Detroit Pistons: Optimistic player predictions revisited

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2).. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2).. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Frank Jackson
Detroit Pistons guard Frank Jackson (5) shoots Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons: Optimistic predictions for the key bench players revisited

Frank Jackson

The prediction: Frank Jackson will be the second-leading scorer off the bench and shoot over 40 percent from 3-point range for the second year in a row, solidifying him as one of the best value contracts in the league.

The reality: I nailed some of this one, as Frank Jackson is the Pistons’ second-leading bench scorer. His shooting numbers have taken a dip and he’s never really gotten into a consistent rhythm after going through some injuries and having COVID. I still think his scoring potential makes him one of the best value contracts in the league and that he is one of the key bench pieces moving forward. Having guys on lowball contracts who produce is one of the things teams need to be good, and I think Detroit found one in Jackson.

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Josh Jackson

The prediction: Josh Jackson will have a breakout season where he averages 15 points, 4.5 assists and 5 rebounds per game while shooting more than 35 percent from long range.

The reality: After a strong preseason, Jackson regressed to his regular self, turning the ball over too much, taking bad shots and being completely inefficient offensively. A lot of us were hoping Jackson would thrive this season on his hometown team, but that didn’t happen and they shipped him out. Turns out that we had no reason to be optimistic about Josh Jackson, but we’ll always have the time he punked Ben Simmons to remember.

Hamidou Diallo

The prediction: Diallo will be second on the team in blocked shots and will be a top-10 rebounding guard in the NBA.

The reality: Diallo is currently the 12th-leading shot blocker on the Detroit Pistons, so I was WAY off there. I thought his athleticism would lead to more blocked shots, but he is second in steals, just behind Cade Cunningham.  Diallo is 23rd in the NBA in rebounding for guards, but isn’t far off the top-10, though I definitely thought he’d have closer to 6-7 per game than the 4.9 he currently has. Even though Diallo didn’t reach these two optimistic predictions, he has been good for the Pistons and has given them a much-needed boost of athleticism on a value contract.