If the Detroit Pistons hope to improve in the NBA's Eastern Conference this season, they must beat the teams they are supposed to beat. That doesn't mean taking three out of four from those teams either. It means sweeping the series.
Last season the Pistons went 15-6 against the eight teams that finished with worse records than they did. That's good, but not good enough. Six games was all that separated Detroit and Milwaukee—who just missed the playoffs.
There is no excuse for giving away victories to inferior talent. One loss here or there could be the difference between making, or missing, the postseason.
The Pistons used to be the team with inferior talent—but not anymore. They've got a strong nucleus of young talent that is only getting better. In fact, with several key additions that will bolster their interior defense, the Pistons could take a significant step forward.
That won't happen unless they turn that potential into wins Particularly against the NBA's have-nots.
Here are five teams that the Pistons absolutely must sweep next season.
* All stats in this article courtesy of ESPN.com