A look at Detroit Pistons playoff scenarios heading into final game

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - APRIL 09: Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons looks on while playing the Memphis Grizzlies at Little Caesars Arena on April 09, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons are one win away from their second playoff berth in nine years.

With a comeback win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night, the Pistons put themselves in a position to control their own destiny. 

It's simple: Beat the last place New York Knicks tonight and they're in. 

If the Pistons lose, they will need to hope and pray that the Orlando Magic beat the Charlotte Hornets tonight. A loss for both the Pistons and Hornets would mean a playoff spot for Detroit.

The best case scenario for Detroit is a win for both teams. A loss for Orlando would move the Pistons into the No. 7 seed, avoiding a first round match up with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

For the No. 7 seed scenario, Detroit would also need the Nets to beat the Heat.

So, here's a breakdown of scenarios for tonight:

  • Pistons win and clinch the final playoff spot in the East
  • Pistons lose, and Hornets win, Charlotte clinches final playoff spot
  • Pistons win, Hornets win, Pistons clinch spot and move up to 7th seed to face Toronto in first round. Pistons also need Nets to win. 
  • Pistons lose, Hornets lose, Pistons clinch 8th seed to face Bucks in first round.

Pistons vs. Knicks and Magic vs. Hornets both tipoff at 8 p.m. tonight. 


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