Pistons: Comparing Reggie Jackson and Eric Bledsoe


The NBA is filled with young players with a bright, rising star, especially at the point guard position. Nearly every team in the league has an all-star caliber player as their floor general.

Two of these bright young players are the Detroit PistonsReggie Jackson and the Phoenix Suns’ Eric Bledsoe. Both players are entering their age 25 seasons, and have lucrative long-term deals with their respective teams.

Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Both Jackson and Bledsoe earned an opportunity to become a starter and franchise cornerstone by stepping in for an injured starter and making the most of their opportunity. Strong rosters also surrounded both of them with superstar players by their side. Their rise to the top has been very similar, and they are now in a position to lead their teams to the playoffs.

Eric Bledsoe is a freak athlete with explosive speed, quickness and leaping ability, as shown by all of the plays he makes on a nightly basis. Bledsoe is an above average playmaker, coming off a season where he averaged 17 points and over six assists per game, a career high. While his assist numbers may not seem impressive, it should be noted that he hasn’t shared the floor with a truly elite finisher and scorer for most of his career.

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Bledsoe is a terror on the defensive end of the floor, where he commonly makes his opposition work for everything. He can really get up into other point guards, making it difficult to initiate the offense and use his quick hands to rack up his steals. Thanks to his 39 inch vertical, he is able to come up with his fair share of chase-down blocks and contest taller guards’ shots.

Reggie Jackson is an elite playmaker that excels at getting to the basket and finding his teammates for open looks. Jackson is a triple-double threat any time he steps on the floor, coming off a great run to end the season with his new team last season. In 27 games with the Pistons, Jackson averaged 17.6 points, 9.2 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. Although Jackson can be ball-dominant at times with a high turnover ratio, he shows flashes of brilliance.

Jackson is a master of the pick-and-roll, and has multiple threats on the outside to pass the ball out to for looks beyond the arc. According to Synergy Sports Tech, Jackson was the best pick-and-roll scorer and shot creator in the NBA for the 2014-15 season. He led the league with 10.7 points per game scored via pick-and-roll and created the most points from pass outs at 12.7 per game.

One of the real separations between the two is their ability to stay healthy. Aside from his rookie season, Jackson has suited up for at least 70 games every season. Bledsoe has missed more than half off his games in two of the last four seasons. Although major knee injuries are troubling for Bledsoe’s future, he is likely to make multiple all-star appearances in the near future.

It is tough to judge who will become the better player, due to injuries for Bledsoe and a lack of evidence for Jackson, but both show promise to become greats in this league. However, you can’t dominate the game if you can’t stay healthy, which is why Jackson has an edge going forward. He also has the keys to an offense with shiny features like an athletic finisher in Andre Drummond and sharpshooters surrounding the arc for him to kick the ball out to. Stan Van Gundy invested a lot in Jackson, hoping he can lead the team back to the promise land in the near future.

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