If there was one game that stood out in the Detroit Pistons' season, it may have been the March 21 contest at Denver.
That was the night Detroit trailed by 22 points after the first quarter, rallied behind a 45-point effort from Ben Gordon - then lost by one in the final seconds when the Nuggets made a layup while drawing a foul, missed the free throw and scored on a putback for a four-point possession.
The ending was emblematic of the Pistons, who are becoming competitive again but still have plenty of work ahead.
Tom Gores, who just completed his first season as owner, has made the goal clear for next season.
''We've got to make the playoffs,'' Gores told reporters Thursday night before the season-ending win against Philadelphia.
The next day, president of basketball operations Joe Dumars agreed it's time for the franchise's three-year playoff drought to end.
''I think it's a reasonable expectation,'' Dumars said at a news conference Friday.
Detroit went 25-41 in its first ...