Reggie Jackson: B+
We’re not sure if this is fair, but we kind of give Reggie a pass for his first portion of games as a member of the Pistons. A new city, new team, new role, and new coach all made for an initially difficult transition (most noticeable when he vomited during his debut). Once settled, Jackson went on a roll, averaging 19 points and 10 assists over his last 11 games, becoming the first Piston since Grant Hill to register multiple triple-doubles in the same season, and likely settling Detroit’s point guard woes going forward.
Brandon Jennings: B
Jennings was canonized following a 15-game stretch that saw him playing some of the best ball of his career before succumbing to a season-ending injury. However, Jennings’ season outside of his brief resurgence was a roller coaster for which he did not have the benefit of playing the “I just got here” card. He was benched during multiple fourth quarters in November, averaged 5.7 points on 20% shooting during a six game stretch in December, and made a habit of passing up open layups for fallaway jump shots on more than one occasion. We commend Jennings for his highly impressive turnaround, but we also can’t forget the past.
Jodie Meeks: B-
After missing the first two months of the season, Jodie, along with Brandon Jennings’ ascent and Josh Smith’s departure, served as a catalyst for the Pistons’ post-Christmas turnaround. His willingness to move without the ball and curl off of screens for open jumpers brought a sense of urgency to a previously monotonous Pistons offense. Meeks was susceptible to occasional shooting slumps, often rushing to shoot himself into a groove or settling for off-balance contested leaners in the paint. Overall, he was a positive addition to the franchise.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: C+
KCP’s halfway there. In 41 games played at the Palace this year, Caldwell-Pope shot nearly 45 percent from the field and averaged 15.5 points per game. In 41 games on the road, however, his shooting accuracy plummeted by 10 percentage points and his scoring average dipped to 9.7. As Stan Van Gundy stated earlier this month, that won’t cut it. That said, he’s shown signs of becoming a reliable two-way player, scoring 20 or more points in 14 games while always providing full effort on defense.
John Lucas III: C
Lucas joined the club as an emergency veteran backup following the Brandon Jennings injury. In a shade over 12 minutes a night, he averaged five points, three assists, and less than one turnover per game. As someone brought on board to absorb an offense and hold down the fort in spot minutes, Lucas performed well, but not overwhelmingly so.
Spencer Dinwiddie: C-
Dinwiddie showed the most growth amongst all Pistons this season. His confidence and decision-making appeared to be on life support before Christmas, but he steadily found his way as opportunities developed via injury (Jennings) and trade (Augustin). That said, developing a semi-reliable jump shot is an absolute must, he shot just .302% from the field.