Ex-Detroit Pistons are carrying the Los Angeles Clippers

Reggie Jackson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket against Hamidou Diallo #6 of the Detroit Pistons(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Reggie Jackson #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket against Hamidou Diallo #6 of the Detroit Pistons(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

For years the Detroit Pistons had some of the best role players in the NBA. Unfortunately, most of them were playing big minutes in the starting lineup.

But now there are a crazy number of former Pistons in the playoffs and many of them are/were making huge contributions on good teams.

Guys like Reggie Jackson, the Morris twins and Bruce Brown have finally found their niches as role players on contending teams, which is what they should have been all along.

These guys were exposed in Detroit because they were asked to do too much when really their ideal situation is to be complementary players on a team that already has stars.

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The Detroit Pistons never had those stars and instead tried to pigeonhole guys like Reggie Jackson into that role even though they were clearly square pegs in a round hole.

But now the Los Angeles Clippers are one game away from the Western Conference Finals, in part because of the play of two ex-Detroit Pistons.

Detroit Pistons: Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson were keys to win over the Jazz

The Clippers got a clutch win last night over the Utah Jazz on the road and are now just one win away from the WCF.

The win was even more impressive considering the Clippers were without first-team All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard, who is out indefinitely with an injury.

His running mate Paul George stepped up in his absence and had one of the best playoff games of his career, scoring 37 points and adding 16 rebounds.

You expect this from a star like Paul but it was the contributions of Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson that sealed the game. The two combined for 47 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the 3-point line.

Jackson was clutch down the stretch and hit some huge shots to help put the game away. These ex-Pistons are showing they still have value on the right team, though their teammate and former Piston Luke Kennard can’t say the same.

Detroit Pistons: Luke Kennard still stinks

If there is one move the Los Angeles Clippers would like to have back, it is trading the rights to Saddiq Bey for Luke Kennard and a bunch of second-round picks. They compounded their folly by giving Kennard a fat extension before he’d played a single game with the team. Oops.

Kennard has contributed next to nothing in the playoffs and has barely gotten off the bench. He did his best to blow the lead against the Jazz by refusing to take a couple of shots late in the shot clock that led to one violation and another desperation heave at the buzzer.

Bey is already better than Kennard and could have been somewhat of a defensive replacement for Kawhi. Kennard can’t guard anyone and scored just six points in 20 minutes in the win over Utah, so not all the ex-Detroit Pistons are contributing.

If the Clippers end up making the Finals, some ex-Pistons will play a huge part, and it is nice to see them succeeding in the right role.

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