On Tuesday, the NBA released the full 2013-14 schedule. Here are some highlights of the Detroit Pistons schedule.
Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings will make their Pistons debuts when the season opens up on October 30 from The Palace of Auburn Hills at 7:30. Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace will also make their Palace returns with Detroit. Mo Cheeks will make his coaching debut with the Pistons.
The Pistons then head out on the road to Memphis against former Piston Tayshaun Prince and the Grizzlies. Detroit will carry a 18 game road losing streak against the Western Conference in that matchup.
Detroit will then return home for three games against the new look Boston Celtics and then two tough games against the Indiana Pacers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. So while 4 of their first 5 are at the friendly confines of the Palace, 3 of those 5 games are against teams in the NBA title conversation. The Pistons will probably stub their toes early as they start off against some tough opponents, but they will pick it up.
After the game against the Thunder on November 8, the Pistons will head out west for a 4-game road trip to do battle with the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers. Detroit will then come home and go up against Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks. The Lakers visit Detroit on November 29.
Smith will play his first game in Atlanta in a Pistons uniform on November 20, which will also be a homecoming for rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who went to Georgia for college, and Brandon Knight will make his return to the Palace in a Bucks uniform on November 25. Jennings will make his return to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face Knight’s Bucks on December 4.
The 2-time defending champion Miami Heat will make the first of two trips to The Palace on December 8, the new look Brooklyn Nets come in to The Palace on December 13, and Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets come in for a visit on December 21. December will be Detroit’s busiest month as they play 17 games in the 31 days in the month.
Jason Maxiell will be back with his Orlando Magic in their only trip to The Palace on January 28. The Toronto Raptors only visit the Pistons once as well and that will be on April 13. Detroit will visit New York and Charlotte only once, on January 7 and February 19 respectively. The Pistons will play all other Eastern Conference opponents four times.
Detroit will want to be in a position to clinch a playoff berth early as they will have 15 of their last 24 games on the road. The Pistons will have the season finale on April 16 on the road against the Thunder.
The Pistons have two stretches of at least 4 days without a game. January 1-4 and January 12-16 is when they have those stretches. Detroit will have 20 sets of back-to-backs. They do not have any road trips longer than 4 games.
Also, the Pistons have a game on my birthday, November 22, as they host the Hawks.
It’s going to be a fun season. I can’t wait for October 30 and I know you fans can’t wait either.