It’s a summer preview piece that was mostly supposed to be a bit optimistic. But for Pistons fans, it’s hard to read Pistons web editor Keith Langlois’ story on Reggie Jackson without feeling a bit ominous.
Statements like “Once I get going fully, just see how it feels,” “I’m going day to day,” and “Just haven’t been able to get on the court, but been doing everything I can to get healthy” from Jackson certainly don’t inspire much confidence.
Be sure to click the link and read the full story. By and large, Jackson certainly tries to sound optimistic. He also says “It actually feels good. I feel like I can cut again.” And “But it feels night and day compared to last year.” So it’s definitely not gloom and doom.
But Jackson’s health has loomed large over the last two seasons for the Pistons. In 2016 he struggled with knee tendonitis over the summer and was out until December, and still not quite effective on his return. So coming into last season, all eyes were on Jackson’s knee. As Sean Corp put it, “The fate of the Detroit Pistons is tied to the status of Reggie Jackson’s knee — I can’t put it any more simple than that.”
And his knee was healthy. The Pistons came out strong with a 19-14 start that had them in the fourth spot of the Eastern Conference. But a severely sprained ankle against the Indiana Pacers sidelined him for the next two and a half months. After the nice start, the Pistons finished 20-29 and missed the playoffs.
Jackson has been limited in the team’s voluntary summer workouts and it sounded like training camp restrictions were a possibility.
With Jackson out last year, the Pistons turned to Ish Smith as the starter with Dwight Buycks and Langston Galloway backing him up, all with limited effectiveness. The new front office released Buycks to sign Jose Calderon. While a more efficient scoring threat, Calderon turns 37 next week and hasn’t played significant minutes in the past two seasons. The Pistons also have undrafted rookie free agent Keenan Evans on a two-way contract. It’s not the most overwhelming reinforcement.
Well, if you thought you were going to make it through the summer without any hand-wringing on the health front, sorry to disappoint.