The Pistons fell to 1-3 in the preseason but they're concerned with an injury to Reggie Jackson. Rod Beard, The Detroit News
Detroit — In the preseason, the outcomes aren’t as important as the development — but the most important thing is to avoid more injuries.
The Detroit Pistons have another one to worry about with Reggie Jackson, who had muscle tightness in his groin and was kept out of the second half of Wednesday’s matchup against the Washington Wizards as a precaution.
The score wasn’t a big concern, but the Pistons fell to the Washington Wizards, 102-97, at Little Caesars Arena, but the focus was on Jackson and his health.
“Just a little bit of tightness — that’s it,” Jackson said. “I came back (to the locker room) and made sure to work on the body.”
Jackson played 17 minutes in the first half, including all 12 minutes in the second quarter and finished with 10 points and three assists in 20 minutes.
The Pistons took an 82-81 lead at the 8:33 mark of the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by Langston Galloway, their first advantage since the first quarter.
Drummond had back-to-back baskets for a 91-90 lead with 4:10 left, but John Wall (32 points, five rebounds and nine assists) answered with a drive. Wall scored 13 of the Wizards’ final 17 points in the last 6 minutes, including a fadeaway jumper with 3.4 seconds that provided the final margin.
With a full complement of reserves, Casey was able to deploy a regular rotation, with what could be his projected starting lineup. Along with the starters, Casey had a full second unit, with Ish Smith, Langston Galloway, Luke Kennard, Glenn Robinson III and Jon Leuer. Later in the second quarter, rookie Bruce Brown Jr. notched four minutes, for an 11-man rotation. That might not continue into the regular season, but it’s an indication that Casey isn’t afraid to extend the bench and is getting a good look at all of his players in the preseason. Casey said earlier Wednesday that he wanted to see more players get minutes and with Leuer back, he was able to expand the minutes and get a closer look at the top 10 players in game conditions.
Looking at Leuer
After missing the first three preseason games, Jon Leuer made his debut, entering late in the second quarter and playing two minutes. He missed his only attempt, a 3-pointer, but grabbed a rebound. Casey indicated that he wanted to get a couple minutes from Leuer in his return, but then increase his minutes Friday before the regular-season opener. If the Pistons can get a healthy Leuer back, they can flex the lineup and use Zaza Pachulia in different lineups and go small or big as needed.
The Pistons fell, 102-97, to the Wizards, but Casey was more concerned with the team's health and chemistry. Rod Beard, The Detroit News
Reggie Jackson left the game in the third quarter because of leg-muscle tightness and didn’t return. He went to the locker room and was examined by the medical staff, but the team called it a precaution.
“I’m concerned. Is it a result of coming back too quick? I don’t know,” Casey said. “We just have to see.”
Jackson said he’s not walking on eggshells but thinks the medical team is doing a good job of monitoring his return.
Of course, any injury to Jackson is a concern, but even if the Pistons decide to hold Jackson out of the final preseason game on Friday, it’s with an eye toward getting him ready for the regular season.
Zach Lofton had eight stitches in his upper lip after getting hit. He didn’t return to the game.
The overall health is a concern for Casey, who kept Griffin and Jackson on minutes restrictions. He got to see more of his desired rotation, but the Jackson injury put a bit of a damper on things.
“We’re not very close because we don’t have health. We still have Reggie not at 100 percent and Blake is still not (playing at) 100 percent, so until we get those guys, it’s really hard to evaluate where we are,” he said. “I like where everyone else is and the push the second unit had in the second half, but until we get fully healthy, it’s hard to evaluate exactly where we are.”
Bullock is back
After missing some 3-pointers in the first three preseason games, Reggie Bullock got back on track, hitting four of his first six attempts beyond the arc. He made the first shot of the game and continued to be aggressive in trying to find his shot. In the starting group, he’ll be looked upon to provide alternate scoring and be the best option from 3-point range. He got going early and was efficient.
Ready to rock
Andre Drummond looks ready to go for the regular season. After two solid games to start the preseason, he added one to the list on Wednesday, with good shot selection and poise in the paint, and good energy on the defensive end. He missed his only 3-point attempt but went 5-of-10 inside the arc through three quarters.