at 10-1 through 11 games and Hill was playing up to his billing, averaging over 21 points per game, over seven assists per game, and nine rebounds per game. The teal-and-orange horse platoon never lost more than four games in a row on their way to a 54-28 season, which was good enough for third in the Central and a first-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. A series that saw Detroit steal home court with a game two victory in Atlanta and take a 2-1 series lead, before blowing game 4 at the Palace, and then losing a heartbreaker 84-79 in Atlanta.
1988-89 (12-3 through 15 games)
BAAAAAAAD BOYSSSSS, BAAAAAAD BOYSSSSS. Sorry, I had to. The 1988-89 Detroit Pistons were a complete team from top to bottom. Isiah, Joe, Laimbeer, Mahorn, Worm, Spider, Buddha, Microwave,
Dantley Aguirre. The Bad Boys started out the gate winning their first eight games before ping-ponging their next six, including a 20-point loss to the Knicks, followed by a 3-point win over the Lakers. Fun fact for you, on their way to a 63-19 record, they never lost more than two games in a row, and even that only happened twice during their first Championship season.
2005-06 (13-2 through 15 games)
The 05-06 Pistons were a team trying to get back to the promise land. Two years removed from their “5-game sweep” of the Los Angeles Lakers, and a year removed from their heartbreaking 7-game defeat to the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit flew out the gate, winning their first eight games (five away from the Palace). After dropping two of their next three, the Pistons went back to work, reeling off six straight wins to lead the league at 15-2. Chauncey, Rip, Tay, Sheed and Big Ben led the way as Detroit finished at 64-18 on the year, before falling in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual-Champion Miami Heat in six games.
1990-91 (13-2 through 15 games)
A battered-and-bruised Detroit Pistons slugged their way through the 1990-91 season, off three consecutive NBA Final’s appearances, the 2-time defending champs went 3-2 through their first five games. Then they rattled off 10 straight wins to remind everyone of just who they were. The 1990-91 season was anything but easy for Zeke & Co. as losses came in bunches (three in a row twice, four in a row, and five in a row), but they bounced back with winning streaks of 11 once and five twice. They battled their way back to the Eastern Conference Finals, but were no match for Michael Jordan, a finally-ready Scottie Pippen, and the rest of the Chicago Bulls. We all know how the 90-91 season ended, as the NBA will never let us forget. But that final blow to dethrone them as Champions is not what WE know them for. They were the team to upset the balance of the NBA (Sorry Magic and Bird), and the team to hold off His Airness and truly prepare him for greatness.