It's a bit hard to reconcile after six straight Eastern conference championship appearances, two Finals appearances and a championship that the Pistons may be sitting out the 2009 playoffs. But the controlled demolition of the Pistons roster this year by Joe Dumars and injuries makes this a real possibility.
To be honest, I'd rather get a lottery pick than suffer through a first round exit to the Cavaliers or the Celtics. So I am going to be the anti-fan and hope that the Pistons cast themselves out into the wilderness. That would give a huge mandate for change which is going to happen anyway with the expiring contracts of Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson.
The likely outcome is the Pistons back their way into the playoffs because Charlotte, Milwaukee and New Jersey are just too sad sack to make it happen for themselves.