2017-2018 POP Season Preview: Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson is entering his third year as a Detroit Piston and the biggest question is, will he finally be healthy? So far, Jackson appears to be good to go, but coach Stan Van Gundy is unsure how much he will play and if he will even start.

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Pistons’ Reggie Jackson is photographed at media day Sept. 25, 2017, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Last year, Reggie Jackson’s season was derailed by injury and he was never able to bounce back to his 2015-16 form. When he was on the court he averaged a dreadful 14.5 points, 5.2 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 27 minutes per game while being one of the worst defenders at his position. Jackson was also one of the worst finishers at the rim.

During the summer, Jackson rehabbed his knee and he appears to be ready for the upcoming season. However, throughout training camp, SVG did monitor Jackson’s practice time, excluding him from two-a-days. During the preseason, Jackson played in three games averaging 9.7 points on forty-three percent shooting while dishing out 3.7 assists. Optimistically, Jackson did show signs of his former self, being able to stop-and-go on a dime, while finishing at the rim:

For this upcoming season, Reggie Jackson will battle Ish Smith for the starting point guard spot. So far, Van Gundy has not decided who will start for the season opener, stating after Sunday’s practice that:

“They’re both going to play with both units.” Van Gundy also commented on how much they will play, “Even in practice today, we switched them from segment to segment so they’re both playing with everybody. We haven’t locked either one of them into one unit or the other.”

Lastly, he stated, “If it’s 26 and 22 or 28 and 20, 24 and 24, I think the biggest split it might get to if one of them were having a great night would be 30 and 18.” Although it is not sure who will start, there is no doubt the Pistons ceiling will be determined by Jackson’s health.

Jackson and Drummond’s pick-and-roll is the catalyst of the offense and it is most effective when Jackson is able to explode around the corner and break down the defense. During the preseason, Jackson and Drummond did not get much playing time together but Jackson is not worried.

“Would have been great to get our timing, but we’ve been playing together for 2 and 1/2 years so we won’t be too rusty when we get into the game. We’ll figure out how they’re defending it. Still, have great chemistry.”

Overall, only question marks surround Jackson’s health but one thing is clear, the Pistons will need him to be one hundred percent in order for them to make the playoffs. If you ask Jackson, he believes he is back.

Featured Image: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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