Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/7/13
Photo Credit: Eileen Blass, USA TODAY Sports Well, it’s finally here. The NBA released the full 2013-14 schedule yesterday and now it’s time to breakdown what the Detroit Pistons will have in front of them. First and foremost, the Detroit Pistons will open up the regular season at home against the Washington Wizards on Oct. 30. Detroit will also have four nationally televised contests this upcoming season (Nov. 15 at Sacramento, Feb. 5 at Orlando, Feb. 8 vs. Denver and March 9 at Boston). On Nov. 20, the Pistons will travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks and it will be newly acquired Josh Smith’s first visit back to his former team and hometown. It will be an interesting homecoming, to say the least, for Smith and watch whether he garners a standing ovation or a rigid stream of boos. It will be a similar situation on Dec. 4 when Brandon Jennings makes his first trip back to Milwaukee since being traded to Detroit. But, I have a feeling that this reunion will consist of a thicker amount of boos than cheers. Other noteworthy games that appear on the Pistons schedule include an early season match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 8, a trip to Hollywood against the Lakers on Nov. 17 and a Dec. 3 showdown with two-time defending NBA Champion Miami Heat. The Pistons have a long and winding road ahead of them if they hope to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season. It will be fun to watch the team compete within a Central Division that will be vastly improved. Not only did the Pistons make sizable splashes this off-season, the Cleveland Cavaliers added number-one pick Anthony Bennett along with free-agent acquisitions Andrew Bynum and Jarrett Jack. The Pistons and Cavaliers should bring a hefty amount of competition to a division that already features heavyweights in Chicago and Indiana. With even more talent beginning to funnel into the Central Division, the furthered competition can only help each team’s chances and hopes of knocking off the perennial-Goliath that is the Miami Heat. This could be the first time in many years that the Central Division could be ultra-balanced from top to bottom (with minor exception to the Milwaukee Bucks). All in all, the improved all-around depth in the Eastern Conference should make for an exciting upcoming NBA season. Will anyone in the East be able to knock King James off his thrown? Next time, I will break down and assess the Pistons’ chances at this feat and whether they have enough firepower to cruise into the playoffs this upcoming season.    
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