By Will Burchfield
Reggie Jackson looked like a different player in the Pistons’ blowout loss to the Bulls on Monday night.
Less aggressive. More deferential.
He didn’t take a shot until the 4:39 mark of the second quarter and finished with just five on the night, the lowest shot total of his Pistons career. His unusually passive approach came after a players-only meeting in which Jackson’s style of play was apparently a central topic.
But after changing things up for a night and watching his team lose by more than 30, Jackson’s done trying to be something he’s not.
“I’m just going to be myself, honestly,” he said on Wednesday, via Rod Beard of the Detroit News. “We ended a 7-year (playoff) drought last year with me being myself. That was a little bit of success and we’d like to have more success, so I’m just going to be myself.”
Stan Van Gundy would approve.
“Anytime a point guard’s not attacking and playing to his instincts, you don’t play real well,” Van Gundy said, via MLive.com. “And (Monday) night, I think he consciously was going to make sure he passed the ball on every possession because we’ve had some guys upset over the number of shots and things like that. So he basically didn’t shoot the ball at all. Well, that’s not it. Come off hard, attack and if there’s people open, throw them the ball. If you have a chance to score, score.
Jackson said his decision to take fewer shots on Monday night was dictated by the plays being called from the sideline. Van Gundy, on the other hand, said Jackson made the decision on his own.
“That’s wasn’t us,” Van Gundy told reporters. “That was him.”
But it appears the two are back on the same page ahead of the Pistons game against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
“I think he was burdened trying to keep everybody happy and do what everybody wants,” Van Gundy said. “Play and the whole thing. Come on. You can’t play basketball like that.”
Jackson made his season debut on Dec. 4 after missing the first 21 games of the year due to knee tendinitis. The Pistons are 3-6 since his return.