The NBA disclosed its 2018-19 schedule for all 30 teams on Friday. The Detroit Pistons will begin their new campaign on Wednesday, October 17 at home against the Brooklyn Nets.
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) August 10, 2018
The Pistons’ 82-game slate will run all the way through April 10. Four of their first five games will be played at the friendly confines of Little Caesars Arena. Additionally, their first 14 contests will be played against Eastern Conference opposition before they travel to play the Houston Rockets (whom they will then host two days later) on November 21.
There are a handful of games on the schedule that will add some level of intrigue for the Pistons. The defending champion Golden State Warriors, winners of three of the last four NBA championships, will make their only visit to Detroit on December 1. And with LeBron James taking his talents to Hollywood, the Pistons will only have to deal with the league’s top player two times. LeBron & Co. visit LCA on March 15.
Some road games to circle include November 14 in Toronto, which will be the first game for new Pistons head coach Dwane Casey since the Raptors fired him on May 11. Casey led Toronto to a 59-win campaign that earned him ‘coach of the year’ honors in the NBA. Additionally, the Pistons will be at the Staples Center on January 12 to take on the Los Angeles Clippers. That will be the first game in L.A. for Pistons forward Blake Griffin since the Clippers traded him Detroit midway through last season.
In terms of nationally-televised games, the Pistons will be showcased on ESPN five times: vs. 76ers (12/07), at Lakers (01/09), at Spurs (02/27), at Heat (03/23), and vs. Knicks (04/10). They also have several games that can be seen on NBA TV, including vs. 76ers (10/23), vs. Rockets (11/23), vs. Thunder (12/03), vs. Wizards (02/11), vs. Lakers (03/15), and at Trail Blazers (03/23).
The Pistons finished under .500 for a second straight season at 39-43. It ultimately led to a rather delayed firing of head coach Stan Van Gundy with a year left on his contract. Detroit searched high and low during their offseason and did not find a coach until giving the aforementioned Dwane Casey a five-year deal in mid-June, just days prior to the NBA Draft.
With limited cap flexibility and future draft resources, the Pistons are clearly in win-now mode and are hoping a full year of Blake Griffin, along with second-round draft picks Bruce Brown Jr. and Khyri Thomas can help propel them back to the postseason.