No matter what he accomplishes, the focus usually centers on the things Reggie Jackson doesn’t do rather than the things he does.
No matter what he accomplishes, the focus usually centers on the things Reggie Jackson doesn’t do rather than the things he does. Unfortunately for Jackson (18.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG), there’s a lot of things he doesn’t do all that well: he’s not a big-time finisher, he’s not an all-around playmaking maestro, he’s not a true end-to-end threat in transition, he’s not a knockdown three-point shooter, he’s not the world’s greatest defender, his decision-making can be spotty, and he’s on an $80 million contract, which tends to make all of those problems feel even worse than they are. On top of that, Jackson is 26 and had free rein last year, so it’s hard to project significant further improvement across so many areas. In his defense, though, Jackson is a quality and comfortable pick-and-roll practitioner whose arrival in Detroit was critical to the team’s offensive improvement. While there might be reasonable doubts about his ceiling as a player and a team’s ceiling with him as the head of the snake, Jackson nevertheless oversaw a 44-win team that made the playoffs after a six-year drought. That should count for something, especially if he proves he can deliver that type of result on a consistent basis for the duration of his deal. (Last year: No. 94)
+ Ranked in the top-five league wide in drives and points off drives, per NBA.com
+ Led Detroit to its best record since 2008 and most efficient offense since 2011
– He’s not particularly imposing, or pesky, or productive defensively
– Although his team was swept by the Cavs in the 2016 playoffs, he complained endlessly about the refs