Auburn Hills — Reggie Jackson walked off the practice court with a better knowledge of his new team so he can lead the Pistons in Sunday's game against the Washington Wizards at the Palace.
It was his first practice since joining the team following a trade that brought him here from Oklahoma City.
It will be the first step in a 27-game grind to the playoffs. The Pistons started Saturday 11/2 games behind Charlotte for the final playoff spot and two games behind No. 7 Miami.
But there is another battle Jackson looks forward to if he returns to the Pistons next season. He must battle Brandon Jennings, a player who hopes to be healthy then and who refuses to back down to anyone — even the guy to whom the Pistons are expected to give the keys to the franchise.
Jennings was presumed to be that man until an Achilles injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season and brings questions into his skill set for the future. Jennings won't go down quietly. And that is exactly what Jackson wants.
"There is competition," Jackson said with a smile. "Basketball is our livelihood and that is what you are out here to do is compete. If he did not fight me I would be disappointed, just like I will fight him to make him the best he can be. It is all about competition and leaving it out on the practice floor and the court and leaving here knowing we love each other and we have the same goals."
Jackson said he planned on talking to Jennings following his media session and wants to create a bond with him.
"We talked a little bit during the game," Jackson said. "It is tragic what happened with him. Hopefully we can have a great bond like with the rest of my teammates. It is about getting the Pistons back on track to do special things, get accustomed to winning and grinding it out and being on top of the sports world."
Plans for Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie played well in Friday's 100-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls. He had 12 points, nine assists and three steals against Derrick Rose, who is considered one of the best point guards in the NBA. But do not assume Dinwiddie will be the regular backup for Jackson. It all depends on matchups.
Dinwiddie may see action against bigger guards and John Lucas II against smaller ones.
Wizards at Pistons
Tip-off: 3:30 p.m. Sunday at The Palace of Auburn Hills
TV/radio: FS Detroit/105.1 FM.
Outlook: The Pistons are playing the three, four and five seeds in the Eastern Conference. They got through hurdle one by beating the No. 3 Bulls. Now the No. 5 Wizards come to town. The Wizards lost their last game at Toronto, a hotly contested 95-93 loss. John Wall led them with 21 points and eight assists.