Auburn Hills — Reggie Jackson insists this is just another game.
However, it is not. Jackson is in a role that fits with the Pistons, but that was never going to happen in Oklahoma City.
He is the lead guard against his former team as the Pistons tip off tonight at 8 p.m. against the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
“It’s another game, another opportunity for us to get better,” Jackson said. “I’m happy to build a legacy here, trying to build something special, enjoying this locker room, enjoying this group of guys. It’s another test for us against a very good team.”
Jackson started just 36 games in three seasons with the Thunder, playing behind All-Star Bryant Westbrook. The Pistons traded for him last season and signed Jackson to a five-year, $80 million deal. Jackson is every bit a leader for the Pistons as Westbrook is for the Thunder.
However, he does not see this as an opportunity to show former teammates how he’s progressed as a player.
“It’s time to show the league every night what I can do as a player, not just one group of people,” Jackson said.
Westbrook is averaging 28.1 points and 10.3 assists per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. He had 27 points and 13 assists in a recent 110-99 victory over Brooklyn.
Jackson is averaging 19.3 points and six assists and shooting 43.5 from the field. He finished with 18 points and seven assists during a 104-81 win over Miami on Wednesday night.
Jackson is expecting a hostile reception from Thunder fans.
“I know what to expect and I am ready,” Jackson said. “I know I was booed when I came out to start last year. I expect some of the same treatment. It is the same. I get booed in other arenas. I am ready to come out and play.”
Andre Drummond now has 403 blocked shots, which places him ninth on the Pistons’ all-time list, ahead of Dennis Rodman (399).
... Ball movement will be critical for both teams tonight. The Thunder are more up-tempo than the Pistons and recorded 26 assists in their last win. The Pistons had 24 assists against the Heat.
Pistons vs. Thunder
Tip-off: 8 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City
TV/radio: FSD/105.1 FM
Outlook:Kevin Durant and Bryant Westbrook are back together again, which is bad news for the rest of the league. Westbrook became the first player since former Piston Isiah Thomas to record 180 points and 75 assists in the first seven games of the season. Former University of Michigan forward Mitch McGary is questionable with an ankle sprain.