Pistons 2019-20 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 12, 2019

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 22:  Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons is guarded by Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the first quarter of Game Four of the first round of the 2019 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs at Little Caesars Arena on April 22, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons finished last season with a 41-41 mark, good enough for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The campaign ended with a four-game sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, but the Pistons made the playoffs for just the second time in 10 years and have reason to believe they can return again this year. 

We'll find out soon enough how Detroit will fare, but until then, here's a look at the Pistons' 2019-20 schedule, the latest championship odds, top matchups to watch and a season-record prediction.

      

2019-20 Details

Season Opener: Oct. 23 at Indiana Pacers

Championship Odds: 250-1 (via Caesars)

Full Schedule: NBA.com

           

Top Matchups

Atlanta Hawks: (First Home Game: Oct. 24)

There's reason to believe the seven teams who made the Eastern Conference playoffs outside the Pistons will make the postseason yet again, and all of them are listed with four or more wins than Detroit in the FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks (h/t The Action Network).

The bigger question is whether a team sneaks up behind Detroit and takes a playoff spot.

The Atlanta Hawks are the likeliest candidate with near-Rookie of the Year Trae Young and fantastic power forward John Collins running the show.

Young posted 19.1 points and 8.1 assists last season after some first-half struggles. From Jan. 26 onward, the ex-Oklahoma Sooner averaged 23.6 points and 9.1 dimes per night.

He could average those figures over the course of a season, which should help the 29-53 Hawks creep up the standings.

As for Collins, these stats from Mike Gallagher of Rotoworld should do the talking:

The bottom line is the Young-Collins combo could be a force to be reckoned with for a decade-plus, and the Hawks may be ready for a big-time leap next season. The Pistons should take note.

        

Milwaukee Bucks: (First Home Game: Dec. 4)

Every game against the Bucks may be must-see television after NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the team to a league-best 60-22 record last season.

At 24 years old, Antetokounmpo dominated to the tune of a career-high 27.7 points on 57.8 percent shooting, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last year.

Antetokounmpo told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk that he felt he was at 60 percent of his potential during his MVP season. That almost seems impossible given how well Antetokounmpo performed last year, but it's hard to doubt him after a sensational start to his career.

Antetokounmpo and the Bucks could rule the league for another decade, which is why every game Detroit plays against them will be of added importance. A win against them would be a massive confidence boost for the team, especially after suffering a postseason sweep last year.

                        

Prediction

Power forward Blake Griffin arguably had his best season as a pro after averaging a team-high 24.5 points and 5.4 assists, and Andre Drummond also led the league in rebounding for the third time in four seasons. Furthermore, 2017 first-round draft pick Luke Kennard ended the season strong by averaging 15.0 points per game in the playoffs. 

That trio will be back in the mix this season fighting for a playoff berth, which may be hard to come by. According to the Action Network, the Pistons are listed with a 34.5-win total at the DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks.

That may be a tad pessimistic given that this is more or less the same roster that went 41-41 last year, although the team didn't do too much to improve the rotation this offseason with Detroit not having the salary-cap space to add big-name free agents.

Look for a season hovering around the .500 mark yet again.

Record Prediction: 40-42

Related

    IT Out 6-8 Weeks After Thumb Surgery

    Wizards guard hurt his thumb playing pickup with teammates

    NBA logo
    NBA

    IT Out 6-8 Weeks After Thumb Surgery

    Wizards guard hurt his thumb playing pickup with teammates

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Who Is Better: Russ or Big O? 🔍

    Our writer picks the winner in five categories to see who comes out on top

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Who Is Better: Russ or Big O? 🔍

    Our writer picks the winner in five categories to see who comes out on top

    Andy Bailey
    via Bleacher Report

    Steph: 'I Wish We Could Still Play With' KD

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Steph: 'I Wish We Could Still Play With' KD

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Lillard Plans to Play for Team USA in 2020 Olympics

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Lillard Plans to Play for Team USA in 2020 Olympics

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report