Although it seems long ago, Ben Gordon remembers the feeling well.

He recalls playing in an arena jam-packed with fans with welcoming cheers at home and rude jeers on the road. Every possession seemingly matters and every mistake could lead to ultimate doom.

We are talking playoffs.

When Gordon joined the Pistons two seasons ago as a free agent from the Chicago Bulls, he was fresh off a classic playoff performance -- a compelling first-round series that went seven games as the Celtics had to scratch and claw just to advance. Gordon electrified crowds -- home and away -- to the tone of 24.3 points per game.

So the Pistons, coming off eight consecutive playoff appearances, appeared to be a good match.

But the Pistons haven't come close to making the postseason the past two years, and Gordon yearns for a return.

"It seems like so long ago, man," Gordon said of that classic series. "That's where my mind is at right now. I'm trying ... not to overlook everything, but that's what the goal is. Every year when you come in at the start of the season you want to be playing at the end of the year. You don't want to be watching guys and drinking a drink with an umbrella."

But as the Pistons open the season tonight in Indiana, it's hard to find a Pistons-make-the-playoffs prediction. However, some factors could help the Pistons snap their playoff drought.