Dwane Casey: Playoff-bound Pistons have more in store

Dwane Casey says securing an NBA playoff berth “validates the culture” he has instilled and believes the Pistons can go from strength to strength.

The Pistons secured the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 115-89 victory over the Knicks in their final game of the regular season on Wednesday.

Casey is pleased with the progress the Pistons have made in his first season as head coach and says there is more to come as they prepare to face the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.

“Making the playoffs is what your goal is going into the season and validates what we’re talking about, it validates the culture, it validates the style of play,” Casey said.

“The great thing about it is we’re not where we’re going to be. There’s a lot of growth for us, a lot of areas we’ll get better at in Year 2 just from understanding how we want to play and how we want to do things.”

Owner Tom Gores expressed his pride at seeing the Pistons extend their season.

“I’ve got to give credit to the team,” Gores said. “I’m very proud of getting in the playoffs, but I’m more proud of them handling adversity.

“That’s something that amazes me.”

Andre Drummond scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while Luke Kennard poured in a game-high 27 points in an emphatic win over the Knicks.

Things get considerably harder from here, though, as the eighth-seeded Pistons open the playoffs against the Bucks, who at 60-22 not only are the East’s top seed but also finished with the league’s best regular-season record. The best-of-seven series starts Sunday in Milwaukee.