There were a number of reasons the Detroit Pistons took a step backwards last season, but at the top of the list was Reggie Jackson. He was battling knee tendonitis, only played in 52 games after missing the first couple months of the season, and when he returned he was a step slower and his chemistry with Andre Drummond was gone. Stan Van Gundy started to lean on journeyman Ish Smith because the team was better with Smith out there.
Detroit has plans to return to the playoffs this coming season, but they will need more out of the point guard spot to do it. Smith told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that Jackson is looking good — like his old self.
“He’s out there in California enjoying himself, but he’s getting better,” Smith, the Pistons’ backup point guard, said at the news conference to unveil the team’s new uniforms. “He’s getting back to the Reggie Jackson everybody knows and loves.”
Stan Van Gundy hopes so and is going to spend some time with Jackson soon.
“He’s doing well and feeling good, and I think feeling confident too,” Van Gundy said. “Things are going in the right way so I’m going to go out there some time in the next couple weeks and spend some time with him.”
Van Gundy said they have changed Jackson’s off-season protocol, slowly ramping him up for the season to make it easier on his knees and get them the rest they need. Smith seems to think it is working.
Van Gundy has also shopped Jackson around and searched for another point guard, don’t expect that process to stop either. If Jackson is healthy, he’s easier to trade.