Reggie Jackson to make 2015 Pistons debut Sunday
Pistons just 1 game behind Nets for final playoff spot
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – After watching a short-handed Pistons team tame the Bulls to kick off the second half Friday, Detroit Pistons fans will get their first look at one of Stan Van Gundy's trade deadline acquisitions Sunday night against the Washington Wizards.
Detroit will run out new starting point guard Reggie Jackson after the 24-year-old was acquired from the Thunder in exchange for D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler.
Jackson is considered one of the most talented young guards in the NBA, but was blocked in Oklahoma City by All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.
Now Jackson holds the reins in Detroit, a role he thrived in during a 13-game stretch with the Thunder, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds before Westbrook's return from injury pushed him into a backup role.
Tayshaun Prince, who was acquired from the Celtics, was expected to play Sunday. But Van Gundy announced the small forward will now make his debut Tuesday against Cleveland.
In the case of Prince, fans will welcome back a 10-year Piston who not only won a 2004 NBA title with the franchise, but helped lead it to six straight Eastern Conference Finals. Prince will technically debut as a new face Sunday, but to most fans at the Palace, he'll be the most familiar face on the team.
Van Gundy said Saturday that Prince was not brought to Detroit for sentimental value. The first-year Pistons head coach said the 34-year-old will "play big minutes" for a team that has struggled from the small forward position all season.
Prince played just nine games for the Celtics, averaging 8.4 points per game on 55.9 percent shooting. In 26 games with the Grizzlies before joining Boston, Prince was averaging 7.3 points per game.
Prince and Jackson join the Pistons as they sit just one game behind the Brooklyn Nets for the East's final playoff spot. Detroit is 17-10 since waiving Josh Smith in December, climbing from the NBA's cellar to within striking distance of the postseason.
The Pistons also trail the ninth-seeded Charlotte Hornets (22-31) by just one game heading into Sunday. The Miami Heat, who lost star forward Chris Bosh for the season Saturday, are 1.5 games up on the Pistons and currently hold the No. 7 seed.
Washington rides its worst stretch of the season into the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Wizards have lost seven of their last nine games and got waxed by the Cavaliers 127-89 Friday night.
Game time: 3:30 p.m. on FSD
The Pistons hope to hand Washington another loss en route to their first two-game winning streak since Feb. 3. Detroit is playing its third of a four-game stretch against teams with .600+ records and will host the Cavs Tuesday.
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