Here's the thought -- really, it's just a feeling -- behind this thread: it seems that for some fans a regular season win doesn't matter but a regular season loss does. That is, a regular season neither contributes to nor is indicative of post-season success, but a regular season loss at the very least seems invariably to be taken to indicate why the team won't succeed in the post-season. So that leaves me confused and leads to the question: does the regular season matter or doesn't it? (To be fair, I think that for many posters it's not as simple as I've just put it. For them, it's not about wins and losses but about the trends they see the Pistons exhibiting and how these trends relate to what the poster believes the Pistons need to do to succeed in the post-season.) But still, it seems to me that a game like last night's is too readily taken to be a sign that the Pistons will fail in the post-season, whereas a win over the Spurs in San Antonio on the second night of a back-to-back tends to easily to get written off. My own opinion is that the regular season's relevance is related in pretty complicated and sometimes contradictory ways to post-season success. At the most basic level, you need enough regular season wins to make the playoffs. At the other end of the spectrum sacrificing everything to rack up post-season wins, no matter the cost, may land you a number one seed, but it could leave you vulnerable in the playoffs. Beyond sheer numbers of wins and losses, there are the myriad ways in which a regular season game offers opportunities to experiment with tactics that teams believe will result in post-season success (things like, but not limited to, types of offense and defense and personnel). Then there is the issue of pacing and the stresses an 82 game regular season can put on teams, physically and mentally. To repeat, this isn't an exhaustive list. I just meant to hint at a level of complexity in the relation between regular season performance and post-season success that I feel often gets lost in our debates, which tend to polarize rather rapidly (e.g. "enjoy the wins" vs. "i'll enjoy the wins when they come in the NBA Finals"). In that sense, my thread title is kind of misleading. I don't really mean to be asking a poll-type question like "does the regular season matter: yes or no?" but rather to be inviting more complex thinking on the ways in which the regular season does matter. I'd love to hear from some of you on this issue.