The Detroit Pistons are coming off a really disappointing season where nothing seemed to go right. A lot of the blame was put on point guard Reggie Jackson and it’s understandable considering they were 11-10 in those first 21 games he missed with knee tendinitis and the team was on a three game winning streak before he came back, but to give up on Jackson would be a bit foolish and here’s why.
Jackson still has three years left on his contract so his trade value isn’t exactly the highest at the moment. The best thing Stan Van Gundy can do is hope he can return to his 2015-16 form.
Also, let’s not forget how good he was in 2015-16. Jackson was a borderline All-Star in 2016 averaging 18.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds while leading the NBA in 4th quarter scoring. He came up big when the Pistons needed him down the stretch of close games and he was the leader the team really needed. He was explosive going to the basket and his chemistry with big man Andre Drummond was impeccable. He was the main reason why the Pistons made the playoffs in 2016.
Fast forward to 2016-17 and it’s understandable why Jackson and the team struggled. It hurts when you miss the entirety of training camp, all of preseason, and then the first 21 games of the regular season and try to come back and be the number one guy again. The Pistons were so used to playing at Ish Smith’s speed and his style that it was hard for them to incorporate Jackson back into it.
Also, Jackson didn’t look like himself. He didn’t have the same explosiveness, his confidence wasn’t there, and the team suffered because of it. He showed flashes of being his old self like on March 6th against the Bulls when he shot 10/10 in the 2nd half and killed the Bulls shot after shot, but he couldn’t sustain it. He possibly came back from the injury too soon.
Look, Jackson has been here for two and a half seasons. His first full season was highly successful, the second full season not so much. So you give him a third season with a full training camp and preseason and see if he can get back to his 2015-16 form. Van Gundy has hitched his wagon to Jackson, so he’s going to be here for at least one more season.
I’m not ready to give up on Jackson, you shouldn’t be either.