The buzz around Detroit these days is that the Pistons could be one of the NBA's most improved teams in 2012-2013. However, as any basketball fan knows, talk is cheap. Performance on the court is the only thing that matters. Improvement will ultimately be decided in the win column.
The Pistons certainly need to get more of those. In the last three years, whatever improvement Joe Dumars made to the roster didn't immediately result in more wins.
Then the Pistons gelled during the second half last year and played .500 basketball—a major accomplishment for a team considered to be one of the 10-worst teams in the league.
That set the stage for the cautious optimism in the air now.
Are the Pistons for real? Are they a playoff-caliber team? There's only one way to tell. They have to win big games on big stages.
Here are some potential statement wins for Detroit to show that they've finally arrived on the NBA-relevency scene.