Why Reggie Jackson Moving to the Bench Could Fix the Pistons
Following Monday’s embarrassing loss to the Bulls, coach Stan Van Gundy told the media that there would be changes to the starting lineup. While it was not specifically stated what change would be made, there is a lot of speculation that point guard Reggie Jackson could be the odd man out of the starting rotation. On top of that, multiple players have stated that the ball movement has not been good lately and that some players have become too selfish with the ball. Again, Jackson was not specifically named in this, but it is becoming more and more clear that he is likely whom players are refuting to. If this is indeed the case, moving Jackson to the bench could solve many of the Pistons current problems.
First and foremost, it would hopefully get the starting unit back on track. Current back up point guard Ish Smith started the first 21 games of the year while Jackson was healing from injury. During that time the team went just 11-10 overall, but seemed to be finding a great rhythm toward the end of this stretch. Before Smith returned to the bench, the Pistons had won five of six games, all of those wins coming by double digits. Those wins came over some very good teams in the Clippers, Celtics, Hornets, Hawks and Heat, including three (Charlotte, Boston and Atlanta) wins on the road. Obviously it took some time for Smith to adjust to his new team, after coming over from Philadelphia in the offseason. However, after the first 15 games or so the team was playing great with Smith running the offense. There is no reason to believe they couldn’t get back to that if they returned Smith to the starting lineup.
The second huge plus to moving Jackson to the bench is that it could greatly improve the second unit. Currently the Pistons rank 27th in bench scoring at just 28.5 points per game. This group needs a guy who can really act as a spark plug, such as Reggie Jackson, in the offense. And in concern to him taking too many shots, it might not be the worst thing in the world if he jacks up a few extra shots with guys like Stanley Johnson and Darrun Hilliard, who are both still young and developing, on the floor with him. As an additional plus, Jackson could be more fresh late in the game to make more of those big plays in the clutch that Pistons fans became accustomed to last season. This would maximize Jackson’s strengths and minimize his weaknesses.
For Reggie Jackson, talent is not the problem. He is just not the best fit right now to be the starting point guard for the Pistons. The team was playing much better with Ish Smith after he had a few games to become familiar with the offense and his teammates. Now with Jackson running the show again, the team looks lost and is falling apart. Moving Jackson to the bench would allow him to dominate the ball more, which he can’t do as a starter, and get all the shots he is looking for. This change could not only get the starters playing to the high level they were a few weeks ago, but it can also drastically improve one of the worst scoring benches in the NBA. If Jackson excepts this type of role with the team it could potentially make the Pistons more dangerous than ever.