The schedule makers didn't do Detroit any favors as they chase down a playoff berth to end the season. The Pistons find themselves in matchups with Toronto, Houston, Memphis, and Washington for 4 of the 5 last games of the year. Chicago comparatively – one of the teams Detroit is chasing in the East – gears down with the Knicks, Sixers, Nets, Magic, and Nets again.
Memphis laces up the shoes for the second-to-last time of the season Sunday with their playoff fate all but sealed. The Grizzlies are going to find themselves in a first round matchup on the road against either San Antonio or Houston, both of which will require all hands on deck at full strength for the upset so it makes you wonder how integral this Sunday afternoon tilt is going to be for the home team.
The Pistons really didn't do themselves any favors down the stretch as they tried making the playoffs to host one more postseason game at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Detroit dropped 8 of 10 with the only wins coming against the Nets and Suns. Having every game be crucial – but still playing horribly – is both stressful on a team and gives them a nonchalant attitude when they finally are eliminated. Detroit could be in a tough spot here Sunday.
Memphis could use a little positive momentum as they head into the postseason. The squad has gone 5-5 to wind down the year but has been without big man Marc Gasol as he nurses a foot injury in order to be healthy for the playoffs. Either way, the Grizzlies have the advantage of being at home and matching up with a team who is on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
The big question for Sunday night's game is if Detroit is going to mentally show up. The Pistons will be playing their second road game in three nights and has to be anxious to head back to Motown for their last game at the Palace on Monday night. Memphis will have been at home since a Tuesday night game in San Antonio.
This isn't a marquee game by any means which results in a valuable line on the Memphis side. While the Grizzlies may not bring their “A” game, it should still be enough to beat the “C” game from Detroit, therefore, Memphis is the pick.