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Pistons vs. Thunder preview: Reggie Jackson returns to face the team that drafted him

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Reggie Jackson spent his whole career in Oklahoma City up until a February trade sent him to the Pistons. He returns to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder for the first time since that trade.

Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder took Reggie Jackson with the 24th pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He brought energy off the bench and a scoring punch. But as you know, he was stuck behind Russell Westbrook. All he wanted was a chance to start and lead his own team. This desire made him come across as selfish to his teammates and caused a bit of a divide with him and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

When Reggie Jackson was traded to the Pistons, he got his wish. The Pistons sent a couple 2nd round picks, Kyle Singler, and DJ Augustin for Jackson, and the Thunder players were happy to see Reggie gone. For that reason, do not expect a warm reception for Reggie Jackson in his return to Oklahoma City.

Game Vitals

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

When: Friday, Nov. 27 at 8:00 PM EST

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Analysis

The Pistons are coming off of a dominant win over the Miami Heat where they rediscovered their 3 point shot. It was a great sight to see from a team that has struggled with their 3 point shot all season. Hopefully the Pistons can pick up where they left off with that shooting, and turn this fantastic shooting into a trend.

Reggie Jackson has had some hero ball tendencies this season. There is not a more clear example than his 40 point performance against the Portland Trail Blazers. This game shows how dominant he can be when he is on, and how much fun it is. Expect a heavy dose of hero ball out of Reggie Jackson against his former team, as he looks to prove to them that he can run a team and make them regret trading him.

The Pistons still need to stick to what worked for them Wednesday against the Heat even if Jackson does some hero ball. That is ball movement and shooters getting open and making shots. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is something that they Pistons have struggled with this season.

The Thunder come in off a win on Wednesday over the Brooklyn Nets. The Oklahoma City Thunder formula is pretty simple, and it works. That formula is get the ball to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant and let them go to work. They are two of the best players in the league, and stopping them is no small feat. Even if you can slow them down a bit, they are still going to get theirs.

The key will be to not let the other players on the team burn you. Don't let Dion Waiters get hot, and don't let Enes Kanter dominate you down low. Serge Ibaka will be a tough cover for Ersan Illyasova, so expect to see a lot of different players covering him to see what works.

Key Matchup

Reggie Jackson vs. Russell Westbrook

This one is pretty obvious. Reggie Jackson is facing the player that he was stuck behind throughout his young career. Reggie Jackson is going to go out and try to prove himself against one of the better point guards in the league. Don't expect Reggie Jackson to shut down Westbrook (KCP will probably guard him), but expect Reggie to take him on and try to match him. It could be fun to watch if both players are on.

Lineup Prediction

Pistons: Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Illyasova, Drummond

Thunder: Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka, Adams

Score Prediction

Thunder 101, Pistons 93

I predicted a loss Wednesday against the Heat, and look how that one worked out. Let's see if it works again

Community Question

Will Reggie Jackson get booed during intros only, or will he be booed every time he touches the ball, or not booed at all?