Today's win against the Washington Wizards was a good litmus test for the newly acquired Jackson. He got to go head-to-head with one of the Eastern Conference's finest players and one of the league's best point guards, John Wall. He also led Detroit into battle against the playoff-bound Wiz.
The early returns were disastrous. Jackson missed his first eight shots and appeared visibly nervous. But the second half featured some solid course correction from the OKC transplant: he finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists (on 7 of 18 shooting...not bad for a guy that missed his first eight shots).
All in all the trade is a promising one for Detroit, who are without the services of Brandon Jennings for the remainder of the season (he went down with a ruptured Achilles). Jackson is young and talented. He was clearly upset with his role on the Thunder and it showed in his play. He was right to want his own team and now he has it.
The Pistons are still Andre Drummond's team from a talent standpoint (and I don't think many people would argue that), they'll go as far as the Connecticut grad can take them. But adding Jackson to the mix will alleviate some of the pressure on the Center and could provide him with a competent running mate (which is not to speak ill of Brandon Jennings, who was performing at high-levels prior to his injury).
It's hard to say exactly what Jackson's ceiling is as a player. His role has been mostly as a bench player, so now that he has his own team...he could grow considerably. At his best, Jackson is an explosive scorer and distributor that's capable of carrying an entire team on his own. He's a ferocious rim attacker and seems more than capable of running the pick-and-roll.
At his worst, he's distracted and immature. He can jack shots instead of operating the team. He can be withdrawn and apparently earn the ire of his teammates.
But all of this comes from minimal starting opportunities. Jackson might transform himself into an entirely different player given time, space and the right coaching.
Or he could level out.
It's hard to imagine exactly how he'll perform with Drummond as his co-star. Drummond is a burgeoning star in the Association and maybe the third most talented young big man in the league (behind Demarcus Cousins and Anthony "Galactus" Davis). Stan Van Gundy appears to be building Orlando 2.0 with Drummond as the Dwight Howard center piece, which would cast Jackson as Jameer Nelson. But Jackson is at his best when he's attacking the rim, operating in the same general space that Drummond needs to live in.
But Drummond also needs to earn a majority of his points from put-backs and alley-oops because his post-up game is still lacking. That still leaves a clogged lane, severely increasing the need for the other three players on the floor to be excellent 3-point shooters.
....also, Tayshaun Prince was in this trade.
Let's be real, this team is terrible. The official Knicks mantra, this year, is "Losing more for Okafor." I'm not going to waste ink or breath on this awful team.
Michael Carter Williams
The spirit of Philadelphia basketball fans
Following this trade, KJ McDaniels' mother said the team was tanking on Twitter. Jerian Grant (Jerami Grant's brother and the star player for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish) asked if his sibling was still on the 76ers roster. And Sam Hinkie finally admitted his childhood pet was killed by Allen Iverson and he has dedicated his life to ruining 76ers basketball.
I know they received some talent for MCW and McDaniels but is anything worth breaking your fans' spirit like this? You're forcing season ticket holders to watch JaVale fucking McGee for the rest of the year, a guy who isn't even starting on your squad.
I would rather watch Joel Embiid live tweet cooking shows than this team.
By the way, the 76ers lost to the Orlando Magic (mostly sans Tobias Harris) today. This was Philly's starting lineup: Robert Covington, Henry Sims, Nerlens Noel, Isaiah Canann and Jason Richardson.
Let's play a game. Two truths and a lie. One of the things I am about to write is untrue, you figure out which one:
Philly's leading scorer, for the game, was JaKarr Simpson. He had 16 points.
The leading assist man was Tim Frazier with 6.
Jason Richardson hasn't played in a game since 2013.
Which one is the lie? Is Tim Frazier a real person? For that matter, is JaKarr Simpson? Richardson hasn't been out of the league that long, right?
Actually, everything I just wrote is true. I lied about nothing. I'm sorry for rigging the game but I needed to make a point. Hinkie is going to single-handedly force the NBA to alter the draft structure and that's fucked.