Pistons' Jackson on Blake Griffin: 'Let’s get to running'

Rod Beard

Detroit — Reggie Jackson already has allowed his mind to wonder — and wander. 

As Jackson recovers from his ankle injury, he’s considering the possibilities of adding newly acquired forward Blake Griffin to the offensive mix when he returns to the lineup. After the Pistons made the blockbuster deal for Griffin on Monday, it signaled a shift in their offensive philosophy. 

With Griffin coming from the fast-paced “Lob City” offense featured with the Los Angeles Clippers, he could have a similar impact when he plays alongside Drummond in the starting lineup. 

“Beep, beep. Let’s get to running,” Jackson joked on Tuesday after the Pistons’ shootaround ahead of the Cavaliers game. “(Griffin) is an improved shooter, extended his range to the 3-pointer, so now you have to guard him. We all know the type of freak he is when he gets around the basket and makes plays. 

“He’s been an improved passer since he got in the league.”

More: Blake Griffin ready for ‘next chapter’ with Pistons

Jackson still will be out another couple weeks, as he’s in the fifth week of his recovery timeline, which was slated for 6-8 weeks after the initial injury on Dec. 26.

Griffin bring an excellent blend of perimeter and post skills to the Pistons, posting 22.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 33 games this season. He hits 34 percent on 3-pointers and has ball-handling skills in helping to initiate the offense, much like a point guard. 

Jackson sees the possibilities and how it can augment the Pistons’ offense, even with the loss of their two leading scorers, as Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley went to the Clippers in the trade. 

“It’ll be a great new toy and new addition,” Jackson said. “I’m excited to get him and see how this all jells. (With Drummond) It’s scary.”

Getting Griffin is both a blessing and curse. He’s going to add to the offensive arsenal, but coming in the middle of the season, he won’t have much time to learn the Pistons’ system and will be pressed to learn on the fly in his first few games. 

More:What they’re saying: ‘Utter desperation’ for Pistons?

Griffin missed Tuesday’s game and is questionable for Thursday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies because all the players involved have to get physicals on Wednesday and get everything approved by the league. That could mean he’d have 32 games remaining to help get the Pistons into the playoffs. 

Coach Stan Van Gundy is tasked with pulling it all together, admitting he was excited by the prospects. 

“The juices get flowing and you see all the possibilities with a guy like that. Of course, what I’d like to do is get it all (installed) right away, get about a 10-hour walkthrough in on Thursday and play because I see all the possibilities,” Van Gundy said before Tuesday’s game. “Our schedule is not really conducive; it’s going to have to go little by little.”

There could be myriad options, including playing Drummond and Griffin in a high-low set, letting Griffin facilitate and posting Griffin in the paint. 

The opportunities abound, but it’s likely a big change for Drummond as well, as the Pistons have run most of their offense through him in the revised hub role of the offense. It’ll be an adjustment for all of them, with a short time to get acclimated. 


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard