With the Detroit Pistons expected to be officially out of the playoff race soon, the team is making some serious and necessary lineup changes. Point guard Reggie Jackson‘s season will be cut short, with coach Stan Van Gundy announcing that Jackson will not play in any of the team’s final four regular season games.
“He won’t play these last four,” Van Gundy told reporters after practice Thursday. “The plan is to let him step away, clear his mind and go into the offseason without a bad taste in his mouth.”
The only realistic possibility of seeing Jackson back in the lineup is if the Pistons get the worst four game injury bug in NBA history.
Jackson has not played since the Pistons 28 point loss to the Orlando Magic on March 24, and has had his worst season since joining the Pistons in 2015.
“Reggie was struggling, and for good reason — a lot of stuff out of his control,” Van Gundy said. “It was weighing on him, and we thought, at that time, being fresh-minded would not only be good for him, but us being fresh-minded would help.”
Ish Smith, who the Pistons signed in the offseason, has replaced Jackson in the starting lineup and while he hasn’t played spectacularly either, the team looks much better when Smith is in control of the offense.
Entering Friday, the Pistons were on the verge of postseason elimination, sitting 3½ games out of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference and needing to leap three teams to earn a second straight playoff appearance. They have also lost the tiebreaker against the current holder of the eight-seed, Indiana Pacers.
If Jackson sits out, who is going to see the floor? Smith mostly, but Van Gundy also said he plans to give more playing time to first round pick Henry Ellenson, center Boban Marjanovic and second round pick Michael Gbinije to finish the season.
These three guys have played sparingly throughout the season, but with the writing on the wall for Jackson, it is time to see what the Pistons could potentially have for the future.