2017-04-19 / Sports

THE PRESSBOX

No Detroit teams in the playoffs feels wrong
AUSTIN VANDAELE

Playoff time is upon us in both the NBA and the NHL, and if you’re anything like me, you feel a bit lost when you realize that Detroit is not represented in either. Neither the Red Wings or the Pistons made the playoffs, and that is something of a shock when considering that the Wings had not missed the playoffs for 25-straight seasons and the Pistons looked to be on the rise after making the playoffs last season.

The Pistons finished four games back of the eighth and final spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference this season, and if ever there was a season for the Pistons to win a first-round series, it would have been this one. If Detroit had won just a few more games and qualified for the eighth seed, they would be facing the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the first round as opposed to a LeBron Jamesled Cavaliers team.

Yes, the Pistons lost three of four games with the Celtics this season, but each loss came by small margins of six, four and two points. Having the opportunity to limp into the playoffs and then be graced by not having to face the returning champions, as well as arguably the best player in the world in LeBron James, would have been one of the best scenarios for Detroit. And then to find out you play a Boston team that you’ve had close games with all season long would have been the icing on the cake for a team like the Pistons.

Last year, they made the playoffs and were bounced out after four straight games. No Detroit fan really expected the Pistons to advance to the next round, all we were happy about was the fact that Detroit was back in the playoffs with a positive outlook for the seasons ahead. Boy, that feeling was short-lived. For some reason, Detroit was unable to create any momentum throughout the season. Their longest winning streak was just three games, something far from good.

As for the Red Wings, the 25-season playoff streak has come to an end, though I’m sure most fans expected it to happen. Interestingly enough, there seems to be an overwhelming sense of acceptance with the Wings not making the playoffs. Fans seemed to enjoy saying farewell to The Joe all season long while looking back on the great years that the team has given us.

For me, this will be the first time in my life that the Wings will not be fighting for a chance to hoist the Lord Stanley Cup, and that puts into perspective the dominance that the Wings have been able to maintain for so long.

I feel as though next season’s fresh start at Little Caesars Arena is something that both teams need, and I’m sure fans state-wide will look forward to seeing both the Pistons try to establish themselves next season and the Wings start a new playoff streak, hopefully one that will last just as long on the last one.

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