Pistons, Jackson try to address lack of assists

Terry Foster
The Detroit News
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Auburn Hills — Andre Drummond has been there. Stanley Johnson has, too.

But on Tuesday it was Reggie Jackson’s turn in the hot seat, where Pistons players go to study their game on a laptop.

Jackson struggled the final part of a 2-4 trip, and needed a refresher course courtesy of coach Stan Van Gundy.

“I’ve got to figure out how to be better,” said Jackson, who entered Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers averaging 5.0 assists after averaging 9.2 last season in 27 games with the Pistons. “There is nothing I can do about my past. Just learn from my experiences and move on.”

Jackson, however, isn’t the only player to blame for the team’s shortcomings.

While his assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.25 is tied for last (Suns guard Brandon Knight), the Pistons are 27th in shooting percentage (41.8) and 3-point percentage (30.6), 25th in scoring (96.6 points), and last in assists (16.4).

“Everybody is trying to find the basket,” Jackson said. “Myself trying to find the right decision on pick-and-roll. When you pass up the opportunity to make the right decision it puts pressure on the offense later in the shot clock. I guess you have to make the right decision and try to trust in teammates and play the right way.”

Still, Jackson is the team’s quarterback, and everything it does falls on him.

“(Jackson) has to make quicker decisions,” Van Gundy said. “He has to be more willing to give the ball up. He has to be on the attack, but not standing and dribbling with it and probing. He has to attack or get off the ball and pass.”

Jackson hit a low last season against the Jazz, his 11th game with the Pistons, when he failed to run for a loose ball after being frustrated with his play. He finished that game with 10 points and no assists.

Against the Lakers on Sunday he finished with nine points, three assists and five turnovers and was pulled in the fourth quarter.

He responded last season with 23 points and 20 assists during a home victory over the Grizzlies. The question is, how will he respond against the Cavaliers?

“I got to find a way to get back into that zone, get back to playing good basketball and get this team right,” he said.



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