It can be rightly debated whether or not Reggie Jackson is a “good” point guard or if he’s one of those guys that only puts up counting stats while not significantly raising his team’s ceiling, but what absolutely cannot be debated is the fact that Reggie Jackson is way better at being an NBA point guard than Ish Smith is. When they’re both uninjured and playing in the same games, it’s a bit harder to tell, because Smith also has decent counting stats and he gets a lot of assists. But the undeniable fact is that Jackson went down, Smith became the starter, and the Pistons went from the thick of the playoff hunt to being way, way outside it.
I would go so far as to say that the Pistons would be in the playoffs right now if Jackson had been healthy all season. A “big three” of Jackson, Drummond, and Tobes/Griffin would have been able to at least get the eighth seed, maybe even the seventh or sixth seed. Instead, they’re missing the playoffs and fan morale is at an all-time low. And by “all-time low”, I mean since two years ago.
Cue Pistons fans informing me that the reason the seats are so empty is because there’s so much fun stuff to do in the arena. It’s like a mall! A mall with basketball being played at the center!