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Detroit Pistons' week ahead: Which way to go?

Josh Smith could help the Pistons win, or lose. It depends on what the team wants now.
Josh Smith could help the Pistons win, or lose. It depends on what the team wants now.Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons are sort of at the crossroads while they head into their next week of games. On the one hand, they are still in the playoff race. They are only a few games out of the final spot in the East, and the Hawks are plummeting. However, it is very much possible, given the way the Pistons have played, that they won't make the playoffs, and if they do, a first round sweep is all but inevitable.

On the other hand, if the Pistons pack it in, can they get themselves down into the bottom eight of the league in order to save their draft pick in this deep draft class? If that is going to happen, three teams have to pass them. Cleveland and New York are definitely fighting for a playoff spot, so they would likely pass the Pistons. Then, Sacramento is kind of close. Boston, Utah, and the Lakers are sort of close as well, but they are all definitely going to pack it in. The Kings I am less sure on.

So, what do they do? They have four games this week. Joe Dumars is pretty much a lock not to come back. Getting a draft pick would really help this team, but is it too late for that? Anyway, presuming that losing doesn't become the top priority for Detroit, here's what I think will happen in this week of upcoming games.

First, the Pistons visit the Celtics on Sunday. Speaking of teams fighting for ping pong ball positioning. Detroit is on the road here, but they do have more talent, and more intent on winning it would seem. Still, given how bad the Pistons have been recently, I'm going to give this one to Detroit. Then, on Tuesday, Detroit hosts Sacramento. The Kings aren't good, but they do have a few good players like DeMarcus Cousins. This is another close one, but I'll take the Pistons to lose.

The next couple of games are more clear. First, on Wednesday, the Pistons visit the Raptors. The second night of a back-to-back on the road? That's a loss. Then, on Saturday, Detroit is at home versus Indiana. Yeah, I don't need to tell you that's a loss.

So it looks like a 1-3 week to me. Maybe it will be a 2-2 week. Maybe it will be 0-4. Maybe we will see the Pistons being less intent on winning. Wacky things will start happening. Like Josh Smith jacking up threes.