Pistons down one Reggie, but Jackson’s OK after dehydration bout

Reggie Jackson and the Pistons are in solid standing with 25 games to go in their playoff drive.
Rocky Widner (NBAE/Getty)
by Keith Langlois
Web Editor

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Pistons will have one Reggie but not the other, most likely, for their nationally televised test at Golden State.

Reggie Jackson was treated for dehydration in the training room at Sacramento after Tuesday’s loss – in which the offense sputtered in the fourth quarter as the Pistons lost an 18-point second-half lead – and went through practice Wednesday afternoon at Oracle Arena.

He should be good to go, both he and Stan Van Gundy said.

As for Reggie Bullock, out since Nov. 23 with meniscus damage in his left knee that was surgically repaired in early December, Van Gundy said Tuesday that Bullock felt he needed to get one more practice under his belt to be ready. That would have come Wednesday, but Bullock returned to North Carolina, Van Gundy said, for a personal matter with the team’s blessing. It’s uncertain when he’ll rejoin the team.

With Jon Leuer still out – likely for the final three games of the Western Conference road trip – with a right knee bruise, necessitating Stanley Johnson’s use at forward, there’s a good chance Bullock would have gotten thrown back into the rotation as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s relief at shooting guard.

That’s been the story of the Pistons’ season, which hits the halfway point at the conclusion of their game against the 33-6 Warriors, who beat them 119-113 on Dec. 23 at The Palace.

“We just haven’t had everybody,” Van Gundy said. “We didn’t have Reggie (Jackson) for the first 21 games. Then we got him back and (then came) the adjustment phase. Now Marcus (Morris) has missed a couple of games. We’re without Leuer. (Aron) Baynes missed a couple of games. Pope missed a game. That’s probably the biggest difference. Last year, we stayed basically injury free. Pope missed seven games, I think, but nobody else was ever out for more than a game.”

Jackson, afflicted with dehydration issues in the past, blamed himself for allowing it to surface again. Characteristically good in tight fourth quarters – as he was when the Pistons came back to beat Portland in double overtime on Sunday – Jackson was 2 of 6 against the Kings without an assist and one turnover after returning for the game’s final nine minutes. The Pistons scored only 17 fourth-quarter points, shot 35 percent and were without an answer for Sacramento’s aggressive blitzing of Jackson’s pick-and-roll plays.

“Just got to be better with my hydration, honestly,” Jackson said. “Whether it’s forcing fluids, I’ve just got to make sure I can perform.”

Jackson played 47 minutes at Portland, besting by 14 minutes his previous season high, but didn’t blame his issues Tuesday on pushing his limits 48 hours earlier.

“That’s me. Grown man and a leader of this team, so I’m expected to do everything I can to make sure I’m prepared and make sure the team’s prepared for the game.”

He walked out of Oracle with a bottle of water and another of Gatorade. Against the Warriors, the NBA’s runaway leader in per game point differential at plus-11.8, everybody better come prepared.