A season of upheaval and disappointment led to this version of an All-Star break for the Detroit Pistons, physically resting, yet mentally engaged in the most important week of their season to date as vacation ends.

Interim coach John Loyer, who has served in that role one week since Maurice Cheeks was fired last Sunday, has spent his break working on how to tweak a 22-30 team still just a half-game removed from the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Loyer promised to "look at the whole picture" this weekend.

That focus will sharpen quickly when work resumes Monday, followed by four games in five days, the NBA trade deadline on the off day, a steady string of playoff opponents, and the most important back-to-back of the season up next.

The Pistons play the Charlotte Bobcats (23-30), the eighth and final team above the Eastern Conference playoff cut line, Tuesday here and Wednesday at Charlotte.

A sweep would give the winner a significant playoff boost.

"If we can win those two, I think that's really going to have our confidence sky high," Pistons guard Brandon Jennings said. "The Bobcats, they've got a vacation, too. Everybody has a vacation. It just depends on when you come back, what's your mindset? Your mindset has to be that we have 30 games left and it's time to really get down to business."

The Bobcats beat the Pistons Dec. 20 here, 116-106, in perhaps the most astonishing of Detroit's many late meltdowns, outscored 41-17 in the fourth quarter.

"We've got this game marked on the calendar because we gave that game away last time we played them," Pistons center Andre Drummond said.

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday, less than 24 hours after the Charlotte back-to-back.

The Pistons have several potential trade pieces with Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva approaching unrestricted free agency, and Greg Monroe restricted free agency this summer. They have rebuffed Monroe talks and need Stuckey for the stretch. Villanueva could have value if the Pistons are willing to take on a longer-term contract.