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NBA Links: Checking in on old Pistons friends, and more

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Monday fun-day links ahead.

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Pistons will get it back after loss to Magic

Reggie Jackson has returned but don’t expect wins to be awarded to this team just for showing up. Playing too much of the game flat isn’t going to get it done.

“We were a little down, probably. Really don’t know what it is. Came out a little flat,” Jackson said. “We were just letting them do everything they wanted to do offensively.”

“We just could not guard their front-line guys at all,” Van Gundy said. “Ibaka, Vucevic, Jeff Green. We couldn’t guard those guys at all.”

As Marcus Morris says, let’s not dwell on this loss. Yes, these Pistons are still in a good spot.

The Pistons, by and large, did what they needed in Jackson’s absence, putting themselves in playoff position during his absence with an 11-10 record. They were kicking themselves for squandering some of the momentum gained with their euphoric road trip, but stopping well short of feeling they were set back to square one with Sunday’s loss.

“We can get it back,” Morris said. “We’re going to watch film tomorrow, see what we didn’t do, what we did do. The NBA. There’s another game. Can’t dwell on it.”

Brandon Jennings scores season-high 19 in Knicks’ victory

Brandon Jennings is having an up-and-down season so far, but the dude is a joy to follow, as usual. On Sunday against the Kings, Jennings scored a little more than usual and the Knicks needed it big time in a close affair. For good measure, here’s a classic Jennings jumper at the end of the third quarter.

Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek prior to the Kings game had a good feeling about Jennings:

Before Sunday night’s game, Hornacek spoke about the Knicks’ need to finish and step on opponents’ throats which sort of became a theme when the Knicks let a 21-point lead get whittled to one before winning. But earlier in the day, he told his wife he believed Brandon Jennings would have a big game.

Hornacek was 2-for-2. Jennings scored 19 points and made huge endgame plays.

“He gave us a big lift. I saw it this morning,” Hornacek said after the 106-98 victory against the Kings. “I told my wife that I think Brandon is going to have a big game tonight. He said some things … at shootaround, so I knew he was going to be good.”

Pacers beat healthy Clippers in LA

The Indiana Pacers beat the suddenly shaky Clippers on Sunday. Thaddeus Young, Paul George and Rodney Stuckey (16 points) led the way for the not bad but not good team nobody really thinks much about. We know that the perception around the league is just about the same for the Pistons as well. Let’s see with the return of Reggie where both teams are at in a few weeks — the Pacers sit at 10-10 while the Pistons sit at 11-11.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a key contributor for the Pacers that we haven’t highlighted yet this season — it’s our pal Rodney Stuckey. He’s playing good ball lately off the bench, shooting over 55 percent (20-36) during his last four games. In fact Rodney is just getting back in the basketball groove, as he’s been sidelined much of the season with hamstring problems.

Former Pistons forwards squared off Saturday in Philadelphia

Ersan Ilyasova and Jonas Jerebko gave it a whirl over the weekend in a one-point win for the Celtics. Ersan’s been rock solid for the 76ers this season and is meshing nicely as the stretch four next to Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. And that’s that. I’m not going to pretend to know much more about the 76ers right now.

As for Jonas, he has been his usual efficient self this season. He doesn’t shoot much but when he does its got a good chance at falling (14-30 from downtown). Since Jonas normally plays pretty well against the Pistons, I’m going to attempt some revenge (just a little) and highlight what rookie Dario Saric did to him during the game Saturday, if you didn’t already see it. Here’s the Vine:

Josh Smith’s disappearing act Sunday in China

Josh Smith was nowhere to be seen Sunday night in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). His 2-7 shooting from three-point range and 6-13 shooting from the field overall (in 34 minutes) is hardly a blip for him in any kind of non-NBA situation. Was he even alive? For the curious minds out there, Josh has put up at least 10 three-pointers in six of his last seven CBA games — and in the game prior to Sunday’s he shot the rock 21 times (10 long bombs) in 28 minutes. So, the big question is: did Josh know he was participating in a basketball game Sunday night?

As an aside, Pistons fan Packfill astutely wrote in the comments of the previous Josh Smith in China update, “I don’t feel comfortable with Josh Smith being in China. It seems too close.” As I currently reside in China, Packfill’s comment hits close to home. Josh Smith’s throws from deep, and everything in-between, ARE too close for my comfort. And really, China isn’t as huge as the media — or maps — would have you believe, so it’s even worse being here with Josh than most would imagine. (Don’t bother fact checking, just roll with it)

But, here in China I’ll gladly take one for the all encompassing team of NBA basketball fans, players and coaches, especially anybody having anything to do with our dear Detroit Pistons. Simply put, Josh Smith in China is a pretty situation. We Pistons fans can truly relax (and maybe forgive) and then even more so when Josh gets cut, which could be soon. Hopefully then some team like the Knicks will take a chance on him and Detroit can then watch them slide right on down the standings.

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Been out of touch with a friend for far too long? If they are worth it, well, you know what to do.