The Detroit Pistons made Reggie Jackson available on the trade market but were unable to move him before the deadline. Though the trade rumors are officially over, for now, Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy hints an ongoing issue between him and Jackson.
“I think he’s been trying defensively,” said Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy. “Just offensively, we’ve got to find an answer. I know he’s frustrated. He’s frustrated with me, play calls and things like that. So, we’re going to have to find something to where he can play more effectively, more productively, on the offensive end of the court.”
Last season, the Pistons managed to end their six-year playoff drought with the help of Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. They entered the 2016-17 NBA season with the hope of making a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, the Pistons started the season without Jackson, who suffered a knee injury.
During Jackson’s 21-game absence, Ish Smith somehow managed to fill the void as the Pistons starting point guard. He showed an incredible performance running the Pistons’ offense and proved to be a better defender. Jackson’s return did more harm than good as the Pistons struggled in some of their games.
Reggie Jackson demoted to the bench
The Pistons tried to move Jackson before the trade deadline. Unfortunately, no team was willing to pay their asking price. In the third quarter of their 114-108 win against the Charlotte Hornets, head coach Stan Van Gundy decided to bench Jackson and use Ish Smith as their starting point guard.
Despite going 2-for-12 from the field, Smith dished out 16 assists which proved to be a big part of the Pistons’ comeback victory. Most people noticed that Reggie Jackson doesn’t vibe with what the Pistons want to do on offense. Per Duncan Smith of Fansided’s Piston Powered, since January 15th, the Pistons are outscoring opponents 116.7 to 103.6 points per possessions when Ish Smith is on the floor.
“He and I have got to make sure we’re on the same page,” Van Gundy said. “Reggie’s been good through the whole thing. His attitude has been great. He’s trying to find his way without having the ball as much in his hands. That’s not easy. This isn’t an easy situation for him.”
After Reggie Jackson received a diminished role on offense, the Pistons won seven of their last 11 games. Van Gundy understands what Jackson is currently going through. However, he needs to make himself fitted with the team if he wants to return to the starting lineup.
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