Highlights of the Detroit Pistons 2014 schedule

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The Detroit Pistons version of the big three: Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and Chauncey Billups will open the 2013-14 season at home against John Wall October 30. New Pistons Head Coach Maurice Cheeks will make his Detroit debut at the Palace in Auburn Hills along with 2013 first round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Gigi Datome, last season’s MVP of the Italian League.

Highlights of the Pistons’ home schedule includes two match-ups against the NBA Champion Miami Heat (December 8 and March 28) as well as two games with the likely Eastern Conference favorite Brooklyn Nets, now led by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson (December 13 and February 7). Kobe and the Lakers visit the day after Thanksgiving on November 29, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder visit November 8 and Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the Western Conference Champion Spurs visit February 10.

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Central Division rivals visiting The Palace twice include Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls (November 27 and March 5) along with NBA All-Stars Paul George, David West and the Eastern Conference finalist Indiana Pacers (November 5 and March 15). Other match-ups include appearances by Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers (January 20), Dwight Howard, James Harden, Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets (December 21) and Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudamire and the New York Knicks (November 19 and March 3).

The Pistons Concert Series halftime shows last year included Gladys Knight, Busta Rhymes, En Vogue and MC Hammer. Theme nights will return including “Friday Night Out,” “Super Saturdays,” and “Motor City Sundays,” a celebration of all things Detroit.

Twitter boards located on the fascia in each endzone inside the arena will give ticket holders the opportunity to interact during games and the free Pistons Action Guide game program will supply game information, a collectable Pistons’ player poster, special merchandise and food and beverage discounts as well as the opportunity to win team memorabilia.

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The Pistons will make four national television appearances with two games on ESPN and two games on NBA TV. ESPN will broadcast the Pistons’ games at Sacramento on Friday, November 15 (10:30 p.m. EST) and at Orlando on Wednesday, February 5 (8:00 p.m. EST). NBA TV will broadcast Detroit’s match-up vs. Denver on Saturday, February 8 (7:30 p.m. EST) and at Boston on Sunday, March 9 (6:00 p.m. EST).

The Pistons will play 20 sets of back-to-back games this season. Five of its back-to-back sets fall on the road, four begin on the road and conclude at home, eight are home-and-away and three are home-home back-to-backs.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@PaulMBanks)

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