This season for the Detroit Pistons has been a roller coaster for the players, staff and fans alike. Lets recap on what happened so far for the franchise:
After a 5-23 start on December 23rd, the team let go of Josh Smith who was only in his 2nd year of his 4-year, $54 million contract he signed in the summer of 2013. The Pistons did a 180 degree turn after that, going 12-4 and looking like a playoff team until they hit another bump in the road.
On January 24th, in a game against his former team in the Milwaukee Bucks, Brandon Jennings tore his achilles. This was a major blow to the team because he was leading the team in points and assists during that time. The Pistons named D.J. Augustin as their starting point guard for the time being. The team ended up going 5-6 when Augustin started still with in reach of a playoff spot. When the All-Star break was over, the team decided to trade for Reggie Jackson in a three team deal that involved the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz.
Jackson, 24, who is in his 4th year in the NBA, was recently complaining about his role with the Thunder and believed he deserved to be a top paid player, so this was a good opportunity to showcase his skills being the full time starting point guard. While so far Jackson is averaging career highs across the board (15.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 7.0 APG), there is one interesting statistic to look at here. The team has been 1-8 since acquiring Reggie Jackson.
While it may be only be nine games after the trade happened, lets look back. Before the injury to jennings injury and trade happened, the team was looking at possibly a 6th, 7th or 8th seeding in the east. Detroit has now fallen to the 12th, six games behind the Indiana Pacers for the 7th seed and five games back behind the 8th seed in the eastern conference. With the way both Indiana and Miami have been playing as of late, the Pistons could be cleaning out their lockers come playoff time. The team has 18 games left in the season to prove that they can compete in the playoffs. During that time Jackson must prove himself as well. It is unknown what the team or Reggie Jackson himself has planned for the future but if he wants to get paid and be considered a top point guard in the league, they have to find a formula that works best for the team and fast. This will definitely be a scenario I’ll be paying close attention to the rest of the season. The Detroit Pistons next matchup is tonight at 10 PM (EST) against the Portland Trailblazers (42-20).